I have long forgotten the time when I could leave the house on a spontaneous trip out in minutes. Sometimes it feels like the preparation to go out takes longer then the time spent out, but it is always worth it. Lately I have noticed that getting out the house seems to be much, much easier. It goes without saying that the more often you do something the better you become at it, practice makes perfect. There have been times when I have felt like a particularly incompetent sheepdog rounding up sheep. I can be at the front door with everything ready including the children, when suddenly one or both will disappear, or we get everything into the car and one of them will decide that we can go no further without the particular object that they now need. I would end up feeling harassed and always arrive everywhere really late, on the rare occasions each month that we had to be somewhere by a particular time.
Nowadays I give myself plenty of time to get out the house, I rarely arrange to meet anyone before 10am if I can. I write lists for myself, or I have one in my head if we don't need to take much out. I wait until I am practically ready before telling the children that we are going out soon, they always know if we are or not that day. I load the car up whilst they are getting their shoes etc this is my thinking time to make sure I have everything packed that we need. My children like to have something to do in the car no matter how short the journey, I now remember to ask them if they need to go and get anything for the car before we leave the house. Phew, now we are ready to leave. What is your journey like to getting out the house, I hope it is more organised and calmer than mine often is!