Simple Evening routines are game changing and allow you to start every day with your best foot forward. Listen to Episode 10 and learn how you can create an evening routine that will set your family up for success.
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Full Episode Transcription:
If there was only one routine you could implement to simplify and feel less stressed throughout the day. A great evening routine is that one. When I began working with virtual coaching clients, I was reminded of the massive impact that good routines can have on transforming the way your home functions. Even if you haven’t done a thorough purge, decluttering and organizing of all the rooms, cabinets spaces, and that the areas of your house simple evening routines are game-changing and allow you to start every day with your best foot forward. On this episode, I’ll share how you can create an evening routine that will set your family up for success. If you’re struggling with daily tasks, clutter organization, and finding any sort of work life balance, the intentional edit podcast is for you. It’s time to stop the chaos and live with more intention. I am Lauren, and I’m here to help you declutter implement systems and maximize routines that remove the overwhelming unorganized parts of life. Bringing simplicity to your home, come on. It’s time to create a life you love.
Years ago when I started professional home organizing as a business, I did it so that I could help people for a long time. Before that I’d been helping my friends and family, they were seeking input from me to help them with home organization and home decor. And I truly loved helping them and getting involved with those projects. I saw the value in having an organized and clutter-free home early on in my life. When I would babysit even as young as like fifth and sixth grade, when I’d put the kids down for a nap, I would always do the dishes and straighten the kitchens. And it would drive me crazy when I’d open a kitchen cabinet. And I didn’t know where the dishes that I had just cleaned were supposed to be put away. I sometimes would even stack up dinner plates into their own stack.
If they were kind of all over the place, I would organize and categorize things neatly because that was just how my brain work. If the laundry was sitting in a laundry basket on the coffee table, and I had put the kids to bed, had some free time, I would fold the laundry and put it back in the laundry basket. I was just known to pick up toys, even if they weren’t toys that were toys. If, I guess if they weren’t toys that we played with and they were toys that were out. When I arrived, I had put the toys away and fold blankets or take cups and dirty dishes from the family room or living room and put them into the kitchen or wash the dishes and put them away. I’d make the rooms more presentable. I think I did that because it felt good to me if it was a late night and I was going to be at that house late and the kids were asleep.
So I didn’t have anything to do. I didn’t like the feeling of sitting around and watching TV or playing a movie when there was clutter and disorganization all around me. It didn’t seem like a chore to put those things away and kind of straighten everything up. That’s what happens when you have good systems and your, your home is organized and you have a home for everything within your home, then it’s natural to put things back. It doesn’t seem like a lot of work. I’ve always valued organization. And especially as an adult, I value organization and order and a home because I know the way that it makes me feel when things are unorganized. It’s not a good feeling to have a cluttered environment is bothersome to me. It makes me edgy, maybe uncomfortable. Even when I do like an Airbnb situation on a trip or vacation, it drives me crazy.
If the linen cabinet is not organized or the kitchen doesn’t have good organization. I love when I opened the cabinet at a vacation rental and there’s labels for what goes, where I know I’m more to obviously to one extreme of the organized orderly person who likes those kinds of things. And some people feel like it doesn’t bother them. Even if you are one of those people who letter and bases that are not organized do cause stress. There’s many studies that show that at cluttered space is stressful and it makes it more difficult for you to be able to relax and be rested. If you are surrounded with clutter and mess, order and organization creating good systems and routines, and having those turn into dress healthy habits for your day-to-day life is obviously very important to me. And if you’re listening to this podcast, it’s obviously important to you enough to tune in and listen, but you are probably a person that this doesn’t come easy to.
You are struggling with this a bit, and you’re looking for solutions to simplify and create routines in your home so that you can start to feel better and more at peace in the place where you spend the most amount of time. Like I just said, I know that I’m on the extreme end of wanting that order and organization. But I also know that I get responses and feedback from my clients or friends or families that I’ve worked with, or just people that have followed me on Instagram when they’ve applied an idea or a strategy that I’ve shared. And the feedback is usually something along the lines of, I knew that it would help, but I didn’t know how much of a positive impact it would have or I thought it would make my life easier, but I didn’t think it would save me nearly as much time as it does.
It’s always someone that knows that there’s a better way to do something or a way that is out there that could be beneficial to them, but they don’t know what that is, or they don’t know how to implement something. I want to help you with that. I got into this business thinking about organizing physical spaces, decluttering, purging, and taking unorganized rooms from chaotic to composed by using good organization techniques. At that time in the back of my, I was aware of the systems and routines that go along with organization, and I’ve always known that good systems are what maintains organizations, but I don’t think it was right then that I realized this. It was probably a few years later. I began taking virtual organizing clients and doing coaching at that time. I think it was when I really fully understood the magnitude of implementing a few good systems, great systems can keep a house running.
