Remote Control Everything
Be honest: How many times have you made it halfway to the office before realizing you forgot to turn something off (a clothes iron, say, or a portable space heater)? Perhaps more often than you care to admit! On future mornings, don't waste time returning home just to press a button. So long as your household devices are plugged into a WeMo Switch, you can turn them on and off any time, anywhere, via smartphone. You can even set your most frequently used gadgets to run on a schedule, turning on when you wake and off when you leave. Available at Amazon; $17.99.
Getting out of bed is hard enough as it is. But waking up to a snow-covered scene outside and knowing you have a long morning of scraping ice off your car makes it even more temping to stay under the covers. Make winter more bearable with the help of an automatic start product like the Avital 4103LX Remote Start System. With the click of a button, you can start your vehicle from the comfort of your own home, allowing it to defrost and become warm and toasty before you even walk out the front door. Available on Amazon; $57.99.
Never Lose Anything
You're ready to fly out the door, but try as you might, you just can't remember where you left your keys. Or your wallet. Or any other personal item that you basically can't live without. Does that sound familiar? There's good news: You can bid farewell to those frenzied, frustrating mornings with Tile, a small yet mighty bluetooth tracker. Attach Tile to any item, and the next time you lose it, you can find it in moments either by sound (the gizmo puts out a 90 decibel melody) or on a map (the Tile app shows you the item's last known location). Available at Amazon; $25.
Rise and Shine
Late winter sunrises mean you're most likely waking up before the sun, which makes it more difficult to rise. With a sunrise alarm clock, though, morning begins whenever you say. When it's time for bed, turn on the dusk feature—a setting that uses a gradually-dimming LED bulb to simulate sunset, helping you drift off to sleep. A few hours before your scheduled wake-up time, the brightness slowly increases, mimicking the pace of a sunrise. The result is a good night's sleep that needs no snooze button. Available on Amazon; $109.
Sing in the Shower
If you shower as soon as you wake rather than before bed, make the morning ritual even more invigorating by setting it to your favorite tunes. The Atomi Bluetooth Shower Head can connect to any Bluetooth device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, you name it) that hosts your playlist or streams your radio stations. Plus, when you're ready to move to the kitchen for breakfast, the water-resistant speaker—held in place by strong magnets—pops out easily to transfer to a miniature stand for all-morning music. Available at Amazon; $59.99
Better Your Bedside
The only thing worse than throwing off the blankets on a frigid winter morning is the moment your feet touch the cold hardwood floor. Start your morning on the right foot with a plush shag or microfiber rug by your bed to make those first steps a little less daunting. This thick faux fur area rug, available in modern black and white, is a solid pick for any bedroom. Available on Amazon; $19.99.
If waking up to a cold house makes you want to jump right back into bed, you're a good candidate for a programmable thermostat like the Emerson Sensi. This thermostat allows you to set your heat according to your schedule. Turn it down when you're away or sleeping to save on heating costs, and schedule it to warm up about 15-20 minutes before your alarm goes off. The result is a toasty room that's makes getting out of bed much more pleasant. Available on Amazon; $99.86.
There’s no better way to start the morning than with the newspaper and a mug of something warm and delicious. But when you're running late, there's not nearly enough time to enjoy this simple pleasure. Now you can brew your favorite breakfast beverage on the go with this combination thermos and coffee/tea maker. Available in a variety of bright, cheerful colors and the ability to keep liquids warm for several hours, you’ll never have to sacrifice your morning jump-start again. Available on Amazon; $30.
Lay It All Out
Ever since you've attended middle school, you've probably heard that it's better to choose your outfit the night before than running around frantically the following morning and, consequently, running late. In the winter when you want to change into a cozy set of clothes as soon as your out of the shower, this sort of planning is especially necessary. Now to make it actionable: Try mounting a short bit of industrial pipe with fittings to an empty corner in your room as an extra closet rod, or simply hang an over-the-door organizer to hold your pre-picked outfit. The less thinking before that first cup of coffee, the better. Available at Amazon; $8.99.
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Programable Coffee Maker
If, despite all your best efforts, your winter morning routine leaves you starved for time, you can still check one thing off your list. With a programmable coffee maker, there's no need to scramble in the kitchen to brew and pour a cup of coffee to keep you warm during your rush hour commute. This model allows you to prepare the water and coffee grounds the night before and then set a timer for the percolator to start. If you prefer, you can even brew a single travel mug, so everything's ready for you by the time you walk out the door. Available on Amazon; $49.
Money-saving, time-saving—and yes, sometimes even life-saving—the latest and greatest smart home technologies span from self-programming thermostats to voice-activated TV controls to video doorbells and beyond. Raise your home's IQ!