Welcome back to the ORGANIZED Work-At-Home Challenge! You can find the beginning of this challenge *here*
We’re so close to the end of this challenge! Just one day left! Can you believe it?
Yesterday we talked about starting our days strong with a good Morning Routine. Today we’re going to look at our Evening and Before-Bedtime Routines.
As you may have guessed by my previous post, I am a total morning person. By default, that also means I’m not a night person. By the time dinner is finished, I’m beginning to drag. By the time the boys go down for bedtime, I’m officially done with my day. The couch starts looking wonderfully comfy and I switch into vacation mode. Bring on the husband time and Netflix! Dishes? Haha. What, you’re talking to me?
Once upon a time, I used to pile up the dishes by the sink after dinner and leave the kitchen how it lay. This usually involved sticky countertops and food on the floor, but the idea of cleaning it up when I was already so exhausted seemed monumental.
Of course, I’d wake up in the morning and the breakfast table would be all… crusty. Finding a relaxed place to read my Bible and drink coffee usually meant fleeing the kitchen entirely. Later that morning, the dishes would be so much harder to wash and that new trail of ants that mapped out the war-torn crumb situation under the table was no ego boost.
Not a good start to my day.
And then, thanks to some prodding from some of my favorite home management websites (abowlfulloflemons.net and flylady.net), I resigned myself to developing a healthier evening routine. And you know what? It’s not as hard as I was expecting it to be! Perhaps it’s because the results are so incredibly gratifying that’s it’s gotten easier and easier to do.
So for me, immediately after dinner, the kitchen gets done. Right away. No excuses. It’s a great time for Dad to visit with and watch the kids for a while. If he works evenings, it’s a great time for a movie to ‘babysit’ if they’re a bit on the cranky side. Either way, tackle that kitchen! Waking up to a clean kitchen all ready for breakfast is going to be your gift to yourself tomorrow.
Get dinner stuff put away, wash those dishes, wipe down the table and counter, and sweep the floor too, if the fall-out’s enough! Then congratulate yourself on a job well done, stop working, and go relax with your family. The kitchen really is the heart of the home. If it’s being taken care of well, the rest of the house will run smoothly by default.
Once the kids go down for bedtime, I’d encourage you to tag on another short routine to finish your day… The Before-Bedtime Routine.
- Do a quick tidy
- Check tomorrow’s to-do-list and calendar
- Prepare the coffee pot
- And resolve not to get to bed too late!
Remembering what I said in the last post, if you’re not a morning person, you can switch a lot of your Morning Routine’s prep to here. The important thing is that you have prepared somehow, some way for tomorrow. It makes life so much easier.
When you’re done with your Before-Bed Routine, go spend some one-on-one time with your best friend and enjoy being only a wife for a few hours. (It helps immensely if you’ve taught your children to stay in bed once you’ve put them down). Have some fun together! If your husband has things to do (mine often has some deskwork), that’s your time to Pinterest or read a book! You’ve had a long and productive day so you deserve to pamper yourself a little.
Your challenge for today is to finalize your Evening and Before-Bed Routines. When you’re happy with the way your daily routines look, find a pretty font and colors, print it out, and add it to your binder. Put it somewhere up front, since you’ll be using this page a lot. If you slip it into a page protector, it will be easy to cross things off with a dry erase marker as you get things done.
One last tip… When you’re done with your day and look over your to-do-list, remember that if you tried your best, it’s okay not to get everything done. (Now if you got sidetracked with facebook and pinterest all day, it’s not as okay. Close that laptop, put away that smartphone, and resolve to do better tomorrow!).
I challenge you to take that unfinished to-do-list and WIPE IT ALL AWAY. Don’t mark what you didn’t do. Don’t circle or underline your inability or shame. Start tomorrow afresh, prioritize, and do your best. Then be proud of yourself. Keeping a house a home is hard work. Just do your best and let go of the rest. (Hey, that rhymed!) Do your best and start your day fresh? Do your best and not any less. Or perhaps… Do your best and forget about the mess? Okay, I’m getting carried away. (My Dad would be proud) I’ll leave you all alone now. 😉
Tomorrow, on our very last day, I’ll be covering a general round-up of other things you can stick in your binder to become better organized and intentional about homemaking. Until then!