mornings made right

Weekdays mornings are hectic...period. For most of us they involve some combination of work, kids, and school plus the potential for crazy traffic, unpredictable weather or exercise goals. With summer now officially over and all of us settling into our "back-to-school" morning routines I thought it might be helpful to share how I plan and organize for the morning. Step by step below...spoiler starts the night before...

1. Take 20 minutes before bed

Here is my number one piece of advice for not only organizing your mornings but also the rest of your life. Before you go to bed make sure all is settled. What do I mean by settled? Close out the day and set yourself up for success. Here is my own personal checklist:

Pick up and put away toys, shoes, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Wipe down kitchen counters and dining table plus a quick sweep of your most trafficked areas...nothing is more depressing than walking out barefoot the next morning and feeling crumbs under your feet.

Adult and/or kid lunches for the next day in the fridge plus purses and/or backpacks lined up by the front door...side bar...nothing makes me happier than seeing baby backpacks all in a row.

Set the dishwasher to run

Set coffee to brew - okay, okay if you haven't completely given yourself over to the modern conveniences of 2016 (we totally and joyfully have) then have your chemex or bialetti (or whatever else the kids are using these days...something about butter?!) plus grounds out and ready to go.

Choose your outfit! This is a game changer for myself and my less thing to think about and scramble over at 645 am.

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2. Back it up

Know the time you absolutely have to be walking out the door and back up your morning from there. I find that if I do it the other way around I never leave myself enough time. But if I work in reverse and allot time for breakfast, getting dressed, reading the Times morning update, going for a run, showering, etc etc etc then I usually end up leaving myself the right amount of time to kick off the day.

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3. Breakfast first

The first thing I do after I get out of bed is get breakfast going. Somedays this means putting a leftover muffin on a plate and other days it means getting the oven or stove going for toast or oatmeal. No matter how simple or not so simple your breakfasts are I find it much calmer to get that out of the way first and then everyone can eat when the time is right. I.e. no little people crying as you frantically butter an english that this has ever happened to me...

And while we are on the subject here are a few other EASY breakfasts I have on rotation...Odwalla chocolate protein shakes (grown up division), Smitten Kitchen's date breakfast squares (make a batch on a Sunday and eat all week), hardboiled eggs (same), frozen waffles (everyone's actual favorite breakfast).

4. Get yourself dressed and ready

Easy peasy because you have already chosen your outfit...

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5. Get the kids up and ready

Of course this can be tricky with older kids but as much as possible I try and beat my children to the punch...still the best way I know to keep the mornings calm and sane.

6. Turn on music

I find it so hard to remember to do this BUT when I resist the urge to turn on the tv and switch on a happy and chill playlist the mornings are so much nicer. Feelin Good on Spotify is sure to please...

Breakfast date bar photo via Smitten Kitchen