10 Tips for Making Mornings Easier

by jessicaturner on November 10, 2011

I am a morning person. Consequently, I try to do WAY too much in the morning (mostly because at night I am so exhausted I don’t want to do anything.) And while I definitely can get A LOT done before I am out the door at 8:42, I have a discovered a few tips for making our mornings go a lot smoother. None of these are rocket science, but sometimes it helps to hear it read it.

1. Get up earlier than the kids: This is key. Mornings that I am up by 5:30 and showered by 6:30 go SO much better than the mornings I am running to shower after Elias is awake.

2. Prep lunches/bottles on Mondays/the night before: On Monday mornings, we prep lunches as much as possible (Elias doesn’t like sandwiches, so we put turkey in individual bags, etc.). This makes packing Elias’s lunch go very fast. Likewise, make bottles the night before. Since I am pumping, every night I bring home bottles of milk. Days that I spend 5 extra minutes and get the pumped milk put into Adeline’s bottles make mornings easier. I then don’t have to make the bottles + wash the bottles for pumping, etc.

3. Establish a routine: Kids thrive with a routine. Elias knows to expect to get dressed when he wakes up, then cereal and a PBS show, then teeth and hair brushed, shoes on, pick up toys, etc. Routine prevents meltdowns most mornings.

4. Do as many of the dishes as you can at night: I have been known to let a clean dishwasher sit for a day. This is not helpful. Get this dishwasher emptied and filled right away so you aren’t dealing with extra dishes in the morning. (I did NOT follow this advice today!)

5. Meal plan: On Sundays I write our menu for the week. This makes things easy during the week – I just have to look what is written down for the day. In the morning I am able to pull what is needed from the freezer, ask Matthew to help during the day (if needed, since he works from home), etc. I am a big fan of the crock pot during the week, so at least twice a week mornings involve getting something going in there.

6. Ask for help: You don’t have to do it all yourself! I know my husband is NOT a mind reader and that if I say, hey can you get the baby changed or whatever, he will. I need to ask him to do the dishwasher more. :)  Also, asking Elias to help pick up his toys keeps me from running around like a tornado before I dash out the door.

7. Leave the house with the wash machine empty. I used to try to have a load of wash going when I left the house, and another in the dryer. Then I would come home, be exhausted and forget about it all. That only leads to smelly wash. So now I leave with the wash machine empty. I find that when I toss the laundry in at night, I can transfer it to the dryer before bed and it gets folded in the morning. And if it sits there a day, it won’t smell.

8. Plan blog posts ahead of time: On a good week, I write most/all of my blog content on the weekends. That way, I am not scrambling in the morning during the week. At the bare minimum, I have titles and drafts slated. This enables me to almost always have fresh content for you!

9. Be flexible: Some mornings are going to be more hectic and messy. Try to roll with it. (I’m talking to me as much as you!) Yesterday was one of those days for me. I called Matthew on the way to work and he said, “Baby, have a good day! Don’t let this morning mess up the rest of your day.” I needed that reminder. Every day doesn’t start perfect and that is okay. That’s life. :)

10. Last, and most importantly, pray. Thank God for the day and ask for His tender mercies, which are new every morning.

What would you add to this list?

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

becca November 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

This is helpful – I need to have more drive! I’m taking some vitamins to help with my energy level and trying to limit my caffeine. I typically drink about 60 ounces of Pepsi a day, that can’t be good!

We have to be out the door by 6:45 am, if I can get up by 5 it does make things go so much better. Thank you for your encouraging words.

