5 Tips to Minimize the Scramble When Trying to Get Out the Door with Children

I know we can all relate to the scramble of trying to get out the door and on the road with children.  It seems my stress level goes way up when I am trying to get out the door especially when I am running late. Not long ago I set a goal to try to be more patient with my kids, as part of this goal I wanted to stop raising my voice.  As I evaluated the times I get upset, raise my voice or loose it with my kids it seemed that at least 80% of the time I was trying to get out the door.  I decided I needed to change a few things.

Here are a few tips that have helped us get out the door and avoid the unnecessary stress and scrabble.

1. Be Realistic
It is important to be realistic in planning trips, this is true for a simple trip to the grocery store or a long road trip. First, we need to remember that kids are going to be kids...and that really should be expected. We need to be realistic in planning what can be done with kids and take into consideration nap time and meal times. Second, we need to be realistic in what can be accomplished in the time we have. I always try to run 15 different errands when I really only have time for 3.

2. Keep Essentials in Vehicle
 It seems that the last minute scramble is usually not because I am doing something for me but rather that I am gathering items to keep the kids happy (restocking diaper bag, grabbing treats and jackets).  I no longer take a diaper bag with me when we go places. I keep all of the essential items we need in our vehicle.

I keep drinks, treats, sunglasses, toys, diapers and wipes in an over the seat organizer.
I also keep an extra change of clothing (including underwear) for the younger kids in a shoe box under our back seat and I keep a picnic blanket and jackets in the trunk.

3. Keep Items Regularly Used in a Bag/Basket
We go swimming a lot. I used to keep each of my kids swimsuits in their bedroom and beach towels in a linen closet.  When we would go swimming I would run from room to room grabbing everyone's stuff. I found it a lot easier to keep all of our stuff in a bag together. I now keep beach towels, swimsuits, sunblock and swim toys all in one bag...when its time to go I grab the bag instead of running from room to room. This also makes doing wash a lot easier because I keep everything together. If your family goes to a specific event a lot consider putting together a bag/basket. We do this for swimming trips, soccer games and even trips to the park.

4. Help Kids Be Independent
It doesn't take a lot of time to teach our children how to buckle their own seat belt or help a younger sibling get buckled up but often times in the rush to get out the door it is the last thing on our mind. Set some time aside when you are not in a rush and teach your child to buckle up their own seat belt or help a younger sibling get buckled...it will save tons of time later on.

Take some time to teach your child to put on their own shoes.  We used the tip below and it has helped a lot!  I love looking at my 3 year old and seeing that he has his shoes on the correct foot and I don't have to change them for him or tell him too...it keeps him from getting upset and me from feeling so rushed.
image credit 

5. Put Keys in a Specific Place
How many times have we been ready to go but can't find the keys? Designate a specific location for your keys. Our family uses a key rack but their are all sorts of different places they could be stored. Wherever you decide to put your keys make sure it is out of reach from young kids and be consistent in using it.

Be sure to check out our Pintrest Board for some great tips on traveling with kids.

What works for your family? What have you found to be helpful?


  1. I love this post! Where did you get the over the seat organizer?

  2. I ordered it from Amazon:



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