A Getting Ready for School System for Stress-free Mornings

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Getting Ready Morning Checklist

Right before school started I was at a friend’s house and noticed a getting ready morning chart of tasks for her daughter. I thought it was a really great idea, so I decided to try it myself with my girls for this new school year.

I don’t know about you, but many mornings in the getting ready for school rush I would hear myself constantly barking out orders or questions. 

Did you brush your teeth? Is your bed made? Get dressed! Where are your shoes? Get in the car! We’re going to be late! 

One of my goals this school year is to have more peaceful, stress-free mornings, because isn’t that a better way for everyone to start the day?

Our getting ready for school mornings so far have been a big success – thanks to these getting ready morning charts for kids – so I am very excited to share this new system with you.

First Things First: The Night Before 

Before I get started on the charts, from experience, I have noticed doing a few things the night before will give you a head start as your go into your day. Namely,

1. Have them choose their outfit and lay out the items from head to toe, from hair accessories to socks.

2. Put their homework folder and any other items that need to go to school in their backpack.

And of course, if you have time:

3. Pack lunches to save precious morning minutes. Now onto our new getting ready morning charts…

Getting Ready Morning Chart for Grade Schoolers 

I have two daughters, ages 4 and 7, so although the getting ready tasks are generally the same, I had to tailor them to their ages.

For my second grader Emma, I did her chart and also put in times.  Now, we are only two weeks in, but each day she has gone into her room to start her getting ready list at 7:30 on the dot, and the mornings have been dreamily smooth.

She loves following her list – I don’t know WHY I didn’t do this sooner!


Another thing that is working for us is having her make her bed and tidy her room BEFORE getting dressed. Last year,  if we were running late and the bed was not made, it would not get done as it was more important to get out the door on time. If she does it before she gets dressed, it gets done.

Getting Ready Morning Chart for Preschoolers 

Since my 4-year-old can’t read yet, I still wrote a list for her, but also pulled little pictures off the web to put next to the words so she knew what she had to do.

She was so excited when she got it, and quickly named off each thing to do from the pictures.


Now on the mornings when I take Emma to school, my husband stays Morgan while he is getting ready for work, and I have enough time to come by from Emma drop off to pick up Morgan to take to preschool.

While I am gone on the first school drop off – she will do most of her list on her OWN.  It has made me realize how she is more than capable of doing many of the things her older sister can do.

I have learned they are capable – we just have to give them the direction!

A Carrot Just for Fun 

Just to give following the getting ready morning checklist a fun incentive, I printed out blank calendars for the month, and taped one for each girl on the side of our washer/dryer in our garage, along with a ziploc baggie with stickers. This is the last thing they do before getting into the car.

I told them that each school day where they got ready nicely, completed their checklist, and made it in the car on time, they would get a sticker on the day.

For every 2o days that have a sticker (hopefully about once a month) they will get to pick a prize from our treasure box.I haven’t been to get the treasure box yet, but I plan to fill it with little inexpensive items like pencils, $1 bin Target finds, erasers, stickers, etc. I don’t think the items really matter, I think it more fun working towards a goal!


 Do you have any getting ready for school tips to share?


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  1. 1
    brittany eastwood says:

    Can you give me a link to your list – the one for your preschooler. I would like use it 🙂

  2. 2
    Susanne says:

    Brilliant! I am just starting the TV off rule on school mornings because they don’t LISTEN when it’s on! I am going to make these lists next- thanks for sharing!

  3. 3
    Jen says:

    Brittany – I made the list – just emailed you!

    Susanne – we do no TV or iPad in AM’s – so distracting and things take way too long!

  4. 4
    Victoria says:

    These are amazing! My daughter is in 1st grade now and we are expecting our second any day now, and I’ve been losing sleep over how our mornings will work after the baby is born. My husband will be taking our daughter to school I think having a list like this will make mornings easier for us all! Thanks for posting!

  5. 5
    Suzanne says:

    This saved our morning today!!! My little guy LOVED it and helped motivate us to get out the door. Can you make it a printable??

  6. 6
    Alex says:

    Don’t you love how this simplest ideas have the biggest effect?! I LOVE this, and will implement for my kiddos this Monday. (BTW, SO jealous your 7 yo doesn’t leave until 8:10! We’re out the door at 7:30!).

  7. 7
    Sharon says:

    Love the list! Can you email me the preschool list with the pictures too! Thanks!

  8. 8

    I love the chart! So easy and it really does take the nagging out of the morning. Also, I loved the aah moment when she noticed her child was really capable of doing many of things on the list herself! They can do so much and sometimes we don’t realize how much they can do on their own. One thing I would add to the list is to note if it is a PE day or not. This is important because they need to be wearing their sneakers and appropriate clothes so they can participate. Many times kids forget what day they have PE and are not able to participate. It also helps kids learn the days of the week if sneakers are the calendar on Tuesdays and Thursdays. One of my tricks I used when my girls were little was to time the last few minutes of getting ready. Get a countdown clock or timer and make a game out of getting into the car first! It starts the day out in a fun way! Whoever gets in first gets to pick the music (CD’S) we listened to on the way to school! We always had a fun drive singing in the car to school.

  9. 9
    Jen says:

    Sharon – Send me your child’s name(s) and your personal list and I will make you one!

    Alex – Yes, we are sooooo lucky we have an 8:25 start!

    Kristin – That is huge about the PE clothes, such a great point!

    Thanks for your comments gals!

  10. 10
    Sharon says:

    Jen, you are awesome! Our daughter is Anna and your list for Morgan would be great for her! We might do it in a little bit of a different order, but we can use the one you made for Morgan 🙂 Thanks again so much!!

  11. 11
    Jen says:

    Sharon – Seriously, send me your order and I will make one for Anna with the right steps.

    I am at jennifer at tinyoranges.com.


  12. 12
    Lu says:

    Can you please send me the link to your list so I can download it. Thank you.

  13. 13
    Sharon says:

    Jen – Thank you!! I emailed you. 🙂

  14. 14
    jen says:

    Lu – email me your child’s name and your list and I will make you one.

    jennifer at tinyoranges.com

  15. 15
    Jen says:

    Great idea. Please email the grade school chart too!

  16. 16
    leora says:

    Jen please could you email me the lists in a word document I would love to use them for my kids and tweak a little thx much

  17. 17
    Chelsea says:

    This is great. Can you please email me the link to I can do this with my children!

    • 18
      jen says:

      Hi Chelsea! Thanks so much! I am sorry I don’t have a link – I made it myself in Photoshop. Hard to do a downloadable one because everyone’s order and system is a little different! You could easily make one yourself, and maybe have kids find pictures in magazines to cut out and put next to the task? Good luck! Hope it helps!

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