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10 Tiny Adjustments for a More Productive Morning

Make the morning routine less of a hassle with some simple organizing and planning around the house.

ZeroEnergy Design, original photo on Houzz

We all love the feeling of a productive morning — you know, the one when you’re up 10 minutes before the alarm clock goes off. But despite our best intentions, most days start with a mad rush to find a pressed blouse and jacket, or in the case of those with families, knocking on the bathroom door to remind someone that his or her 15 minutes of vanity are up.

The good news is that taking back our mornings is not as overwhelming as it may seem. We can start the day on the right foot by using our home to our advantage and adjusting our morning and night-before routines.

1. Make daily necessities visible in the mudroom. Here, sports equipment, rain boots and a prepacked handbag are all within sight and reach, as opposed to tucked in a closet or dispersed throughout the house.

Up your productivity even more by packing bags the night before. Before turning in for the night, store computers in laptop bags, gather the kids’ homework and make sure sporting equipment is in the corresponding gym bag.

2. Bring out your wardrobe for the following day. Thinking ahead in the clothing department is one of the best time-saving steps I’ve added to my night-before routine. When you’ve already given yourself a few clothing options for the day, you can say goodbye to drawer rummaging, last-minute ironing and fashion meltdowns in front of the mirror.

Admittedly, deciding what to wear the night before when you have school-age kids is a bit ambitious. But having a few outfits on hand minimizes the chances of having to dive into the hamper for a favorite shirt.

3. Reserve your bedside table for lighting and reading material. This mirrored bedside table looks chic and elegant — more so because it isn’t consumed with cellphones and other gadgets. The blue lamp, mirrored surfaces and luxurious, tufted decor speak the language of uninterrupted sleep and relaxation.

4. Tackle laundry room chores on weekends and non-rush-hour periods. Chronic multitaskers might disagree, but running the dryer while ironing a crinkly shirt on top of folding delicates invites mistakes. Acknowledging that not everything in the house can be cleaned at one time is a step to accepting the (literally) dirty details of life.

Alex Amend Photography, original photo on Houzz

5. Bring back the breakfast bar. It’s a beautiful thing to have everyone at the formal dining table leisurely eating breakfast, but if it’s not possible, set up a few dining options at the breakfast bar — with at least one portable food alternative for the family member who needs to eat on the go.

Make breakfast even more efficient by grinding coffee beans, setting the coffee machine on timer and slicing fruit the night before and by having an organized pantry for the family member who’s fishing for something that’s not on the table.

Related: The Best Paper Towel Dispenser for Morning Messes

The Furniture Guild, original photo on Houzz

6. Organize your vanity drawer on Sunday night. This orderly drawer only has room for a few accessories, making it just right for daily necessities. Store your makeup collection and treasure trove of jewelry in another drawer or shelf reserved for special occasions so that your daily vanity drawer isn’t cluttered with too many options. You’ll find your go-to lipstick and everyday earrings a lot quicker.

7. Take an energizing — as opposed to a cleansing — shower. The good news is that although we may wake up a little more oily than the night before, we wake up clean. Consider a short and cool morning shower as your caffeine-free jolt. Save time at the start of the day by using the nighttime and weekends to do things like shave, blow-dry your hair and exfoliate.

Related: Why You Should Invest in Spa-Like Steam Showers at Home

Searl Lamaster Howe Architects, original photo on Houzz

8. Agree on a bathroom schedule and stick to it. Avoid the drama of who goes first by setting and abiding by a schedule — a rule that keeps the peace among couples and large families alike.

9. Turn off the kitchen or family room TV. I’m not sure if this goes for most households, but in our home, a peek at the morning news almost always adds 15-20 minutes to our routine. If you really can’t skip your morning show, watch highlights online and get up-to-the-minute alerts from different news feeds delivered to your phone; catching up on the day’s top stories while you’re in the subway or waiting for your bus is a great way to stay informed and pass the time.

Dijeau Poage Construction, original photo on Houzz

10. Plan out your calendar and make it visible for the entire household. Seeing the entire family’s schedule laid out on something like a chalkboard or kitchen calendar avoids confusion over birthdays, weekend baseball games and sleepovers. And instead of going through a spitfire schedule exchange at the table, you can talk about the more important, meaningful things in life.

Original article written by Houzz.

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