Ever wondered how organised people get out the door on time each morning? Follow these simple steps to help your morning be less stressful and get you to work or school on time.

♥ Give yourself enough time

This one sounds like a given but if you find you are late every single day and in a mad panic then you need to get up earlier. It’s as simple as that.  If something is not working you need to re-think your morning routine to get the most out of that time of madness and turn it into a cruisy start to the day. Or at least close to it!

♥ Put your phone on silent

If you find you are being distracted of a morning by lots of texts or phone calls then you need to turn off that distraction. As long as it can wait for later then just ignore your phone until you are ready. It’s a bit different if you are trying to run a business but even then you could designate some time for phone calls and texts and stick to it.

♥ Choose your clothes the night before

Whether you have an appointment, work full-time or just need to get the kids to school on time then choosing what you are going to wear that day will make your life so much easier by doing it the night before. If you are a “style by mood” type of person then get a few outfits out and go with the one that suits your mood best and leave it at that.  If you want to go that extra mile, choose the whole week’s worth of outfits and you’re set!

Oh, and while you’re doing that you may as well get the kids to lay out their clothes too so that there’s no “Muuuuuum! where’s my socks?” in the morning. (Yes I’m talking from experience!)

♥  Have a spare laundry basket to collect the clutter

There is nothing worse than coming home to a disaster zone whether it be after a long day at work or after school drop-off.  A great way to help the clutter trap is to spend 10 minutes of your morning routine by going around the whole house, or at least the living areas and collecting things that don’t belong in those zones. If you have time you can distribute those belongings afterwards or leave for the evening routine but the house will look and feel less stressful just by getting rid of the unnecessary clutter.

♥  Make lunches the evening before

Making lunches at night can seem like a chore but it is well worth it. I often start when I am in “cooking mode” at dinner time as I’m in the kitchen anyway and waiting for something to cook so I may as well be making life easier for myself the next day. There are of course some things that don’t do well if made the night before but even if it reduces your workload by half, that’s extra time for the morning. Make sandwiches and snacks in bulk and freeze them so you can just grab and go in the morning.

♥  Give countdowns – but stretch the truth a little

If you have children you are well aware that telling some kids to get ready falls on deaf ears. I have one child who gets ready in a flash and one who gets side-tracked very, very easily. It’s soooo frustrating!  I have found two things that work and go between each one so they don’t get used to it. The first one is I tell them we have 20 minutes before we leave when we actually have about 40. I have even walked out the door as if I am ready to leave and I have never seen them move so quick!!

Another trick I use is to make them get dressed and ready BEFORE they are allowed to have any breakfast. By the time they wake up they are eager to get some food so this is a good one for us. This doesn’t work well if they are extremely messy eaters but mine aren’t too bad. Nothing a wipe won’t fix.

♥  Make a routine whiteboard

If you are really struggling to get out of a morning, making a routine whiteboard can help you split your time and mark off your jobs as you go. For example,

Make lunches                                              10 mins
Hair and makeup                                       20 mins
Eat breakfast                                                10 mins
Make bed and brush teeth                       5  mins
Quick pickup with basket                        10 mins

Setting a timer will help you stick to these jobs better and stop you from getting side-tracked.  Don’t forget to mark each one off to make you accountable.

♥ Have a home for appliances away from power points

I can’t tell you how many times I have driven down the road a few kilometres to wonder to myself whether I turned my hair straightener off, or my iron or even the stove top. It’s really frustrating to doubt yourself like that but it gets the better of me and I HAVE to turn around and check. I cannot think properly the rest of the day without confirming everything is off.

Apart from the stove-top, every appliance I use like the iron or hair straightener is kept on a shelf in a spare room away from power points. I have got myself into a habit of undoing the appliance and putting it away as soon as I’m finished. My hair straightener is put onto a wire holder so that I can do it straight away, even if it is still really hot. Same thing for my iron. It works a treat!

♥  Use a calendar

Working from a calendar is such a stress reliever. Everything you need for that week on certain days is there right in front of you. You have no excuses. As soon as you are made aware of something, it goes straight onto the calendar and each day you check it to make sure you have what you need for the day. For example, Mondays is band day so you pack your child’s band instrument by the front door. Another example might be that on Wednesday you have to take presentation notes for a business meeting so either put them by the door or run them straight out to the car, even if you are not going yet. If it’s in the car you can’t forget it! If you use public transport, hang a note on the front door handle to remind you to get the folder. Do what works for you but just do something!

♥  Pay-as-you-go

I have a zip-lock bag in my kitchen cupboard filled with coins. I usually empty my purse from all the coins once a week and when an excursion note or bus fee note comes in I tear off the permission slip, sign it and add some money to an envelope and leave it out to be taken to school the next day. I then mark on my portion of the note the date it was paid. I never need to question whether I have paid for something as I do it as soon as I receive the note (as long as I receive the note! – if you have this problem see my post on Organisation Station).

There are so many options for morning routines but you just have to find the one that suits you best. Try different things, experiment. Ask other people what they do. Just as long as you don’t bury your head in the sand and keep struggling. It doesn’t do you or your family any good.