Get Your Kids in and Out of the Bathroom in 15 Minutes

"Brush your teeth. Brush your hair. We only have 20 minutes to get out of here. Did you remember to go potty? Go potty! We've got to go in 15 minutes. Please, hurry up! You have to brush the back of your hair, too. Hurry up! We have to leave the house in 10 minutes! Five minutes! HURRY!"

I can't even begin to count the number of times I have called out that exact set of instructions in an ever more frantic voice as I tried to get my three kids all dressed, brushed and out the door on time. My friends tease me when I am late, which is too often. But I've been getting better, and today my family was 10 minutes early for our homeschool group activity. My friends were impressed. Here are some tips to help you get your kids in and out of the bathroom in 15 minutes or less so you can be on time, too.

Wake up early

A sleepy kid is a slow kid. Mine have actually fallen asleep on the toilet while I was trying to prod them along. If you have someplace to be, get your kids up at least half an hour earlier than you normally would and wait until they are really awake before sending them into their bathroom routine. Once they've shaken off the sleep, they'll be better able to focus.

Get organized

I gave each of my kids their own plastic caddy for the bathroom. The caddies have room for their toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, hair brush, deodorant, and more. Knowing right where their bathroom supplies are helps to cut down on the time they spend looking for things when it is time to get ready to go.

Get energized

A cold washcloth to wash your face and some loud, energetic music can get you pumped up and moving. It works well for the kids, too. Get excited and pump up the energy in your morning routine.

Streamline the hair

My daughter has such long and thick hair, it was taking her about four hours to totally dry after washing it. We had it cut in layers and thinned for a quicker style, and now she is able to work with it much more easily in the morning.

Whether you have boys or girls, a good haircut is always easier to style and will take a lot less time to whip into shape. If it's been a while since the last trip to the stylist, schedule one soon.

Shower at night

Showering at night cuts way down on the time it takes to get ready in the morning. My son's hair always sticks up in the morning, though, when he showers at night. I fixed that by giving him a spray bottle he can use to wet his hair in the morning and brush it into place.

Lay out clothes the night before

Getting dressed can also take a long time if you are running around trying to find matching socks or clean underwear. Speed up the morning by laying out your kids' clothes the night before, or at least making sure their drawers are well stocked with clean clothes.

Carry gum and deodorant in the car

Kids are kids and they will forget things from time to time. You can help them out by stashing a pack of minty gum or mouthwash in the car in case they forget to brush their teeth, and a travel-size deodorant in case kids who have reached puberty forget that, too. Trust me, your kids will thank you.

Content by Tavia Fuller Armstrong.