Basic Housekeeping – Night Routine

The word “routine” already sounds a little daunting.  I mean, do you really need to commit to another to-do list, another task?  I have worked inside and outside the home and I know that creating a routine is challenging and getting the family onboard is even more so.  However, if I commit to completing simple tasks in the morning and in the evening, my day goes by so much smoother and I accomplish more.  Of course, there are checklists that point out to clean doorknobs and behind the stove (and I am all about that too) but that isn’t feasible to do all the time.  However, I can commit to a basic housekeeping night routine to make my days at home smooth, or at the very least, manageable.

The Night Routine

Do I do this routine daily?  Ah…NO!  I certainly try to, but there are days that I have to leave the house and the beds are not made, the sink isn’t clear, it’s life.  I just notice that on the days that I have or make the time to complete these tasks, I am so grateful that I did.

  • Arrange the couch pillows.  This is a pet peeve of mine.  These couches are 10 years old and let me tell ya, they have not been babied!  In the weekends, we may take naps on these couches, we lie down to watch tv, my boys jump on these couches, they are USED.  Basically, the pillows are usually a mess or they fall on the floor.  I am always picking them up and threatening that I am going to get rid of them FOREVER.  I quickly learned that this threat doesn’t evoke any reactions when you live with men.  They are like “cool, more room to play”.

I feel like when the pillows are a mess, the whole room looks messy.  So at night I like to prop them up again and I wake up to a neat couch and pretend I live in a world where people care about couch pillows.

Night Routine

  • Load the dishwasher.  Throughout the day, I load the dishwasher without running it until I get in all the dinner dishes.  I set it to run at night and I unload it in the morning and start again.  You are more likely to load the dishes at night if there is space for them in the dishwasher.  If you are already exhausted (and we usually are at night) and you have to unload the dishwasher before re-loading it, you may just skip it all together and leave it for the morning.

Basic Housekeeping - Night Routine

  • Wipe down the sink and stainless steel fridge.  I LOVE waking up to a welcoming kitchen!  After putting away the dishes in the the dishwasher, clean and wipe down the sink.  Also, stainless steel refrigerators are great but they are also a magnet for little hands.  Go ahead and wipe it down with your kitchen towel before your throw it in the hamper.  A little bit of extra work but you will be thankful you did this in the morning.

Night Routine

  • Set out a new kitchen towel.  We rarely use paper towels, so our kitchen towels get dirty fast.  Every night, I place the used one in the hamper.

Night routine

  • Wipe down counters and kitchen table.  Sitting down in a clean, cleared-out table is more enjoyable for the whole family.

Basic Housekeeping - Night Routine

My husband makes our coffee every morning, but you may also want to grind the coffee ahead of time, or set some time aside to go over your agenda for the next day.  You can certainly add items to this list, but the point is to make your home a place that welcomes you, in a manageable way that isn’t overwhelming.  If I add too many things to my daily routines, I fall behind and get overwhelmed.  I like to keep it simple.

House is looking good, so I will go to bed and enjoy a good book…which I will end up falling asleep reading.  A day with toddlers will do that to you.

Night Night,





  1. says

    I totally agree with you on all points. Our girls are grown now, but my routine has been similar for years. Waking up to a fresh start without things from the day before hanging over your head makes for a great beginning of a new day. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. MorganizewithMe says

    Great tips Maria! I do the DW every night and table, I’m going to add the clean kitchen towel, great idea! I love that you threaten to take away the pillows and they don’t even care. :)

  3. stephanie says

    Very helpful. Would love to see you post an entry about your more extensive cleaning routine too. Hope you don’t mind the suggestion.

  4. Anju Sarat says

    I loved the idea of using kitchen towels instead of paper towels! Only thing is we have lots of spills happen around here; our food usually have turmeric in them which stains,so, do you have any suggestions?

    • Maria says

      Anju, I add turmeric to some of my dishes as well because I hear it is really healthy. Since turmeric is also used to dye fabrics, the stains are incredibly stubborn. A good solution would be to buy bright yellow, orange or red kitchen towels, so that the stains don’t show as much once washed. Avoid buying the ones that have color on one side, and white on the other; find some that have color on both sides. This isn’t really a solution for getting the stains out, but it will make them less noticeable. Hope it helps! -Maria

  5. Jodi says

    I know this question doesn’t pertain to to the topic, but I’m more curious of which products you have by your kitchen sink???? BTW your suggestions will come in handy, as we just bought our first new home and love presentations!

    • Maria says

      The products are from two different brands – one is CO Bigelow from Target (lemon scent) and the other is a scrub from Shaklee (link in shop). I placed the products on a rectangular plate from CB2. Hope that helps!


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