Today I wanted to introduce you to my evening routine. Now, before we get started I want to say a few things… This is simply what works for me. What works for you may look totally different, and that’s cool too;) This is what I have figured out over the last year or so that I need to get done in order to close out one day and set myself up for success the next. And for those of you who don’t have an evening routine you may wonder ” Why is this such a big deal????” I’m glad you asked…
Let me tell you friends, this is THE secret to a successful day. Buttoning things up in the evening before you crash on the couch to read or watch Netflix (or just fall straight into bed after you tuck your kids in like me) is the key to not running around like a crack head in the morning to get you and your peeps out the door. The very first time I heard about this concept was many, many years ago from the Fly Lady (www.flylady.net). And then this year when I started researching ways to manage your day, this routine kept coming up. I was like, no way is that ever going to work for me. By 5:00 I’ve given the day all I’ve got and am counting the hours to go to bed. Well, pretty much by 2:30, if I’m being honest. But, let me tell you, it’s the magic maker;)
So, here’s how my evening routine looks. The first portion starts in the kitchen immediately after dinner with myself and my family clearing the table. My husband puts the leftovers away and takes the trash out. I load the dish washer, and hand wash anything that needs it, dry it and put it away. That’s key here! Put everything away to keep you counters clear! I start the dishwasher, and give the sink a good dry, then wipe the counters and table clean. I then check the floors, and about every other night they need a sweep or quick run of the cordless vacuum. Finally, I set up the coffee maker for the morning. All of this takes 15-20 minutes total.
The second portion of my routine is woven throughout the evening. It starts with looking forward to tomorrow. I check my calendar, both in my Erin Condren Life Planner, and on my phone. I’ve been known to put things in one, and not the other so I have to make sure I check both;) By knowing what tomorrow looks like, I know how to prepare to leave the house the next day. I make sure my purse/backpack and my son’s backpack is ready to go on the bench in our hallway. I also do a quick check around (5 minute hot spot check from the Fly Lady) and put things away that aren’t where they should be. I then head upstairs to help my little guy get ready for bed. While he showers I choose my outfit for the day, brush and floss my teeth, and wash my face. Then I tuck in my little guy, read books, and once he’s settled, I can either go to bed myself, or just relax and hang with my husband! The day is done and ready for tomorrow!
Here’s one more look at the steps:
- Clean the kitchen after dinner. All the way, no pots and pans left to drip dry;)
- Set up the coffee maker for the morning
- Check your calendar. Also, check the weather if you are in a part of the country where it changes a lot. Not so necessary in California;)
- Set up everything you need to get out the door. Your purse, kid’s backpacks, keys in the same place, shoes in the same place, etc…
- 5 minute check for things that need putting away
- Choose your outfit for the next day
- Wash your face, and do your beauty routine
- Brush and floss
- Snuggle your little ones into bed, read to them and kiss them goodnight
- Relax! This is the most important part! If you need to just go to sleep, do it! Do you have enough energy to read a little? Do it! Watch a favorite show? Hang with your spouse or significant other? If you have the energy, do it! Give something good to yourself, knowing that you are set for the next day as best as you can be.
One closing note is that if you are new to an evening routine, and are interested in starting one, start small. Choose one thing from the list above. My suggestion is to clean the kitchen after dinner since the kitchen truly is the heart of the home. And, in my experience once it’s a mess, the rest of the house follows suit;)
I hope this encourages you to evaluate what you can do in the evening to make the following morning a little more peaceful and smooth for you.
Take good care!