Well, my laundry is done and – GASP! – hanging on the line because we have SUNSHINE today!!! Woo-hoo! My bathrooms are cleaned. So I’m sitting down to my afternoon cup of coffee (that my sweet hubby just fixed and brought to me) to write today’s blog post. I asked Teresa for a Tuesday Tips topic and she suggested “preparing for the morning.” As in preparing for it the night before. Saves time. Saves frustration. Saves energy.
Since I don’t work, I don’t always usually plan a whole lot for the following morning. Except on Sundays when my wardrobe is determined by whether I’m volunteering in guest services (capris or jeans and a blue t-shirt) or in Kidz Creek (capris or jeans and a yellow t-shirt). And I’m usually pretty good about laying those out on Saturday night. I didn’t do that this past Saturday, however. I know not why. My husband was working nights over the weekend and came in and went to sleep about 30 minutes before I got up. Now, we have room-darkening blinds AND curtains in our room, meaning it’s really dark in there on a sunny day, but especially on a cloudy day like Sunday. So there I was scrounging around in my closet trying to find the right clothes without resorting to using a light source. I think I pulled down every pair of jeans before I found the ones I wanted. And possibly all of my t-shirts. I finally got it together, but I was a few minutes late to church.
I don’t know why I don’t plan that kind of stuff every day. I often find myself staring into my closet and: 1. Wishing my daughter would organize by color, etc. as she says it ought to be; and 2. Wondering if I could just stay in my pajamas because, hey, they’re comfortable and I have nowhere to go. Alas, after answering the door for the UPS man around lunch time one day, I decided I might be better off dressing when I get up. I was a tad embarrassed. 🙂
So, here are some things that will help you – and anyone in your household, especially the kiddos – to have smooth mornings so that you can savor that cup of coffee instead of “running around like a chicken with your head cut off,” as my mom might say.
1. Plan what you’ll wear.
Even if you’re just staying home, you can plan an outfit. I’m not talking accessories and all (thought you certainly can do that), but plan to change out of your jammies. As the beginning of the school year approaches – rather quickly, it seems – this will become even more important. Dropping your kids off in car line while wearing said jammies can be done. I would never be quite brave enough for that. I just know that the day I did, I would either be in a fender bender, get stopped for speeding, etc. Or worse, my kid would leave his lunch bag or backpack in the car and I’d have to walk it into the school. Something would definitely happen and someone would see me in my pajamas. (Side note: I really don’t understand people going to the store in their pajamas and bedroom slippers with curlers in their hair. I see them. I just don’t believe it.) Have your kids and even your spouse get their clothes ready as well. Then everyone starts the day knowing one thing is already taken care of. It’s a good habit to get into early on.
2. Plan your breakfast.
Whether it’s cold cereal, fruit, or a breakfast worthy of Cracker Barrel, plan what you’ll have. If ingredients can be set out ahead of time, sit them on the counter at night. For example, when I’m planning to have grits or oatmeal, I sit the canister on the stove top as my reminder for the morning. When I’m planning my weekly menu, I try to make a general plan for breakfasts as well. I don’t always get it done – especially in the summer when no one is on a regular schedule – but it’s a goal. I also prep my coffee pot the night before and sit my mug beside it. Then all I have to do is pour the water through and wait those three, long, agonizing minutes until the coffee is brewed. 🙂
3. Plan for and prep your lunch(es).
If you’re going to work or going to be out, plan for lunch and snacks. If your kids take lunch to school, prepare as much as possible the night before and have the lunchboxes or bags on the counter and ready to be completed. If you’re taking leftovers to work, make your plate as soon as you’re done with dinner. I often make my husband’s lunch plate before we eat dinner to ensure that he actually has something to take and it doesn’t all get eaten. Sandwiches can be made the night before and stored in the fridge. Anything you can do after dinner that you don’t have to do in the morning saves time. Bedtime can be a few minutes late; school or work, not so much.
4. Put things by the door.
Book bags, sports equipment, briefcases, purses, KEYS. Have you ever been late because your child couldn’t find her book bag? Or you couldn’t find your keys? Pick a spot – preferably near the door you’ll be exiting in the morning – and put all the stuff you’ll need there. Then it’s just a matter of grabbing the lunch bags and picking up your other stuff as you head out the door. This is another really simple task that saves tons of time in the mornings. Really!
And since you have the time,
5. Prep for dinner.
If you’re doing your menu plans, you’ll know what’s on tap for the evening meal. If you need meat to defrost, sit it in the fridge before you head out the door. If something is going in the crock pot, sit the crock pot on the counter the night before (again as a reminder) and put meat in the fridge to defrost and gather the other ingredients you’ll need so that all you have to do in the morning is throw it together, usually taking fewer than ten minutes. Walking in the house after a busy day to the smell of dinner cooking is a wonderful feeling. Wonderful, I tell you. You can even set the table in the morning if you like.
What are some of your time-saving tips for making mornings run more smoothly? Please share them with us! Pretty please?
Have a blessed day!