As I roll up to the school in the carpool lane, the clock reads 7:50. The kids pile out in a chaotic chorus of “Love you!” “Don’t forget your backpack!” and “Have a great day!”, and I pull away. I’ve done my workout, I’m dressed and ready for the day, and I’m ready to get stuff done. I’m a homebody, so if I’m out of the house, I want to maximize the one trip. The solution? Errands. The problem? Not much is open before 10 a.m.
I know if I go home, I’m not leaving again until I A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y have to, which is when I pick them up again at 3 p.m. I know I won’t go home for a couple hours and then leave again to run errands. Any errands that can’t be run until later in the morning will be procrastinated until a day I’m out and about after 10. I came up with a list of errands that I can run before 10 a.m., and I knock those out on mornings I want to tick a few things off my list. If I really need to go to a store that doesn’t open until mid morning, then I do these early errands to keep me out of the house until then.
If I’ve got a really busy schedule, sometimes I get up extra early and do some of the 6:00 a.m. errands before the kids wake up. I also do this in the summer so I don’t have to take all six of them to the grocery store with me. I get home in time for my husband to leave for work, and continue with my morning routine of exercise and getting ready. This summer four of my kids had swim team from 8-9 a.m., and it just wasn’t worth it to go home and come back. Every day I pulled out my list, and took care of what I could during that window. I have to be efficient with my time, and early errands is one of my favorite ways. If you have time before work, you can also do some errands so you don’t have to trudge through it after 5:00 when you’re exhausted and everyone else is out, too.
I’ve repeated some of them in multiple time slots because different parts are open at different times (like the bank and the ATM), but in total I’ve listed 35 different errands or appointments you can do. Times may vary based on where you live, so definitely check before rolling out of bed extra early. Are you surprised by how many errands can be run at 6 a.m. or earlier?
Open at 6:00 a.m. or earlier
- Home Depot/Lowes – opens at 6 a.m. I’m a DIY kinda girl, whether it’s yard projects (my favorite), picking up things to do small home repairs, or huffing the freshly cut wood smell, I spend a lot of time there.
- Wal-mart – Many are open 24 hours. Lots of one-stop-shopping here, but be aware that some of the side departments like the pharmacy and optical shop don’t open until 9 a.m.
- The bank – Most banks open at 9 a.m., but the ATM machine is open 24 hours a day. Most of my banking needs can be done there, like deposits and withdrawals. The rest I can do online.
- The post office – The counter opens at 8:30, but the machine to weigh and buy postage for packages is accessible 24 hours a day. As long as the package fits in the drop off, you can do this as early as you need.
- Thrift store drop off – I’m constantly whittling down our possessions, and usually have a box or bag of donations in the trunk. The local thrift stores don’t open until 10 a.m., but the drop off is open earlier. Even if no attendant is there, ours has open shelves and bins that I can load myself.
- The gym – This is a great time to get your workout in! Most gyms open really early. Like 5 a.m. early. In larger metropolitan areas they may be open 24/7. For a while I was going to a 6 a.m. barre class, and while it was brutal to be there for it, it was a great way to start the day.
- Pharmacy – Pick up your prescriptions, photos, random groceries, makeup, shampoo, diapers and poster board all in one little store. My local Walgreens opens at 8:00, but if I drive a littler farther there is a 24-hour location.
- Grocery store – Grab what you are missing for your dinner menu, or stock your pantry sans children. My local grocery is open at 6 a.m., and others are open 24 hours. As I mentioned above, I’ve been known to roll out of bed super early in the summer and do this before my husband leaves for work. Grocery shopping alone is a luxury. The other option is we live off of what is in the freezer and pantry all summer. This time of year I hit the store early so I can get started on canning projects as soon as the kids are at school.
- Self-service car wash/vacuum – Go for a quick clean out of the car any time you need one.
- Gas station – stop and fill up on gas and a Big Gulp (it’s rare that I do this, but there are days when I’m just not gonna make it). Both will get you where you need to go.
- Library – the book drop is open 24/7, so return those books and avoid the late fees and the stink eye from the librarian.
Open at 7:00 a.m.
- IFA/Cal Ranch Store – If you fancy yourself a backyard homesteader, you can buy chicken feed, hog panels, animal bedding, lawn care, gardening supplies, and hot pink rain boots as early as 7 a.m.
