When was the last time you remember your morning running smoothly?
Where there are no fights for the bathroom, no lost items to search for, no last minute nipping back into the house for something….. I could go on!
“MUM – I can’t find my PE Kit….”
“Honey, Where are my keys?”
“We’re going to be late…”
– these are all commonly heard shouts heard in most family homes in the rush and frazzle of a school / work morning!
But it really doesn’t have to be this way.
Your morning routine could be oh so simple if you follow a few key tips, and I really hope that this helps you to get to wherever you need to be on time, with the right items, dressed correctly, and ready to get going!
Start the evening before
- Set out the breakfast table before you go to bed – Simple but effective. If you have breakfast thats suitable, set out things like bowls, plates, cutlery, cereal, bread for toast etc… ready to go in the morning so people can very easily help themselves. This will also stop you having mornings where theres no bread or milk and a dash to the shops is required (or worse – people go hungry).
- Sort out the clothes you want to wear the next day – Right down to the underwear – then you’ll be sure you have everything, and also have time to wash/iron/polish something if necessary. I like to hang everything on my wardrobe door.
- Get your bag ready for the following day – Phone, keys, paperwork, purse, cheque book, diary, laptop etc…. – whatever you need to have to hand the following day – even things like your gym kit if you are going there after work – check its all packed ready to go.
- Be friends with your diary! – BE PREPARED! – know where you’re going, what time you need to leave etc… and work back from there as to when you need to get up (may be different every day).Add into any spare time anything that you can from your TO DO list, and make the most of the time you do have. If you need to meet someone, then its also worth sending a text to ensure they have remembered as well to avoid a completely wasted few hours of travelling somewhere and waiting for them to turn up.
- Prepare your lunch – Make packed lunches and put in fridge ready for next day. If you work in an office then a great cheaper lunch is easy to have from leftovers of that nights meal – simply box up and put in fridge and then heat up at work.
Give responsibility to everyone
- Don’t try and do everything yourself – You need to get yourself ready for the following day, so show everyone else what you expect of them, help them out a few times, and then leave them to do it themselves. This gives them great habits to follow through when they leave home as well. Everyone needs to be responsible for themselves as much as possible. Get them to all sort their clothes, bags and schedules for the following day. Ensure children get more responsibility as they get older, and of course help younger children as they will then start to pick up these habits and want to do it themselves independently asap.
- Let people take the consequences of their actions. If you have someone in the family who is constantly making everyone late – make it a consequence that if they forget something then you aren’t going back. Having to deal with the consequences at school/work will soon make them more aware of what they have to do – its a good life skill! If you constantly get things like permission slips, requests for baked goods for a fair, dress-up day costume requests etc… at the last minute then again its got to be their problem when they get to school empty handed – trust me – they won’t do it often after that!
- Delegate morning jobs – Give people jobs in the morning – someone to make drinks, to unload the dishwasher, wash dishes etc…
Start looking at the bathroom situation – which can be fraught in a family home. If you have just one bathroom its even more crucial to make this as easy as possible every morning.
Think about when people leave the house – and then schedule their bathroom time accordingly.
Give people a 10 minute limit
Make them wipe down the bathroom when they’ve finished
Make it quick for people to see where there stuff is, and whose is whose. Bathroom towels, hallway baskets etc… can all help – that way everyone knows whats what – and where to find everything each day – which leads me nicely onto….
A place for everything
The simplest way to stop losing things is to create places for everything in your home and to ALWAYS PUT THEM BACK THERE. Keys, coats, shoes, bags, sports kits, lunch boxes etc…..
Don’t make things difficult for yourself
- Is it your hair that takes hours each morning? Why not look at ways to style it differently so that you can simply dry and go.
- Do your children really struggle to get out of bed each morning? Why not reward them for getting dressed early with a rewards chart – maybe on a Friday let them have breakfast watching TV for 10 mins or promise them a film night over the weekend etc…
- Don’t try and do everything in the morning. At a minimum all beds should be made and breakfast dishes sorted as this is just a nice thing to come home to, but if you are short of time in the morning, don’t try and clean the house or do jobs that could wait until the evening – just do whats absolutely critical to that morning.
Give yourself time
Easy ways to be more organised is to simply give yourself more time each morning.
What about waking up 15 mins earlier so that you have time to get ready before the rest of the house wakes up. This would also help with bathroom queues, and you can be more focussed on getting the rest of the family ready once you are completely sorted.
Give some time for unexpected issues that will always arise. Make sure you aim to be ready 10 mins before you actually need to leave the house, and then you are much more likely to get out on time.
There’s nothing worse than frayed tempers first thing in the morning, and avoiding getting stressed can help so much.
If there’s time could you do even just 10 mins of exercise? This will really set you up for the day! If you have to be in the house then some weights, situps, press-ups etc… work really well, but if you can get out of the house then a walk or a quick run are perfect. Even walking the kids to school will work well (park a little further away if you really do have to drive) as giving them fresh air in the morning will help them too.
Above all, stay calm and this will immediately help your morning to be less frazzled.
I really hope that there are a few ideas here that will help your morning to run even more smoothly – and if you want to create a morning routine from scratch, why not take a look at this post which will help too!