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Reduce Stress and Make the Most of Your Morning

By guest blogger: Natalie Schrier

Who's busier than you? Are you someone who says, "There aren't enough hours in the day"? Saving time, even just a few minutes here and there, can afford you the opportunity to either (1) accomplish tasks you otherwise might not be able to get done or (2) pause, take a breath and relax in the midst of your crazy day.

Raise your hand if you're perpetually late in the morning because you can't find your keys, because it takes you too long to get dressed and/or because you're running around trying to gather everything you need for the day and it's scattered all over your home. If this sounds familiar, keep reading. I'm about to let you in on a little secret.

The key to a swift morning departure is—drum roll please—nighttime preparation!

Follow this advice before you hit the sack, and you're on your way to a stress-free start to the day:

  • Review your calendar for the following day so you know how early you need to wake up. It helps to work backward from the start of your day's first commitment. Make sure to take all morning must-dos into consideration (for example, feeding the baby, walking the dog, packing lunches). Don't forget to set your alarm!
  • Choose your outfit for the next day. Lay out your clothes, shoes and accessories. Check the weather if you're not sure about the temperature or likelihood of rain or snow.
  • Place any pills you need to take in the morning (for example, vitamins, birth control) near your toothbrush.
  • Pack your purse, briefcase, gym bag, etc.
  • Plan your breakfast and/or lunch and prepare what you can in advance.
  • Make a "to do" list for anything you need to accomplish the following day.
  • Prepare your coffee maker with filter, coffee and water, and, if you have a timer, set it, so that your morning cup of Joe is ready to go when you are.
  • Set a reminder on your cell phone or PDA for anything you need to take with you in the morning (like your lunch or gym bag).
  • If you have children, get them and their preparations squared away the night before, too.

Voila! You're ready to tackle the morning. Now all you need is a good night's sleep.

Natalie Schrier, president and founder of Cut The Clutter™, is a professional organizer, helping New York City dwellers to conquer their messy closets, paper clutter and just about anything else that needs organizing. For more on Cut The Clutter™, visit or ("like" the page to view daily organizing tips!).

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