Monday, January 6, 2014

10 Steps to a Better Morning

In one of my favorite parenting books they refer to the term "morning crazies" and offer several tips on how to combat them in regards to toddlers. Mornings were probably one of my weakest areas as an individual. Morning crazies lead to a stressed out Momma that tends become Mrs. Cranky Pants.  It's true. Needless to say, I've read that section quite a few times. I have found that a little extra effort at night will pay off big time when it comes to getting ready the following morning. Kids can be so unpredictable, so having a few steps already done allows a little extra cushion time for the unknown and unexpected.

 I'm here today to share tips on how to kick those hectic mornings to the curb! You can do it!

Even if you don't have children, these are solid tips for a smooth and relatively stress free morning. Especially if you are not a morning person...

1. Set the coffee pot. (or buy a Keurig)
No matter how much sleep I get, I always wake up tired. Coffee is my best friend. Stumbling into my kitchen to a pot of hot coffee is lifesaving in those early hours. Thank goodness for programmable coffee pots!

2. Tidy up the kitchen.
For me this includes either loading or unloading the dishwasher, putting away pantry items, and wiping the counters. The morning starts in the kitchen, might as well be a clean one.

3. Choose your clothes for the following day.
I try to at the very least think about what I'm going to wear the next day, especially if the next day involves school drop offs, errands, church, etc. Sometimes I will set aside an outfit, accessories and all. Not  having to contemplate my attire eliminates so much stress for me and saves a TON of time.

4. Pick out your breakfast. 
We have a go to drawer in the fridge (yogurt, fruit, cream cheese for bagels) and a basket in the pantry (breakfast bars, Cliff Bars -- really anything we can take with us on the road if need be). I keep breakfast simple during the week and then sometimes have a big breakfast on Saturday.

5. Pack/prepare lunch and dinner.
Even if you are staying at home the following day, a little prep time never hurts! For instance, if you are cooking something in the slow cooker you will want to make sure it's thawed for the morning. And if you are leaving for the day, then it's so much easier to grab a lunch bag out of the fridge on your way out.

6. Put a load of laundry in the washer (using delay start).
I read this tip recently on one of my favorite blogs, and let me tell you it has changed my world! I don't really even know how to explain it to you. Essentially it's the same idea as the programmable coffee pot, but applied to laundry. Let's just say it's helped me a ton with keeping up-- one load a day keeps the piles away!

7. Write a to-do list for the next day.
Less to remember and keep in my head? Yep, I need that! This also gives the next day a purpose. Often I include a small goal or personal topic to work on. Writing everything on a to-do list gives me clarity and focus.

8. Leave yourself a note. "Have a good day today..." 
A guest speaker at our church said something along the lines of "When I counsel, I tell women to stop listening to themselves [their thoughts] and start speaking to themselves." Essentially this practice is intentionally focusing your mind on positives truths in your life. 

9. Prepare something nice for your spouse.
Or for anyone really. It's refreshing to please others and bring joy to someones day. For example, I have left my husband a few breakfast options on the counter and a sweet note. For my kids I will set up a little morning activity at the kitchen table for them to do before or after breakfast (coloring, playdoh, etc). 

10. Have quiet time for yourself. 
Spend sometime being quiet. It's refreshing and rejuvenating to just be still and be you. For me quiet time  is prayer and reflection -- both at night AND in the morning--which is possible because you will have extra time following these steps!

I know this sounds like a lot to do just to have a better morning, but you are going to do them regardless. Think of it as shifting what time of day you do the tasks. So instead of morning, you do the task in the evenings. You are reorganizing your time. Weigh the difference. A little leg work on the front end for a nice, smooth morning and good start to your day? OR Laziness and no prepping leading to morning crazies, forgetfulness, stress, and a rough start to your day that you may not recover from? You tell me.

Keep in mind that I'm speaking to my fellow morning crazy people. Some of you are champs at the morning business -- cooking scrumptious breakfasts, working out for an HOUR, making a trip to the store -- you name it! I don't know how you do it, but I want to know!!! Please share your tips.

Until then, I'm sticking with this prepping plan. Here's to blissful mornings!


  1. I'm definitely not a morning person, so I'll sure try some of these tips! Especially the one about the programmable washer!! Thanks :)

  2. Hi Lindze! Just found you through I Heart Organizing! These are terrific tips! Mornings are always crazy at my house, so I am going to put your tips into action! I'm glad I found your blog, and I'm looking forward to following along!

    1. Leah, thank you! I'm so glad you found me and plan to follow. :)

  3. Thanks for the reminders! I am ok in the morning - yes I'm one of those who gets up at 4.30am for a 5am exercise class - but I still find time gets away. I do try to do a few things the night before that will make me calmer in the morning. This list is great. It just makes the mornings so much more pleasant if you give yourself a head start!

  4. Thanks for this! It was the first post to I read from the I Heart Organizing links. I am pretty good in the morning - yes I get up at 4.30am for a 5am workout - but time still gets away. I do try to do a f things the night before but your list has given me more ideas. I call it getting a head start....

    1. Absolutely! Being more prepared for the mornings helps me rest better at night to. Impressive you get up that early! Maybe one day I will too.... one day! Glad you stopped by! :)