There's no such thing as a smooth morning routine — or is there? Our alarms go off at 6:30 am, the chaos of the morning begins, and we always feel like we're running late. Either one of the kids has walked out the door without their homework or you've misplaced the keys. We asked decluttering expert Peter Walsh to share his top tips for keeping your mornings organized.
I know you're waiting for me to reveal magic hints that will shave those precious minutes off your schedule. Frankly, I'm sure that if you were to Google it, you would find pages of “hacks” where people demonstrate things such as how to apply makeup while sipping your tea and walking the dog. Some of these ideas are good, but they don't always make the big change in people's lives that I believe they're looking for.
Instead, I'm going to offer you a snippet of the most important organizing advice I have. If you learn just these pointers and incorporate them into your life, you will save time and feel far more relaxed and in control every single day.
1. Everything has its place.
I am a big fan of what I call “old wisdom” and recall that my grandmother often used to say there should be "a place for everything and everything should be in its place."
Think how you might apply this to your home and daily life. What things do you constantly need or use every morning? Make a list. My guess is they're things like keys, wallet or purse, kids' school bags and homework, lunches, and perhaps a few other things specific to you and your family.
If you designate a place where each of these things lives, and if they're all near each other by the door, you'll quickly and easily see what's there and what you still need to gather. When you don't have to scramble to look, you'll feel far more in control. And the added benefit is that everyone in your family will know where things belong when it comes time to put them away.
2. Routines are your friend.
If you embrace this friend, I promise your life will be easier! Quit the habit of just putting things down. Instead, put them away. When you walk in the door, put the keys in the exact same spot every time. When you put your purse or wallet down, make sure it's exactly where it's supposed to be. When the kids finish their homework, the last step for them should be to gather it up, put it back in their school bag and put the bag right by the front door, in the space designated for their bags.
Additionally, set up time routines. When are the lunches thought out? When are the outfits arranged? Who feeds the pets and walks the dog each day, and when? Don't get into a stressful situation — plan ahead.
Solid routines help establish a clear sense of order. I'm a big believer that the more you get done at night before bed, the faster and easier your mornings will become. Look, things happen. We know they will. So, instead of getting thrown off track when something unexpected turns up, plan extra time for it.
Organizing isn't just about your stuff, it's about the way you live your life. The most organized people do have some magic in their time preparation and ability to think ahead. Be that person. Start small. Set up one new routine for yourself and your family, get everyone on board and stick to it. Then, assuming it's as painless as I expect it to be, add more. Soon, you'll be living a far more organized, stress-free life. Trust me!
3. Start with a small routine change.
Set up one new routine for yourself: A place for your keys. Find that nice bowl you received as a gift that has been sitting in a cupboard and take it out. Put it by the door. From now on, whenever you come in or go out of the house, put your keys there — not in your pockets, not back in your purse, and definitely not on the kitchen counter. The time you'll save by not having to look through the entire house for your keys will be pretty surprising.
This post was written by the editors at Homes to Love. For more, check out our sister site Homes to Love.