How many mornings have you found yourself scrambling around, doing ten things at one time, just trying to make it out the door? Me too. I’m sure it’s not as difficult for me as it is for some with multiple children or slightly older children–teeth to brush, breakfasts to make, bags to pack–but even with one it can be a struggle. I’m specifically thinking about the instances where I’m all but ready to walk out the door and the sound of a diaper being destroyed comes from the carseat.

Yes, it’s truly hard to predict the chaos of mornings with children, but there’s good news: With very little effort you can help streamline your mornings by preparing the night before! Here are 4 ways you can make mornings less stressful:

1. Do a quick tidy up. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s SO easy to slowly let the house descend into disorder over the course of the day and at bedtime say “I’ll get to it tomorrow!” But guess what? Tomorrow will come and the problem will just compound. The first thing you can do to make your mornings easier is to eliminate the number of times you will spend circumventing or tripping over things. Once the kids are asleep try to dedicate just five minutes to quickly sweeping through the common areas and putting away anything not in its proper place. Your mind–and pathways–will be clearer.

2. Pack everything you need for the next day. One of the worst feelings on a busy morning is the anxiety of trying not to forget something. Get rid of that feeling completely by taking an inventory the night before of everything you will need for the next day’s outings. Pack your purse or tote bag, the diaper bag, school lunches, backpacks, etc. And, better yet, have everything you can ready and waiting by the door, aka your launch pad.

3. Plan breakfast ahead of time. If you are a simple breakfast person like my husband, breakfast is a no-brainer: throw a banana in with the rest of your launch pad paraphernalia and you’re gold. However, if you are more of a sit-down breakfast family, think about throwing some oatmeal in the crock pot the night before. Maybe go ahead and build a couple of parfaits and keep them handy in the fridge for the next morning. And my favorite, have the coffee programmed to brew as you are waking up. Nothing gets me out of bed quicker than the smell of a nice pot of coffee. Or, if you are less of a traditionalist, invest in one of these Keurig K55 Coffee Makers (number one best seller on Amazon) for a super quick cup.

4. Pick out what you will wear. One of the biggest time savers I’ve found for myself is to choose an outfit for the next day and lay it out so you can jump up and suit up! I used to get bogged down on Sunday mornings spending 15 or 20 minutes trying to decide what to wear to church. It always ate into the time I needed to be spending getting Jonas ready. Nevermore! Occasionally I will find that what I’ve picked out just doesn’t feel right when I’m getting ready the next morning, but for the most part it works. If you are one of those people who likes to dress how you feel that day, well, you may have to change your thinking. I had to learn to get over impulse dressing and plan a few go-to outfits I know make me feel good every time I wear them. Trust me, if you do nothing else, this one habit will be a huge time saver.

Now you are ready to go! You’re waking up to the smell of fresh coffee, the house is straight, your clothes are ready to throw on, and everything you need for your day is waiting by the door. If you can adopt these few practices for the nights before busy mornings, you will be in fine shape to juggle whatever kiddish unpredictables–even last minute diaper disasters–come your way.

Published by Huntress At Home