Set Your Alarm Five Miutes Earlier (and Other Simple Tasks to Make Your Day Run Better!)

My husband thinks I’m crazy.  I complain all day about how tired I am but instead of relaxing when Maria goes to bed, I immediately go into overdrive. I clean the kitchen, I make lunch, I vacuum (which drives him especially crazy), I start laundry, the list goes on. While he’s trying to get me to sit down for two seconds, I’m buzzing around the house, but I have to.

I cannot go to bed with a dirty kitchen. If we throw an event at our house and I know I’ll be home the following day, I might allow it but that is the only time. Waking up to chaos sets my entire day off. This past Monday was one of those chaotic mornings and it sat with me all day. If I don’t get on top of my day it ruins my mood. Setting your morning off right will give you a sense of peace and allow you to actually focus on your day rather than a to-do list at home.

Here are simple tasks you can do every day to make the following day run as smooth as possible.

Make sure the kitchen counter is clean, every night. I don’t know why the kitchen area is a dropping zone for families but it seems to be a common trend, I know I’m not alone. Waking up and having everything put away and counters cleared off gives me a huge sense of calm when I wake up. I know I won’t have to waste my time looking for anything in there since it’s all away.

Tidy. Goes with clean kitchen but if you wake up and step on something like Lego- game over, your day is done. You don’t have deep clean but make sure there is a clear path through the house.

Do laundry and actually put it away. I struggle with this but I’m trying to get better. For me it helps if I fold it as I’m taking it out of the dryer (or off the line in summer). This way I can carry the basket and just put things away. There is nothing worse than finding out the laundry you thought was done is actually still sitting  in a dirty pile as you’re looking for work outfit, or you can’t find your kids pink underwear which she insists on wearing. If things are put away immediately it answers all questions and saves major time.

Make your lunch the night before. You are bringing lunch to work/school right? If not start, your wallet will thank you. I can’t imagine trying to do this in the morning. Having it packed and ready to grab is a huge lifesaver for me.

Have your daily things in order. For me I have mine and kiddos bags packed and ready to throw lunch into and go. Mike puts his wallet and keys in the same spot every night so we don’t waste time looking. It takes time to get into the habit but huge timesaver.

Set your alarm five minutes earlier. It may seem like five minutes is no big deal but trust me it is. When used effectively, the added five minutes can give you much needed breathing room in your morning routine and commute. It might mean actually getting a coffee- huge bonus!

These are the things that help me and my chaotic mornings, what sort of thing help you get out the door stress free?

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  1. I have had to learn the hard way how important being organized can make your life so much easier. You are so right have a messy house just makes you mood ugly and its harder to get things done. Since I’m in the military getting up early is apart of my daily routine, and your right….its amazing what you can get down while the rest of the town is sleeping.

  2. I’m completely with you about the house having to be neat. It just makes me feel like I have a peaceful, organized “work space,” and I can be much more productive. I feel this way even more so if I go on vacation, or even a weekend away. I’ll spend the day before leaving deep cleaning. There’s nothing better than coming home to a sparkling home!

  3. I know 5 minutes makes a big difference, but I still have a hard time convincing myself to get up some mornings.

  4. I’m the designated lunch maker in our family, and they always get made the night before. Time are just too tight in the morning and on days when I get up to go to the gym, I’m already getting up at 4:35 as it is, so I’ll do everything I can to avoid making that time move back even earlier!

  5. These are all great tips! I hate going to bed with a dirty kitchen, throws me off! I also have to have a perfectly made bed before I get it… isn’t that weird? I need to start making my lunch the night before, otherwise it’s never done.

  6. When I was working for someone else, I always packed my lunch the night before. Many times I would do it as I was cooking dinner so I didn’t have to do it later!

    I also make sure to clean the kitchen counter the night before, especially after a get together. We’ve cleaned a bit after a New Years party and it was so nice waking up the next morning and not having to deal with cleaning up.

    As for a tip I do that helps is to run through my day as I lay down. I run through what I have to do when I wake up and any major things on my list. It helps to remind me of everything and it also helps to calm my mind down. I never lie awake wondering out everything I have to do. I just run through things and knowing them/having a plan helps me to fall asleep.

  7. I used to always have everything nice and tidy before bed. Then, I fell out of the habit. I am working hard on getting back into that habit because it feels so good to wake up and things are organized in such a way that the day can’t help go smoothly.

  8. This advice seems very helpful. I like the idea of preparing lunch the night before because I cram in the morning and most of the time forget to bring my lunch so I either go back to our house or buy lunch at the canteen. I hope it works on you. I usually post a note on my ref some of my tasks to do. I usually do this every weekend.

  9. Time is really gold. 🙂 I remember before, when I was in college, I always set my alarm clock 10 minutes in advance before my waking up time.

  10. Honestly, having a dishwasher makes SUCH a huge difference. Somehow rinsing stuff and loading it up feels like so much less of a chore than actually doing a sinkful by hand.

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