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Have you ever heard the phrase abs are made in the kitchen? Well, we're not here to talk about abs, but I have a similar phrase for you. Easy mornings are made the night before.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and rushed in the morning, it's probably because you are doing all of your prep for the day, that day. That means picking out your clothes, choosing what's for breakfast, creating your to do list, packing lunch, packing book bags, etc.
Many of these are things you can prep the night before. Today we are specifically going to talk about a morning to go station. This is a place in your home, preferably by the door, where you can set up everything you will need for the following morning to get out the door. This includes things like coats, shoes, bags, book bags, etc.
Select a Location
The first thing you need is a set location. This can be by the front door, in the mud room, or at the corner of the couch. It really depends on where you exit the house in the morning and what location is most convenient. An excellent tool for this is a coat rack storage bench like the ones below which can be found on Amazon.
The plan is that each evening you take a few minutes to set up your station before going to bed. Depending on the age of your kids, they can help too.
What to Prep
First thing is to check that all book bags are packed and placed in the to go station. This means that homework is inside the bag as well as any additional items needed such as for after school activities or special projects.
My pre-k kid does this himself. He puts his notebook in his book bag whenever he has homework and puts his bag on the hook.
Next, if you pack lunch and it doesn't need to be refrigerated, now is a good time to put it with or in your bags. If it does need to be refrigerated, still pack it up, but put the entire lunch box in the fridge to it is ready to go in the morning. That extra step of putting the Tupperware in the lunch box the night before take a few seconds, but can really cut down on the morning rush when you're trying to remember what goes in who's lunch box.
Now, it's time to check the weather. Is it going to be snowy, sunny, windy? Check it out and then set up the appropriate footwear and outerwear in the to go station. This makes heading out the door super easy and gives you less decisions that you have to make in the morning.
In this regard, it's important not to make your to go station another coat rack/coat closet. This is not the place to store all of your bags and jackets. The point of it is to make getting out the door quick and easy.
You don't want to make the area cluttered with a ton of choices of hats and jackets and boots. Make sure that only the item that you will be wearing the next morning are there. This will allow mornings to be grab and go.
Other Things to Prep
Other things that you can prep the night before that may or may not go in you to go station include your outfit for the day, your kids clothes, breakfast, your to do list, and your exercise clothes and equipment. These are things that you can layout the night before on a chair or dresser or hang outside your closet so you don't have to spend the time in the morning.
Do you believe every good morning starts with a good evening? How do you prep the night before for a good day? Let me know in the comments.