Monday mornings, am I right?

If there’s one universal truth, it’s that the first day of any work week (or school week) can be tough. And for most of us that means the feeling of dread begins to creep up on us some time around Sunday afternoon.

What if instead of spending the end of the weekend considering taking a sick day, you took a little time to make sure the week ahead was as smooth and stress-free as possible?

Here are my favorite tips for making sure you start the week off right.


Check the Dates

That’s right. Planning for a successful week starts with one simple step: checking your calendar. Will you be home every night this week? Big meeting at work? Field trip or class party planned? The answers to all of these questions are going to help you better prepare.

Whether you keep your dates straight in your head, on your phone, or you’re old school like me and still use a paper planner, be sure to think through the events of the week before you start doing any other kind of prep work. Because what starts as being responsible (buying groceries to cook and healthy dinner every night this week) could end up being very irresponsible (forgot we had plans for three of the nights and wasted that grocery money on things that are now going bad).


Shop Your Closet

Once you know what you have coming up in the week, it’s much easier to face that ever-hounding question: what am I going to wear?

Now that you know what you’ve got on the docket for the week, the task of selecting some corresponding outfits becomes much less challenging. I’ve tried both selecting just the actual clothes and setting aside everything including shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. No surprises here: the more you can figure out ahead of time, the quicker things will move on the actual day.

Rather than staring at your closet for ten minutes in the morning, you can just grab your pre-selected ensemble and be on your way. It’s the little things…


Make a Menu

After a long day at work, no one wants to stare blankly into an empty fridge to try and figure out what to have for dinner. That’s the easiest way to end up eating out (or ordering in) way more often than you should… which can be bad for both your wallet and your family’s health.

It’s perfectly acceptable to schedule a night or two of take-out. The more important thing is that you be realistic. If you can make a menu and a list of ingredients and other household needs, you will be able to make one visit to the supermarket (or make one online order) for the week. And that’s such a relief!

Also, making my son’s lunch is always something that has me scrambling in the morning. Think this through ahead of time, and you can pack most of the components for the week over the weekend.


Pack Your Bags

There’s nothing worse than that pesky feeling of having forgotten something… especially when you live in a fourth-floor walk-up like I do. One way to avoid that feeling is to make sure you have everything you need in your bag the night before.

You don’t have to write out a packing list or anything, but again, look at that calendar and be certain your covered for the day ahead. While you’re at it, be sure to check the kids’ backpacks as well.

BONUS: Check the weather! Prepping that perfect outfit or packing a picnic lunch won’t do you much good in the pouring rain.

Every day is a new beginning, and every week even more so. Why not take a few minutes out of your evening to make it the best it can be?

This post originally appeared on my OTHER blog, Your Personal Producer. If you haven’t had a chance, click on over and check out this and other organizing goodies over there. Who knows? Maybe we can work together on something…

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