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Simple Evening Cleaning Routine for Every Stay at Home Mom

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For several years, my mornings were hectic and stressful because I didn’t follow an evening cleaning routine.

After dinner, I left the dirty dishes in the sink which meant the next morning I had to clear a way through the dishes in order to fill up the coffee pot with water. If I needed a bowl for my oatmeal, it was often dirty, so I would have to wash one.

After breakfast, I would rush around trying to find clean clothes to wear and gather items I needed for the day because I hadn’t prepared the night before.

I spent years in that crazy cycle, running around stressed every morning simply 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!

My Stay at Home Mom Evening Routine:

  • Clean up the kitchen
  • Transfer frozen meat to the fridge to thaw for tomorrow
  • Make husband’s lunch for tomorrow
  • Get coffeepot ready for tomorrow
  • Give Kids baths and put them to bed
  • Chill time with my husband
  • Tidy up living room
  • Brush teeth and wash face
  • Hop in bed!

How to Create an Evening Routine as a Stay at Home Mom 

1) Decide what you want to wake up to in the morning.

Maybe you would like to wake up to a clean kitchen, your lunch already made, and a tidy living room.

Next, ask yourself what you need to do the night before in order to have the morning you want. In the example above, you would need to clean up your kitchen each evening.

In order to have a clean kitchen you would need to:

  • put away food from dinner
  • fill dishwasher
  • wash any extra dishes
  • wipe down countertops

You would need to make your lunch and place it in the fridge for the next day.

Finally, you would also need to tidy up the living room by:

  • putting dirty dishes in the kitchen
  • putting TV remotes away
  • have kids pick up toys
  • put remotes in basket/container
  • clear off tabletops

All of those things may sound like a lot, but once those tasks become habit, they won’t take long to do each night.

Tidy up the couch pillows and throws before bed, in order to wake to a tidy house.

2) Have a realistic routine.

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 becomes a habit, try adding something else to your routine.

I’ve kept my evening routine simple so that I can spend as much time as possible with my family in the evenings. When I don’t have a lot of time, I only stick to the necessary tasks which for me are cleaning the kitchen, making lunch, and tidying up the living room.

The floor doesn’t always get swept. I don’t always write out a to-do list for the next day, and I never dry the dishes and put them away. Instead, I let the dishes air dry and put them away in the morning.

Figure out what your necessary evening tasks are, and when life gets crazy stick to those. Give yourself grace and don’t sweat the extras.

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.

I didn’t beat myself up about it because that wouldn’t have done any good. I just owned up to the fact that I had a mess, and I got to work.

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!

Doing the dishes should be a part of your evening routine.

If your mornings are frustrating and have you running around like a crazy person, it’s time for you to follow an evening cleaning routine. Keep it simple by deciding what is essential for you, and don’t worry about cramming a bunch of tasks in your evening.

Stop feeling overwhelmed at home. Get ahead on the household chores with the free Motivated Homemaker Checklist!

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7 thoughts on “Simple Evening Cleaning Routine for Every Stay at Home Mom

  1. My evening routine is very similar to yours! I love your idea of asking yourself what you want to wake up to in the morning. I love waking up to a clean kitchen and living room, and I want to have as little to do before I leave for work as possible. That means packing my lunch (Paul’s too if he needs one), picking out my clothes & accessories and gathering anything else I need for the day. Great post!

    1. I think packing lunches the night before is such a time saver in the mornings! I wish I had followed an evening routine like you do when I was working. It would have saved me a lot of stress!

  2. I generally do my non-dishwasher safe dishes sometime during the day. Doing them before bed isn’t an issue for me but I do need to have them stacked in/next to the sink. One thing that I have to do each evening is set up my to do list for the next day. Usually this gets done by dinner time but sometimes later. Knowing my plan for the next day before I go to bed really helps me.

    1. Writing a to-do list for the next day is such a great thing to include in an evening routine. I usually don’t write one until the next morning, but I may try writing it at night and see if that helps my mind “quiet down” before bed.

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