Our 5 quick tips on surviving the school run

10th Sep, 2020

After so many months in limbo this year, you might have found the return to the school run a little bumpy. If so, don’t worry. You’re not alone! Now, as you’ll know if you’ve ever looked at ways to scrap your car, we like to make things easier for you here at Scrap Car Network, and we know what it’s like to find yourself rushing out of the door each morning, especially when you’ve got kids in tow. So from us to you, here are some of our top tips to save you a bit of stress on those frantic school mornings.

1. Get everything ready the night before

Let’s be honest, you knew this one was coming, so we thought we’d get it out of the way with. It might even be what your own parents used to say to you. So don’t leave anything out – lay out school uniforms and school shoes, pack all lunchboxes, and sort out PE kits the night before. Alternatively, if you think your children are old enough, by all means make sure they do it themselves!

Not only does it help you make sure that you can get ready in record time, but it helps to prevent that all-too common scenario where one of your children suddenly tells you they don’t know where their left shoe is, or their pencil case, or their water bottle, or something equally specific and infuriatingly elusive.

Some parents like to go as far as laying out the breakfast table in advance, complete with bowls, spoons and coffee cups (the last one’s for you, not for them). You might find that kind of thing helpful, or possibly even a step too far. But either way, you’ve got to admit it’s a great example of how a bit of preparation the night before can help everything to fall into place. By the same token, if you’ve got the energy, it can save you a lot of stress in the mornings if you can persuade your children to put everything back in its proper place – bags, shoes et cetera – immediately after they get back from school.

2. Leave before you need to

Giving yourself a bit of extra time can really help to take the edge off if you find that you’re often late for whatever reason, whether that’s because of traffic, weather conditions, or that flipping pencil case going missing again. You might have to sell the kids a bit on the idea, as they’re not going to love the idea of being dragged out of bed ten minutes earlier than they have to be (although let’s be honest, who does?). But if something comes up on a school morning, even ten extra minutes can be hugely helpful in giving you a bit of extra breathing room to deal with the problem.

young family

3. Change the clocks

Another method of tackling lateness, although this one is a bit more subtle. You may have already noticed that the problem with giving yourself ten extra minutes in the mornings is that you or the kids start taking that for granted. You know how it goes; you check the time, then think “oh that’s fine, we’ve got ages yet.” Fifteen minutes later, it’s a whirlwind of coats and socks and bags and stress again and you find yourself wondering how it happened.

What you might want to try, though, is getting up at the normal time, but changing your clocks. Rather than setting them back ten minutes (because that’s basically the same issue in reverse), you might want to consider changing them to a slightly more vague time, such as making them fast by ten or twelve minutes, or setting them to close but slightly different times – so that the clock in your hall reads thirteen minutes past, while the one in your kitchen reads seventeen minutes past. That way, it’s difficult for your unconscious mind to pin down exactly how much time you’ve got, forcing you to assume the worst and get out the door sooner rather than later. Sounds very convoluted yes, but we know people who swear it works!

4. Get a coffee machine

Maybe, like some of us here at Scrap Car Network, you need a bit of va-va-voom when you get up in the mornings. If that’s the case, a coffee machine is a good investment. Modern coffee machines come with a programmable timer, so you can set them to ten minutes before your alarm. That way, they can have your brew ready and waiting for you when you get down the stairs, which can shave off a couple of minutes right at the start of your morning and help you to hit the ground running.

5. Track school events with a kitchen calendar

A kitchen calendar is another purchase that’s worth its weight in gold. Knowing if there are any upcoming school events or other local occurrences (such as roadworks) which might require you to alter your normal routines in the mornings. For example, if your children need to be there earlier for a school trip, or a special assembly.

It can also really help you anticipate any special school events that might require children to turn up in costume, such as Tudor Day or Victorian Day. That way, you can avoid the experience of having your youngest pop his head round the living room door at 7pm on a Thursday, saying “by the way Mum, I need to be dressed like Henry VIII tomorrow” before wandering up to his room, leaving you to take some scissors to the nearest curtain in a desperate bid to fashion a cloak of some kind.

Bonus tips – what not to do

As for what to steer clear of – well, we know it’s tempting, but try to avoid the petrol run on the way to school. It seems like a good idea to try and kill two birds with one stone, but it’s actually just an unnecessary distraction with the potential to cause yourself quite a lot of extra stress for a relatively small payoff. And talking of unnecessary distractions, it’s worth considering whether to discourage TV in the mornings. It can be tricky enough as it is to get kids out the door without having to prise them away from the last five minutes of their show, leaving your commute potentially a slave to the Disney channel.

Finally, of course, try and stay calm. We realise it’s easier said than done, but kids can pick up on the smallest shifts in emotion, and if you’re stressed, it can make them stressed, which then makes you more stressed, and… you get the picture.

Maybe you can tell, but we’ve got more than a bit of experience with this kind of thing ourselves! In fact, we’ll tell you what else we’ve got experience with – and that’s getting you the best price when you scrap your car with us. It couldn’t be easier, too. All you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and you’ll have your instant online quote in less time than it takes to say scrap my car. Talk about saving yourself some hassle!

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