She always seemed relaxed. And well coiffed!
Meanwhile, I'd wake up 15 minutes later than I needed to, crash around the house leaving a path of destruction in my wake, and arrive at work with 30 seconds to spare, sweaty from my 100 meter sprint from the parking lot and secretly wearing two different colored socks.
These days, I work from home a lot and with Hubby's weird schedule, we have a lot of chill mornings. And some days I am a morning person! But it's a lot easier when I'm not faced with a commute and getting ready in a hurry. But then - bam! - I'll have to be somewhere for 7:00am (or earlier, ugh) and, between forgetting how to apply makeup, plus the hour commute, my morning runs the risk of feeling harried!
Here's what I do (and use) to make mornings more manageable:
Get Enough Sleep -
This is something I'm working on! Mornings when I haven't gotten enough sleep, I'm irritable and slow moving. Days when I'm tired, holding the hairdryer seems like a Herculean task - has any one else ever had to set it down and take a break? Days when I've slept enough, everything seems to go more smoothly! I spring from my bed and seem lighter on my feet. We all know that a good night's sleep is the key to so many healthy life goals, but sometimes it needs to be put on a list of things to do for me to do it!
Trim and Organize My Wardrobe -
Unless you wear a uniform to work - or you've tried a capsule wardrobe - you've probably had one of those mornings when you burn through a huge heap of clothes, trying to find something that fits and looks good. I hate coming home to that kind of mess. Spending a weekend and editing a wardrobe is the best way to make getting dressed in the morning easier! I've gone from an XL to a S and although I have bought a few new garments, the budget doesn't really have room for a whole new closet of duds, so a lot of my clothes don't fit - or don't fit well. Some can be made to look okay (add a belt!) but others need to be taken in. I'm currently working on getting back to having a very edited wardrobe with only clothes that fit because it makes mornings so much easier!
For now, keeping my closet organized helps a lot. I use thin flocked hangers like these because they keep clothes from sliding off (and onto the floor, never to be seen again). I used to color code, but now I sort best to worst fit, so everything that looks great is at the front and it goes backwards until the stuff that doesn't fit - but I can wear if I'm desperate - is at the back. Things that need altering/ironing/mending, I stash in a bin under the bed so I don't forget and try to wear them! I also have one of these hangers to keep my scarves tidy and easy to see. Shoes are stored in clear bins so I can spot the pair I want and grab them quickly before I bolt out the door.
Decide What to Wear the Night Before -
To make mornings even easier, I often check the weather and decide the night before what I'm going to wear so that doesn't hold me up in the morning. I can be sure to have an umbrella handy or add a cardigan to my tote for those in-between days. Or, if I'm being honest, extra deodorant for those sweaty days we've had recently (which I secretly love). Plus I don't waste time picking an outfit in the morning - I even lay out my jewelry in a tray the night before!
Stay on Top of the Laundry -
Because I have so few clothes now, I also make a point of staying on top of the laundry so that perfect top isn't languishing in the hamper for too long. It helps me avoid that "I need that special tank to go under this top, which is my only clean top" problem that used to plague me so much! I was terrible at doing laundry when we had a huge laundry room and I'd even forget I owned certain clothing items. Now we have only two hampers so I do laundry regularly which means I'm actually wearing all of my clothes - and things are almost always ready to wear.
Keep Tabs on the Weather -
I check the weather the night before to see what I'll wear, but also to see if Mother Nature is planning on making life more difficult. Will it snow? Then I'll need to wake up an extra hour early to clear the driveway with the snowblower. I have, before, woken up to a surprise snowstorm, been late, tried to blast through in four-wheel-drive, only to get stuck in the driveway and spend hours digging out my truck. Will it rain? I should stash my Hunters in the truck for later (as opposed to getting caught in the rain an hour from home and ruining my favorite flats). Will it be below 15 degrees Celsius? Better plug in the truck! I check the weather and adjust my plans or alarm clock accordingly - we even have a wall clock now that reports the outside temperature!
Keep the Bathroom Organized -
Our bathroom reno is finally done (photos coming Monday!), which has made my mornings much easier! It's also given me a chance to organize everything, so what I need is close at hand. My hair tools are stashed in a bin below the sink, my makeup in clear drawer organizers. I sorted through everything and threw away anything that had expired, was awful (but I held on to it for whatever reason), or was used up and dried out. It's easier getting ready when everything I grab is good to use and everything I want is easy to find in the drawer. Even Hubby's drawer would make Martha Stewart proud...
Make Breakfast Easy -
We always have oatmeal in a giant jar and canned peaches in the basement, because even if we've forgotten to pick up almond milk or yogurt, I have an easy breakfast in a pinch (I don't love oatmeal enough to eat it daily, but I buy giant bags of it anyway). I've gotten in the habit of keeping fresh fruit, like strawberries, hulled and sliced - ready to eat to speed up mornings. I've got a repertoire of quick and healthy breakfasts that I cycle through, and I do as much prep as I can the night before (or choose simple things - like chia seeds and Greek yogurt). Every now and then, baking (or buying) a yummy rhubarb cake the night before is a lovely way to start the day too...
Make Lunch and Snacks Easy Too -
With breakfast taken care of, I also prep lunches and snacks the night before. I bought a whole bunch of washable bento boxes and prep a variety of healthy meals for Hubby and I. I also set aside some time each week and chop fresh veggies which I portion into reusable plastic containers - for lunch and dinner. I'm much more likely to snack on some veggies if they're close at hand! A meal planner really helps for breakfast, lunch and dinner too! I'm sporadic about using one but, when I do - WOW, does my week every feel easier!
Give Everyone Jobs -
I don't have kids, which makes my mornings easier, no doubt, but whether it's a household of two or ten, giving everyone jobs helps makes mornings more manageable. Hubby and I never argue about who will take Szuka out because we have two week rotations - we do this for a lot of household chores, or we chat about it the night before. Then we never have that "I though you were turning off the dishwasher" kind of hassle that ruins a perfectly good morning (and makes us do a U-turn on the highway to check). Szuka has work, too: poop in a timely manner (thank you!) and then watch dutifully for any threats like the grader driving by or the geese moving menacingly toward our beautiful fire pit.
Make a Check List -
My Dad has imprinted the importance of a check list into my brain. It's a simple thing to make and keep on the fridge (laminated is ideal - then a white board markers can be used on it):
- Lunches? Check!
- Szuka pooped? Check!
- Hair straightener unplugged? Check!
- Dishwasher turned off? Check!
- Windows closed? Check!
- Alarm on? You get the point
It sounds so silly, but it's those little things that trip me up. So a checklist is a nice, no-brainer way to make sure the morning runs smoothly. I'm a list maniac, so having a daily check list to make mornings easier is just another list I love to keep!
Those are my 10 tips - with some of the products I use and mentioned - that make mornings easier!
What are your tips for making morning manageable? Do mornings run smoothly at your house?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Wayfair but all words and product selections are my own (no surprise there - they're all aqua!).