Morning and Evening Homemaking Routines

I said I've been revamping my routines and that part is certainly true enough.  In fact, I'm still working on those cleaning charts. I thought I'd share my morning and evening routines.  These haven't changed much in the past few years but they are really what keep my home neat and nice and helps me to focus immediately on the bigger picture each day.  It's all little things that, once done, just make life simpler.  In a pinch, doing a morning and evening routine can be the difference between a house that is pretty much company presentable and a disaster zone, so if I am ill or not able to devote a full day to cleaning, my home is still ready for hospitality.


Un-make the bed.  This sounds counter-productive doesn't it?  There is a reason to do this! I throw back the covers on the bed and let the sheets air.  This is ideally done for at least 1 hour.  I sometimes do make up the bed after 20 minutes, and occasionally John sees the unmade bed and decides to make it himself, but most mornings I let the bed air an hour.  This helps keep the sheets fresh all week long and it allows the bedding to completely dry in case of any dampness from perspiration during the night.

Open the curtains.  Opening the curtains each morning lets the sunshine pour into the house.  It is ideal to also open windows and let the house air for a few minutes.  This is a habit I mean to incorporate with my new routines.  However, opening the curtains is a signal to my brain that the day is well begun.  There's something about those open blinds and curtains that makes me feel ready to face the work of the day.

Put away clothes.  I don't leave piles of folded (nor unfolded) laundry about but I do air clothing that I've worn before re-hanging in the closet.  It takes just a moment to put clothes away properly and does much to reduce the appearance of visual clutter.

Empty waste baskets.  I don't know why even just a little trash in a waste basket makes a room look messy and unkempt but it does.  Try it and see for yourself. I don't take out the bag and put in a fresh one each time, unless there's a deep mess in the bag.  Mostly I just tip all the wastebaskets into one and dump that in the kitchen trash.

Straighten up.  Neatly stacking magazines, picking up the odd items on the tables and arranging what's meant to be there neatly, putting dirty laundry in the laundry room,  all do much to make a home look neat and fresh and ready for company.

Empty the sink.  I put all dirty dishes left from evening snacks and water glasses and coffee cups into the kitchen each evening (see evening routines) but dirty dishes in the sink just don't add up to a neat room.  I rinse and load into the dishwasher right away.  If you haven't got a dishwasher (and for many years I didn't have one) run a pan of soapy water and neatly stack those dishes in that soapy water.  Even if you don't get to them right away, you've saved yourself a step and it's surprising how nice a dishpan of soaking dishes looks compared to the disarray of things randomly piled in the sink or across a countertop.

Put away the clean dishes.  I sometimes have dishes I've done after supper that I let dry on the mat overnight.  I put those things away.  It reduces visual clutter and makes for easier work as the morning goes on, because I don't have to interrupt my flow as I work.

Start a load of laundry.  I used to do this every single morning times 7 each week, when we had kids at home.  Nowadays, I tend to do two loads on Sunday or Monday (sheets and towels and such) and then we do a load of clothes about every three or four days.  Starting our washing first thing means they are ready to go on the line when I head outdoors to feed the pets, which saves my steps.  It also insures that I get clothes on the line before leaving the house if I happen to be going out.


I consider evening as the hours between 7-10pm.  That's well after supper and  before bed.  There are a few jobs I tend to each evening, not many, because goodness knows, if we don't quit housework doesn't either.  I believe every day should have a starting point and an ending point.  An evening  routine promotes good rest and being plagued with poor sleep, I do all I can to insure my mind doesn't have a  reason to conduct committee meetings all night long!

Shut the blinds and curtains.  Typically we do this about sunset each evening, so the time varies according to season.

Put away evening dishes. We usually have a glass of milk or water (me) or cup of coffee (John) each evening.  Those items are generally on the table between us at some point.  I put those in the kitchen on the counter each evening just before bed.

Turn down the thermostat.  About 30-45 minutes before bedtime I lower the temperature.  In warmer months I turn down the AC so that it is 3 or 4 degrees cooler and turn on fans in the bedroom.  In winter, I substantially lower the thermostat (by about 10 degrees).  I find that it's easier to sleep if the house is cooler.

Prepare the bed.  I remove the pillow shams and turn back the bedcovers.  I generally do this at the same time I'm going about the house shutting blinds and curtains.

Once over the kitchen.  Just before going to bed I put away any food stuffs that might have been left on the counter from snacking and wipe the counter one last time.

Straighten room one more time.  I try to leave the room neat, so the newspaper will be put in the wastebasket, cushions placed properly on seating and computers shut down and closed.  If I've been reading magazines or writing on hard copy paper, I straighten and neaten those things and put away any little items I've had out over the evening like nail clippers or lotion or lip balm.

These are by no means all the tasks I do each day but they are the beginning and ending routines I follow day in and day out, on vacation or at home.  All promote a sense of being ready to be productive or of being ready to finish off the day.

Do you have morning and evening routines?


Christie Hogan said...

Our daily routines are very similar. I am, by nature, organized and routine oriented. Having a daily, weekly, monthly and "as needed" schedule of housework helps keep me feeling on top of things and by doing them, our home, yards and vehicles are pretty much always clean. Especially since there are only 2 of us at home now, things don't get quite as messy and out of order as when our son was still at home --not that he was messy--but boys don't tend to out things back where they found them! Lol

I do budget/banking work every few days and buy groceries every 2 weeks, with the occasional stop to top off milk, bread and/or produce.

beckyathome said...

I have a routine I'd like to follow, and then there's reality! My days are so full and busy that I have a hard time getting to do any one thing for very long. But, I really, really like things tidy--I feel so much rested, so try to whisk around and clean up the clutter and work on dishes, at least, before we start in on homeschool, etc. I have quite a bit of school that I need to do with the girls, but there are a few things that they do by themselves, like practice guitar, and I often do a few more chores during those times, then I re-join them. I have also decided to not do school with the girls on Friday mornings. They are to finish up with assignments, etc., and then I have some time to either shop, or try to clean things up.

3 days a week, I do homeschool all morning, leave about 1:30 for work, work from 2:15-6:15, 2 x a week head straight for the YMCA for exercise and/or dance lessons for one of the girls, then home by around 8. One night is church. One night I don't work, I have dance from 7:30-8:30 at the YMCA. One night I come straight home by 7. Today, one girl had driving lessons, so I took her there. You get the idea.

In all reality, by the time I get home from work and evening activities, it's usually between 7 and 8:30, and I'm really tired. So, I usually just sit down.

On Saturdays, I often assign out some chores like cleaning the bathroom to the kids and I also clean things. I used to call it my "sacred cleaning Saturday" because for years I wouldn't let anyone make plans on Saturdays so we could clean. Now, not so much, but we still get things done on a lot of Saturdays. I go outside and work on any day that is sunny and I can carve out even 1/2 hour. When I keep my nephew on Saturdays or Sunday afternoons, he takes a lot of care.

SO, my routine is to clean like a maniac whenever I get a moment. Rest when I can. Give myself grace because it is never, ever done to my satisfaction and I never, ever have enough time or energy. And, be glad for whatever I can get done before I peter out. I don't regret my choices. They just don't always make things easy because I'm always multi-tasking and trying to get things done ahead so that I don't feel pressured. Today, for instance, I worked on Easter a bit between things, as the weekend is busier than normal.

Debby in KS said...

I have a good morning routine, but I think I need one for night. The house is mostly tidy when I get up, but it can also be a mess. I hate that! I'm naturally a robin and by 5 pm, I'm a sloth. By 7, I'm sleepy, and by 8-8:30, I just don't care! Today was a screwy schedule so I'm awake, but just barely. I'm waiting for the hubs to finish up what he's doing.

Jayne M said...

Very similar to yours. But my most important evening routine is one I read years ago (pretty sure it was FlyLady) which said never leave the kitchen messy. So I always make sure all dishes are done, everything wiped down, etc. So much nicer to get up to a clean kitchen and gets the day rolling much quicker than if you needed to wash dishes, etc. first up.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Terri, I too have a morning/evening routine.. Very similar to yours

Morning Routine. When my feet hit the floor-- I make my bed [if i wait , I can't seem to make it back to do it] I put away the dishes in the dishwasher, so it is ready to be filled when needed. Sweep living area and kitchen. Do a load of laundry [if needed.. from start to finish]

Night routine--- Cook supper [usually, some thing is started earlier in the day], after supper, I put dishes in dishwasher /or hand wash? Wipe up all counters. 10-15 minutes before bedtime.. I do a quick pick up. I return anything that does not belong to its correct place. I do a quick sweep of living area/kitchen. I tidy the bath room [wipe sink counter, commode lids etc with clorox wipes.

I do many other chores through out the day.. But, these few morning/evening routines.. Keeps the house tidy and if other things come up.. The house is still presentable for company.
Thanks for sharing your routine.. Love to read about others.. to get hints..

Anonymous said...

I read too that it is also good to pull back the covers and air them out to keep the mite population down. They like the warmth. Bringing the covers down and airing things cools things right down. :) I think I remember you also said you set the coffee maker and perhaps [?] get things out to be ready to make breakfast the night before? I set the table and put out everything too for our breakfast that way. That is the last thing for the house I do at night. Also each evening I set out the clothes for the next day. I keep it all together on a hanger. You have your outfits figured out..the same thing.
There are times of the year things have to be revamped like canning/ gardening season or holidays but as you said by keeping things as neat as possible daily you can get through these busy times and then get back to your usual routines.
One thing that really helps is trying to declutter as much as you feel comfortable doing. Some people like 'things' around them more than others. But any extra really slows down cleaning. Also we have found that the more 'little' things you have around on top of tables etc you tend to not notice the special things as there are too many distractions.
A place for everything and everything in its place has always been a good rule we all know. Mail and bills in one place, scissors and such in another. Hunting for things takes time and is frustrating! :-) To be able to open a drawer and deposit things quickly and find them as easily is great! :-))
I have little time anymore to do cleaning cleaning but I can keep things as neat as possible. The when I do get time for a clean it can happen quicker with more time to do the best possible job. No matter what time of the day I have to do it. People have commented that my home always looks so neat and clean. I am surprised. I realized what they saw did look clean but if they looked close they could see dustin things many times. In general it looks good though. We all have different lives and do the best we can. I would love to have time for a real full routine like I used to have but that was another life ago. ;-) Sarah

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