For several years, my mornings were hectic and stressful because I didn’t follow an evening routine.
After dinner, I left the dirty dishes in the sink which meant I had to clear a way through the dishes in order to fill up the coffee pot with water the next morning. If I needed a bowl for my oatmeal, it was often dirty, so I would have to wash one.
After breakfast, I would try to find clean clothes and then gather items I needed for the day because I hadn’t prepared the night before.
Thankfully, that madness is not normal for me anymore!
For the last 9 months I have followed an evening routine which has made a huge difference in my mornings! Here are my 3 tips for creating an evening routine.
1) What do you want in the morning?
What do you want the next morning? Maybe you would like a clean kitchen, lunch already made, or a tidy living room.
If you are not sure what you want the next day, you could also think about what you don’t want to wake up to the next morning.
My husband leaves for work very early in the morning, so I don’t want to have to wake up early and make his lunch. That’s why I make it the night before. I also don’t want to run around looking for clothes and filling up the diaper bag. Instead, I lay the clothes out and fill the diaper bag the night before.
2) Be realistic.
I’ve kept my evening routine pretty simple so that I can spend as much time as possible with my family in the evenings. I only stick to the necessary tasks. The floor doesn’t always get swept, and I let the dishes air dry instead of putting them away.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many tasks to get done. If you have never followed a routine at night before, just start with one thing. Maybe it is dishes. Challenge yourself to get the dishes done every evening before you go to bed. Once that has become a habit, try adding something else to your routine.
3) Be flexible.
Some days, things come up and you are not able to get everything done. In fact, last month when the time changed, my routine got all out of whack and I didn’t follow my evening routine a few nights. I left a pile of dishes in the sink. I didn’t keep the counter clear. I didn’t set out the items that I needed for the next day.
After a few days of frustrated mornings, I finally had enough of the chaos and started following my evening routine again. The first night back to the routine, I really, really did not want to do the dishes after supper, but I did. That led to me clearing off the counter and wiping down the kitchen appliances. It was a domino effect! Even though I didn’t feel like starting those dishes, I’m so glad that I did because I was happy with the end result: a clean kitchen to wake up to the next morning!
Here’s the evening routine that I follow:
- Start supper about an hour before we eat, cleaning up as I go by putting ingredients away and dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher.
- After supper, put away any leftovers, make my husband’s lunch for the next day, clean dirty dishes, wipe down appliances and counter tops.
- Right before bed I do a few more things: put away toys, put the TV remotes into a basket, straighten the throw pillows and blankets that go on the couch
- Next, I put away anything that may be on the kitchen counter.
- Lay out outfits for the next day, pack the diaper bag, and gather items that I need for the next day. (ie: library books, grocery list and coupons, ect.)
Create your own evening routine using my free printable!
Do you follow an evening routine? Is it similar to mine? Let me know in the comments!
P. S. If you do better when someone takes you step-by-step through the process, then check out the Make Over Your Evenings Course* by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom.
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