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Our favorite ways to speed up your morning routine

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Get ready in a flash

Getting ready in the morning doesn't have to be chaotic or time consuming. Shave time off your morning routine with these simple tips and tricks.

Woman doing her morning routine

Prepare the night before

Preparation is half the battle. Do everything you can the night before, from shaving your legs to packing your kids' backpacks. You can cut your morning routine in half by doing the legwork before you go to bed.

  • Take a shower, wash your hair and shave your legs before bed so that you don't have to battle for the bathroom (or be stuck without hot water) in the morning.
  • Got kids? Pack your children's lunches, sign permission slips, check over homework and have their backpacks and coats ready by the front door.
  • Plan what to wear. Every Sunday, plan out a week's worth of outfits. Hang the items you will wear each day together, including all the accessories. When you are doing your kids' laundry, put outfits together in drawers — shirt, pants, underwear and socks for each day. Lay out the outfit you are going to wear the next day including the shoes, undergarments and accessories. If every member of your family does this every night, you'll never be running late because you find a spot on your blouse, a broken zipper needs to be fixed or someone can't find their favorite tee.

Never skip breakfast

No matter how rushed you are in the morning, you shouldn't skip breakfast. After all, it's the most important meal of the day. A quick breakfast doesn't have to mean grabbing a donut or resorting to fast food drive-thru breakfast. Fresh fruit, instant oatmeal, yogurt and granola are all quick and healthy.

Prep-ahead breakfasts also can make your morning routine go more smoothly. Make a dozen hard-boiled eggs that your family can eat over the week or bake a breakfast casserole in the slow cooker overnight. Make pancakes, waffles or breakfast burritos ahead of time. Wrap individually and freeze them. In the morning, just pop one in the toaster or microwave. You can even set the table for breakfast the night before so that your family can actually have time to sit down together and have a meal to start the day.

Fool yourself with the clock

Alarm clock

A sure-fire way to speed up your morning routine is by fooling yourself with the clock. Change the time on the clock in your bedroom to 15 minutes later than it actually is.

You'll wake up 15 minutes early, and if you hit any snags in your morning routine, you'll still have some wiggle room to get out the door on time. If you don't hit any snags, then you just bought yourself 15 minutes. Sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee before starting your day. If getting your kids out the door on time for school is an ongoing problem in your house, give your children an incentive. Let your kids know that if they are ready early, they can play their favorite video game or watch TV until it's time to leave.

Simplify your beauty routine

Many of us get hung up in the bathroom in the morning putting on a beautiful face or getting our hair just right. Try to whittle your beauty routine down to 10 minutes or less — better yet, five minutes.

  • Get a good haircut: Your hair shouldn't take forever to blow dry just right in the morning. Tell your stylist that you want a wash-and-go cut that takes little work to look good.

  • Consider semi-permanent makeup: Never want to leave the house without eye makeup? Consider getting your eyelashes tinted (or even getting eyelash extensions). You can also get "permanent" eyeliner to speed up your beauty routine.

  • Use cosmetics that can do double-duty: Streamline your beauty routine with multipurpose makeup and skin care products. Use all-in-one products like BB cream or CC cream to brighten skin, hide blemishes, add sunscreen and even out your skin tone. Also look for lip tint that can double as cheek color or eyeshadow that works as liner.

  • Select fast-acting products: You don't want to wait for your mascara to dry between coats, but you don't want clumpy lashes either. So pick one that dries quickly — or better yet, one that only needs one coat to look dark and lush. If you love your body lotion but hate waiting for it to absorb into your skin so that you can get dressed, it's time to switch products. There are fast-absorbing moisturizers that deliver incredibly soft, hydrated skin without feeling wet, oily or sticky. Try a continuous-spray lotion or dry body oil.

Organize your bathroom

Organization is the key to making your morning routine plans become a reality. It's definitely possible to do your makeup in five minutes, but if your beauty products aren't organized and nearby, that won't happen. Use baskets, jars, trays and other containers to store all your essentials neatly on your bathroom counter. Add in-drawer organizers to keep all your hair accessories and other small items in their place to keep yourself organized and have the items you need on-hand where you can find them easily.

More beauty tips

Quick on-the-go ponytails
Morning beauty shortcuts
5-Step skin care regimen for oily skin

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