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Mornings. Oh, mornings. I know many people aren’t morning people to begin with.. throw a kid or a few in the mix and you have a highly stressful situation on your hands. I am a morning person. But looking for my son’s other shoe when I’m 5 minutes behind and my youngest is crying is enough to make me want to pull my hair out. Fantastic way to start the day, right? Starting off the day stressful tends to make me feel on edge for the rest of the day. After having too many unpleasant mornings to count, I decided to try something different.
I now do as much as I possibly can the night before to prepare for the next day. But that’s not the secret. My secret to having a smoother morning is when I do the prepping that night. Instead of having a part of my night dedicated to getting ready for the rest of the day, I have “triggers” built into my routine that remind me to do certain tasks. I am going to explain exactly what I mean with the 2 biggest things I prep the night before: lunches and clothes.
Make lunches when you are making or after dinner.
I loathe making lunches. There, I said it. It’s just not my favorite thing to do. Because of this reason, I would put it off last minute. Not fun on a rushed morning. I started a habit of making my boy’s lunches before I cleaned up after we ate dinner. “Oh, it’s time to clean up, I need to make the boy’s lunches.” That’s my trigger. Making sandwiches, cutting up grapes, and putting leftovers in their lunch containers (which I really love these on Amazon) also can cause a mess and definitely dirties up dishes. Might as well do it right before I clean up the countries and put away the dishes from dinner.
Side-tip: to make the morning even smoother, I put everything that doesn’t require refrigeration (like a banana) in their lunch box. Everything else, I stack together in the fridge. So, in the morning I just grab an ice pack and the stack of food and throw it in their lunch box. Read about all my tips for making kid’s lunches here!
Lay out clothes for the next day when you grab their pajamas.
Having clothes laid out for the next day really is a game-changer. It’s especially a big deal if you have kids! There’s nothing worse than having to find your kid’s other shoe or realizing they are out of socks when it’s time to leave. My trigger for picking out my son’s clothes is to do it when I grab their pajamas. I’m already there among the clothes- might as well take care of it. I lay out everything he will need- shirt, pants, socks and shoes. Unexpected benefit: some mornings, my oldest will put his clothes as soon as he gets up because he will see them there waiting on him.
My secret to having a smoother morning isn’t really that I prep the night before, it’s that I have built in reminders in my evening that help me prepare for the next day.