Here's the secret for eliminating morning madness and evening chaos... create a "Destination Station" where you enter and exit the house most frequently. This station will be the home for coats, backpacks, purses, homework, keys, chargers, and even shoes and library books.
You may have a wall space available for this purpose, or even an entire hallway or a mudroom. You can repurpose a piece of furniture, like a sideboard or console table, and you can even build in "lockers" with hooks and cubbies for each member of the family. In my practice as a Professional Organizer, we often have repurposed a coat closet, ripping out the single rod and shelf and replacing it with multiple shelves and cubbies instead.
Fill in the blank: "Mo-ooooom! Where's my __________?" To design your Destination Station, get clarity on what items are getting misplaced that need homes. What are your kids constantly losing? What are you always looking for when you head out the door?
We've all been taught to keep shoes and socks in bedroom drawers and closets. But what if you keep the most frequently used school and play shoes and socks in this Destination Station area right by the door instead? You can get shoes on more quickly without marching upstairs to find them, and your kids can kick them off when they walk in from the bus.
Work with your family's tendencies and assume that laziness is the norm. Hooks are better than hangers, for example, since they require one handed operation instead of two. And open bins collect things quickly tossed in, while closed lids with latches beg to be ignored.
For smoother mornings, make a habit of centralizing everything here before bedtime, and go through the Destination Station bins and shelves once a week or so to clear out items and make decisions.