Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Twas the night before...

What are your mornings like?  Do you wake up in a frantic rush to get yourself together and out the door?  Are you a planner?  Do you plan your wardrobe right down to the last detail, pack you lunch and gather your files?  Do you wake up ready for the day, or are you met with surprise that another one has come so quickly?

I must admit, I fall somewhere between the two categories of rushed and organized.  I plan my wardrobe, plan my lunch, and pack my computer bag the night before.  Yet, with all this planning, there are mornings I'm as surprised to see the new day as if I never knew it was coming.

One nightly task has served me well in getting my morning - and my day - off to a great start!  
Cleaning my kitchen

I have it down to a 15 minute task now... but that 15 minutes before bed goes a long way toward a peaceful and organized morning.

Let me show you how.

Task Lighting:  Hubby recently installed over the counter lights.  For me, the mood is wonderful, and they create such great task lighting.   Tip #1: Start with the right lighting. 

Counters: Clear your counters of all clutter.  Anything that is not absolutely necessary the next morning, should be put away. 
                            Tip #2: Everything in it's place

Coffee:  If you're a coffee drinker, set your coffee pot to AUTO.  Have your morning routine waiting for you, instead of you waiting for it. If you're a tea drinker, or a juice drinker, get your supplies ready.  

Tip #3: Make your morning routine work FOR you.

Kitchen Sink:  There's nothing more distracting at breakfast time then a sink full of dirty dishes.  If possible, put dirties in the dish washer and clean ones in their home.  Obviously, there will always be a stray water glass or popcorn bowl, but keeping your sink clean and clear of dirty dishes starts the morning right.
Tip #4: Do your dishes the night before.

Stove:  Be sure your stove is clear of all traces of last night's dinner.  Whether you cook breakfast or depend on cold cereal, having a clean cook top sets a "ready for anything" mood.  It's hard to make impromptu pancakes and bacon when your stove top is crusted with last night's lasagna.  Even better, plan your breakfast as part of your weekly menu planning.  It's easier to make pecan pancakes when you know you have all the ingredients.
Tip #5: Plan to start your day right!  Make sure your breakfast supplies are ready when you are.

Floors: Sweep your floors.  Take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe up any sticky residue or coffee drips.  It doesn't have to be a full mopping each night.  But NOT stepping in that sticky juice residue makes the morning go a lot smoother.
Tip #6: Clean as you go.

Pack Your Bags:  Making sure your laptop, phone, tablet and other daily necessities are ready to go halts confusion during the morning routine.  Nothing eats time more than having to stop what you're doing to search for the last known location of your laptop.  The day gets off on the right foot when you know your belongings are already gathered.  In fact, have your kids load their back packs the night before, too!  Their little mornings with start with much less stress if they aren't hunting for last night's spelling homework.
Tip #6: Gather your belongings.

Does all of this prep work make you obsessed?  Not at all!  It makes you prepared.

Imagine what your morning would be like if you didn't have:

1) Dirty Dishes that beckoned your attention the first thing.
2) You didn't have to find the coffee, separate the filters, wait for it to brew...
3) You didn't step in sticky messes left from last night's dinner...
4) Your cookware was ready for use instead of having to be washed first...

Now imagine, instead, that:
1) Your coffee was ready for you when you woke up.
2) Your dishes were already clean or in the dish washer.
3) Your floors were mess free
4) Breakfast was already planned and ready to make.

The old cliche' says, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."  The scout's motto is "Always be prepared."  Whether you're into cliche's or whether you're a scout or not, you can still implement these strategies into your daily life.  Fifteen minutes before you go to bed goes a long way to creating a peaceful, well-prepared morning. 

If your mornings feel out-of-control, empower yourself!  Try it for a week. Put me to the test.  See if this practice works for you!

Starting the day right...

Only By His Grace,


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