How To Leave The House On Time When You Have Kids

I hate being late. I would rather be 30 minutes early than 5 minutes late. Having kids has humbled me in that area. When you have a baby, there are a million things (or it seems so) you need to pack and then at the last minute, they may demand to be fed or changed. Then you have toddlers. There are fewer things to pack but last minute bathroom trips become an issue, as well as missing shoes. For a while, it seemed like we were always running late but it happens far less frequently these days because I’ve set up some systems that help tremendously. It can be done. Let me share with you how to leave the house on time when you have kids.

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Having A Set Wake Up Time

I wrote all about this last week and you can read more about why it is so important and how to implement it HERE. In this scenario though, having a set wake up time for everyone makes it easier to get out the door on time. You have a general idea of when the baby will need to be fed and exactly how much time you have to get everyone ready.

Handy Hint: We used THIS clock to teach our son when wake up time is in the morning. 🙂

Now, this point is more to do with getting on the door in the morning. Afternoon and evening trips don’t lean quite so heavily on this but it can help all the same.

Having A Morning Routine

This sets my day up for success no. matter. what.

It doesn’t matter what time of day you’re planning on going out, having a morning routine for everyone will make a big impact on how successful you are at leaving on time. You can read more about morning routines HERE and download my Ultimate Guide To Establishing A Morning Routine for free below! 🙂

Make A List (the night before)

I don’t know how people survive without lists. Even before motherhood, I was always one to have a list or two on the go. Now that baby brain has truly taken its toll, list writing is essential for me to keep on top of things.

If you’re heading somewhere in the morning then make a list the night before of the things that need to be ready before you leave. You can even break it down and have different family members be responsible for different items. (depending on your children’s ages of course)

This will make life much less stressful as you prepare to leave and it will also mean that it is far less likely that you will forget something important.

Get Things Ready The Night Before (or earlier in the day)

If you need to be somewhere in the morning then do this the night before. Otherwise, just be sure to do it earlier in the day, well before you need to go anywhere.

For instance, on a Sunday we often travel over an hour to attend church. We leave early in the morning, which means there isn’t much time to get things organised. So, the night before I made sure both kids have everything they will need packed in their respective bags. I also lay out their clothes for the next day. It has helped hugely in cutting down on the chaos and getting us out the door on time. 🙂

Head To The Car Early

This is a biggie, especially if your children are young like mine. We have a rule that we start heading to the car 20 minutes before we need to get somewhere. This has meant that we almost always are on time. It allows for packing all the kid gear in the car, last minute potty time, strapping the kids in their seats, and most common of all…running back into the house to grab at least one thing that I always seem to forget.

Figure out what your sweet spot is and set it as your time. Ours was 10-15 minutes with one kid and now that we have two it is definitely a good 20 minutes.

I hope these tips help you to get rid of the chaos that often comes with getting everyone out the door on time. I remember telling a friend once that getting ready to go somewhere in the morning was like watching the moments before a renovation reveal on a tv series. Everyone is running around madly trying to get things sorted, someone yells, “Ten minutes to go!”, and you know in your heart that there’s no way it is all going to get done in time. Ha!

Thankfully, most days don’t look like that for us anymore, thanks to using the above strategies.

Until next time!

How To Leave The House On Time When You Have Kids | Learn some simple strategies to help you get out the door in time and not be late, even with babies!

How To Leave The House On Time When You Have Kids | Learn some simple strategies to help you get out the door in time and not be late, even with babies!

Hi! I'm Christine...a stay-at-home mum to two tiny humans. My constant focus is having my home run as smoothly as possible. Keeping two kids alive, and maintaining my sanity is also a priority. Most Saturday nights, you can find me hunkered down watching Grey's Anatomy, and hopefully nibbling on some chocolate. :)

  • Nicole Banuelos

    Having a morning routine is key! And one day, I will perfect mine! lol

    • Christine Keys

      Haha! Always a work in progress, right? 🙂

  • Great tips! Being late is a pet peeve of mine. I get it that sometimes things happen with kids. (I’ve had the all three diaper changes right before we leave moment.) But overall, if you plan ahead you can get out on time. I’ve literally timed how long it takes me to load everyone into car seats and get out of the house, just so I know how early to leave. That huge nerd admission aside, I agree with this post!!

