Getting Out the Door: It’s All About the Night Before

GettingOuttheDoorfbdatesI am not what you would call a “morning person”.

I don’t function well first thing, but also don’t have a ton of time to become fully alert.

That’s why I think the most important thing about getting out the door is getting ready the night before, (or in the early evening, if you’re not a night owl.) For me, it’s so important that I’m able to go on autopilot in the morning and not have to make any crucial decisions, (like what to wear or feed myself…)

Here are a few simple and elementary tips. I am sure a lot of you might remember your parents telling you some of these.

1. Have a night before checklist

  • Charge everything you need for the next day (phone, laptop, iPad, iPod etc.)
  • Defrost something for tomorrow night’s dinner in the fridge (so you don’t have to think about it in the morning.)
  • Lay out your clothes for the next day (including shoes)
  • Set your coffee maker up and prep as much of your breakfast as you can the night before

2. Create a morning Launch Pad

For me, this is the table right by the front door. This is where I keep everything I need for the next day:

  •  your purse, backpack, laptop bag
  • Keys
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Sports equipment
  • Kid’s backpacks (with homework safely tucked inside)

3. Go to bed at a decent time. (Sleep is not just for princesses who have servants, our bodies need sleep time to heal and stay healthy.)

4. Stay consistent with your waking time each day. This will train your body to naturally wake up on time. Even on days you don’t have to get up early, do it. This will give you a wonderful break from your morning routine. You can spend time in the Word, sip your coffee, watch the news or just enjoy the quietness of the house while the natives sleep.

5. Keep everything in the same place. For example: your dog’s leash should hang on the same hook every time you get home, so it’s easy to find in the morning.

So what have I missed that you may do that will help another girlfriend out? I want to hear it all. My mornings get by me way too fast!

Tell me in the comments below what your tried and true strategies are for getting up and out the door in a snap. What makes your mornings easier? One commenter this week will win a copy of The Get Yourself Organized Project and a $10 Starbucks Gift Card



  1. I keep some snacks for my little one in the car so I don’t have to remember to pack one if we are out and about for the day! I have a giant pack of GoGo applesauce in there currently, but I also have individual bags of Goldfish on occasion. And also bottles of water! The reusable shopping bags also live in the car, unless I just had a shopping trip. Then they go on a hook by the door, to be taken out to the car the next time we leave.

  2. Do as much as possible the night before!!! Then, a good cup of coffee in the morning :)

  3. I make lunches after dinner, sometimes even before cleaning up the kitchen (we often use leftovers in school lunches!). Love getting ready the night before, especially with four kids and hubby getting out the door to school at 7:10!

  4. I always repack the diaper bag and snacks, etc. immediately after coming home from an event or occasion I used it so that I know whenever I grab it it’s prepacked and ready to go!

  5. Have book bags hung up or setting by door right after homework is done so you know it got done and checked! And I like to multitask while my kindergartener drags his feet in the morn, so while he’s eating his cereal I’m putting his shoes on or getting the other child away ready for preschool. We started to set out clothes for the whole week too makes it tons easier thinking I need to do for myself too!

  6. In the morning, I do everything that has to be done in one room BEFORE I leave that room. My biggest example is the bathroom. When I go potty right after I get up-it helps if I just go ahead and brush my teeth, put deoderant on, and whatever else I need from the bathroom.

  7. We have a closet organizer in the kids’ bedrooms and fill it with outfits for the week, so they grab an outfit from one compartment. We also do as much as we can the night before – backpacks ready to go at the front door, locate shoes and coats, get water bottles & snack ready, get cereal bowls on the counter and ready for breakfast.

  8. Kids pick out clothes the night before, get lunches ready, except for sandwiches which are made in the morning, make breakfast for hubby for the week and separate into individual containers, have backpacks and briefcase ready by front door.

  9. I always make lunches the night before and keep them in the fridge. I take it out in the morning when I leave for work and leave it by the door with my boys bookbags. This way I know my husband will not forget anything when he takes them to school!

