Planning the night before will make your morning go much smoother, quicker, and happier.
I finally said enough is enough and decided to get things ready the night before. The mad dash for clean socks every morning started to get a little old. And, trying to remember if I signed my son’s planner for school as I drove to work, didn’t exactly sit well with me. Waking up to go somewhere, whether school, work, or both, is pretty inevitable for most of us. At a minimum, you should prep for the next day, the night before. If you’re really an all-star, you can prep on Sunday night for the week ahead. So, what do you need to prep? Here are five things that you can set aside, ahead of time.
1. Pick Your Clothes
Everyone has to get dressed. So, layout the kids clothes for tomorrow (including underclothes, socks, shoes, and accessories). Do the same for yourself. Iron if you need to, or take my advice and stop ironing. You will notice if there are any missing, stained, or damaged pieces in enough time to find, toss, or fix it.
2. Pack Your Lunch
I work in an office and typically take only 30 minutes for lunch, so it’s much more efficient when I remember to bring something for lunch. If I have to leave the office to get lunch, I have used up my entire break in travel time alone. These are my go-to lunch options:
- five frozen meals for the week (store bought or made from leftover plates)
- leftovers from last night
- protein bars
- meal replacement shakes or bars
- sandwiches, paired with fruit
- Chef, Cobb, or Southwest salads
3. Pack Any Items Needed
Look at your calendar for the next day to anticipate anything you may need to pack in your purse, lunch bag, or backpack.
Do you have errands to run the next day?
Were you supposed to return a form to school?
Will you need your list to stop by the grocery store on the way home?
4. Prepare for After School Activities
My son plays soccer. So, I have to be sure that his uniform and equipment are clean, packed, and ready to go. We have a small window from the time I leave the office and the time we have to be at practice. So, it makes my afternoon a lot less stressful when I have prepared the night before.
5. Pack Your Backpack
I encourage my son to make sure he’s returned his homework, planner, and signed papers to his book bag, as soon as they are completed. This prevents anything from being accidentally left at home.
In addition to the sense of being fully prepared to take on the world, I save at least 10-15 minutes each morning, by prepping the night before.