A Great Start Begins The Night Before

The secret to being that amazing put together person who leaves the house composed and ready for the day is:

Doing everything the night before.

Ta da!

Yes, I know. This is not the miracle answer most would hope for. As a single gal, many moons ago, I was able to accomplish this on a daily basis. After my evening repast of broccoli and tofu from my favorite hole in the wall I got into the habit of cleaning out my purse/ gym bag. I threw out old receipts. I chose clothes and shoes for the next day. I made lists of things I needed to do the next day. I did not recharge my  cell phone because I did not have one one back then - that's how many moons ago.

These days... well, there is so much more to do.

I am a stay at home mom. This SAHM is doomed to a stress filled confusing morning with whiny children under her feet while she looks for the sippy and the keys. The snack bag for the playground have to be refilled and she herself has not eaten and taken her vitamins or had a shower or looked in the mirror. In fact, if she looked in the mirror at that moment she would give up on the day entirely and let her kids watch tv while she waited for 4 p.m., the time that she had determined years before was not too early for a glass of wine.

UNLESS, she gets organized the night before.

This is sometimes easy. When I am in the middle of bingeing on the latest season of Breaking Bad or Mad Men on Netflix, then it's exceptionally hard. If I drink too much wine at dinner and fall straight asleep the night before, it's very hard.

So figure out what you need to do the night before so that when you wake up, it's just about taking care of the basics - showering - and you can move swiftly and decisively into your day.

Here are some items from my prepping the night before list:

  • Empty bags, check wallet, pockets and put everything in order. As a New Yorker, I find myself being ejected from any cash register after paying so quickly that I stuff my change, receipt and credit card into any available pocket or unused section of my purse or the stroller canopy or into the bag of groceries.

  • Get the snacks, crumbs, water bottles and other edible things out of your bags and pockets. Nothing depresses me more than old raisin and sand in the bottoms of my bags when I am digging around for my tissues or granola bar for the kids.

  • Make sure your "out in the world" tools are sorted and working. This could be anything ear buds, pens and sharpies, migraine medicine, allergy pills, pocket tissues, lip balm, hand lotion, moleskin notebook, digital camera with full battery, anti bacterial hand spray, hair bands, gym membership card, business cards, business postcards... etc. Of course, this is not at all what I carry in my bags, that would be an insane amount of stuff.

  • Your outfit for the next day. I know, this one sounds like it's for the elementary school set. But seriously, if you check the weather the night before, plan an outfit and corresponding shoes, you will not have to try on 3 different shirts, find stains on one and no pants that feel comfortable so that you have have to switch to trying two different dresses and finally settle on a sweater over a dress. Phew what a waste of time in the morning. And of course, you have no time to put it all away, you leave it on your bed or the chair next to your closet to be put away tonight when you are exhausted and want to drink wine and watch Mad Men for 4 hours straight.

Anyone want to add anything? Please do! Let me learn from you.

Regrets. I've Had a Few...

Getting Motivated: Part One