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.
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“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
"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 director
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“I don't shower.” -- Simon Mullin, online communications strategist (Ed. Note: We recommend hosing down at night instead.)