I don't know about you, but I'm definitely not a morning person, so I probably hit the snooze button a half dozen times before actually getting out of bed. This means that I have a very small window of time in which to get ready and get out of the house in the morning. To combat this time crunch, I try to streamline my morning routine by prepping as much as possible the night before. Here are a few key things that you can do around the house the night before to avoid being late.
1. Choose your outfit the night before - one of the worst things for me is choosing an outfit for the day, and it sometimes takes me a few tries before I find something I like and in which I feel comfortable. Laying out my clothing the night before saves me a ton of time and stress in the morning.
2. Check the weather forecast. Tying in to the above, be sure to check the weather so that you can plan an appropriate outfit, find the umbrella if necessary, and be able to plan ahead for cold days where you will need to start up the car a few minutes early or scrape the windshield.
3. Make sure the shower is prepped — hang up your towel, washcloth, and robe, make sure the soap isn't in need of a replacement, and in my case, that the tub is clear of kids' toys (we only have one bathroom, so I quite frequently need to remove the My Little Ponies and rubber ducky).
4. Prep for breakfast — load and run the dishwasher or do the dishes in the sink, set out pots, pans, and utensils if you're cooking a hot breakfast, and set the table.
5. If you'e a coffee drinker, set your coffee pot timer and get a fresh filter in place.
6. Pack your lunch.
7. Take care of pets — make sure the water and food dishes are full and scoop the litter box.
8. Pack your bag or briefcase, charge your phone, and have a dedicated spot (AKA landing strip) for your keys, coat, glasses, and wallet/purse so you don’t have to go hunting for them.
9. Take ten minutes and clean up any clutter that has accumulated so that you aren't tripping over toys or hunting for the remote when it's time to sip your coffee and watch the morning news.
10. Plan ahead — if the trash is going to be picked up the following day, take the cans out to the curb the night before.
11. If you're going to be traveling to a new place, look up the address the night before and program it into your phone or GPS.
12. And probably most importantly — go to bed at a decent hour and get a good night's sleep.
Of course, you may not feel that you have the time, energy, or inclination to accomplish all of this, so start small — choose the most important things for you and soon they will become second nature. You can gradually add more tasks as you feel ready. I promise, it will change your life!
What do you try to do the night before to ensure a successful morning? We'd love to hear your ideas!
(Image credits: Leela Cyd)