A couple weeks ago, I shared my morning cleaning routine which helps my house feel clean even when it isn’t. The truth is so much of how smoothly a morning goes depends on what got done the night before. Establishing an evening routine is a game-changer for the mornings.
I was a huge procrastinator when I was in high school. So much so that my grandpa called it pro-kristin-ating. He thought he was so clever.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve swung to the other end of the spectrum and now subscribe to the “why put off until tomorrow what you can do today” school of thought. Call it wisdom that comes from aging.
Each night, I go through what needs to happen the next morning to get us out the door. Items on that list that can be done the night before become today’s to-do’s.
Immediately after putting my kids to bed I have found is the best time for these tasks. Wrapping them up is motivation to have some relaxation time before I hit the sack.
My Evening Routine
1 – Choose Tomorrow’s Clothes
My husband has a work uniform, so his is the easiest. The kids pick their clothes when they choose their pajamas. That way, everything is in a pile and ready for the three-ring-circus that is getting the two of them dressed each morning.
Admittedly, I don’t always have my clothes chosen when I fall asleep, but I will have at least looked at the weather and thought about options. Even doing that shaves a minute or two off the morning routine.
2 – Pack Backpacks & Bags
Go through bags and fill them with tomorrow’s necessities. Place the bags by the door. Then, the only thing you have to remember about them in the morning is to grab them and go.
3 – Pack Lunches
Getting breakfast prepared and eaten in the morning is hard enough. Don’t add another meal to that if you don’t have to.
The trick to this step is that you have to remember to grab the lunch boxes out of the fridge when you leave. I have no advice for that. At least once a month, lunch boxes get left behind. Does anyone have any suggestions?
4 – Run the Dishwasher
Having an empty dishwasher in the morning makes breakfast clean up faster. More importantly, it leaves no excuse not to put that morning’s breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, which means you don’t start the day with the sink and counter piled up with dirty dishes.
Start the dishwasher after supper so that it’s finished before you go to bed. Then, open it and pull out the racks so that items can air-dry overnight.
5 -Pick Up
Decide on an amount of time and set a timer. Walk around your house and pick up anything that isn’t where it belongs. Either put each item away as you pick it up, or throw it all in a basket and then do a put-away round through the house before the timer goes off.
The timer helps you to not go down a clean-up rabbit trail. When you know that you have a set amount of time to get things in some sense of order, it helps to keep you on task and not get distracted by alphabetizing the magazines on your coffee table.
6 – Set Up Your Morning Beverage
Each morning, I make a mocha in our Keurig. So, the night before, I put a little hot chocolate in a mug, set it on the tray and put the k-cup in the machine. The Keurig is set to turn on automatically at 6AM.
As I brush my teeth, I close the lid on the k-cup and choose my brew size. By the time that I’m finished brushing my teeth, the coffee is done and I can undo any cleaning I just did by covering them with caffeine deliciousness.
What have you found is helpful to do before you go to bed in preparation for the next day?
Most nights, 4 of the 6 of these things get done. Because Netflix is calling my name.
What you need to remember is that the more of these 6 tasks get done the night before, the more you will enjoy your morning. Or, at the very least, not want to throw your family members out the door and pull your own hair out at the same time. Hypothetically speaking.