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