How to Keep Mornings from Being Chaotic – 10 Tips From an Organized Mom
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my share of waking up late, accidentally skipping breakfast, and rushing out the door. Countless times I’ve felt like I just simply couldn’t handle mornings… or maybe I just wasn’t a morning person. That wasn’t the case, I’ve grown to like mornings now. Yes, mornings are always going to be crazy, we have to accept that as parents. BUT, they don’t have to be hectic. Simple steps you can take TODAY will help you a great deal tomorrow morning!
- Think about Breakfast – In our house, breakfast was usually the messiest and indecisive part of the morning. It would take our kids at least 5 minutes to decide what they actually wanted, and usually they would choose something that takes a lot of effort to cook, not to mention the dishes afterwards! Instead, conversate with them about what’s going to be available for breakfast the next day. Make sure you have at least 2-3 options available for grabs without any necessity of cooking in the morning. Each week, I like to add at least 1 breakfast item like burritos or egg roll ups to my meal prep, it keeps mornings simple and takes a load off on dishes!
- Set your Clothes out – Ever sat in front of your closet and couldn’t decide what to wear? Yep! On average, it takes us 10 minutes longer to get dressed and ready for the day if we don’t already have our clothes picked out. Before you go to bed, try to go through everything you’ll wear the next day, including socks, shoes, and any accessories, then set them aside near where you normally get dressed. You’ll have everything right there in one spot instead of going back and forth to different drawers.
- Pack Bags and Backpacks – Kids have homework last night and leave everything scattered all over the table? Can’t find your wallet or forgot where you put your keys? You definitely don’t want to risk being late in the morning because you were searching for these items. Instead, pack your purse, backpacks, or any bag you’ll need the next day and set them by the door. You’ll be so thankful the next morning when you remember your keys are where you actually intended to put them!
- Clean – Think about all the morning motions you go through that involve cleaning. The dirty clothes, laundry, dishes, picking up here and there. Before bedtime, try to pick items off the floor, unload the dishwasher, or start a new load of laundry in the washer. It’ll put you one extra step ahead of the game tomorrow.
- Set your Alarm – Yes, yes, it’s a given. But I’m not talking about your average wake up call. I have 3 alarms set in the morning. 1. To wake up (of course) 2. Time to eat breakfast and 3. To start heading out the door. When the second alarm goes off, we know we should be dressed and in the kitchen. By the third alarm, we’re all ready to head out. Planning what you’ll have accomplished in between alarms is key. It’s helped us to wake up and be dressed before breakfast time, then after breakfast, finish up hair and anything that needs attention before we leave.
- Eliminate TV Time – It’s so easy to get sucked into electronics, and so hard to pull yourself (and kids) out of them! Skip the hassle and opt into an electronic free morning. Instead, if you have free time, make it a habit to start up an interesting conversation together, study spelling words, or even do morning chores!
- Make a List – Many adults suffer from lack of sleep and much of it can be due to overthinking. Have a notebook and pen by your side at bedtime. Take 5 minutes and go through the motions of today and tomorrow and write down anything that you need to accomplish or what comes to mind. This will help empty your brain before bedtime, making you feel less stressed and more relaxed. Plus, when you wake up, you’ll have your goals set without having to think about it all over again!
- Plan for Lunch the Day Before – This has been an absolute game changer in our house. Not only does it save time in the mornings, but it also saves us a ton of money in the long run. No more trying to throw a quick sandwich together or just giving up altogether and going out for lunch. This trick will save you from even going out AND save you money on groceries! The day before, start thinking about what you can make for lunch, think about things that are just sitting in your fridge waiting to be eaten. Maybe throw a chicken salad together, or a cheese quesadilla with salsa. Grab some fruit and a couple pieces of celery with peanut butter, it pays to get creative! Prepare all lunches while you’re making dinner the night before and have it ready to pack in the fridge.
- Adopt a Ritual – Not a morning person? I feel you, I do! What helped me turn from night owl to morning rooster was a change in my pace and outlook on mornings. Turns out, I was staying up a little too late and not getting anything accomplished at night, which made me cranky in the morning. Try going to bed or settling down an hour or 2 earlier so you can get a little extra shut eye. Then, if you’re feeling spontaneous enough, start getting up a little earlier each day to maybe indulge in a cup of coffee or enjoy a few minutes to yourself. Make it a ritual to do something you enjoy in the mornings too! This will help your body kind of stress down and rev up for the day.
- Leave Room for Mishaps – Of course you’re not going to be able to implicate every single one of these steps tomorrow morning. There will be days where you forget about your lunch, or your alarm doesn’t go off. Nobody and no day is ever perfect 100% of the time. It’s all about balance. Adding one simple step each day will help produce healthy and productive habits.