How To: Start an Evening Routine


how to series

I’ve been focusing this month on implementing and sticking with a new evening routine.  I’ve written before on my morning routine (and how to build one), but I haven’t really spoken about my evening (or before bed) routine.

If you’re familiar with the teachings of Flylady at all you know how much she stresses having a Before Bed Routine (or BBR).  For a long time I would get hung up on the words “Before Bed” and start my BBR… well… right before bed.  But that was too late in the day for me!  I was too tired to care what my kitchen looked like by that point and didn’t want to mess with it then.  And pick out clothes?  Wasn’t happening.

And so eventually (never mind how long it took before I finally had the epiphany) I decided to change the wording and change when I did things.

And that was when my Evening Routine was born.

If you’re just starting on an Evening Routine, don’t forget to start small.  Pick out just a few things — just two to four things — that you want to get done every night.  Start with those.  Give it a few weeks of consistency (don’t worry if you have a few off days — it happens) and then add something else.

For example, at this point in my life my bare bones Evening Routine would be:
1) Clean the kitchen (dishes, stove, counters and sink).
2) Pick out clothes for tomorrow (for myself and my children).
3) Check calendar for tomorrow’s activities and get necessary things together in one place.

On those crazy days when I’m running out of time that’s all I try to get done.  At the very least I “hit a lick at a snake” in the kitchen and check the calendar to make sure we don’t have to be anywhere early.

And on those nights, that’s ok.  Don’t give up when you have a few nights that don’t go according to plan.  Keep at it. 

On those awesome nights when everything goes according to schedule, my Evening Routine is a bit more involved.  I’m still very hesitant to add too much to it or it will overwhelm me.  (And then I just shut down and don’t get anything done.  And we don’t want that.)

My full Evening Routine goes something like this:
1) Quick tidy of the main living areas.
2) Clean the kitchen.
3) Set out morning items (cereal, bowls, coffee mugs, juice cups, etc.).
4) Make sure I’m prepared for school tomorrow (if I haven’t already done this; usually I have).
5) Pick out clothes for tomorrow.
6) Check calendar for tomorrow’s activities and get necessary things together in one place.
7) Make a quick To Do List for tomorrow.

As you can see, the majority of the things I do in the evening directly affect how my morning will start.  When I don’t do my Evening Routine, the next day is generally a write off.  I start the day cranky and have trouble finding my peace.

And you know what else?  My children notice.  They crave routine as well.  My whole house is happier when we follow a routine.

So what happens if you consistently are having trouble getting your Evening Routine done?  You probably need to step back and ask yourself a few questions.
Are you trying to do too much?
Are there some things you can try and do earlier in the day?
Are you waiting too late to get started?
Can you delegate some things to others in your household?

My husband and I work together to get the Evening Routine done (although I can guarantee you that he doesn’t know we have a “routine”).  While I’m cleaning up the kitchen after supper he is making sure the kids get a bath.  When I was trying to “do it all” (like clean the kitchen and bathe the kids) I would go to bed far too many times with a dirty kitchen.  There just wasn’t enough time in the evenings!

Do you have a “bare bones” evening routine in place?  Is it working for you?  What else can you do to make your mornings run more smoothly?


This post is linked up at:

A Pinch of Joy
Tips and Tricks Linky Party
Titus 2sday Link Up Party
Roses of Inspiration
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party
Wholehearted Home
Raising Homemakers
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Party
Hearts for Home
I Heart Naptime

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