6 Simple Life Hacks For Easier Mornings

Black Corkcicle Baldwin Lunchbox
Corkcicle Baldwin Lunch Box (also available in turquoise!)

Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on the blog on 1/19/17. Going through the archives recently, I realized I need to bring these simple shortcuts back into my weekly routine! I updated the links and made a few edits to make it more relevant to my life in 2021. 

I shared some helpful habits for non-morning people back in 2015, and my quest to conquer the start of the day is still a work-in-progress. Truth be told: I’m a bit of a mess in the morning. I want to squeeze in as much sleep as I can manage (every minute counts!) before I absolutely have to throw myself out of bed. So I’m always looking for shortcuts to shave precious time off my morning routine.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase from these links.

Here are 6 of my favorite simple life hacks for easier mornings:

Make a Designated Drop Spot

There’s nothing more maddening than a frazzled keys/phone search when you’re already running behind in the morning. We have a small console table in the foyer. As soon as I walk in the door, I drop my keys and sunglasses on it. And before I go to bed, I add anything that needs to leave the house with me in the morning: my tote bag, to-do lists, scrawled reminder notes, library books to return, etc.

Amazon Clothing Rack

Plan Your Outfits For the Week

If you struggle with figuring out what to wear in the morning, try to pull a week’s worth of outfits together on Sunday evening. Iron them, and hang them in a designated place in your closet so they’re ready to go. Or if you have the space, get a small clothing rack for the job. (I have this one from Amazon in my home office and it’s great quality for around $100.) Planning ahead gives you one less thing to stress about in the morning. And it helps keep your closet tidy and organized without those panicked “I have nothing to wear!” tornadoes ripping through it.

Use Bags Within Your Bag

I love zip-top pouches. I have a collection that includes all kinds of shapes, sizes and textiles. But lately, Truffle clarity pouches with leather trim are my #1. I use them to organize all my “essentials” in my bag, and can switch them from handbag to handbag in a snap if I decide to make a quick change in the morning. I also love my Bandolier iPhone crossbody case with a zip-around pouch that holds my phone, card case, car key fob, and lipstick so I can ditch the rest of my handbag if I want to travel light and hands-free.

Pack a Lunch the Night Before

I’m trying to get in the habit of bringing a healthy lunch and snacks to work so I don’t dip into our stash of leftover Halloween candy to make it through the day. I find I’m most successful with prepping a lunch if I do it the night before: packing up dinner leftovers; making a big salad with mixed fruit, nuts and goat cheese; or rolling up lean lunch meat with cheese and fresh sliced fruit. These stackable glass containers with snap-on lids are great for the job because they’re durable, reusable, and easy to clean. This lunch bag is my favorite; it keeps things cold and looks like a chic accessory.

Be Your Own Barista

We love our local coffee shops, but most weekday mornings I DIY my coffee. We bought a Nespresso Vertuo Next machine to make our favorite espresso drinks at home. It’s been a great investment that C and I both use every day. We love the Scuro double espresso pods for hot and iced lattes with milk, and Chobani Sweet Cream creamer is a delicious addition.

Want something even easier? When you discover cold brew coffee concentrate, your life will never be the same. I pour some Chameleon cold brew concentrate into an insulated thermal tumbler over lots of ice, then fill it up with water and/or milk and go. (A caveat: take the time to measure it out; it’s concentrated and has a lot of caffeine, so it’s easy to overdo it and end up with the jitters through lunch.) Corkcicle tumblers come in a fun range of colors, and keep ice frozen for more than 9 hours. I have several in rotation and never leave home without one.

Have Cookies For Breakfast

I found this recipe for healthy breakfast cookies last year, and they’re a hit with my husband and the flower shop team. I like to make a big batch on the weekend to have on hand for easy grab-and-go breakfasts throughout the week, and customize them with different nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate. They’re packed with protein and whole grain oats for sustained energy, and pair perfectly with DIY iced coffee.

What are your favorite morning shortcuts?

(Seriously, please share them; I need all the help I can get.)

What do you think?

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35 Comments

  1. 11.28.21

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  2. 8.10.21
    Mira said:

    The Breakfast Cookie link is seriously going to change the game for me. Thank you!!!

  3. 5.14.17

    Great tips!

  4. 1.22.17
    daniella said:

    Great tips! I love concentrated cold brew such a game changer for my morning coffee

  5. 1.22.17

    Weekend cooking for simpler weeks is the best tip ever – I love this whole post

  6. 1.22.17

    I’m not a morning person myself. I live in the Philippines and would love to personalize and tweak these ideas a bit for my perusal ofcourse. Really big help! thank you.

  7. 1.20.17
    starrysky said:

    These are great ideas! <3

  8. 1.20.17
    Britt said:

    Planning outfits could save me so much time lol

    And that coffee in the picture ive seen that before and have wanted to try it myself!

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  9. 1.19.17

    Vivarin or a caffeine tablet in the morning works well too. 200mg of caffeine – same as a cup of joe without the coffee breath and diuresis! Great for an afternoon pick me up too. As always, Keira your posts are a bright spot in my day!
    thank you.

    • 1.20.17

      How have I never heard of this?! And your sweet comment made my day, thank you. ☺

  10. 1.19.17

    This looks yummy!

  11. 1.19.17

    Great tips to help me get out of the house faster in the morning.
    Another breakfast idea is making hard boiled eggs while you do your hair/makeup. Then peel and take on the go.

  12. 1.19.17

    Great post! The dropspot is so helpful for us too! And if it can’t fit on our (small) entry table, it has to be dealt with right away. Smoothies are also a hit in our house. I make a big batch in the morning, and pour some in a to-go cup for my husband to take to the office, and my son and I sip on the rest as we’re getting ready for the day :) Super easy and it gives us an extra nutritional boost in the morning!

    • 1.20.17

      I love the idea of keeping the console table organized and under control.

      Also, I need to get back on board with morning smoothies! The Corkcicle tumblers are great for smoothies, too: they keep them iced cold and frozen for hours.

    • 1.20.17
      Britt said:

      Smoothies on the go! Good thinking. Might be good for my husband!

      • 1.21.17

        They’re a great way to sneak in some veggies, too; I always throw a big handful of spinach in mine.

        • 1.21.17
          Britt said:

          Ooo good way to pack in more vitamins that way😁

  13. 1.19.17
    CJ said:

    Always love your post ,great info!

  14. 1.19.17

    I’m getting pretty good with my morning routine except for the making lunch the night before.
    I like your tip for the bag within a bag. It’s the worst feeling when you reach work only to realise you left essential in your other handbag.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • 1.20.17

      It really is so handy! Free-with-purchase cosmetic bags are perfect for it.

  15. 1.19.17

    Girl, I am even more of a fan of you now that I know you too are not a morning person. The snooze button is (unfortunately) my best friend. I love me some iced coffee (even in freezing STL temps) & will give that one a go. I always go with the unsweetened Starbucks cold brew (it’s on sale a lot on the cartwheel app). I’m definitely giving those cookies a go too!

  16. 1.19.17

    Well I mean, if you insist I have cookies for breakfast I must! … love that idea.
    and love the idea of making my own coffee.

    • 1.20.17

      Right?! They’re so yummy and really filling. I like to customize them with different mix-ins, like dried berries, nuts, and unsweetened shredded coconut. There are other breakfast cookie recipes on that website that are good, too!

  17. 1.19.17

    I always plan my outfits out a week ahead, so I have no issues there. I also style my hair while I sleep so I don’t have to worry about really getting ready in the mornings!

  18. 1.19.17

    These are great! I do almost all of them! Adult life is all about routine :)