A Nighttime Checklist for Mornings without Mania

By Nikki M

Which does your typical morning look like?

A. You’re sitting at the breakfast table, enjoying your cup of coffee. Kids come in dressed, ready for the first meal of the day. Everything’s all packed and ready to go by the time you head out the door. Mood set for the day: Organized, relaxed.


B. You’re scrambling to put together some pretty sad looking sandwiches for your kids’ lunchboxes. Frantically running back and forth between the kids’ bedrooms and the kitchen, you trip over some toys left on the floor from last night. No one’s dressed. Toast is burnt. There are tears! You can’t find your keys. By the time you leave your street, you turn around because the kids left their homework. Mood: Chaotic, defeated.

If you chose A, go ahead and close this tab. If your mornings are more like B, you can benefit from a simple trick that will change your mornings forever: Get a head start on your day by prepping everything the night before!

Do a QUICK Clean-Up!

(This should take less than 30 minutes)

Clear and wipe the dining table. Load and start the dishwasher. Because you’ll be spending the bulk of your morning in the kitchen, the last thing you want is to be greeted by a pile of dirty dishes.

Wipe down counters and other surfaces with a fragrant, natural, all-purpose cleanser (save the bleach and other serious stuff for the weekend.) We love Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Cleaner in all scents. Cleaning wipes are even easier. Remember: the longer you leave spills and sticky messes, the harder they are to clean!

Pick up clutter throughout the house. There’s nothing more grim than waking up to a messy home! Straighten out the living room, clear the coffee table, and fluff up the pillows. Put any dirty clothes laying around in the hamper, or even straight in the washing machine. Make sure the bathrooms are organized and ready for the morning routine.

Set the Table for Breakfast

Lay out a pretty tablecloth. Set out plates, bowls, mugs, glasses, utensils, butter and jam spreaders, napkins, and whatever else you’ll need for breakfast. You can even make things easier and have the kids do this as a part of their (fun) chores

Depending on what you’re having, put out the cereal box, loaf of bread, and fruit bowl. Fill up the kettle and have it ready on the stove.

Some of the most delicious and healthiest breakfasts such as overnight oats, muesli, chia bowls, and parfaits can (and should) be prepared the night before. These are very easy to put together, yet feel extra-special compared to typical breakfast fare.

The aroma of coffee waking you up in the morning is probably one of life’s most wonderful pleasures. Learn and use the auto program on your coffee machine. It’s absolutely life changing.

Get the kids involved wherever you can! It’s important to teach them some responsibility. Plus, you’ll have a lighter workload.

Prepare the Kids’ Lunches

Line up the lunchboxes on the kitchen counter. Fill the water bottles and wrap little utensils in a napkin.

Put unpeeled fruit and dry snacks in the lunchbox.

A lot of kids’ lunches can be made ahead. Put aside any fruits and vegetables that need chopping. You can quickly tackle them in the morning and keep them fresher for now. Assemble wraps and sandwiches (or at least prepare their components). Mayo-based egg or tuna salads are even tastier when you let them sit in the fridge overnight. Nutrient-packed frittata and pasta salads are so easy to make at night and don’t need to be reheated in the morning.

Tip: Repurpose leftovers from dinner for the kids’ lunch! Try shredding leftover meat or chicken for mini tacos.

Pick and Lay Out Everyone’s Clothes

Check the weather forecast. This simple step prevents the day from being potentially disastrous. Being inappropriately dressed for the weather can have the kids lugging around bulky clothing they don’t need, or worse, get them sick!

Lay out their outfits— head to toe, undies and all— in their bedrooms. Better to make sure everything’s ready now than to be scurrying around looking for that missing sock early in the morning. Get the kids involved in what they will be wearing. Even little ones need to be involved in decision-making and this is a good place to start.

While you’re at it, pick out your outfit, too! Sometimes, all it takes is a pretty, well-chosen outfit and coordinating lipstick to be able to conquer the day. Or setting out your exercise gear is a nice reminder to squeeze in a morning workout.

Get Your Entryway Ready for a Grand Exit

Make sure your purse is ready to go— have your keys and wallet on full display.

Have the kids’ school bags and everyday shoes lined up by the door. If they were working on homework or projects the previous day, have them ready to go as well.

Depending on the forecast, hang coats, hats, scarves, and umbrellas by the door. Have a bottle of sunblock ready; apply it on everyone before heading out the door, or else they’re not getting sun protection all day.

Give every living area and hallway a once-over before turning in for the night.

Here’s a bonus: putting extra effort at night will make winding down much more pleasurable. You’ll probably knock out pretty early… We all know a good night’s sleep is the secret to a good morning. Don’t forget to set your alarm!

What are your tips for an effortless morning routine? Or your morning challenge? Share your thoughts with us!

Tags : motherhood   time management   routine   

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