How Do You Get Out of the Door on Time?
Real Simple readers share their practical and creative tips to help you pull your act together.
I can select an outfit for any occasion in less than one minute because nothing goes into my closet unless it is ready to wear. Any garment that requires ironing or has a spot, a stain, or a hem that needs repairing does not go in.
I just don’t. In this modern era, where the clock rules every minute of our lives, I like to take a step back and remember that still, in so many cultures, there is a way of life that doesn’t revolve around deadlines, alarms, and fixed schedules. While being late isn’t a virtue, neither is bailing on a friend in need to make it to the bank before it closes. So why not leave a little more room for meditation, conversation, the feel of the sun on your skin, or that book you’ve been meaning to read for so long?
To get out of the house on time in the morning, I have what I call my task-it basket, which sits on my sink and holds sunscreen, makeup, an eyelash curler, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. I pull all items out of the basket, and I put them back when I’m done. I complete all my morning tasks without forgetting anything and keep the counter clutter-free.
With three little ones constantly making it more difficult to leave anywhere within a reasonable amount of time, I mostly find myself yelling a lot. Surprisingly, that doesn’t work at all. So when I need to feel like a capable adult who can do things well at times, I plan a date with my husband or a night out with my girlfriends. I find that these things get me out the door quickly. Oftentimes I’m even early!
I use a planner that allows me to view the entire month at a glance. That way, I can tell from week to week what I have to do. On Sundays I look and see what’s going on the rest of each week. If there are things I need to prepare for more than a day in advance, or if there is something I know I’ll need that’s not readily available, I have a better idea of what I need to do and when to do it.
Grove City, Pennsylvania
I tell my habitually tardy husband that we are leaving 30 minutes earlier than we need to. We eventually get out the door at the right time and avoid an argument, as I am never late.
I can’t. Anytime I try to go somewhere, I constantly turn around because I left my keys, my umbrella, or something that I need to return. I might as well install a revolving door.
College Station, Texas
I keep a spare set of keys in my laundry room. That way, when I notoriously lose my first set, I can grab those and rush out. Actually, I have a third set hidden as well, but I don’t remember where.
Clovis, New Mexico
I love myself the way I am. A five-minute face and a simple, classic wardrobe have always served me well. Fashion is fun, sure, but since I don’t feel chained to the opinion of everyone around me, I find I have a lot more time in the morning for things that matter, like squeezing in a few more minutes of pillow time with my husband before heading off to work.