And the family feeling less stressed. I’ve written a ton of blog posts and done guest interviews on the importance of systems and routines to properly maintain calm, effortless home. And I’ve always believed in good quality systems in addition to organization of the physical belongings, but seeing and talking to my coaching clients and getting their feedback when they implement the systems that we create on our calls. When I received the feedback from them about how it’s saving them time and really making life easier is the reason why I wanted to cover this topic as one of the first podcast episodes. If you only have time to set up one good routine, my recommendation is that that routine is the evening routine. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. It just has to cover the basics. We’ll go over that today. I’ll share all that with you and evening routine.
That’s working to its full potential will help you at the end of the day. And it will give you peace of mind and set you up for success. The next day, what you’re doing at night and your evening routine is actually going to be beneficial for you the next day. And going forward, think about babies. When soon to be parents know that a baby will be coming into their homes, do they usually read books or take classes, maybe listen to podcasts, but somehow they get information. They might just inquire from the ideas that their friends and family have. Somehow they’re getting knowledge on how to take care of a baby. The resources usually share information about simple routines that encourage healthy bedtime or getting babies to sleep through the night. It’s usually a repetitive behavior that these parents get implement from an early age. Another example that comes to mind is in a classroom.
I was a former elementary school teacher and also a high school teacher. I can tell you that it doesn’t matter. The age preschool through college teachers spend the first few weeks of the school year, setting up systems and teaching the students, how things are going to work in a classroom. The systems eventually become habits and routines. And this is the way that a classroom can run smoothly. The kids know what to expect. Anyone that is spending any time in that classroom learns these routines and systems. It reduces the likeliness of a chaotic classroom environment, and it helps set the whole classroom that for the teacher and the students up for success, because the expectations are set. Everyone knows what role they play in having a successful school day. When you create a maintain good systems and routines in your home, they become effortless. It’s just another part of the day.
It’s kind of like you brush your teeth at night, or maybe you wash your teeth, wash your teeth. You wash your face before you go to bed or you take a shower at the same time each day, the things that have become habits for you are effortless. And you don’t think about doing them when we create routines. That’s the ultimate goal. We want these to become effortless, effortless things that fit into your day so that they can bring you success without a lot of effort. Last week for the home organizing challenge on Instagram, I shared the importance of doing the dishes and having a clear counter space and your sink empty before you go to bed, how that is positive for you the next morning, when you wake up, once you are in this habit, it isn’t even something you will think about. I know I don’t think about it.
It’s just something I do. I put the dishes in the dishwasher when I’m cooking dinner. I make sure that the sink encounters are cleared before I go to bed so that I can wake up to a clean kitchen and not feel the stress of a messy homes thing in the morning. No one wants to wake up to that. If you go out to your kitchen and the first thing you see is a stack of dishes and a messy counter clutter all over, you are adding stress to your day. And it’s just something else that, you know, in the back of your mind that has to get done. It’s just not a great way to start the day. I’ve mentioned that if you could only set up one routine, then it would be an evening routine. This is why I think that a few minutes spent tidying and preparing for the next day really makes all the difference in the morning.
You can sleep better, feel more content and prepared for the next day or what’s ahead. You start your day with a clear mind and you’re less frantic feeling. You also eliminate last minute, running around and craziness that can happen in the morning. If you are not prepared an evening routine, doesn’t have to be all your responsibility. You can delegate and you should delegate tasks. And maybe you need to implement a chore system. If your kids are old enough for that, do things where you get other people involved for this part of the day. It’s definitely not all your responsibility. You shouldn’t have to take this on all yourself. And even if you have really young kids, they can do basic things to feel like they are part of helping. It helps the entire family. When everyone works together for a few minutes, it also doesn’t have to go beyond 10 or 20 minutes.
So sometimes the tasks that are included in your evening routine will happen late afternoon through the last couple of minutes that you go to bed sometimes depending on the needs of your family and the structure that you set up an evening routine might happen right after dinner. It doesn’t matter if it happens all in one 15 minute session where you set the timer and get everything done in that amount of time. Or if it is spread out over a few hours, an evening routine is something that have a list of things that need to be done. And like I said, eventually that list will become effortless and it will all be done because that’s just, it has become a habit. These things you want to have done before you go to bed at night, part of your evening routine might be making sure homework is finished and backpacks are packed up and ready to go.
