As a busy work-at-home mom, I’m always looking for ways to get a little extra rest. Even 20 extra minutes of sleep will make a huge difference in my life. My morning tasks to get out the door are a bit simpler with only one child. To get the best advice I consulted my mommy friends who are professionals with more than one child. Just like me, you’ll love their tricks to trim 20 minutes off your mornings.
- Prepare lunches the night before. My friend Brittany M. has twin daughters in preschool. She takes an hour on a Sunday and prepares a whole week of lunches at once. That’s 10 lunches done in an hour vs. scrambling every morning to get out the door.
- Pre-make breakfast ahead of time. Cut up fruit, dish out yogurt and pour cups of milk or juice the night before.
- Eliminate the need to move things around in your fridge every morning. Reorganize your refrigerator so the foods you need for breakfast are front and center. MaryBeth R. has quadruplets and moved her milk down to a lower shelf so her daughters can reach it themselves.
- If you need a cup of coffee to start your morning instead of stopping at Starbucks or your local coffee shop, invest on a coffee maker. Set the timer at night and your coffee will be ready in the morning.
- Set out your clothes and your children’s clothes the night before or an entire week ahead. If you hit the gym in the morning before you head out the door, go to bed in your workout gear.
- Shower at night instead of in the morning.
- Reorganize your closet so your weekdays clothes (blouses and slacks) are separate from your weekend clothes (jogging suits and lounge wear).
- Wear your hair in a loose bun at night to keep it from getting tangled.
- Organize your makeup so you can easily create a “five minute face” of makeup. Use products that do more than one thing. For instance, a foundation with SPF, a blush you can use as bronzer or eye shadow.
- Create an “out the door box” or spot near your front door. This can be for your suitcase, laptop or book bags. MaryBeth, the mom of quadruplets, suggests if you have a metal front door, use a magnet to attach notes and slips to it.
- Have a gadget-free morning. Don’t check your smartphone or laptop. They can distract you from the important tasks that help you get out the door faster.
- Create a task chart or check list for your children. Post it in their bedroom or bathroom. Give them the responsibility to dress themselves, brush their own teeth and grab their back packs before you head out the door.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joyce Brewer is an Emmy award-winning TV journalist living in Atlanta with her husband and son. She hosts a parenting talk show, Mommy Talk Show and is the author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms.