Are your mornings spent searching for that second sock? Is your sink piled up with dirty dishes in the sink because the dishwasher is full? Did you get halfway to work this morning and realize you forgot your lunch / that important document / the letter you had to send?
One way to try and stop these scenarios in their tracks is to implement daily routines. Daily routines will provide you with a strong foundation for running your home. Not only that, when you can’t keep up with the rest of life, they’ll ensure things aren’t totally out of control when you’re ready to pick them up again. In addition, by putting them on autopilot, you’ll have more mental energy for those tasks that require it. It takes less than an hour and a half spread throughout the day to do these basic routines, and the time and sanity you’ll save makes them well worth it.
Evening routine: 40 minutes.
It might seem odd to start with the evening routine, but it takes first place as it’s the most important. Why? Well, first of all, a load of washing a day stops you from running out of clothes, and from spending your weekend playing catch up. Preparing lunches and breakfasts in advance takes the same amount of time but removes the stress of squeezing in more tasks to the morning. As for checking my clothes for the day- I’m sure I’m not the only one who has wasted 20 minutes trying on three different outfits only to discard them because they are stained, don’t fit, or need ironing! I have two week’s worth of work clothes which I cycle though, so doing Number 7 is a matter of making sure they are good to go. Checking your calendar is also important so you don’t forget appointments or other events. The evening routine does take the longest, but luckily you have longer to complete it.
- Put on a load of washing: 5 minutes
- Prepare lunches, and also breakfast if required (I soak oats overnight in almond milk, with frozen blueberries added): 10 minutes
- Clean the kitchen: 15 minutes
- Pack bags for tomorrow, and put them in a designated place such as by the back door, along with anything else that needs to leave the house with you. (We put our by the kitchen counter so we don’t forget to take out our lunches): 2 minutes
- Do a quick tidy up: 5 minutes
- Check your calendar for the next day: 1 minute
- Check your clothes for the next day: 2 minutes
Morning routine: 20 minutes
Because you’ve nailed your evening tasks, the morning routine is mainly about getting ready and getting going. However, knocking off a few extras mean that when you get home in the afternoon, you’re walking into calm, not chaos. Things like making the bed, shining your sink and basin, and cleaning the counters, are important aspects of this routine, as when you look at the room your eye is drawn to that clean looking space. If that’s not enough of a reason, some people suggest that making your bed can actually change your life!
- Make the bed the minute you get out of it: 2 minutes
- Hang up your towels and wipe the basin: 2 minutes
- Check your meal planner and take out meat for dinner (if required): 1 minute
- Unload the dishwasher: 4 minutes
- Shine the kitchen sink and check the counters are clear and clean: 5 minutes
- Put your bags in the car: 1 minutes
- Hang out the washing you put on last night: 5 minutes
Afternoon routine: 30 minutes
When you get home after a long day at work, the urge to just collapse on the couch before dragging yourself up to make dinner can be overwhelming. However, just 30 minutes spent here can not only keep things under control for today, but also help forward plan.
- Unpack all bags: 5 minutes
- Deal with mail and circulars: 2 minutes
- Do a quick task from your personal to-do list (book in dogs at the kennel, or make a hair appointment): 3 minutes
- Check personal emails: no more than 10 minutes.
- Put washing away: 10 minutes
Tip: If things are super hectic, just focus on Number 1.
90 minutes is all it takes to keep your home running smoothly. These routines are quick and easy to implement and will have an instant benefit on your life. If you’ve been struggling with any or all aspects of organization, try starting with these. In just a day, you will see how they can transform your chaos into a calm, clean home.
Have you tried these tips or have any other tasks you consider essential for a well-organized home? I’d love to hear from you.
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