How to Create an Evening Routine that Works
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Picture this: you wake up in the morning and are greeted with a clean kitchen, clothes laid out and ready for you, all necessary paperwork for the day is in your backpack/purse/briefcase. Basically, you wake up ready to attack your day. Does this sound out of reach? It’s not!
I’m working through Money Saving Mom’s Makeover Your Morning challenge and today’s challenge is the most instrumental for our family – creating a workable evening routine. It might sound a little backwards, but a productive morning routine starts with a productive evening routine. When a few basics are taken care of the night before, it sets up the morning for success – you can move forward instead of waking up already behind!
I do know that when I complete my entire evening routine, my next day is much more calm, productive, and energizing. I actually wake up excited for the day rather than feeling overwhelmed by how much I have to do.
Here’s our basic, every night routine:
- wash the dishes, wipe off the table and Tristan’s high chair
- check our cloth diaper stash, run a load of laundry if necessary (usually every 2-3 days)
- do a quick tidy of the house, putting away everything that’s out of place (usually just Tristan’s toys and some mail)
- mentally pick out what I’m going to wear the next day
- gather my purse and work bag and make sure they contain everything for the next day
The main things that throw off the routine are usually if the diaper laundry needs to be done, and I usually procrastinate the dishes. In reality, what I should do is do the dishes BEFORE starting the laundry, especially since our washing machine hooks up to the kitchen sink (apartment living is getting better!). I am so thankful that we are able to do laundry in our apartment, especially since we don’t have hookups, as this saves us so much time and money. But since the machine is connected to the kitchen sink, we have to stay close by the kitchen to turn the water on and off for the duration of the washing cycle.
The Importance of an Evening Routine
As a mom, it’s important to be intentional with my days. Since we co-sleep, sometimes it’s difficult to wake up and start my day without waking up my toddler. I am not able to leave dishes in the sink and count on being able to wash them and put them away before work, because who knows what sort of chaos he might create that will distract me? I just love waking up to a clean kitchen, even Peter laughs at what a difference it can make in my mood! Who knew a clean kitchen would make me joyful at 6am?
Related: Get Your Sh*t Together!
A Good Routine Serves You
Don’t stress when you create an evening routine. The idea isn’t to give you one more thing you have to do but create habits that will benefit you and help you accomplish your goals. Pick out 3-5 small tasks that you can commit to accomplishing every evening that will benefit you the next day.
Some evening routine ideas:
Lay out/pick out clothes for the next day
Pack your lunch
Prep all outgoing mail
Sign forms needed for the next day
Pack your gym bag
Fill up a water bottle
Program your coffee maker
My Evening Routine
So, since we are doing this challenge, I commit to making sure I complete my (above) before bed routine every day. This will require me to be more careful with my dishes use for dinner so I have less to clean up (or I could finally master that elusive “clean as you go” method that I keep hearing about), finish the dishes right after dinner, and then set up the washing machine. It will take some dedication, and I’m sure some tweaking as necessary.
But that shiny clean kitchen at 6am sure is worth it.
If you haven’t gotten your copy of Makeover Your Mornings 14-day challenge yet, I highly recommend it! This course has helped me become better organized and more productive, which makes me a much happier mom! Get your access today!