- Breakfast date with friend – I love to have breakfast dates with friends I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. Most breakfast places are open by 7, and some as early as 6. Friends don’t invite friends to 6 a.m. breakfast dates, though. If you really love them wait until at least 8:00
- Sam’s Club – For certain memberships they open at 7 a.m. Bless them. Costco doesn’t open before 10, and they lose a lot of my business that way!! Are you listening Costco? I would shop you exclusively…at 8 a.m. Even 9! 10 is too late.
- City/government offices – When we were finishing our basement, I had to go to places like the Inspections Department or Building Department for things like permits or house plans. The city offices open at 7 a.m., and many of the departments in our city are closed on Fridays because of the extended office hours Monday-Thursday.
- The dentist – Get your cleaning in first thing and enjoy that feeling all day.
- Veterinarian – Get your pet’s check up or shots up to date. If your fur baby was sick in the night, you can get there first thing.
- Dry cleaner – Pick up and drop off your clothes first thing, and don’t worry about forgetting later in the day when they will get knocked all over the floor and trampled on by kids, pets and groceries.
Opens at 7:30
- Car dealership – Schedule oil changes, tune ups and repairs as early as 7:30 at your local dealership.
Open at 8:00 a.m.
- Target – My local Target opens at 8 a.m. If you have a Super Target you can get groceries, a sweater, a set of weights for your workouts, and pick up your prescription in one go.
- Tire store – Whenever my tire pressure is low, I pull into the local tire store for a free tire check and air fill. I also usually get new tires there instead of the dealership.
- Nursery – Landscaping and gardening are my #1 hobby. Stopping at the nursery to linger over the different plants and fantasize about expanding my flower beds is pure joy for me. Doing it early means I can get home and get my hands in the dirt sooner.
- Pharmacy – Pick up your prescriptions, photos, random groceries, makeup, shampoo, diapers and poster board all in one little store. My local Walgreens opens at 8 a.m., yours may be open earlier.
- Car detailing shop – with 6 kids it looks like the last day of school in my car every day, and I’m sure I could feed a small country with all of the food that has fallen. I’m always in need of a cleaning. The shop I frequent (not as often as I should) opens at 8 a.m.
- Orthodontist – I got braces for a
second time a few years ago, and always scheduled my appointments for right after I dropped the kids off at school.
- Get a massage – I keep telling myself that this is the year I’m going to drop them all off at school and go to a massage appointment. My youngest is in preschool, so it could technically happen. Goodness knows I’ve earned it. So have you! Massage Envy is open this early. Other spas may take early appointments as well.
Opens at 8:30 a.m.
- The post office – The counter opens at 8:30, but the machine to buy postage for packages is accessible 24-hours a day. As long as the package fits in the drop off, you can do this as early as you need.
- Doctor appointments – May as well get it over with first thing.
Open at 9 a.m.
- The bank – Most banks open at 9 a.m., if you absolutely have to walk into the branch for some personal service
- Kid hair cut salon – The place I take my kids for hair cuts starts taking appointments as early as 9 a.m. In the summer this was great because we went straight after swim team.
- Hobby Lobby – I could spend hours in Hobby Lobby looking at decor and pretending I’m so crafty.
- Ross – I’ve been crawling the racks of discount retailers since high school. Ross has some good finds, and at 9 a.m., they are the earliest open retail store I know of.
- Library – the library itself opens for business at 9 a.m., though larger libraries in neighboring cities open as early as 7. The book drop is open 24/7, though, so even if it’s too early for a new book, you can drop the old ones off before you get a fine.
- The gym – This is a great time to get your workout in! Drop the kids off and hit an exercise class.
- Get a facial – I’ve had a handful of facials in my life, and I always swear I’m going to do it more often. If this is part of your self-care routine, I want to be you.
Open at 9:30 a.m.
- TJ Maxx – My very first retail job was in high school at TJ Maxx. It was more like hard labor than retail, but I know the ins and outs of finding good deals and where to look. Since they open at 9:30, I’ve been known to prowl the aisles looking for shoes, clothes and home goods while waiting for one of the 10 a.m. retailers nearby to open. It’s a dangerous habit. I rarely leave empty-handed.
- Home Goods – This is owned by TJ Maxx and an extension of their home decor and goods section. I love this place. Opens at 9:30
- Marshall’s – Opens at 9:30. It’s also owned by TJ Maxx and carries much of the same merchandise, or at least the same type and brands. In Atlanta they were often found side by side, so if I didn’t find my size in one, I’d head next door to the other and cross my fingers.
Are you out of the house early? What errands do you knock out before 10 a.m.? Share and I’ll add them to the list!
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