Episode 003: Tips for Busy Mornings
We all know as moms that sometimes mornings can be rough. Something seems to go wrong or happens unexpectedly. If we can go into it knowing that, expecting that, and being prepared, we can start the day with a little less chaos.
In this episode, Diana shares three things you can do in your home to make your busy mornings run smoother.
We’ll also discuss:
- Why these three things will make your mornings less stressful
- How you can get your children involved
- What you can do for yourself that will help your mornings
What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?
- 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
- How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
- Guest interviews
- Deep dives on specific topics
Find Diana Rene on social media:
Episode 003: Tips for Busy Mornings
Hi, everyone. We are going to talk today about three things that you can do to make your mornings run smoother as a busy mom because we all know as moms, mornings can be rough.
You're listening to The Decluttered Mom Podcast. A podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Renee, and in 2017, I had my second daughter, and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home. Okay, not literally. But I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of stuff surrounding me. Over the next ten months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings, and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system, and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks, and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show.
This is going to be a pretty quick podcast today because this is no fluff. We are just getting right to it. The three steps that can just make things a little bit easier for you. And these are things that I typically talk about during the school year, and I know we're heading into summer, but this can absolutely be applied to summer too. Especially if you're doing summer camps or your kids go to some type of care during the day, or really just they're at home, and you want to be able to make your mornings a little less stressful. These are all things that you can do in any of those scenarios that will take a little bit of the chaos out of the mornings because we all know as moms mornings can be rough, right. It feels like there's always something that goes wrong during mornings. So if we can just go into it, expecting that and being prepared, then we're going to be a little bit better off.
Okay, so number one is to pick out outfits for the full week on Sunday. I know that sounds a little crazy. And I always get people saying, but Diana, like, I don't know what the weather is going to be like. That's why we have weather apps, and that's why we can layer also. So I live in Colorado, where it can be snowing in the morning, and by the afternoon, the sun is shining, the snow has all melted, and it can feel like spring. It's the weather is crazy here, and we never know what it's going to be like, so I have learned how to layer as needed.
There's always a sweatshirt going with the girls out the door. Even if I think it's going to be 80 degrees because we just don't know. So this is the thing when we walk into our closet in the morning, and we are already kind of feeling rushed, we don't really know what we're going to wear, we don't really know what we feel like wearing, and then stand there in our towel, looking at our clothes, and the next thing you know, it's been three minutes of you staring at your clothes. Can you relate to that? Our kids feel that, too, right? They may not do it in the same way. They may not like walk into their closet and stare at their clothes, but they're indecisive about it also at times.
And it is something where we can take that decision fatigue out of our bright and early morning, by every Sunday, going through kids' clothes and your clothes and picking out outfits for Monday through Friday, or however many days that you want to do. But we do Monday through Friday because weekends, we just kind of like, honestly, we wear our pajamas most of the weekend.
Um, so I don't worry about Saturday and Sunday, but for Monday through Friday, we go in, and we pick out clothes. And when I say we pick out clothes, we pick out everything that needs to be worn, everything that's put on the body. So we're picking out underwear, we're picking out socks. If my girls want to wear a hair accessory, then they're picking that out and putting it with the outfit, everything, head to toe that they're going to be wearing, we're picking out so that there's no way that in the morning, we are going to be trying to find the bright red bow that needs to go with this shirt. Or we're not trying to decide what kind of socks we're going to wear, or we can't find one sock that matches, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. You guys know how all of that goes. Right? So when my girls were really little, and we did this, I would, I would just do it.
And then as they got a little bit older, honestly like three or four, and they had opinions about what they wanted to wear, I would have them help me. And now it's totally up to them. So they know on Sundays, I'll say, okay, go pick out your outfits for the week. And they will go into their rooms, and they will pick out their outfits, and they will put them in order in their closet. Now, if you have like really little kids, it can be really helpful to have some type of visual representation of what they're wearing each day. And what I mean by that is to have either like a closet hanging organizer that, like each block is one day of the week or little shelf in the closet organizer is one day of the week. Or you could do it dividers in your drawers or things like that. There are even hanger tabs, things that you can put on your hangers that will say like Monday, Tuesday, you can get them on Etsy and Amazon, or you could even make your own. I found, as my girls have gotten a little bit older, they're five and eight, they just kind of put them in order in their closet hanging up. So they know that like the first one is Mondays and then that's gone, and so then the next days is Tuesdays and so on. But I do think for younger kids, and especially as they're getting used to doing this, it's nice to have them laid out like that.
I've also seen some people do gallon-sized, Ziploc bags, and like they stuff them in there and label them Monday, and then they just reuse it every week. Or there are other different types of bags you can get on Amazon, but I like the hanging organizer, probably the best, which you can get pretty much anywhere.
