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As a busy mom, I’m always looking for ways to make life easier, especially during challenging parts of the day. A school morning with kids is often chaotic when you are trying to get them out the door on time. Late afternoon is usually difficult when you have younger children who no longer take naps. I’m noticing that tired children may be the link to a more challenging day, but I’ll leave that topic for another post! Today, I’m sharing some of my morning habits that make the rest of the day a little easier. By doing these 5 simple tasks in the morning before I rush out the door, I make afternoons in my house much simpler.
I know what you are thinking. Weekday mornings are so busy already how could I possible do anything else in such a short amount of time. That really depends on when you wake up and how soon you have to leave the house. Right? Personally, I’m willing to sacrifice a few minutes of sleep in order to make my day a little easier.
10 Minutes of Personal Time
The first thing I like to do after waking up is drink a cup of coffee. I don’t like when the morning is so chaotic, from the moment I open my eyes, that I don’t get to actually enjoy drinking it. I like to savor my cup while browsing through social media. Call it a guilty pleasure, but I think it’s important to start my day focusing on myself. As moms, we don’t always get the chance to enjoy ourselves because we are too busy worrying about the kids. Taking just 10 minutes of personal time in the morning puts me in the right frame of mind to tackle the rest of the day.
You don’t necessarily have to get up earlier to have personal time, but in my house I enjoy spending it in silence before everyone else wakes up. So look at your morning routine and carve out just 10 minutes for yourself. Whether you do yoga, read a book, or surf the web make sure it is something that you personally enjoy. This will make you much happier and ready for the day. Nobody wants to feel like they have woken up on the wrong side of the bed and that’s what happens to me if I don’t have some personal time in the morning.
Once, I’m awake and refreshed I take some time to think about the day ahead. I make a mental to do list as I glance at my daily planner and scroll through my google calendar. Then, I actually set reminders for myself. Most times I use the reminder feature on my iPhone, but I also use a lot of sticky notes. I will put a note on the computer if I need to pay a bill, or fill out an online registration form. I will tell Siri to remind me to pick up a birthday card, or to make a doctor appointment. I even set reminders for the boys baseball practice or after school events. Sure my phone is constantly buzzing but at least I won’t forget!
As moms, we have the best intentions to get everything done in a day, but sometimes are brains get so full of to dos that we need a little reminder. Taking some time every morning to realize what I need to accomplish during the day makes life easier. If I forgot to grab a poster board while out, then I made my day more difficult because I have to go back to the store in order for my son to be able to finish his homework. If I didn’t remember to return the library books while I was across town, now life is harder because one I have a late fee, and two I have to drive all the way back again tomorrow.
Take a few minutes ever morning and set some simple reminders for yourself!
By thinking about dinner early in the morning, it helps prevent me from standing in the kitchen at 5 pm wondering “What can I make for dinner tonight?” Usually, I meal plan for the week on Sunday, but sometimes this doesn’t happen as planned. Then I find myself scrambling at dinner time.
In the morning before I leave for the day, I decide what I will make for dinner (or if we are eating out). I make sure I have all the ingredients needed. I also move the chicken from the freezer to the fridge if necessary. There is nothing worse than spending time meal planning only to to realize that you forgot to defrost the meat!
If you have a crockpot, then why not use it a few nights a week and get dinner cooking in the morning before you ever leave the house. Thinking about dinner before I have eaten breakfast makes the evening much smoother.
Turn on the Dishwasher
So many people wash their dishes at night after they have cleaned up from dinner, but I run my dishwasher in the morning after breakfast. One of my pet peeves is leaving dirty dishes in the sink when I leave the house each day. Whenever I run the dishwasher at night, I find that I don’t have time to empty it before rushing out the door. Nor do I feel like putting dishes away when I first wake up. So, I have made it a habit to use my dishwasher in the morning.
I love this routine because I can add all the breakfast dishes before running a cycle! Also, I find that I have more time to unload the clean dishes in the afternoon before having to make dinner. Try it and see what you think. I bet this small change will make your day easier too.
Wash a Load of Clothes
Some of you may think I’m crazy, but I really believe starting a load of laundry in the morning gives me more time later in the day. I don’t like to spend my whole weekend doing laundry so I prefer to wash a small pile of clothes each day. (One of my first blog posts was this Laundry Guide for Time Crunched Moms.)
I’m sure some of you are thinking, “I don’t have time for that in the morning!” But I find that is really saves me some time. Think about it, when you get home all you have to do is throw the stuff in the dryer. Then you can fold it quickly sometime before bed. Since it is only a small load it won’t take a long time.
Washing machines these days have so many fancy bells and whistles you don’t have to worry about your clothes getting moldy, while they are sitting in the machine waiting for you to return home and put them into the dryer. Mine has a stay fresh button which I use every time I wash clothes. I’m not sure all the mechanics behind this button, but it seems like there is a small fan circulating the air in the machine which helps start the drying process. My washing machine also has a delayed start button which is nice to use if I am going to be out of the house all day long. Just start the load and set the machine to a time that will finish when you expect to be home.
All 5 of these morning habits help make my day a lot easier. Simple steps and small changes can really save a busy mom a lot of time throughout her day.
Do you have any other tips on how to make your morning routine save time later in the day? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!