Time to Plan: Morning and Nighttime Routines

I am always amazed how much smoother my day goes by simply just taking 5-10 minutes the night before to lay out the clothes for the kids and myself. It seems like when I skip this small task, I spend the beginning of my morning running around in circles and stressing myself out before I even really start my day.

So I’ve been working on carving out my morning and nighttime routines over the last two days. Like everything else I do, I’m trying to keep it real simple and basic so I don’t overwhelm myself and quit before I even start. I’m hoping that by simply taking a little time when I wake up and before I go to bed to plan out my day and tie up any loose ends from the current day that I can save myself a lot of time and stress in the long-run.

Even little things as simple as checking to make sure there aren’t any clothes left in the washer/dryer or that I remembered to start the dishwasher can lead to an overall difference in how my next day starts. I find that when I start my day off trying to catch up from the one before, that I never truly catch up.

So here’s a tiny peek into what I’m going to try over the next week or two to see how it works:

Morning Routine
1) Rise and Shine and Make the Bed
2) Get ready right away so I don’t have to squeeze in a shower midday. (yes, sometimes that happens!)
3) Start a load of laundry. This way, it’s done by the time breakfast is over!
4) Unload the dishwasher, if need be.
5) Make myself a cup of hot tea and review my to-do list for the day before the kids wake up.
6) Enjoy breakfast with the kids before I start my work day.
7) Check my emails and begin whatever I have planned for that day.

Nighttime Routine
1) Lay out clothes for myself and the kids for the next day.
2) Check to see events for the following day and put any items I need by my purse/coat so I don’t forget them.
3) Take time out with the kids to read books and get them tucked in for the night.
4) Check washer/dryer and finish up anything left.
5) Wrap up loose ends in the kitchen–washing up countertops, putting away dishes, etc.
6) Do a quick walk-through of the house and put away anything that’s not where it should be.
7) Make a to-do list for the following day.
8 ) Check my meal plan for the following day and take out any frozen items that need to thaw.
9) Take time to wrap up any website loose ends or take time for myself or with my hubby.
10) Check my email one last time for the night and get to bed at a reasonable time!

I’m hoping that by getting in a little routine that my day will go a little smoother, save me time, stress and possibly money. I’ve found that when my house is in order, I have more free time to get myself organized so I can stay on top of my menu plans, coupon clipping and other ways that help us save money.

Do any of you currently have morning/nighttime routines set in place yet? I’d love to hear how yours looks!