Meet the Sullivans: Streamline Your Day (before it starts!)

March 18, 2015

Streamline Your Day (before it starts!)

Mornings are hectic. If your family is anything like ours, you're all rushing out the door at the same time. And, if you're a mom like me, you are usually the one pulling up the tail end trying to make sure everyone has their lunches, keys and sanity in check before heading out for the day. Getting everyone off on the right foot each day seems to be some kind of miracle.

I have always believed in the sanity saving powers of organization and thinking ahead. My hope is, that by planning ahead, I am creating less room for error in our day-to-day lives. I believe that organization saves you more time and stress than it takes to create it.

Organization takes time, but it saves time in the end, so today I'm sharing a few was you can streamline your day before it even starts!

Set the timer on your coffee maker! This is possibly the most important tip! It's really nice to have your coffee maker waiting for you in the morning instead of having to waste time filling it with water, waiting for it to heat and brew. This step saves at least 10 minutes alone!

Lay out clothes the night before -- for you and your kids! I set out our outfits the night before (and keep my gym bag packed) so there's no searching around or deciding what to wear at the last minute. I usually try to get O out of his pajamas and into clothes first thing in the morning.

Keep backpacks / diaper bags / your purse packed, and always keep them in the same place! This way there is no running around looking for headphones, sippy cups or permission slips when you're already running 5 minutes late. When you walk in the door put your keys and sunglasses in your bag, and put your bag in the designated spot.

Ours is on a chair in the dinning room that sits just off the kitchen -- out of sight, but always quick and easy to grab.

Put kids in charge of themselves. Set out clothes at night, teach them to put on their shoes, and set up a spot in the downstairs bathroom (or bathroom closest to your front door) for tooth brushes, tooth paste and hair brush. This way your children can get cleaned up before heading out the door and you don't have to usher them up the stairs or down the hall to do it. I keep a small cup, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush and hand towels in a small basket on the bathroom counter so everything is within arms reach.

Take something up the stairs with you every time you go. This step cuts down on clutter and saves me from having a huge pile of things (shoes, socks, etc) to be carried up the stairs at the end of a long day.

Keep a night time routine. Loading the dishwasher, wiping down your counters and putting things in their places, and setting out a clean dish towel, each night before bed. In the morning you'll be happy you did.

Make a to-do list for the day. Each night I also jot down a quick list of the things I need to get done the next day i.e. make a doctor appointment, go to the bank, buy milk, etc.

Run the dishwasher while you're sleeping, so you never have to wait for dishes to be clean. I try to stay on a dishwasher schedule (Quick, someone get this woman a life! No, but really, this is important, so listen!) of running it over night and unloading it in the morning while Owen eats breakfast. This way we rarely have a huge pile of dishes sitting in the sink and I have plenty of room to fit dishes from dinner in to be washed.

Menu plan -- and keep it posted somewhere you'll see it. This way you'll remember to defrost chicken, pick up fresh produce or do some chopping earlier in the day, making the witching hour aka dinner time go more smoothly.

These are just a few of the things I like to do to make our days run smoothly. What are your tips for creating a more streamlined day?


Jessica @ The Newly said...

These tips seem so simple, but make SO much sense! Particularly the laying out clothes one. Being heavily pregnant makes me slower already, and it makes picking out clothing harder (because my options are so limited), so laying it out the night before would definitely save a of time in the hectic mornings before preschool, etc. Love these!

Tawnya Faust said...

These tips are just what I needed, Colleen! So thank you for sharing them!! Seriously I love organization but I'm also a huge procrastinator, so these are some great tips to get me started :) xo

Jessica Scott said...

I always say "full hands up, full hands down" so we don't leave stuff on the stairs too long! We have also started a good night and morning routine for Cam, which helps US! We definitely set our coffee maker at night and try to go to bed with a clean sink. I have never been good about clothes, but it's one of the things on Cam's routine that I found, so I started doing it for him, which has helped - now I just have to carry that habit to our bedroom! :) Thanks for sharing these! I always love finding out what other moms do to help them be more efficient!

Chelsea Purifoy said...

I love this post! All of these tips are great. I really need to work on setting out clothes the night before. I always put this off and it eats my time in the morning!

Keri Snyder said...

These are all such good tips!!! Love them! Very practical and excellent timesavers. I've been trying to write a to do list the night before because really does help!

Kristy said...

Love these tips so much! I need to work on a lot of these things. ;) One thing that would also help me is just setting my alarm period. I usually just wake up when the little babe wakes up and hear her through her monitor. I need to start waking each day before she wakes. That would make a world of difference, I'm sure. I'm going to start setting out my clothes, too. As a SAHM, I can get super lazy in this department. I need to get it together! Lol.

Tiffany {A Touch of Grace} said...

All great tips Colleen! We do a lot of these things already. And we want to do them all really, just need the time to get a few things organized. We always run our dishwasher and night and I love having a clean kitchen before bed. Makes me feel a little less insane in the morning, ha!

tabithablue said...

So good!!! I love keeping things organized and ready to go, although that doesn't always happen. A great reminder to prep!! :)

Alycia said...

These are great tips. I am always preparing for the next day the evening before. Packing lunches, backpacks, purses, etc and having them all ready so its just grab and go in the morning. Thats part of how we get out of the house so efficiently in the morning! :)

Alice Megan said...

I can be ready amazingly fast in a morning as I follow some of these tips of getting clothes ready and having my bag packed so I just get dressed and go!