If you’ve mastered the art of a stress-free morning, congratulations to you! For the rest of us the morning is about waking up bleary eyed, relishing in that first cup of coffee, making sure the kids are up and ready for school, making lunches, and trying to get out the door on time and dressed appropriately. Yes, mornings can be chaotic! However, you can change the morning mood by simply lessening the clutter around you. Less clutter means fewer reminders of tasks undone as well as a more peaceful environment. Start your day in a positive way, create a stress-free morning by adding these simple two-minute routines to your evening.

Make Your Kitchen Breakfast Ready

– Hopefully you got everyone to clear their place right after dinner, but before going to bed make sure dinner dishes are in the dishwasher, leftovers are put away, and counters are wiped down. A clean kitchen in the morning means less time spent making breakfast and preparing lunches. You also avoid the stress of an unfinished project staring you in the face.

Pick Up Clothing & Shoes

– Quick changes throughout the day often mean clothes on the floor or thrown over a chair. Also, shoes come off, but don’t always make it to their proper cubby or closet. Spend a few minutes in the evening putting dirty clothes in the hamper, shoes in their proper home, and coats and jackets on their hook or hanger.

Put Away Toys

– It can be challenging to keep kids’ toys organized, especially when there is not a regular pick up routine. If you don’t want to start your morning with your son or daughter in hysterics as they search frantically for the item they want to bring for show and tell or the lovey they cannot live without, toys need to be picked up with some regularity. An evening routine of the 2 minute pick up game (which should definitely involve the kids) can help contribute to a stress-free morning.

Know What Your Family Needs for the Next Day

– The dry cleaning, the uniform for sports, the band instrument, the library book that’s due, the medical form you need for a doctor appointment, homework that needs to be turned in, etc. Gathering the items you need for the next day and putting them in a place where you can make sure they leave with you when you exit the house is much easier in the evening than trying remember to do it in the morning.

Process The Dump Pile

– Most people have one. A dump pile usually contains mail, kids’ drawings or home work, loose change, receipts, and more. Spend a few minutes in the evening getting rid of the junk mail, tossing useless receipts, putting loose change in a designated jar or container, moving bills to a location where you’ll pay them.

Devoting two minutes in the evening to each of these 5 tasks adds ten minutes of additional to-do’s to your time. However, the pay off of a stress-free morning will be priceless.