Mornings. Most of us don't like 'em, but they're a fact of life. So how do you make the morning game of 'beat the clock' more bearable? Try these tips.
A few weeks ago as I was looking for missing shoes, trying to convince my daughter that she would not die if she had to eat a piece of toast instead of pancakes, looking for my keys (which were in my hand the whole time) and generally rushing around
trying to get everyone out the door, I swore to myself for the 437th time that I need to organize my mornings a little better. But seriously - where do you even start? After some trial and error, I've found some tips that (usually) work at my house.
To make a long story short, if you want your mornings to go a little smoother, you'll have to start the night before. I know, I know. No one wants to think about the morning during your last precious moments of free time at night. But a little pre-morning planning really does go a long way toward simplifying your morning. Here are some things to try:
Check the Date
Keep deadlines and reminders on a calendar and check it every night - and be sure to look a few days ahead as well. That way you'll remember your children's project due dates, sports practices and doctor appointments or lunch dates, and can prepare for them the night before.
Check the Weather
Sounds simple, right? Well, it actually is. Knowing the weather forecast for the next day will help you with the next step.
Get Dressed before Bed
Ok, not literally. Just try to select clothing for yourself and/or children (including their shoes) before bed. That eliminates some of the hassle of finding 'just the right outfit' during the morning rush.
It's in the Bag
Working on a big presentation for work? Children completing their homework? Once all the paperwork is finished, repack briefcases and school bags so they're ready to go in the morning. And remember - you can make your children responsible for repacking their own bags!
Kitchen Night Shift
Deciding what to pack for lunches the next day - and
actually preparing as much as possible the night before – makes it much easier to simply drop the lunches into school or work bags.
Kick Your Coffee into Gear
Drink coffee every morning? Get your coffee maker ready at night. If you can program yours to start at a certain time, do it. If not, you can at least get the coffee measured out and put in the filter the night before. I mean really - the sooner you can get to your caffeine in the morning, the better.
There are also some things you can do weekly to help your mornings go off without too many glitches:
Write it Down
Take some time each week to update your deadlines
& reminders calendar and to see if there's anything you can do ahead of time to be fully prepared.
Get the Goods
Make sure you're stocked up on lunch fixin's and easy breakfast foods so you're not dining on peanut butter-covered cardboard. And if you like to drink coffee on the go, invest in a travel mug or disposable coffee cups with lids. (It will be kinda like Starbucks in your car, but you'll save more time and money.)
Fill 'er Up
Who has time to get gas in the morning? Not me. Try to make a weekly trip to the gas station so you're not caught on empty.
This may take a little extra time initially, but the payoff can be well worth it. When putting clean clothes (or dirty clothes, your choice) away, try to keep outfit pairings together. Like to wear a certain shirt with that great black skirt? Hang them beside each other in the closet so they're easy to find. Some people even go so far as to hang coordinating necklaces on the hanger with the shirt, but I'm not up to that level of organization yet...or maybe ever.
The best way to streamline your mornings is to start at night. I know - the last thing you want to do at night is 'morning stuff,' but trust me. If you implement these tips (or even just a couple that sound easy) you'll thank me when morning comes. Or at least after you've had some caffeine.