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!
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?