  10. The timer on my coffee pot I think is my best motivation for waking up and getting going. The smell (invigorating) and then I can attack the morning agenda. I also do a lot the night before … but our mornings start around 4:30am (out of the house with 2 kiddos by 5:30am) – so I really do believe my self-starting coffee maker is key. :)

  11. We always do as much as possible the night before. I make sure backpacks are ready the night before and all of the kids stuff is ready to go.

  12. This will sound like a joke, but I am serious. Getting my teenage (14)
    daughter to help do many of the things you listed is what helps get me
    out of the door. I love it that she can get up, get her herself ready,
    get breakfast, get on the bus all before 7:00! I love helping her most
    of the time but when I have to leave this is awesome!

    And on a
    lighter side, not having her throw up on my ironed shirt and tie during
    the last good bye hug on the way out the door (when she was a baby)
    helps too!

  13. I’m a homeschool mom, so most mornings I don’t have to leave the house early. But we do have to get up and get moving, and I don’t get moving without a cup of coffee. My coffee cup is set to start at 6 am. I love to wake up to that aroma! Then my husband and I pray together. After that, I make the bed and get my workout clothes on. Then I’m good to go!

  14. I always start a sentence that my kids know how to finish. I say, “A good morning…” and they answer, “starts the night before!” It’s our little reminder that they need to have things ready and go to bed at a decent time in order to function well and be able to greet the day cheerfully the next morning. The other thing I do is go ahead and load whatever I can in the car for the next day (errands I need to run, grocery list, items to drop off, etc.) so it’s ready to go.

  15. Having the diaper bags packed and well-supplied makes for an easier morning when we are trying to get out the door.

  16. Haha…I am SO right there with you. I absolutely have to be on auto-pilot in the morning. I’m better than I was when I was in my 20s. I remember soon after college…my first job required me to get up at 530am. I was closer to wanting to go to bed at 530am at that point in my life! I used to pour my OJ into a glass, and put plastic wrap over it and put in the fridge. Then I’d pour my cereal and put plastic wrap over it and leave it on the counter. Tea bag…in the cup. Water in the kettle. It was the only way I could make it work!

  17. My 7 year old has his own checklist of everything he needs to do in the mornings: get dressed to shows, fix hair, brush teeth, say prayers, etc. That seems to work well

  18. I agree with what everyone’s said. Do it the night before. But whatever you decide to do the night before, or what waits until morning, MAKE & KEEP A ROUTINE. I find when ONE thing slips from our routine, we’re late. And, I’ve come to include in my definition of late as anything that makes us feel rushed and in the frenzy that robs the peace of the morning (and then usually day). If I’m too rushed to follow our routine (including putting my cell phone in the same place it always goes, vs. throwing it in the never ending purse pit), then I’m in too much of a hurry. (Plus, I want to be a safe driver and model good driving as best I can)

  19. You need to think about what you will need – not just a checklist, but a moment to think – it is the “mom, I need this signed” (I don’t sign stuff in the morning, but it took work to convince the kids I was serious about it); or the I need money for the pictures today thing. Check the calendar, check to be sure you aren’t doing something different in the morning!

  20. My best motivator for my girls to be on time is to plan to have a few minutes of read-aloud time together before the bus comes. If it’s a really tough morning, I read aloud a favorite chapter book (just a page or two) while they get dressed. If they are completely ready we can do another page or so standing at the door, waiting for the bus. It puts all of us in a more pleasant mood for the day!

  21. Packing a lunch after dinner time is always helpful for getting out the door on time the next morning. : )

  22. I lay the kids clothes out the night before and make sure the diaper bag is packed too

  23. The night before is essential to our morning. I do as much prep the night before so that I have very little to do in the morning. If I wait until the morning to do things we usually end up walking out the door in tears and emotions elevated. So instead, I spend my evenings, when I still have some energy, getting ready for tomorrow–packing backpacks, packing baby’s diaper bag for Grandma’s house, washing bottles and freezing ice packs, packing lunches, completing all paperwork for school and work and packing it into bags, washing dishes, defrosting the meat for dinner tomorrow, cutting the veggies for the crockpot meal in the morning, picking out clothes, showering, and putting bags, keys, and belongings next to the door. It seems like a lot to do, but so much easier to do it at night!


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