7 Nighttime Habits for Much Easier Mornings

Make a few key moves in the kitchen before bed, and the morning will truly feel like a fresh start. Your future self will thank you.

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Photo By: Evi Abeler

Photo By: Evi Abeler

Fill the Coffee Maker — And Freeze Any Leftovers

What's better than waking up and knowing your cup of joe is just one button-press away (or none, if you have a programmable machine!)? Before you go to bed, empty the old grounds and clean the carafe. If you have leftover coffee, don't waste it: Pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze it for future iced coffees and smoothies. Then fill the machine with fresh grounds and replenish the water reservoir. Just like that, you've already kicked off a productive tomorrow.

Empty the Dishwasher

Yes, it's a pain. But if you don't do it at night, it'll still be full in the morning — and we all know what will happen: You'll leave your breakfast things in the sink. And who wants to come home to dirty dishes at the end of the day?

Take the Chicken Out of the Freezer

Or hamburger meat, pork loin or whatever frozen item you'd love to eat for dinner tomorrow — if only it was thawed. Move tomorrow's ingredients from the freezer to fridge before lights-out so they have ample time to defrost safely. And while you're at it, jot down any items you need to complete the dish so you remember to pick them up on the way home the next day. Making dinner tomorrow night will be that much easier when you have the right ingredients ready to go.

Clean Up Crumbs and Spills

It's true what they say: a tiny bit of cleaning everyday can help you avoid a major job down the line. And padding barefoot on dropped spaghetti strands and graham cracker bits is no way to start the day. You don't need to get out the mop (save that for the weekend); a quick run of the vacuum is enough to make a difference. Wipe down the counters and kitchen table, too.

Prep for Breakfast

Pre-combine fruit and mix-ins in resealable plastic bags for dump-and-blend smoothies. Some combos to consider: apples, grapes and spinach; banana, blueberries and peanut butter; pineapple, mango and coconut. Or stir up a batch of overnight oats in a mason jar to throw in the fridge for the morning (mix 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup milk and some brown sugar).

Rinse Out Your Water Bottle (and Everyone Else's)

It may mean scrounging in a few backpacks and your own gym bag, but you really don't want the thing you put your lips to dozens of times a day sitting around growing bacteria. Scrub and then leave out to air dry upside-down on the dishrack. In the morning, the little joy of grabbing that clean bottle will entice you to hydrate all day.

Make a "Go Tray"

You can't drive the car to work if you can't find your keys. Designate a place for your necessities — keys, yes, and also phone, mail, umbrella and bag — and take two minutes to collect them before you turn out the lights. In the morning, you'll be able to grab everything you need on the way out the door, and start the day on a collected foot.