Hands- up who is with me "I'm not a morning person"! In fact, my best job ever was patrolling beaches at night. I was awake alert and focused. BUT.... there aren't many jobs like that and unfortunately now that isn't my lifestyle I have to get around the grumpiness and the inability to function properly in the morning. So I set up my morning for success. It makes the getting up and getting things done much much easier and although my husband who is a Morning Person thought I was crazy at first he's finally getting it and enjoys the fact that some of the things for today are already done. So here we go here are my 5 top tips for early morning success that are just perfect for us Night Owls.
Set up tonight for morning success
So what do I do and how does it help me to get on track the next day.
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1. Lunch boxes
For years I took a packed lunch to work with me when I was a teacher and now I have two kids in school they both take packed lunch to school every day - sometimes it consists of basic sandwiches, yoghurt, fruit, and an oat-based cookie or granola bar, other times a build your own lunch for them.
By preparing the night before it saves me a little time in the morning. Now our fridge isn't big enough to put in the full lunchboxes so instead I pack everything into their little containers and place them in the fridge to grab with the yogurts and put in the lunch bag you can see some of the products that I use and would recommend to make lunch making a little easier for busy moms in my Lunchbox Essential Guide for Busy Moms.
With over 300 recipes there were lots to choose from and the ability to print off the shopping lists, recipe cards and videos to help myself and the kids cook together it is ideal for making sure that not only the kids lunches are healthy and delicious but our evening family meal is good as well.
2. Tomorrow Plan of Action
I don't know what your family life is like but ours is hectic. I have to keep track of everybody and then I'm running a business from home as well so I have all of the stuff that that involves as well. One of the last things that I do before bed is set up my to-do list for tomorrow. Now I Bullet Journal - well I do my own adaption of it and it works well for me and has done for over a year now.
So before bed, I sit down with my journal open to a clean page and note down anything that I didn't get done from today. Then the events for tomorrow which I get from our family calendar - I have used this one from the same company since I was brought one as a secret Santa gift from the ladies of my antenatal class the Christmas after our babies were born.
Then tomorrow I will work from 1 down not randomly or in the order that I did them. When I started this method I included everything on my list including things like - Put the washing on, get kids from school etc.... Now I've been using it for a while I have a routine of things that just get done every day or on a specific day.
Other Family Planners and Organisers we Love
If you are a more concise person than I am then the week at a glance planner may be just the one for you and your family. I have something similar on my desk where I keep the most important things for the week at a glance in front of me.
I know a lot of people that swear by the Happy Planner - this works especially well if you are creative as you can customise it to a format that you like using the add on's or extras.
More expensive but again one that people swear by is the Erin Condren planner. Everyone that I have spoken to that uses it swears by it and will buy one every year.
You've seen our family calendar above, but as I said I bullet journal to keep on track and tasks throughout the day - although any notebook will do I am partial to the Leutchtturm 1917 with dotted pages. I've found that one book will last at least a year for the family and then I keep another one for work which lasts around 6 months using it daily.
Now I've seen the Meme and you have as well about doing all of the laundry in one day. Well unless I iron it then I actually do. But part of that is that I start the process the night before.
On an evening I set up the washing machine - clothes in, detergent in the drawer and then set it to come on at 5:30 am our normal mixed coloured load takes 1 hr and 30 minutes so by 7 am it's done. Tomorrow as I come downstairs I take it out of the washing machine throw what can go in the dryer in the dryer and then put the rest on the airer or in the summer out on the line. Switch on the dryer. At the end of the day I run the dryer for a refresh, take out the laundry sort into stuff to iron and stuff not to iron. Fold the non-iron stuff and take upstairs.
At bedtime, I sort the washing into piles for each person and then as I check on the kids I put their clothes away and then my own.
Then on a Sunday, I do the ironing in one big batch.
Laundry Hacks for Busy Mums
This was something my mum used to do when I was grouping up. By the time I was a teen we all had to leave the house by 7:30 at the very latest to get to school and work. None of us liked getting up early because most of us were working till late at night homework and "marking and planning" for my parents.
So the night before my Mum set up as much of breakfast as possible - it meant laying the table, putting cereal in bowls and covering in a wrap and setting the coffee maker ready to go.
My husband thought it was crazy - but we've tried it and it really works. Instead of having to do it all on the morning we manage to just grab what we need and all sit down together for breakfast before he heads off to work and the kids and me for the school run.
So clothes for the kids is easy most days - they wear a school uniform and I just make sure it's there for them to put on the night before. For myself, I don't do that! Well in the UK I would be constantly changing my wardrobe depending on whether the weather decided to follow through with the predictions or not.
Instead of putting my clothes out for the day I have a capsule wardrobe for my day to day stuff. It makes it much easier and it's all mix and match. A couple of pairs of jeans, long skirt, knee-length skirt, a couple of day dresses and a selection of different tops. Each season I switch out the clothes putting the last seasons at the bottom of my drawer with this seasons on top and moving the clothes hangers from the near end to the far end of the wardrobe.
Night before Time Saves for Morning Success
These little things take around 45 minutes to an hour to do the night before but it makes the mornings so much easier especially combined with our Ready for five-game plan on a morning.