Organizing Strategies to Help You Leave the House on Time, Every Time

published Oct 12, 2016
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(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

Does it seem like no matter what you do, you’re always running late for something? Getting out the door early may seem impossible, but with a few new organizing strategies, you might just surprise yourself with your newfound promptness. Little things like packing your bag the night before and doing some easy meal prep can make it so that you leave on time, every time—here’s how.

Set a designated space for keys

If your biggest morning time-waster is looking for your keys because you exhaustedly tossed them somewhere when you walked in the night before, setting up a designated space for keys in your apartment can help. Make sure it’s somewhere easily accessible near the entrance of your home so it’s the first thing you see (that way, you won’t forget.) And it doesn’t have to detract from your decor, either—try a DIY organizer that’s both stylish and functional.

Pack your work bag the night before

Rather than trying to make sure you have everything you need for work in the moments before you leave, go through your mental checklist before bed and pack whatever you need for the day (minus your lunch, if it’s supposed to be refrigerated—although you should set it aside in an easy-to-grab spot). Then, set your bag down near the door—preferably near your keys—so you don’t forget anything.

(Image credit: Design Stuff)

Organize your closet by what you’re wearing

Do you scramble to figure out what you’re wearing 10 minutes before you have to walk out the door? (Don’t worry, you’re not alone.) Not knowing what to wear is a surefire way to wind up late, so take some time over the weekend to plan your outfits for the week, then hang them in the order that you plan to wear them so you can just grab, get dressed, and go with no fuss.

Make your breakfast ahead of time

Trying to get a meal in before you leave always seems to be a struggle, so rather than attempt to fry an egg and not burn your toast when you’re already running behind, rethink your morning meal. Switch to something easy to prepare ahead of time, like oatmeal or a smoothie—that way you can either reheat it or blend it and save yourself time in the morning. Just be sure to keep your fridge organized so you can access everything easily when you need it.

Set out your morning products at night

If you, like me, keep everything you use to get ready (think hair products and makeup) stashed away throughout the day in a drawer or a bin, save yourself a little extra time by pulling out the products you use in your morning routine the night before, and setting them up in a designated getting-ready space. You can still keep everything stashed away for a clean look throughout the day, but having your kit out overnight will make it easier to find what you need in the morning (and ward off those “Oh crap, that’s right—I’m out of mascara” emergencies).