My evening routine – ideas to help you have a successful day
Creating a routine for yourself and your family that you follow every night will help you have a more successful and calm morning. And what mama doesn’t want that?! My evening routine is simple, but it gives me much needed clarity and I know you can glean some ideas for creating your own routine.
My first 2 years as a mother were a complete mess. With a hubs in the military at the time, I was home alone a lot which meant I had little time for my own self-care (sans baby). Not only that, but I was constantly frustrated with the mess and lack of order. It wasn’t until I figured out an evening routine that my life felt a bit more normal. But I didn’t figure it out on my own!
Overwhelmed and frustrated, I did what every mother would do…turned to google. That is when I found Money Saving Mom and her course, Make Over Your Evenings. This is what absolutely helped me change my habits and learn what I needed in my life. The consistent work and tweaking of my evening routine is what has made this change last the long haul. If you haven’t completed her short (and affordable) course yet, grab it here! I promise you that you will be happy you did.
So let me tell you what my evening routine looks like!
Little Mister goes to school during the day which means that I go get him around 3:15pm. That is officially when my evening routine starts. The time spent between pick up time and dinner prep time varies depending on the day. I do not like to run errands daily during the week so we will batch those.
Here are some of the activities that we may do between 3:15 and 5pm.
- Grocery store, bank, post office or other small errands
- Work out by taking a long walk
- Playing soccer together
- Going to the library to let Little Mister play and read books with other kids (while I read)
- Going to the park and letting Little Mister play while I read
- Going to the carwash and cleaning out the car
We plan to work out 3 days a week, run errands 1-2 times a week, and playing 3 times a week (weather permitting of course). I plan this all out with my planner. Grab your free daily schedule printable to help you plan your life intentionally too!****
Dinner and clean up
At 5-5:15 we prep dinner with all hopes to sit down around 6pm. Mr. Hubster works some crazy hours usually so sometimes he gets to join us and sometimes he doesn’t. I plan super simple meals for when he is not coming home because I don’t want to have to clean it all by myself! This is what I love about meal planning. I plan for leftovers for days sometimes!
No matter if he is home or not, clean up happens right after dinner. Little Mister helps take dishes to the sink and wipes down the table and I load the dishwasher (and start it if needed). I always wipe down the counters and then spot clean the appliances as needed.
General clean up
After dinner is cleaned up, we do a declutter or pick up of the entire main floor (we have 3 floors in our townhouse). Having a basket on the step makes this process so much easier as we just drop in our stray items and then “deliver” them to their rightful place. This makes decluttering and cleaning so fast!
I then vacuum the main floor and do spot dusting if needed. With 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 3 humans in the house, it is needed more than not! This whole process may take us 5-10 minutes and then we can get to our bedtime routines.
Little mister is old enough now that he knows what “bedtime routine” entails. So he gets his pajamas and goes to the bathroom to get a bath. While he is in the bath, I do my planning for the next day. The things that I take into consideration with each day are:
- Appointments that we need to go to
- Errands that need to be run
- Work that needs to be done for my blog and work as a VA
- Work that needs to be done around the house
- What is Mr. Hubster’s schedule
Asking myself these questions and then planning my day sets my day up to be as successful as possible. The other big thing that I do is set out my clothes and Little Mister’s clothes for the morning. This eliminates the need for yet another decision to be made in the am.
So many of these tips I learned from Make Over Your Evenings. Now, I can set my evening routine up to give me the most successful night AND morning. And, since we have been doing this for a while, my family knows exactly what to expect and pitches in (at least they pitch in most of the time).
Books and cuddles
Every good night should end in books and cuddles, right? We set this habit when little mister was just a wee babe and we have never given it up. After he gets a few books and a few minutes of snuggles, it is lights out!
This is another portion of my evening routine that is variable. I will grab a quick shower and then if the Mr. is home, we may watch a show together, but that is only about 1-2 times a week. Most nights, I am working on this blog for a bit after putting Little Mister to sleep. It is really not a productive time for me, but I can do some things still.
But don’t let that fool you! I am not a night owl!!! I go to sleep around 9-10 every night and it is glorious! I try to stay up sometimes to get one more episode of The Office in with Mr. Hubster, but I often fail. Waking up early makes it hard!
The one thing that I am struggling to really incorporate consistently is journaling and gratitude time. There are so many benefits to journaling (like the Inspiration Lady mentions in her post here) and writing out your gratitude that I know it is something I want to do, but I am a work in progress.
The importance of a morning and evening routine
I really cannot even tell you how much my life changed for the better when I discovered my evening routine. It took some time to get the right actions in each night, but I finally feel like most nights are successful and leave me feeling prepared for the next day.
Setting your night up on a routine helps your family know what to expect, helps you know what tasks you need to do, give you time for the family and can make you feel as though you are ready to tackle the day (after you tackle the bed lol). It is also amazing to go ahead and get your thoughts out each night so that you don’t lay in bed pondering over what your day will hold.
The same thing goes with a morning routine. With a routine in place, you know that you can get out of the door on time, get everything accomplished that you need to, and your family will be on the same page. It is a glorious thing! Check out my post on a working mom morning routine for ideas on how to set your morning up (even if you aren’t a working mom!).
How to get into an evening routine
I am not sure that I would have figured out my evening routine if it hadn’t been for Make Over Your Evenings by Money Saving Mom. After initially going through it, I have gone through it a few more times to really hone in on what is working and what isn’t. When you are learning how to get into an evening routine, you will likely do the same thing.
Be super consistent with your new routine for a couple of weeks to see if it is working. If is isn’t working, you will know. Just add or take away when you know something has to give.
The hardest part with any routine is when you get out of routine and then have to struggle to get back in the groove. Take the same tips from when you were learning how to get into an evening routine and apply them again. Soon enough, it really becomes natural.
Because of my evening routine, I am more productive and ready for the next day.
Having an evening routine helps me massively as a mama and as a work at home mom. The necessary things get done and I don’t struggle in the morning with tasks that should have been taken care of the night prior. Really take the time and effort to learn how to get into a routine using my evening routine as a basis if you need to.
I am seriously a fan of the small course, Make Over Your Evenings, and I think you will be too! So if you struggle at night to get to bed on time, get everything done that you want to get done, or heck, you just need ideas about where to start, check out the course!
Now tell me, what is your BIGGEST struggle during the evening?
Also, be sure to read my post about working mom morning routine bc every mama needs both a morning and an evening routine!