For many people, mornings can be chaotic times. You may be getting the kids ready for school, putting the final touches on a presentation or maybe you just always seem to be running behind. And sometimes getting off to a bumpy start has a trickle-down effect that can ruin your entire day.
What if we told you there were ways to save time in the morning, so that you don’t have to run around feeling like your hair is on fire or get to work only to find you’re wearing mismatched shoes? That’s right, a little preparation and organization can help eliminate the pandemonium from the beginning of your day.
Learn how to save time in the morning with some simple tips.
Start the Night Before
The key to ditching the disarray from your morning routine is prepping the night before. Here are five easy tasks you can take care of before you hit the sack.
- Pack lunches: Whether its PBJs for the kids or leftover lasagna for you, it helps to ready your lunches the night before. That way, you can simply grab your plasticware or lunch bags on the way out the door, rather than rushing to make sandwiches and get everyone dressed. And while you’re in the kitchen, take a minute to pre-set your coffeemaker, so that morning jumpstart is waiting for you when you wake up.
- Pick out clothes: If you have kids, go ahead and lay out their school uniforms or clothes the night before so there’s no clamor to coordinate outfits in the early hours. You can take this a step further by labeling hangers for each day of the week and picking out clothes over the weekend, so you’ll be good to go on Mondays.
- Pro tip: Labelled hangers and preplanned outfits are great ways for adults to save time, too.
- Pack bags: Load up briefcases, laptop bags and backpacks prior to going to sleep each night. This way, you calmly place items inside and snag them as you leave, instead of scrambling to find homework or jump drives.
- Designate a pickup zone: Eliminate the mad dash to find keys, sunglasses, backpacks and so forth by setting aside a place in your house to hold everything your family will need to grab on the way to work, school or appointments. This zone can also be the area where sports uniforms, winter gear, rain boots and umbrellas are stowed. You might consider reorganizing your mudroom or creating a family command center to help out with this.
Tidy up before bed:
It’s easier to find things in a neat house, which is why picking up a little each night can help streamline your mornings. Make it a point to clear any tables or workspaces you’ve been using before you crawl into bed, and have the kids put away books and toys before they head off to dreamland.
The bulk of the effort will take place the night before when you’re figuring out how to save time in the morning. However, there are a few a.m. tricks you can keep up your sleeves, too.
Shower timers: It’s easy to get lost in a daydream when you’re half asleep in a nice, warm shower. Set a timer to keep yourself mindful of how many minutes have passed. Make a schedule for kids: Children can become easily overwhelmed without a sense of order, and if you’re running around like a maniac, they’re going to pick up on that energy. Help them out by setting a good example and giving them a routine to stick to. Create a schedule of what should be taking place from the minute they wake up to the moment you leave the house. For example:
- 6:00 a.m. — Wake up
- 6:05 a.m. — Go to bathroom
- 6:15 a.m. — Get dressed
- 6:25 a.m. — Eat breakfast
And the schedule would go on through brushing their teeth and grabbing their books all the way to catching the bus. Help them out by placing the schedule by a clock and adding colorful illustrations to make it fun.
- Cold breakfasts: Cooking hot breakfasts takes time and often dirties more dishes. When thinking about how to save time in the morning, opt for cold breakfasts on weekdays, such as yogurt with granola, fruit and cheese, overnight oats and similar items.
- Tackle morning chores: It may seem like morning chores are a lost cause, but there are several tasks you can take care of quickly to save yourself time later. Take a look at this list of 30-second chores, and also consider having the kids soak their breakfast bowls, consolidate laundry in the laundry room, walk the dog or wipe down the countertops. You might be surprised at what can be accomplished!
It’ll take a little while to incorporate these time-saving tricks into your daily and nightly routines. Once you’re in the swing of it, though, you may find yourself with enough extra time to treat yourself to a fancy coffee on the way to work.
And if life is so hectic you barley have time to do the dishes much less pack a lunch, call in the cleaning cavalry. Your local Eco Clean will be happy to help out so you can come home to a tidy house at the end of your day.