Most of my Monday meals are leftovers. I don’t know what it is, but even if there’s not a lot going on, I am just plain tired at the end of Monday. It’s definitely worse if I don’t have time on Sunday to prepare and ease myself into the next week. Here are 6 things I try do on Sunday or over the weekend to prepare for the upcoming week:
1. Look at your schedule for the upcoming week.
Look at your appointments and the things that are due (or need to be done) and plan your week. Start by looking for things that might affect your sleep time – for early starts or late nights. If you work out regularly, schedule your workouts and figure out where you might need to vary your usual schedule. From the things that are due or need to be done, look for anything that might need advance prep work so you can note that as well.
2. Plan your meals.
Once you know what your week looks like, plan what meals you will make. If you have a late night or need to shuttle family members around most of the afternoon/evening, you might consider scheduling a slow cooker meal or something in your pressure cooker so not much has to be done at dinner time. Have day when you’ll be home early or a day off? Maybe that’s the day you decide to make a new recipe or one that takes a little longer to assemble. Check the weather too. You probably won’t want to make beef stew when the temperatures are in the 90s. Consider breakfasts and lunches too. Personally, I plan to make enough for dinner that I have leftovers for my following day’s lunch. If that doesn’t work for you, make sure you add ingredients for your favorite breakfast and lunch foods to your shopping list.
Once you’ve been grocery shopping, read through your recipes and see if there is anything you can do ahead of time. Have three recipes that call for chopped onions? Go ahead and pre-chop them and put them in a container in the refrigerator. Maybe you can pre-brown your ground beef. You get the idea. Many times it’s the chopping and prep work that takes the longest when cooking. If you can do it ahead of time, then you just have to cook everything.
4. Do the laundry.
Best idea: get it done so you don’t have to worry about it until the next week. I know that sometimes there’s a lot of it, you have weekend plans, and that’s just not feasible. But at least check to make sure you don’t have any uniforms, lucky socks, or favorite articles of clothing that need to be washed before the week starts. Nothing worse than frantically looking for that one piece of clothing that you need, only to find that it’s dirty, wrinkled, and needs to be washed. While you’re at it, make sure that any laundry you’ve done previously is folded or hung and put away. (Ahem. I will confess that this is where my usual weekend laundry needs lie.)
5. Pick up the house, or at least the main living areas.
If you don’t have time to clean the house, at least pick up the surface clutter – the random socks, the dirty cups, the scattered shoes. Deal with the mail that might be piling up on the dining table or the kitchen counter. Maybe run the vacuum cleaner. Reset the dishwasher and wash any dishes that can’t go in the dishwasher. It’s amazing what a clean sink and kitchen will do your mood when you stumble in Monday morning to make a cup of coffee.
6. Change your sheets.
While there’s not much that can make Mondays tolerable, snuggling down under clean sheets on Sunday night can at least make the transition time a little bit better.
What do you like to do on Sundays to start your week off right?