6 Things to Do Each Night to Make the Morning Go Smoothly

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.

Pick Next Day's Outfits - 6 Things To Do Each Night to Make the Morning Go Smoothly :: maximizingdaysblog.com

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.

Pack Backpacks - 6 Step Evening Routine to Make the Morning Go Smoothly :: maximizingdaysblog.com

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?

Pack Lunches - 6 Step Evening Routine to Make the Morning Go Smoothly :: maximizingdaysblog.com

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.

Run the Dishwasher - 6 Step Evening Routine to Make the Morning Go Smoothly :: maximizingdaysblog.com

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.

Do an Evening Pick Up - 6 Step Evening Routine to Make the Morning Go Smoothly :: maximizingdaysblog.com

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.

Prepare morning beverage - 6 Step Evening Routine to Make the Morning Go Smoothly :: maximizingdaysblog.com

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.

6 Things To Do Each Night to Make the Morning Go Smoothly :: maximizingdaysblog.com








  • Abbie
    November 21, 2017

    This couldn’t be more spot on! I have adopted so many of these routines/tasks over the last couple months and I firmly believe it’s because I’m channeling my inner Kristin. Even my procrastinating self with still take the time to make me overnight oats, check the weather/pick out clothes because I know how horrible my morning is when I don’t. You know me so the fact that I’ve stuck to these tasks 90% of the time for the last 12 weeks (since school started) is saying A LOT.

    *Advice* I always worried I’d leave my overnight oats or lunch in the fridge. I put a bright post-it on the wall, right next to where my keys are hanging that says “OATMEAL!” or “LUNCH!”. Because it’s next to my keys, I always see it. I switch up the color now and then to make sure I don’t miss it, but at this point, I’m so in the routine of checking the fridge, I never forget. I’ve also found myself throwing my oatmeal in my bag when I brush my teeth, just because it’s such a habit or I see the note. I’ve also been known to put my keys on top of whatever I don’t want to forget in the fridge. It works, but I’m not sure it was great for my keys. 🙂

    • Kristin
      November 27, 2017

      I’ve never been prouder of you…. 🙂
      And a post-it note! Genius!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *