10 Ways to Simplify Your Morning Routine

Sometimes the biggest challenge of the day is getting out of the house in the morning.

Photo by: American Home Shield

1. Go to bed at the same time every night. It will help you and your family establish a routine, and you'll feel less sluggish when the alarm clock goes off.

2. Skip the snooze button. Have you ever hit snooze a few times only to wake up later in a panic, a half hour behind schedule? Train yourself to get up the first time your alarm goes off.

3. Choose outfits the night before. Or, if it fits your schedule, pick out clothes for the entire week on Sunday.

4. Have lunches packed and ready to go. Keep it simple — sandwiches, fruit, yogurt — or set aside leftovers from last night's dinner.

5. Don't skip breakfast. It may be tempting to forgo a morning meal if you're short on time, but breakfast will help you stay balanced throughout the day. For something light and quick, store smoothie ingredients in a container in the fridge overnight, and transfer them to the blender in the morning.

6. Turn off the TV...It can be a big distraction. If you need to know about traffic or weather, get the information you need, then turn it off and get on with your day.

7. ... and the Internet.Think twice before turning on the computer or checking your smartphone. You might establish a rule for the kids: No checking email, texting, or surfing the web until they're dressed and ready to go.

8. Ditch the chores. If you need to get out of the house by a certain time, then forget about paying bills, going through the mail or sweeping the floor. Those tasks can wait until later.

9. Stay organized.Create inboxes for each family member so the important papers don't get misplaced. Make sure the items you use every morning — coffee grinder, hairdryer — are easily accessible.

10. Set a timer. It might sound militant, but it's a good way to keep everyone on track. Carve out a time for certain activities (breakfast, for example) and when the timer goes off, you know it's time to move on.