5 shortcuts to save you time in the morning

Last week I shared 5 things we do the night before to make our mornings stress-free and easier to get out the door on time. I'm back today with 5 more tips - some I've only recently started doing and I'm feeling a lot more organised for it. Sometimes being organised is all about the 'prep work', which may feel like a bit of an effort at the time, but is so helpful in the long run. Nothing worse than feeling stressed and flustered as you're heading out the door!

Tip 1. Prepare kids' outfits

I've spoken before about my love of folding canvas storage baskets (here, here and here), as they are durable, portable and collapsible. I choose outfits for the children to wear the next day and place them in one of these boxes next to our console. The box can then be quickly folded and put away after use.

It is nice and easy to grab the clothes from the box and get the kids quickly dressed rather than have to go into each bedroom and choose the clothes for the day. I know some people who pre-prepare outfits for the whole week, but I'm not quite at that stage... yet!

Tip 2. Our outfits on hooks

My husband and I also get our own clothes ready for the next day, which is something I've always done as I'm too indecisive to choose an outfit the morning of! At the moment, we hang our clothes in the bathroom on hooks, but I'm keen to set up an area in the bedroom for this instead.

Tip 3. Defrost meat for the next night's dinner

When we are in the process of emptying the dishwasher and preparing breakfast dishes the night before, we also look ahead on the monthly meal planner to see what's for dinner the next night. If it's a meat-based dish, we take the meat out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge overnight. On mornings that I'm super organised, I'll prepare dinner before we head out the door! This doesn't happen too often though...

Tip 4. Put clothes in the washing machine the night before

This is a real time-saver and one I've only recently started doing. If you're in a household that needs to do [at least] one load of washing a day, it is a great idea to load the clothes and washing powder in the machine the night before. When you wake up, you can simply switch the machine on and hopefully there's time to hang out at least one load, or put it in the dryer, before you head out the door.

Tip 5. 10 minute 'pick-up' at the end of the day

I can't stand being surrounded by the kids' toys and clutter in the evening. Hands up if you're with me! And let me just say, it's usually a lot messier than the above photo! I always do a 10 minute 'pick up' at the end of each day to ensure the house is reasonably tidy for the evening ahead. The kids help pack up their toys before they have dinner and bath, so when hubby comes home he can have some uninterrupted play time (and I can collapse on the couch!). Often after the kids go to bed, there are a few more things to pack away or sort, but the majority is already done and we can start our wind-down time.

Want to learn how to make your family life run more smoothly through routines, productive habits and goal-setting? Discover the steps in part 5 of my online program 'Making Your Paper Work'. Find out more >>