Feel like you’re always that parent at the schoolgates? You know the one – dragging bedraggled children still munching on cereal bars, lugging overflowing bags and haphazardly created lunchboxes, without having dragged a brush through your hair. We’ve all been there.

But what if we told you a few simple tips and tricks to streamline your leaving the house process could make a whole world of difference? These seven life hacks below all take seconds to accomplish, but will have you gliding through drop-off with swan-like grace this new term. You can thank us later.

Get organised

Yep, we’d rather be sitting watching Netflix too. But just a couple of minutes of extra effort of an evening can go a long way to alleviating early morning stress. Make the kids lunches, set out their clothes and put everything you need to take out of the house in the morning in a designated place, such as by the front door, the night before school. Get your children involved by asking them to help make sure all their books, homework, PE kit and accoutrements are packed before bed, making for an easy grab-and-go in the AM.

Every object in its place

Fed up of starting your day hunting for car keys, sunglasses and mobile phones? Designate a place in your house for those essential items and make sure you use it every day when you come home. We hung some key hooks in our hallway cupboard and it’s revolutionised mornings by killing off the dreaded key hunt. Simple, but effective.

Get breakfast on the table

Decide what you’re all going to eat when you wake, and get it organised in advance. Chop and bag fruit, lay cereal boxes, bowls and spoons out on the table and in the morning, all you’ll need to do is take the milk out of the fridge. Easy peasy.

Go for gas

There are plenty of benefits to living in the UAE, but petrol station queues definitely aren’t among them. Sure, it’s the last thing you want to tackle after a long working day, but if you
make sure you always have fuel in the tank when you park up at night, you’ll be very glad for it the next time you’re running late
in the morning.

Create a family schedule

Yes, a family timetable sounds overbearing, and your kids and spouse may well resist, but having some order in place for things such as shower times really can shave valuable minutes from the morning chaos.

And if all else fails…

Set all of the clocks in the house ten minutes ahead of time. It’s a classic because it works. Just don’t tell your family you’ve done it.