When I spend 15-20 minutes preparing for the next day before I flop into bed, the next day goes infinitely better. Somehow that short bit of time saves me hours of frantic work the next day, and I don't really know how. The math doesn't add up. I suspect not having to think about making coffee before I've had coffee plays a role.
But, hey - if it works, it works! This is what I've been doing at night to help the next day start off more smoothly.
- Get the coffee maker ready to switch on. Someday I'll replace the broken carafe to our coffee maker that has a timer and I'll really be rolling then.
- Soak oats. Oats, water + a glob of yogurt! This way of eating oatmeal is awesome, because the overnight soaking process breaks down the phytates, anti-nutrients that prevent your body from absorbing the nutrients in the oats and making it more difficult to digest. It also softens the oats overnight so you just heat it up a bit (or not) the next day and it's ready.
- Get clothes ready. I have a serious laundry issue going on at my house due to a lack of storage options beyond hanging things up and my own inability to do boring things. I absolutely won't show you a picture of the pile of clean laundry in our closet, but will tell you that it is far more shameful than you can possibly imagine. I'll get there, friends. In the meantime, I need to at least get outfits picked out for everyone the night before so I'm not digging through for clean socks and little boy undies during the morning scramble. It also helps me because I just have a better attitude when I'm wearing actual clothes and not rolling out of bed in whatever I slept in.
- A quick pick-up of the living room and dining room (which is where the kids hang out and play and do school for most of the day). It helps me to feel a little more not-crazy in the morning.
Nothing revolutionary here, at all! I really just wanted to highlight how simple it can be to get the next day off to a good start. Because when I don't do these things, the morning looks more like me trying to do a bunch of things at once when I'm severely under-caffeinated, hungry, pants-less. It's not effective. It burns me out!
It's so much easier to be productive right away in the morning when you're already clothed and fed and you haven't really had to think about it too much.
When everything's ready, I'm not overwhelmed in my sleepy state. I can roll with everything that comes up, like finding a book we need or helping a small person who had an accident.
There are a few other things I'd like to do to make mornings go even more smoothly, like getting up before everyone else (I used to do this and it was the best!) and getting a clothing storage situation figured out. But until then I'm taking it day by day and it's helping us thrive.
What does your night time routine look like?
My bedtime routine consists of putting dishes away, picking up living room clutter, putting clothes away (or not) and catching up with my blog or speaking opportunities. Sometimes, I even factor in couple time with my hubby. Vive la nuit!
Great article. Prep keeps me sane. I like to get ready for the week on Sunday. I use an over-the-door hook and line up 5 complete outfits plus at least one backup in case the weather changes. This is a good chance for children to take some of the burden off mom and take responsibility for themselves. Doing it a week in advance will give you the chance to edit your kids choices or mend if necessary. It also means a smaller pile of unfolded clothes and less need for ironing.
Great ideas! My weeks go much more smoothly when I prep on Sundays, too.