I know some of you may do this every night, the night before you pick out the outfit for the day ahead. And if that works for you, then great. But if it does stress you out at all, or if you forget it sometimes because it's just not something that you like prioritize in the evening, then give this a try. Because I think that it can be kind of like a silly thing, like you, you, you hear about it, and you're like, that sounds silly, why would I pick an entire week's worth of outfits? I don't know. Just try it, just give it a try for like two weeks and see if it's helpful for you, because I have found that a lot of people are skeptical about this idea, and then they do it, and they're like, oh my gosh, that was so nice because we weren't worried about what they were going to wear, we weren't worried about trying to find things and scrambling in the morning, and everybody knew what was expected. Now, every single time I talk about this, I always get the question. What if they changed their mind on the day of. One thing that you could do is just have them pick out five outfits. Or even like six outfits and then they can pick the morning of from those outfits, or if you have them Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and they wake up, and they're like, mom, I don't really want to wear what I picked out for today, then maybe they, you can have a rule where they can pick out a different one. That's already picked out. That's an idea. But personally, I prefer to just set the expectation at the beginning of the week, and getting them involved is really going to help kind of get rid of any of those types of objections on the day of because they took power. They had the autonomy to be able to go in and pick out their own clothes for the week, and so they're usually pretty excited about it because they got to do it. And if this is a concern for you, if you think you're child is going to be one who freaks out the morning of, then really like hype them up on Sunday when they're picking out their outfits and talk about how great they're doing and how that's going to be a wonderful outfit, and that's probably so comfortable. Just make it a big deal that they did this and that they're really big kid for doing this and for being able to help get themselves ready in the morning. And that usually also avoids any of those types of meltdowns.
Don't forget to do this for yourself, too, because, like most things, we, as moms tend to like, do everything for our kids, and then we forget about ourselves. But I think that as moms, we only have so much mental energy and so much brain space to make decisions every day. And we have so many decisions to make that if we can just get this out of the way and eliminate this mental decision fatigue first thing in the morning, it is going to really improve your days as well and your time in the morning. So give it a try for yourself also. And remember, layers, layers, layers are great.
Okay. Number two is to make lunches the night before. This one thing helps me so much because even if I know what I'm going to put in lunches for the next day, it still feels like it takes a lot of time in the morning because of everything else happening, someone needing help going potty, someone else upset because their hair doesn't look quite right. Like there's always something right. That you're kind of getting pulled in a thousand directions, try and get everyone ready to go in the morning.
And so making lunches can take so long because we're kind of pulled apart. By making your lunch or the kids' lunches the night before, you're completely eliminating that step, and you can just grab them from the fridge and go in the morning. So what I do is I always pack lunches the night before. I do whatever I need to do. I make all the food. I put it in the lunch box. I add my little note and then I zip it up, and I put them in the fridge. Then in the morning, I just pull them out of the fridge. I grabbed the ice packs out of the freezer and stuff them in there, zip them up, and they're ready to go. So it takes three seconds versus 10 minutes, and when I'm making lunches the night before is kind of nice because they do it as part of like my whole evening PM routine as part of like PM pickup. And so I'm listening to a podcast, or I'm listening to music, and the kids are occupied. And so it doesn't feel like it's like the stressful thing where I'm trying to hurry, and I'm not really sure what to put in there and, oh, shoot, I can't find the applesauce. Like I can just like take my time. And honestly, it usually goes by quicker because I don't have that element of stress and chaos and hurry hanging over me as if I did them in the mornings. I will say a couple of weeks ago, I forgot to make lunches the night before. We recently had a water leak in our kitchen, and they had to rip out half of our kitchen, and so we were staying at my in-laws, and I was totally out of routine. And so I just forgot to make lunches the night before. The morning of it felt so chaotic because I wasn't used to it, and it just added an element of rush and chaos to the morning that I wasn't used to.
So sometimes I'm like, I wonder if like making lunches the morning of wouldn't be so bad. And like, that was like a good reminder that it really does taking the five minutes the night before greatly improves the mornings.
Okay. And then for number three, this is similar to the lunches, but number three is just putting everything by the door that needs to go with your child or with you in the morning. So what I mean by that is if they're going to school, the shoes that they're going to wear in the mornings are by the door, the jacket that they have to wear is by the door, the backpack is by the door. It includes any paperwork that they need to bring to school or any homework they need to bring to school. For you, that may look like you have a work bag that has to be by the door, and you have your snacks in it all ready to go, and you have all of your papers for your meetings in the morning ready to go. You have your shoes by the door. How many times have you been ready to leave for anywhere, and somebody is missing a shoe? I cannot stress it enough, if you can always put shoes that they are going to wear, or you are going to wear, by the door the night before, that alone will likely save you hours over, over a year, if you are a busy mom.
So we have hooks for each kid and for myself and my husband. And so, each hook houses the backpacks and my purse, and this is the thing like that's where backpacks live. So if a backpack is not in its home, then we are not prepared for school. So that's something I will ask the girls the night before, are you prepared for the morning? And they know that that means their backpacks are on the hooks, and they have their homework, and they have their snack, and they have their water bottle filled up and ready to go. That also means that they know that the shoes that they're going to wear are on their shoe mat. So I just have little placemats that go under each hook. And that is where their shoes live that go for the next day. That's also where I put their lunch boxes in the morning after I put the icepacks in. But again, you guys just having those things ready to go take away the stress and chaos of not being able to find things or just running around and cutting out the time that it takes to go look for them or even just to go get them. If they're right there and we know where they are, then we know that after they get ready and they eat breakfast, and they brush their teeth, they can go down, and they have everything ready to go to walk out the door.
Okay. So, like I said, this is a shorter podcast today, but I really wanted to make sure that I got these three tips out to you—hopefully, these help. Let me know what you think. Shoot me a DM on Instagram. And as always, if you guys found this helpful, can you send the link of this podcast episode to a friend or share it on your Instagram stories so that other moms who are busy and have chaotic mornings out there can also benefit from these super simple tips that will take away so much stress in your mornings.
Thanks for hanging out and listening to The Decluttered Mom Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories, and if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at the dot decluttered dot mom and send me a DM to say hi.
I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.