How to Get Dressed for Work in 15 Minutes Flat

Oh, how I fondly remember those days before having D2 when I could roll out of bed at the last minute, listen to the news while eating breakfast and then head off to work. Those days are long gone. I now pride myself in being able to get ready in the morning in less than 15 minutes. It’s not something I set out to do but after I had D2 there was so much more that needed to be done in the morning.  D2 has just started the half-day toddler program at Montessori and so now not only do I have to get myself ready, I need to get him up, dressed and fed so that Dr. D. can take him to school. Because I already had a basic AM routine in place, the transition hasn’t been nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

I know what you are thinking, “There’s no way in hell anyone can get ready in 15 minutes without looking like a complete whack job!” Ah, but think again, grasshopper. Here’s my (mostly) fool-proof steps to getting ready in the morning in 15 minutes* flat. Let’s go:

  • Take your morning shower at night. Yes, I know that morning shower helps you wake up but you are losing precious time. The bonus of a PM shower ritual? Not only will it help you relax before bed, you might even feel like giving your honey a little bow chicka wow wow before turning in for the night.
  • Get your grooming routine down pat. If you wear make up, figure out what your day time “look” is and have those cosmetics accessible on your vanity. That goes for all cleansers and applicators. For most women our hair takes loads of time. I’m a big fan of high-style, low-maintenance hair. I wear a medium-length bob and go to my stylist twice a month to get it relaxed and trimmed. I wrap it up in a silk scarf at night and in the morning all I need to do is brush it out.
  • Organize your closet. Rotate your summer, spring and winter stuff to the back of the closet. Better yet, take them out completely. While you’re at it, take out anything that doesn’t fit. Yes, I know you will get back into that gorgista black suit when you lose 15 pounds but right now it’s just hogging visual space and slowing you down every time you look for something to wear. Finally, assemble a few go to outfits that are no-brainers for you to put on when you are in a crunch.
  • Lay out your clothes the night before. Remember how your mother would make you lay out your school clothes for the next day? Well, this works great for grown ups too. You eliminate rummaging through your stuff trying to figure out what to wear. Make sure you also lay out underwear, socks and accessories. You can assemble everything on a hanger and then hang the outfit on the back.
  • Pack up your work stuff and put it by the door. If you are like me, you might do a bit of work after the kids are in bed. Before you turn in, pack everything up, put it in your briefcase and set everything by the door. Do you go to the gym during lunch or after work? Pack up your gym bag too and set that by the door. Now you won’t be running around looking for your sneakers or trying to find a clean pair of shorts. Want bonus points? Put everything in your car the night before. You are a rock star.
  • Put your keys in the same place every single time. Looking for your keys is hands down one of the biggest time sucks in the morning.  D2 loves my keys so I’ve got to put them up high otherwise they’ll end up in some random kitchen pot or in the bathroom trash can. Install a hook and hang your keys on it every single day without fail. You’ll thank me later.

I know you are asking yourself, “But what about breakfast?” I eat a bowl of high-protein Kashi, instant oatmeal or drink a protein shake that I make in my blender. All of these are quickie, nutritious breakfast. I also keep a war chest of oatmeal and yogurt at work so I can eat when I get to work. So that’s it.  I’m not saying this routine is  something to do every morning. After all, who wants to live every morning shot out of a cannon? But if you need to get out of the house quick, I know this works. So what’s your AM routine?

(*Disclaimer – this is getting yourself ready only and doesn’t include packing lunches, getting your little ones fed, etc.)

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