    • Christine Keys

      Well, I must be a nerd too because I’ve totally done stuff like that!

  • I dont have any kids yet, but these tips are so helpful for my morning routine as well.

    • Christine Keys

      Awesome! 🙂

  • brittany

    Doing everything the night before is a must!!! I actually wrote about that on my blog, as well, last week. heading to the car early is something I’m quickly realizing we need to work on. Somehow something that should take two minutes always seems to take 10-15!!

    That Gro Clock looks genius! I need that for our youngest!

    • Christine Keys

      Yes! Always it always takes longer!

  • Lindsey Ann

    Bahaha, some day I will get there, but prepping the night before is by far the BEST way to make it happen!

    • Christine Keys

      It is a whole different kettle of fish when you have a newborn. 😉

  • Kayla Grizzard

    This is so great. I am terrible about leaving on time, or if I do, then I’m just a raving lunatic before we leave! ha. Great tips.

    • Christine Keys

      I’ve totally experienced the ‘raving lunatic’ outcome many times too, haha!

  • I totally need this. I am forever late and with trying to get kids out of the door its even worse. Even if we leave the house 30 mins early, we’re still late! LOL my husband is in the army so you can imagine the stress I give him whenever we have to be somewhere and we’re running lat because of me and the kids 😉

    • Christine Keys

      Oh dear, kids sure do push us!

  • Getting things done or set up the night before is key! Now I just need to practice it more, lol.

    • Christine Keys

      Haha! Yes, everything is great in theory. 😛

  • Ann

    This is great I like leaving on time, sometimes it’s hard especially when you have kids lol. Great tips here. Thank you for sharing .

    • Christine Keys

      You’re welcome.

  • Amy Blake

    Love this list, I always try and get things ready the night before. It really does help.

    • Christine Keys

      Thank you. 🙂

  • Jaynie Anderson Wall

    This flashes me back to when my kids were young! Planning ahead is so important, I was a big list maker as well. These are great suggestions.

    • Christine Keys

      I couldn’t function without lists!

  • Raina Reddecliff

    I love these tips, thanks for sharing! It’s hard with two kids in tow and being organized has truly helped me too!

    • Christine Keys

      You’re welcome!

  • I don’t have kids, but getting things ready the night before works best for me as well! Great tips!

    • Christine Keys

      Right? It makes life much easier. 🙂

  • Megan | LoveFamilyHealth

    This is a great post! Especially with school starting next week!

    • Christine Keys

      I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

  • These are all such great tips! I love getting things ready the night before. It definitely helps to make the morning less stressful.

    • Christine Keys

      For sure!

  • Tabitha Gilley

    I think we all need this! I know I struggle daily!

    • Christine Keys

      For sure!

  • Sarah Jean

    haha keeping these in mind for when I have kids!!

    • Christine Keys


  • Rachel Loza

    Yes to all of this! It took me a while to adjust to having kids and getting out of the house, but now i’m a PRO! Haha!

    • Christine Keys

      It is amazing how we learn to adapt.

  • The Salty Mamas

    I am the same way!!! I HATE to be late so I just plan to leave crazy early to get everywhere! Once on the way to swim my baby threw up all over me, herself AND into the bag full of swim stuff! I had to get us ALL changed and repacked and was still on time, haha! Worst case I’m early and have time to grab coffee 😉 But it is WAY harder with 3 kids for sure!

    • Christine Keys

      Yes, yes, yes!

  • Amanda Arthur Krill

    Getting things ready the night before has always been key for us. My Kids are teenagers now, and I STILL make them get things ready the night before!

    • Christine Keys

      Haha! I think teenagers can almost be worse than toddlers. 😛

  • Victoria Stacey

    I don’t have kids and I still need some leaving the house on time tips! A lot of these still make sense 🙂

    • Christine Keys

      Hope they help!

  • Kissescuddlesandaeroplanes

    Agree 100%! I hate being late as well and work really hard at getting my three little ones places on time! When we had an attached garage, I had the nappy bag and their shoes already in the car the night before, which made things even more smooth!

    • Christine Keys

      My DREAM is to have an attached garage. 😀