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Around here, we love efficiency. But mornings can be unpredictable, especially when we're responsible for a brood. We asked Martha Stewart Living staffers for their most effective and consistent tricks for getting their kids (and themselves) out the door in time.
“I bribe my daughter with the idea of uninterrupted play -- if she dresses, eats, and brushes her teeth, she usually gets a full 30 minutes uninterrupted by my nagging before we have to leave. While she’s eating, I put toothpaste on her toothbrush. It’s all about staying one step ahead! I also make her lunch while packing up dinner leftovers. I dole them out into small containers that can easily become 'main courses' for her.” -- Rory Evans, editor-at-large
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"Mini-blenders are the best for smoothies, because there's no cleanup -- mixer and mug are one and the same. If you're feeling super-ambitious, you can even load your ingredients the night before. Then in the morning, just pulse and go. These blenders usually come with several mugs, so big families can prep a bunch of custom smoothies." -- Rebekah Lowin, editorial assistant
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"I make a big pitcher of cold-brew coffee on weekends. I save time on my commute by not having to make a coffee stop, and I probably save some money too!"
-- Jessica Anderson, social media editor
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"I listen to the NPR News app on my phone. Each story is about five minutes long, so they double as mini-timers for me to get tasks done. If you prefer a musical backdrop, you could time yourself against songs too."
-- Megan West, engagement marketing manager
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“I switch purses a lot, and I was forever leaving key items -- or actual keys -- behind. Corralling essentials in one small pouch makes it easy to grab and go, no matter how I decide to accessorize.” -- Emma Aubry Roberts, associate digital editor
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“My family eats porridge most weekday mornings, and steel-cut or rolled oats are so much better than instant. They also take longer to cook, though, so I soak them overnight to speed morning cooking. A fellow editor prepares hers in a rice cooker -- a slow or pressure cooker would probably work too.” -- Victoria Spencer, senior digital food editor
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"No one in my house gets breakfast if they aren't dressed and properly groomed, with school bags packed and ready by the door. I find that their desire for food keeps them from dawdling." -- Melissa Goldstein, beauty directorPhotography: Richard Banks
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Quick Dry“I don't shower.” -- Simon Mullin, online communications strategist (Ed. Note: We recommend hosing down at night instead.)