They’re placed next to the door and ready to leave the next morning that might be completed or four 30 in the afternoon, when homework is done, it doesn’t have to be finished right before bedtime to be a part of your evening routine, go ahead and assign tasks to each family member. That makes sense for the family member. This process will be even faster to complete when you have a few family members or everyone, or most of the people in the house contributing, and you haven’t just taken on all the responsibility yourself. Sorry, if you hear that squeaking noise, I don’t know what happened in the last couple of days. My chair, like when I lean a certain way, makes that squeaky noise and it’s super annoying. Anyway, evening routine should be customized to the needs of your particular family. Of course, as your kids grow and things change, maybe you take on a job that requires you to work different hours.
When things change, you will need to make changes to the routine. But the basic structure of it is going to say the same stay the same. I’ve come up with four areas. That absolutely should be every family’s evening routine. When I work with my coaching clients, if they want help with their evening routine, I hope them come up with specific tasks for their family. And what w we determine what family members should be responsible for each task, what needs to be completed. And you can do that on your own with your family. Of course, you can always send me a message and I’m happy to help you or give you my input and some ideas. If you’re struggling to, I’m going to go ahead and share the four topics that I think are very important to an evening routine, and you of course, can make tweaks as needed for your family.
There’s imperative items that can be added. You might have some things that are non-negotiable non-negotiable and you need to add those to your evening routine. To put those on the list, make a list, include what you think needs to be done. If it’s too much stuff, you might need to eliminate some of it and find another time in the day to do it. But most likely, it’s just things that are going to set you up for success the following day in your day on a good note. And then you begin your day on a good note, implementing the following four tasks before you go to bed every night, we will ensure you that your morning is less stressful. I’m going to go ahead and share the four things, the four topics, and give you a couple of examples of them right now. The first one I like to include is just a tidy up of the areas that you spend most of your time in spend time picking up things like, are there shoes that were left out or clothes or jacket, dog toys, mail supplies from projects that you’ve been working on, homework, backpack, laptops, or iPads chargers that have been left out, bend a few minutes and return everything to its proper location.
If you have young kids where you can set a timer for five minutes or seven minutes or something like that, everybody can do this. Your very young kids can be responsible for even putting some of their own toys back in open baskets or containers, or the pet toys. If you have dogs or cats or something like that, that bring their toys out during the day, put those things back. If you have a dog that has a blanket that they like, and it travels around the house, put that on the dog’s bed. Basic things like that. If you have mail that is sitting on your kitchen table or out on a counter somewhere, address the meal right then. And I talk about this and another routine, a good routine or habit to get in is just when you get the mail out of the mailbox, go over to the recycling and trash can recycle and throw away anything that you can and address anything else, try to address it right away.
That’s a whole nother system, but if you have a stack of mail that is in a prime location, move him, you know, move it to your office, move it to where you deal with those things, shoes and clothes return those to their storage location. Where is their home in the house? Whose closet do they belong in? Does a jacket belong on a hook? All of those things get them out of the main areas and just a general tidy so that it feels pick up. When you wake up in the morning. Another thing that I talked about, a few examples earlier is just mealtime cleanup or kitchen cleanup, wash the dishes, start the dishwasher, make lunches for the next day. All of these things that involve the kitchen are going to happen. And this, what I would say is number two, if number one is a general tidy number do is a meal time or kitchen cleanup prepare lunch for the next day, pack lunch boxes, fill up water bottles, whatever you can do to simplify your mornings, do it.
Now spend five minutes or 10 minutes cleaning up the kitchen, packing lunches. If your kids are at an age where they can help pack lunches, then this can be the time that they do it. Some families don’t come home after school and they have a lot of activities and it might be eight 30 or nine o’clock at night before this can happen. That’s fine. If that’s what works for your family. If your kids come home after school, one of the afterschool activities can be to empty out the lunch box, clean it out, and then pack it up and get it ready for the next day. And then it just goes in the refrigerator. It waits to get an ice pack and go into the backpack. The next day, do all the steps. You can, obviously, you can’t get an ice pack at 3:00 PM the day before you need it, or it would be melted, but you can do every other step besides putting the lunch items into the lunch box and putting the ice pack in those things like that.
And that’s what I’m talking about when I don’t necessarily mean that your evening routine will happen in the last 20 minutes before you go to bed, it can happen throughout the late afternoon. To the time you go to bed and still be part of the evening routine. Once the lunches are made for the next day and packed, and the dishwasher has started and all the dishes are put away, then wipe off your table and counters, turn off the kitchen lights, knowing that it’s clean and organized and you will start fresh. The next day. The third topic that I think is very important is preparing your backpacks, purses, work bags, or diaper bags, whatever leaves with you in the morning, or when you leave the house the next day, make sure those things are ready to go. Make sure the homework is back in the homework folder.
