Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Streamlining Your Morning Routine

Returning to work after over 3 months off is going to be difficult for me for more than one reason.  Not only am I going to have a tough time leaving my kids at daycare, I have to get myself, my 3-year-old daughter and my infant son ready in the morning.  I will also have to nurse my son in the morning before I leave.  This means I will have to get up around 5 am to be ready to leave the house at 6:30.  Here are a few tips I have used in the past to ensure that I get out of the house on time:
    Lay clothes out the night before.
  • Prepare lunch the night before.  I always take lunch to work in order to save money.  In order to save time in the morning, I gather everything I will need for my lunch the night before.  Anything that needs to be refrigerated stays in one spot in the fridge.  All nonperishables go into my lunchbox and it sits out on the counter until the next morning.  When I get up, I put everything from the fridge into my lunchbox and I'm ready to go.
  • Shower the night before.  This is one I personally do not do.  I just don't feel clean unless I shower before work.  I make sure to get up early enough for a quick shower but this tip works really well for some people.  Suave, as well as other haircare companies, now make dry shampoos.  I think this would be a great alternative to showering in the morning.
  • Have breakfast items ready.  The night before put out everything you will need for breakfast.  I keep things in the freezer for breakfast, so I just pull out what I will be eating the night before.  If I will be having cereal, I pull out my bowl, spoon and box of cereal.  If I'm having a smoothie, I make sure all my ingredients are in one place.  This saves me the time of gathering what I need for breakfast in the morning.
  • Multitask.  This year I will be eating breakfast while I'm nursing my son.  In the past I have checked my e-mail in the morning while eating breakfast.  Watch the news and listen to the weather while you are getting dressed. 
  • Lay out your clothes for work the night before.  I put out everything I will need for the following day including my outfit, shoes, socks and accessories.  I use very minimal make-up, so I keep the products I will be using that day in one spot.  In the past, I have also kept a 5 pocket organizer in my closet.  On Sunday, I placed one outfit in each pocket.  I could then just grab an outfit each morning.
  • Organize kids' clothes for the week.  On Sunday evening, I will be pulling out 5 outfits for both of my children.  This will include clothes, socks, hair accessories and any other items needed for the daily outift.  My 3-year-old daughter likes to assist in picking out her own clothes so I will be enlisting her help for this.  I have an empty space reserved in each of my kids' dress drawers where I can stack their outfits for the week.  The night before, I will pull out an outfit and place on top of the dresser--this way, if my husband is dressing the kids in the morning he knows what to put on.
  • Keep coats and bags in one location.  We have a 3-hook hanger behind out door.  I put everything I will need for the day on one hook (my bag that I take to work each day, my purse, my coat).  I put my kids' coats on another hook.
  • Fill water bottles the night before.  If you take a bottle of water to work each day, fill it the night before and place in the refrigerator.  You can just grab and go! 
What are your helpful tips for streamling the morning routine?

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