Do you find yourself feeling frantic in the morning? Like there’s never enough time to get everything done before you need to be out the door. Your kids (or you) don’t get the best breakfast. You feel like the house is a mess, but there’s no time to do anything about it. You can’t find the right outfit/matching socks/matching shoes in the midst of the chaos. If any of this describes your morning, let me help with these 5 ways to simplify your morning routine.
Your morning sets the stage for the entire rest of your day. If your morning starts off frantic and chaotic, it’s likely that you will feel frantic and chaotic for the remainder of the day. On the other hand, if you are able to start your day feeling calm and in control, the rest of the day will follow suit.
Each one of the practices on this list are things that I follow in my own household. Admittedly, I am better at some of them than others. I will say, however, that every single one of them helps to streamline my morning to insure that it run as smoothly as possible.
1. Make Breakfast Ahead of Time
I love being able to provide home cooked meals for my family. Not only are they more nutritious, but there is just something so comforting about eating food that’s homemade.
When my daughter started eating solid food regularly, I started making batches of food to freeze for easy breakfasts. For example, I will make a batch of pancakes (or muffins/waffles/etc.), stick them in a ziplock bag, and freeze them. Then, in the morning, all I have to do is pull one or two out of the freezer. I warm them up and serve them with fruit or yogurt for a quick, easy, and homemade breakfast. You can even make mini quiches or egg cups to freeze for later.
Yes, this will take 30-45 minutes of time out of another day to accomplish. But this seriously makes breakfast so easy in the morning, and I have the satisfaction of being able to serve my family pancakes every morning. Plus, one batch of pancakes provides around 2 weeks worth of breakfast for my toddler.
2. Pick Out Clothes the Night Before
This is the only one on the list that doesn’t happen regularly in my own household. When it does, though, it is SO helpful. It involves simply choosing what you, or your kids, are going to wear the next day.
So often, in the morning, I have an idea of what I want to dress my daughter in, only to discover that it is in the dirty hamper. Ugh. Then, I find myself digging through her closet looking for something that matches, that’s weather appropriate, that suits where we are going, that still actually fits her, and so on, and so forth.
So, do this the night before. Go through the closet and pick something out when you are not on a time crunch to get out the door. It will save you time and stress in the morning. You will also probably be much happier with the outfit that was chosen while you were calm, as opposed to something thrown together under duress.
3. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Morning
This is something that is recommended in practically every sleep article that’s ever been written. It’s hard to do though. Trust me, no one loves the comfort of their warm bed in the morning more than I do.
I like to keep my daughter on a very regular schedule though. I’m a schedule oriented person to begin with, and I think that kids do best when they are on a predictable schedule as well. Because of this, I make sure that my daughter is up by 7:00 am every morning. She will often wake a bit before this on her own. If she’s not awake by 7:00, though, I go in and wake her up. This insures that we stay on schedule, not only for the morning, but for the entire rest of the day.
And once again, if our morning starts on schedule, then the rest of our day is less likely to be frazzled and frantic.
4. Clean the Kitchen the Night Before
For some reason, if the kitchen is a mess, it makes me feel like the whole house is just a disaster. This is why I try to keep the kitchen pretty tidy for most of the day.
We have been in the habit of cleaning the kitchen after we eat dinner for years now. I usually don’t even think twice about the implications of it, but just yesterday, I was reminded of how important it is for starting the day off right. When I made my way down to the kitchen yesterday, I realized that we had not cleaned the kitchen the night before. On Sunday afternoon, we took my daughter to the park and then went out to eat afterward. So, there really weren’t all that many dishes in the sink, but I still found myself thinking, “How am I going to find time today to add one more thing to my to-do list?!”
It was at that moment that I realized how much easier my mornings are when I wake up to a nice, clean kitchen.
5. Designate a Spot for Important Items
Find a spot, or multiple spots, in your home for important items that you need every day – car keys/purse/briefcase/backpacks/etc.
In my house, we have a hook very near our garage door for car keys, and I have a designated spot in my house for my purse. I also have a basket downstairs for my daughter’s shoes. So, they are easy to find when we need to walk out the door, and I don’t have to run upstairs to look for them.
Figure out what items you need on a daily basis, and find a place for them. It may take awhile to get yourself in the habit of keeping your items in their place(s), but it’s worth it to not be running around like a chicken with your head cut off in the morning looking for your keys.
So, there you have it. These are a few things that help mornings run smoothly around my house. What do you do that helps to simplify your own morning routine?