Whether you’re a night owl or a lark, chances are good that one of the first things you do in the morning is to mosey into the kitchen to fix a hot cup of something. You grab a cup from the cupboard — or no, your favorite mug isn’t in there so you check the dishwasher instead. Then you go over to the pantry to get the coffee beans, pull the coffee grinder from the cupboard over the stove, grind your coffee beans, put them away, and take the coffee put from the cupboard on the other side of the kitchen. You get a coffee filter from the laundry room (why are they in the laundry room?) and set up the coffee pot. Then you grab the kettle of the stove, fill it with water at the sink, and put it back on the stove. Head to the baking cupboard to grab the sugar. It’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing for early in the morning, but is there really a better way? Yes, there is. You need a morning beverage station.

Maybe at your house it’s a coffee station, a tea station, a hot chocolate station…Even if your morning drink is a smoothie or hot water and lemon juice, you still need that morning beverage station. Your might be simpler than this multi-person example or it might be more complicated. Follow the steps below to customize your station to fit your needs.

Gather all the parts

It’s good to put things away when you’re through with them, but for the next few mornings, don’t do that. See what all the pieces for your morning beverage are by leaving them out. Put them on a tray if that helps you avoid the stress of clutter, but make sure you know what all the elements of your morning beverage are.

Some things you might use:

  • a coffee machine or pot
  • a kettle for hot water
  • coffee or tea
  • packets of hot cocoa mix
  • sugar or honey
  • cream or creamer
  • cups and saucers or mugs
  • spoons
  • measuring spoons or scoops

Identify the best place

If you need water, your morning beverage station needs to be near the sink. If you use a tea kettle or an Italian espresso pot, you’ll need to be near the stove. If you use items from the refrigerator, it should be close to the fridge.

It makes sense to place your morning beverage station near the cabinet where you keep the mugs, but there are other options for organizing cups and spoons.

Every kitchen is different, and everyone’s routine is a little different, too. If you start your day in the dining room or a breakfast nook, the ideal spot for your morning beverage station might be on a bar cart in that room.

Be fearless about moving things around. You will use the station every day, possibly when you’re not fully awake. It’s worth taking some time.

Do you need organizers?

You could just set all your items out on a counter, but corralling things in containers can be useful. A tray, a box, or a drawer can help keep things tidy and make it clear where items should be kept so they are more likely to be returned to the right spot.

The drawer in the photos below can hold coffee pods flat, as shown below, or vertically  as shown in the next shot. Either way, it has a shelf to hold the coffee machine above the drawer, so it takes up less space than setting the machine on the counter with a container of coffee pods next to it.

If you choose to go with a purpose-made storage solution, make sure it fits your particular needs. A K-cup, a classic Nespresso pod, and a Nespresso Vertuo pod will not fit in the same space.

Don’t forget flea market options. The tea station below has retro charm.

A place for everything and everything in its place

Arrange all the parts into the containers you’ve chosen. Then pay attention over the next few mornings to make sure that your set up is convenient. Can all the people who use the station see where the things they need are, and can they easily return them to their places?

Between your Morning Beverage Station and your Get Ready Drawer, you should find that your morning is streamlined. Now you have more time to enjoy that morning beverage!