And the backpack is zipped up in, on hooked by the back door or sitting by the front door, wherever you leave. Those items should be if you live someplace where your kids need coats and gloves, all of that should be right there. So you eliminate the running around to get out the door in the morning. The same thing goes for the adults in the house or the older kids that might be going to work, pack your work bag, whatever it is that you need. If your computer goes in there and the charger for the computer goes in there, you’re the adult. And you take a lunch to work, make the lunch the night before, and it’s ready to go. If you take a water bottle, fill up your water bottle, whatever it is that needs to leave with you. The next day, if you have activities, you go to the gym and you take a class or your kids have sports or something that they participate in, where they need a different uniform, anything they need afterschool, and you won’t be home both to get that item.
All of those things should be in their bags, ready to go by the door before you go to sleep at night so that there is absolutely nothing that you are running around looking for last minute. And the morning before you can leave, not only does this eliminate stress in the morning, it also eliminates most like 99% of what you could possibly forget. Another big thing that I like to include in the evening routine has to do with clothing and what you are going to wear the next day. You might do this weekly. If you have looked over anything with my weekly or monthly, like refresh and reset, then you know that for younger kids, I like their outfits to be picked out by the week. That’s what I recommend. You can look ahead over the weekend and pick out their outfits for the week. And then that way, if they require anything special or needed to wear a special color shirt for a field trip, or have a performance where they need to wear, you know, fancy clothes or something different, you’re not scrambling to find these items or go buy these items.
You have this prepared on the weekend, it’s in a specific spot waiting for that day to wear. This is also helpful for adults. There are some adults that I work with that work and leave for work very early in the morning and have to be dressed up. And they like to pick out their outfits for a week at a time too, if that works for you, that’s what I want you to do. Some people can’t even imagine doing that, but picking out your outfit the night before, and I mean everything, everything you’re going to put on clothing, shoes, accessories, whatever it is, take it out, have it ready? So that in the morning, you don’t have to make any of those decisions. You don’t have to waste time putting on an outfit, deciding you don’t like it, changing your clothes three times, putting something on, and then on your way out the door, seeing that it has a stain or it’s missing a button.
If you pick these things out and organize this at night, before you go to bed, you see that there’s a stain on it. You see that it’s missing a button and then you can pick something else. So you can make the adjustment right then and there, it saves you time in the morning. It is a quick thing you can do at night. And when you’re not feeling rushed, you usually have the ability to make these decisions. And it’s a little bit easier. Those are the four categories that I think are essential to a good evening routine. I will tell you them one more time. Tidy is the first one, just a general tidy of the areas, the common areas of the home, clean up the kitchen, mealtime, clean up, clean up the kitchen and leave the kitchen in a clean state before going to bed, make the lunches and prepare for the lunches and the water bottles and all that.
That’s leaving the house. The next day, the third evening routine step is prepare your backpacks, purses, bags, activities, all of those items that you need to leave the house with the next day to have a successful day. Make sure everything is packed in those. And they’re by the door waiting for you to walk out and leave your house in the morning. And the fourth topic for the evening routine is clothing. Pick out your clothes for the next day, the night before or better yet. Even if you do it for a week at a time and do it over the weekend. Those are the four categories that I think are the most important to implement into your evening routine. And most things that you will come up with that needs to be done will fit into one of those categories. Of course, if you have other things that would make a positive impact by completing them in the evening, to help you sleep better and feel better and start your day on the right foot, then have those things.
And evening routine should not be a two hour ordeal, keep it simple and minimal. But as these things become habit, they’re really effortless. I know I’ve mentioned that on said that word quite a few times during this episode, but you want these things to become effortless and not like a chore. And it’s just something you do like finishing, making dinner and putting the dishes away. Instead of walking away from the kitchen and sitting down on the sofa to look at your phone or watch a show, try to do things in an order that makes sense accomplish these things so that you free up time for yourself and your family, and you feel less stressed and you feel a more sense, like a sense of peace and calm, and you can feel relaxed and let your home be a place that makes you refreshed and rejuvenated, not a place that drains you. It really only takes a few minutes to complete the tasks in the evening routine, but completing them nightly makes a huge difference in how your day will begin. Good luck implementing your evening routines. And if you have questions, make sure you send me a message or contact me and I am happy to help you.
Thank you for listening to the intentional edit podcast. If you found today’s episode valuable, tell your friends about it by taking a screenshot, sharing it on social and tagging me at intentional edit. I’ll be back soon with another episode in the meantime, find me at attentional, edit.com and be sure to follow intentional edit on social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, to ensure you catch future episodes, click the subscribe or follow button. Now I am grateful for a five star rating and review from you. Be sure to let me know what you liked about this episode and what you want me to cover in the future.
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Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces. Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life. Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority. While trends come and go organization is always in style!
Intentional Edit participates in select affiliate advertising programs. If you click and/or make a purchase through certain links on this site or any related social media platforms, Intentional Edit may make a commission. All opinions are my own.
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