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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Organizing Tip Thursday - A speedy morning routine

This post was originally published November 15, 2008. This week has been crazy hectic, so I dusted this off and thought it was a good fit for Organizing Tip Thursday.

Do you have trouble getting out the door in the morning? Each day I feel like I enter a time warp, where no matter what I do, we exit at the same time each morning...so maybe I'm not qualified to speak on the subject {blushing} but here are some tips that DO help things run more smoothly in the morning.

1. Make a list of all the things that need to be done before you walk out the door each day, down to the little details. Assign as many of the things on your to do list to a list called "Before Bed" and do them the night before. The remaining "Morning List" should only have the minimum amount of things required to get out the door successfully on it. Keep these lists handy so you can refer to them.
2. On hectic or hurried mornings, stick to the Morning List. This is my biggest problem, I get sucked into things that don't HAVE to be done that morning, and we end up being late.
3. Do what you can in parallel to save time. I have my coffee brewing while I'm taking a shower. If you have an older child who is capable of doing a lot of his morning routine without supervision, wake him up at the right time so you are ready to assist as needed when he's finished what he can do alone.
4. If you have to have that first cup of coffee before anything else, program it to be ready and waiting when your alarm goes off.
5. If you and your family shower in the morning, see if you can't make your showers 5 minutes or less. To help kids learn how to do that and make things fun, bring in a timer over the weekend and let them "race" the clock to see how fast they can get done (making sure they are getting adequately cleaned). If your family enjoys competition, keep track of everyone's time and declare a winner.
6. Know your hairstyle and what it needs each day to work for you. Can you leave it up in a towel to help it dry while you're doing other things? Do you have to blow it dry, or can it air dry? I tell my hairdresser that I won't be doing anything to it on weekdays, and ask for her to cut it accordingly. I wear it in a towel for a few minutes, comb it out and let it dry while I'm getting ready. Before I walk out the door I brush it once and I'm ready to go. Most days it looks pretty good in spite of what I'm not doing!
7. Consider your makeup essentials. While in college, I mastered the art of reducing my morning makeup routine to a minimum. Any extra time I could eek out were allotted to extra sleep, which interestingly enough has become like gold again to me, now that I'm a mom. During the week I put on foundation and bronzer and that's it. In the evenings or on a weekend when I want a little extra oomph, I pull out the extras.
8. Consider your children's schedule - do you wake them in the morning? If so, determine what time works best with your schedule and wake them accordingly. (if Sweetpea doesn't wake on her own, I wake her about 10 minutes before I'm ready to go out the door) If your child wakes predictably at a certain time, structure your morning routine accordingly. I find that as long as I have showered, it doesn't matter if Sweetpea wakes up before I've done the other things on my list. If I haven't showered yet, things go terribly wrong...so I shower first thing, and in well under 5 minutes!

What are your tricks for a smooth morning routine? Do you have a structured morning or are you more laid back? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Tricia said...

Great tips! I'm fairly laid back, but since I work from home I don't have to rush out the door in the morning or try to get my child and I both ready to be presentable. Parents who do have to do that have my most sincere admiration. I think I'd fall in a heap.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

I've always worked mostly evenings or from home, so thankfully we haven't had too many morning routine issues. Now my kids are old enough to get themselves ready, I just have to stand by and NAG! :)

Martha said...

Excellent tips - I love the shower race! My whole family takes long showers - maybe a race would speed things up. Thanks! :-)