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5 Timesaving Tips

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The beginning of school is a great time to introduce new rituals that will help your family start each day smoothly and make your school-day routine a snap.

1. Pick Out Clothes on Sunday: Put together five outfits for the coming week with your child, including socks and underwear, and store each outfit together on its own hanger. Or buy one of those hanging sweater containers and use each compartment for a different day, starting with Monday at the top.

2. Set Up for Morning after Dessert: After clearing the dinner dishes, set the table for breakfast. Put out boxes of cereal or favorite breakfast foods so your child can help himself. Sign and put any papers your child will need for school the next morning in a designated place.

3. Pre-prepare Lunches: Make pre-packs of juice boxes, raisins, snacks, and other non-perishables a week at a time. You can also pre-label lunch bags if you're using them. Then all you'll have to do the night before is make a sandwich or pack up some leftovers to complete each lunch.

4. Watch Tomorrow's Weather: Right before bedtime, check the weather report for the next day and find any raincoats, boots, or sweaters your child might need.

5. Get Clean at Night: Make bath-time a leisurely activity to wind your child down at night instead of something to rush through in the morning, when quick washings are less likely to do their job and more likely to irritate little eyes and minds.

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