Planning Ahead. 8 Tips to Make Your Week Less Stressful

Planning Ahead2_MyCCL

We have all done it at some point.  Running around Monday morning, throwing lunches in bags, searching for something to wear, organizing backpacks, dashing out of the house only to find the gas tank almost on E, and speeding so we won’t get to work late. Of course the last minute lunch you packed in awful, but when you open your wallet, you don’t have any cash to get something better.  You do scrounge up a few coins at the bottom of your purse, so now you are at the vending machine and about to eat chips for lunch.  You have started off the week in the most stressful way possible.  How did this happen? Think back to your weekend and see, what could you have done differently?  I have realized that the more I organize in advance, the less stress there is during the week.  Here are my eight tips to tackle before Monday to make you start the week with a smile, not pulling your hair out in frustration.

1. Food – Sunday Meal prep will change your life!  Fill out a meal planner, food shop, organize the lunches and cook what you can before the week starts.  Pre-made lunches that are easy to grab and go will save you time each morning and dinner will be more about spending time at the table together instead of standing around cooking. I use this Meal Planner from partyblog.mgrafico. 

meal planner_MyCCL

2. Transportation – If you drive, fill your gas tank and make sure you have all your reusable bags stored in the trunk for any errands you may have to do after work.  If you take public transportation buy your tokens or bus pass for the week.


3. Money – Go to the cash machine and take out all the money you will need for the week.  Our family uses an envelope system you can read about here: My Organizational Binder


4. Schedules – Spend a few minutes cross referencing the family calendars to review who is going to be where each day and evening for the week.  Reminding yourself that someone has to work late or there is a parent meeting at school is better on Sunday than the morning of the event.


5. Clothes – Make sure your outfits for all week are laundered, ironed, and ready to go.  There is no need to stand in front of a closet each morning picking out an outfit.


6. Electronics – This is really something to do nightly, but challenge your family to make Sunday evenings an unplugged time.  This will allow for quality time together and all the electronics will be fully charged and ready to go on Monday morning.


7. Entertainment – Check your DVR!  Are all your shows set to record? Even if you know you will be home, you never know if the kids’ bath times will run longer, you will get caught up on a phone call, or any of the other million things that keep you away from the TV.  No problem – your shows are recording.


8.  Sleep Habits – Sunday is not a day to sleep in.  Get up early, so you will go to bed early.  If this list is too overwhelming, start with this one. Getting a good night sleep is the first key to a non-stressful week.


Don’t let this list stress you out either.  Like any organizational project, start small. Pick one thing to do this week or coming weekend.  Next week, try and tackle one more thing.  I understand that you don’t want all of your Saturday and Sunday to just be about prepping for the next week.  You want to have fun and relax, too.  That’s why I started Helpful Hump-day Hints… what are small things you can do midweek to cross off your weekend to-do list.  I usually get gas and cash before the weekend because they are easy stop-on-your-way-home-from-work errands. The other six I carve out time each weekend to do.  When Monday comes, I’m ready. And I never eat vending machine chips for lunch anymore!

How do you prep for the week?  What routines make your week stress-free? Leave me a comment and let me know.  Thanks for reading.

Photo Credits: Christy Chang

6 thoughts on “Planning Ahead. 8 Tips to Make Your Week Less Stressful

  1. cassie says:

    Reading this as I eat a bag of chips from the vending machine at work. 😦 Love this list, especially that you included the DVR check. And life is always better with a few meals made ahead.

    • Maureen says:

      Oh no! Vending machine chips! At first I was going to publish this yesterday, but it was so nice out I knew no one was home on their computers! But now you have a whole week to figure out how to get ready by next Monday. And DVR check is a must!!

  2. Angela says:

    This is a great list! A few simple things I do each night to make the morning less stressful – prep the coffee machine so you just have to press “on” in the morning; put keys, sunglasses, wallet, etc in a tray by the front door; and tidy up the downstairs before going up to bed (It’s nice to wake up and have things somewhat in order.). Once I return to work following my maternity leave, I know I’ll need to add to this list prepping the diaper bag and bottles for the next day!

    • Maureen says:

      Love all your ideas here! So helpful to get you out the door on time. My coffee machine has a timer – so in addition to setting the pot up, I time it to brew 30 minutes before i get up. I LOVE waking up to smelling the brewed coffee waiting for me! I am currently working on a post about my morning routine so stay tuned. And yes – your checklist will change now that you are prepping a baby, too!

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