Have a beautiful day! <3


Jessica November 10, 2011 at 10:07 am

I don’t do this, but when I go back to work after this maternity leave, now trying to get two kids ready and myself, I need to lay out clothes the night before. At least my own, if not the kids’, because every day I “hate” getting dressed and “never have anything to wear.” (first world problem: too many options) It slows me down and frustrates me!


jessicaturner November 10, 2011 at 10:59 am

Yes, that helps me too. I don’t do it very often so didn’t put it on the list. :)


Sheila November 10, 2011 at 11:01 am

Yep #1 for me is lay out clothes the night before, pack backpacks & put them by the door ready to go.
With 2 girls that want to wear dresses & skirts all the time, we need to get everything out the night before (and no changes in the morning) or else we risk meltdown city.
I TRY to do this myself and did much better when I first went back from maternity leave. I find if I don’t, I stare at my closet for what seems like 10 mins trying to decide or find something to wear.

I do need to do a better job of planning meals, breakfast & snacks but usually our mornings run ok.


becca November 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

oh, I forgot, I dress my 2 year old in what he’s going to wear to school the next day. He still is in 18 month clothes, very comfy clothes, that way all I have to do is change his diaper and put his shoes and socks on. They give him breakfast at school.


Dana Ellis November 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Oh, I am so guilty of having to rewash a load of laundry from letting it sit there too long.. Emma has to be in her seat at school at 7:30 a.m. That just kicks my tail.. Thankfully, Adam helps a lot takes her on his way to work and then I’m just left with the one to get to school by nine.. We are very routine people. But the rest of these, I really need to work on! Thanks girl!


kathy t November 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm

You are so right it is not rocket science but it is always good to hear reminders. Isn’t it amazing what we as women have in common -we all have ran around like chickens with our heads cut off and looked like scary creatures trying to have everything perfect. and how true your husband words are -‘don’t let the morning ruin your day” I also want to praise you for pumping for your baby. -something you will never regret.


Tanya November 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

iheartorganizing.blogspot.com has an awesome a.m. And p.m. Checklist for free that helps the kids with getting ready. Love it!


Tracy November 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm

The ONLY thing I would have changed/added is praying first. That always makes everything in my life run smoother.


jessicaturner November 11, 2011 at 9:59 am

I liked ending the list with prayer. The items weren’t necessary listed in order. :)


Natalie November 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm

Um, I consider my kitchen clean when the dishes are piled in the sink. Bad I know. Once the kids are older I will worry with having a cleaner house. I do LOVE coming home to a clean kitchen though.

I do one load of laundry nightly. Not every night, but that is usually typical. i do most of the rest of the household laundry on the weekend. However, my husband has a few things for work that need washed more than just the weekend and since I’m losing this baby weight still I only have a handful of thilgns that still fit.

i always have bags packed at night, and typically clothes picked out. if they aren’t laid out, they are picked out in my head. :) I seem to always be digging for matching socks in the morning though.


Christy November 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I really need to get better at the menu planning. It is so easy to just pick something up when you don’t have anything planned out. My husband and I are working really hard at menu planning on Sundays but we haven’t accomplished it. It would probably be a lot easier if I didn’t dislike the grocery so much:)


Susan V November 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I shower at night. (I usually have to do this anyway since I run late-afternoon when my hubby gets home from work.) Then it doesn’t take me very long to get ready the next morning. But, I must get ready before my kids wake up and they never wake up at the same time everything morning (and I have 3 kids) so it’s kind of a craps shoot. I also use the AM/PM checklists from iheartorganizing.blogspot.com and my kids love them. I laminated the checklists and hung them in the bathroom. I also lay out clothes the night before. My 3yo and 5yo have baskets that I put their clothes in each night and when they wake up, they come out of their room with their baskets and get dressed and ready first thing in the morning. The checklists have helped us a ton! Weekly meal planning is a must for us too.


jessicaturner November 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

I need to check out that blog. Love the basket idea.


Mel @ Trailing After God August 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Great list! So true, when I get up before the kids it starts much better. The hard thing for me, is once they hear me open my eyes (I swear) they are up! I have super early risers! It makes me nuts. A tip I’d add, make as many meals ahead as you can. Saturday night, put a breakfast in the crockpot so when you wake up, it’s done! That makes getting to church SO much easier!


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