Hey HEY Hey! So by now, the vast majority of us have celebrated the first day of school. At my house, we’re now a week into the new school year, and I’m happy to report that things are going quite well! How about you? How’s that new morning routine working? We’re shaping up our household routines this month as part of the Organize and Refine Your Home Challenge. This week, it’s all about crafting the perfect evening routine.
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WHY ESTABLISH AN EVENING ROUTINE?
Last week, we talked about how crucial our morning routines are in order to set the stage for a more organized and productive day. But over time, what I’ve discovered is that I also need to be uber-intentional about what I do the night before, in order for me to execute my morning routine successfully.
In other words…that morning routine that you nailed down last week really needs to begin the night before.
WHAT WILL YOUR EVENING ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?
Just like your morning routine, your evening routine needs to be customized, based on your unique situation and season of life. If you’re like me and your household includes a family with school-aged kids, your routine will have two components: one for the kiddos and one for you.
In my house, the tasks that we’ve incorporated into our evening routine fall into one of these categories:
- Prepping for the “Morning Rush”
- Creating a “Clean Slate” for tomorrow
- “Me Time”
THE KIDS’ ROUTINE
Our mantra here at Chez Gallagher is: “do as much as possible tonight, so we can sleep in as long as possible in the morning”.
Since my daughter’s new school schedule includes catching the bus at 6:48 a.m. (eeekkk!), she’s super motivated to remove as many tasks off of her morning plate as possible.
My kids’ evening “prep for the Morning Rush” tasks include:
- Take a shower (ain’t no one got time for that in the morning)
- Lay out clothes for next day
- Make sure all homework & school materials are packed in backpacks
- Pack lunch (with the exception of the sandwich, which I pack in the morning)
They are also responsible for picking up their rooms each night, which creates a “clean slate” for the morning (and prevents them from tripping on items left on the floor if they happen to get up in the middle of the night).
Both my son and daughter end their evening in bed with some quiet reading time. This ritual helps them to relax their minds and bodies as they prepare to fall asleep.
Using a checklist to help kids remember all the steps involved in their evening routine can be really helpful. It also minimizes the nagging required to ensure they get ‘er done! 🙂
Need a basic evening checklist for your kiddos? Click on the image below to download this “Good Night” Checklist (you can also snag the companion “Good Morning” Checklist too). Once you print it, you can either laminate it or frame it inside a picture frame to create a reusable dry-erase checklist:
Of all of the things I’ve incorporated into my evening routine, spending a few minutes mapping out my priorities for the following day is THE. MOST. IMPORTANT. THING. If I skip this task, I find myself wandering aimlessly through the first few hours of the following day wasting so much time. And I really don’t have a lot of time to waste these days.
I use a laminated version of the Daily Docket from the Sweet Life Planner Collection (one of the awesome resources included in this year’s Ultimate Homemaking Bundle) to plan the following day. My basic plan consists of:
- the schedule for the day (including appointments, and time blocking for work and errands)
- what I plan to serve for dinner
- my top 5 things that I need to accomplish that day
Putting together this simple game plan for tomorrow allows me to hit the ground running each morning, without having to waste a single second. #LIFECHANGING
In keeping with our household mantra that I mentioned above, my “prep for the morning rush” activities include:
- laying out my clothes
- making sure all of our devices are plugged into chargers
- confirming that my car keys are in my purse (in the past, many a morning has been derailed by searching for missing car keys around here!)
I find that it’s totally demoralizing to start off the day with a cluttered/dirty house. So another key objective of my evening routine is to ensure that I start each day with a “clean slate”. For me, this involves:
- clearing off my workspace
- straightening up our great room
- putting away clean laundry
- cleaning the kitchen (dishes in dishwasher, kitchen table/countertops cleared and wiped down)
Finally, I end the evening by indulging in a guilty pleasure. This can take the form of watching the latest episode of my current Netflix binge, doing my nails, or reading a book. Having this “Me Time” at the very end of the day helps me to decompress and reenergize.
THE PERFECT RESOURCE FOR CREATING YOUR
In last week’s post on morning routines, I mentioned how Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Mornings course was a game-changer for me when it came to hitting the “reset” button on my life. As Crystal preaches in her course, a successful day is largely dictated by what you do the night before. Consequently, she offers a companion course called Make Over Your Evenings, which walks you through a step-by-step plan for creating a custom evening routine for your household. Together, these courses have truly helped me to bring order and peace to my household.
I went through this course earlier this year, and now I’m re-watching it and completing the exercises again as we ease into the new school year to start (you get lifetime access to the course so that you can watch it repeatedly as your life evolves).
If you’re interested in learning more about the Make Over Your Evenings course, click the image below for more details:
ESTABLISHING AN EVENING ROUTINE ASSIGNMENT:
- Brainstorm a list of tasks from your household’s morning To Do list that could be completed the prior evening to alleviate the morning rush
- Get in the habit of creating a list of priority tasks for the following day
- Determine your evening “Clean Slate” tasks
- Create checklists for yourself and your family members to help everyone stick to your new routine
- Explore the Makeover Your Evenings course as a resource for creating your evening routine
This post is part of the 2016 Organize and Refine Your Home Challenge