Simplify Your Life:
Tips to Simplify Your Morning Without Having to Get Up Earlier
We start each day (hopefully) with what feels like boundless enthusiasm and energy, and yet it’s so quickly depleted by the morning breakfast-school-commute-routine grind. Why does it feel so complicated to do something that we do every single day? The fact that some of us are just not wired to be early birds aside, there are ways to implify your morning so we can start the day off on the right foot, no matter which side of the bed we wake up on.
3 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Morning
1. Train like it’s bootcamp.
What is it about getting out the door in the morning? From car seat tantrums to missing “must-have” items and battles over clothing, it sometimes seems like everyone is against you. You can’t control your kids’ crazy morning moods (or bedhead), but you can control one thing: your attitude. We love this article on 6 No-Fail Tips To Get Kids Out The Door On Time Every Time for it’s practical tips (create a launchpad to keep stuff corralled!), but more than anything we love their subtle point that sometimes we’re the ones in the way. If your 4-year old can dress herself, let her. If you want to wear the same great outfit to work multiple times a month – that’s called a capsule wardrobe and it’s totally in style! Family breakfast can be just as good as family dinner (especially with those casseroles linked above). Reframe.
Another huge game changer: give your kids responsibility (as they get older) and delegate tasks. This article has great tips on how to get kids ready to take on more of the morning tasks for themselves, so you can focus on what you really need to be doing (or maybe drinking that cup of coffee before you reheat it for the 15th time)! We love the idea of holding rehearsals over the summer so that they can experience a no-stress walk through of a school day morning. Making a few changes to simplify your morning routine is really all it takes. Small steps in the right direction add up to a huge amount of time saved (and big happiness boosts too)!
2. Lock in breakfast & lunch ahead of time.
This may sound overly simple, but trust us, it’s genius. Set your coffee maker the night before so you wake up to a hot, brewed cup without having to lift a finger. Rinse out the kids’ non toxic lunch gear when you’re prepping dinner so you can easily pop extra cut up veggies, fruit and dinner leftovers in them and refrigerate overnight. Then, give your lunchboxes a quick spray with a non-toxic cleaner like Force of Nature so they’ll be clean and ready to go in the am.
And here’s the big happy morning game changer: whip up a make ahead breakfast a couple times a week. With options like these simple, no-recipe-needed Overnight Oats, yummy, kid-approved French Toast Casserole and classic Breakfast Casseroles – the internet is brimming with recipes that are simple, delicious and can feed your family in the morning for days. Check out this amazing round up of 57 (yes, 57!!!) Make Ahead Breakfasts that will have you agreeing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day again. Best of all, it sure beats the mom guilt of having to split the last brown banana and 1 yogurt between your grumpy angels since you forgot to head to the store.
3. Don’t do anything in the morning that you don’t HAVE to do in the morning
Admit it: you’ve added a completed task to your to-do list just for the joyful feeling of accomplishment that comes with checking it off. (This is technically called a Ta-Da! List and we’re huge fans of this practice!) Accomplishing something feels good and that feeling can ignite a motivation to keep accomplishing things throughout the day.
Some quick tasks to get you started: run the dishwasher before you leave so you come back to clean dishes and don’t have the task of unloading in the morning. Likewise, run a small load of laundry every day (and don’t forget to wash it cold to reduce waste and cost – yes, your clothes will still get squeaky clean!). When you get home, toss it in the dryer and try to get it folded and put away before bedtime. Your kids can help. We repeat: your kids can help with this task and many others! If it’s a small load, it’s doable and doesn’t drain you the way a Mount Kilimanjaro of laundry on a Sunday night can make us all want to run to bed and hide under our covers. Bonus: the yellow shirt that must be worn on Tuesdays and the dinosaur hoodie that avoids all morning tantrums will be clean and ready to go in the morning, no search and rescue missions needed.
The biggest step you can take to simplify your morning is to identify the pain points of your day and go on the offense. With a little effort, you can create lasting habits that will help you simplify your life and maybe even feel happier! If it’s the ubiquitous search for the missing left shoe/disorganized pile of shoes by the front door, start pinning some ways to corral shoes in your home – like shoe hooks to cubbies! Every morning, every shoe will be with its buddy, ready to go and most importantly not tracking toxins through your house!
And to clean up any messes that happen at the breakfast table and on your way out the door, we created our effective, non-toxic cleaning system Force of Nature to provide families with a multi-purpose cleaning product that they can us to clean countertops and bathtubs, but also spray on the highchair tray without fear. This one simple swap will likely replace a half dozen cleaning products you’re currently using, like bleach, deodorizers, kitchen, bath, glass & rug cleaners just to name a few!