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Magda Pecsenye

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Magda Pecsenye has been writing AskMoxie, the parenting advice column, since 2005, and is still stumped by questions about potty training. She also writes, with her ex-husband, about her experiences co-parenting after divorce at She was a Babble Voices contributor to her blog, Moxieville. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her two sons.

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8 Ways to Make Mornings Easier (Do As I Say, Not As I Do)

By Magda Pecsenye |

I’m not good with mornings.

Not that I’m not a morning person. I can get up and be emotionally present and have deep thoughts before 9 am. Before 6 am, even. I like waking up and going out to run. I enjoy a good sunrise. I’m just not good at all the logistics of mornings with my kids and me together having to go places.

Full disclosure: I work from home now, so I’m now able to focus only on the kids until they’re off to school, and then deal with myself. But those years we all had to be totally equipped for the day before leaving the apartment for our 45-minute subway ride to the kids’ school followed by another 40 minutes to my office, well, I might still have some trauma from that.

However, I have learned a ton of tips and tricks that, on the 3-4 occasions I’ve done all of them together in the last five years, have gotten all of us where we need to be without leaving me feeling like I need to run away to join the circus. I’m passing them on to you in hopes that you might be smarter than I am and actually use these tips every day to make mornings easier for you and your kids.

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8 Ways to Beat The Morning Rush

Lay out all your clothes the night before

For the kids. For you. Complete with socks, shoes, accessories. Put the kids' clothes all together in a pile where they can get them and put them on themselves. Put yours all together on a hanger. For extra super-smart bonus points, pick out everyone's clothes for the week on Sunday afternoon.

Good luck, and may the force be with you.


Magda Pecsenye writes about parenting at and about co-parenting after divorce (with her ex-husband) at When The Flames Go Up.

You can follow her on Twitter at @AskMoxie and Facebook.


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About Magda Pecsenye


Magda Pecsenye

Magda Pecsenye has been writing AskMoxie, the parenting advice column, since 2005, and is still stumped by questions about potty training. She also writes, with her ex-husband, about her experiences co-parenting after divorce at She was a Babble Voices contributor to her blog, Moxieville. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her two sons. Read bio and latest posts → Read Magda's latest posts →

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14 thoughts on “8 Ways to Make Mornings Easier (Do As I Say, Not As I Do)

  1. Linda says:

    Hmmm, started thinking about how I could fit three backpacks in my fridge, then started dreaming of a big ass sub zero fridge. I am so selfish.

  2. Magda Pecsenye says:

    Linda, you know what could totally fit a bunch of backpacks? A kegerator.

  3. Laura says:

    I have done that last step one better. I did a Project Management walkthrough with the 6 year old. I laid out what *I* have to do in the mornings, every last thing. I had her go through what SHE has to do in the mornings. Then we made stickynote strips of each thing, with a time estimate. We laid them end to end, in a reasonable order and saw that in order to do it all that way we would be getting up at 4 a.m. to get out by 8:30, or some equally unreasonable time. Then we pushed some things to the night before, put things in a reasonable order and OVERLAPPED items I could be doing while she was doing something else. We got ourselves down to 1 hour to get all three of us ready and out the door. She even got a sticky note time slot for art/reading/play.

    Then we made a checklist of the things she is responsible for doing before she does ANYTHING else.

    She had a great time moving the sticky notes around. And she got the concept of WHILE, which had been our major issue (in addition to a little bit of ‘you help the 4 year old but not me….’). Now I can even go get a shower and things happen on the checklist without supervision most mornings. And though I live with my parents, this works best when the folks are out of town.

  4. Erin says:

    To make kid clothes easier.. Get those over the door shoe holders. The ones with the ugly clear plastic slots. Kid outfit goes into each slot. Undies, socks, outfit. Kid just has to grab a sleeve and they are ready to go. You can do an entire week on Sunday this way without stacks of clothes.

  5. Vacationland Mom says:

    My BFF makes these great velcro-close sandwich bags of varying sizes- some have a plastic lining wherein you can put chips and they don’t get soggy in the refridgerator! Her page is

    Also if you’re having a hard time remembering to get lunch/backpack/both out of the fridge, write a note on your hand, or put a sticky note on the front door handle (on the inside) where you know you’ll see it, or if you’re driving kids somewhere, put the sticky note in your car.

  6. Elaine says:

    I loved the picture of the school lunch. Lunches here are about $2 a day which really adds up. But if that were the kind of food they were actually serving, I’d be stopping in myself for lunch!

    Those 5 slot sweater hangers that hang in closets are good for storing a weeks worth of clothes. If you can find a way to hang your car keys from the fridge door, you’d be more likely to remember the lunches.

    I also have a huge gap between my intentions and my actions. I often refer to my Organized Fantasy, which is chock full of ideas and plans that so far have never actually made it into my real life.

  7. carolina says:

    if you can’t fit the whole backpack in the fridge, put it at the door where you would trip on it if you don’t grab it and put your car or home keys in the fridge with the lunchbox. I used to do that with my husband so he would not forget the lunch he packed for the office and now do it with my kindergartner.

  8. StateofKate says:

    Oh my word. The pictures are CRACKING ME UP. I too have a lot of trouble getting my son dressed in his tux for school in prep for his lobster lunch.
    Good tips, of course. :)

  9. Kim says:

    this maybe less than welcome additon here, since it adds another “storage site” but just thought I pass on a tip for keeping yogurt cold that goes back to when my mom packed me lunches in HS – I hated my yogurt warm. so freezing the single serving yogurt cups overnight keep them nice & cold til lunch. Depending on how early lunch is, it’s either just right (still chilly) or less than fully melted. Stirring it up a bit makes it a semi-soft frozin yogurt treat, something I still do to this day. Onward, Mom-warriors.

  10. Magda Pecsenye says:

    Thanks, StateofKate. I’ll be here all week.

    Kim, now my mind is cranking trying to figure out if I could store the entire backpack in the freezer. And it all goes back to a kegerator…

  11. Md says:

    These are all great tips and we do most of them already. One other thing that makes a huge difference for us – make sure the kids get to bed early enough so that they wake up on their own or are awoken easily.

  12. Sara Morelli says:

    Love and LIVE the plan of laying out clothes the night before. For my boys I purchased these days of the week organizers for their rooms:
    and on Sunday I do our laundry, on Sunday evening I fill in their clothes for each day, and boom! no more crazy mornings..sort of! Well, at least not crazily trying to find clothes each morning!

  13. [...] 25 things every kid should experience 10 super foods your children should be eating NOW 18 childhood experiences my kids won’t have The 7 worst things you can say to your child 8 timesaving tips to beat the morning rush [...]

  14. Cory says:

    OK, I gotta know… Are these pictures a mistake or a joke? What’s the deal Babble?

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