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How to Have Organized and Happy Morning and Evening Routines

Happy Mornings

Have a Great Start and End to the Day!

Regardless of whether you enjoy schedules and routines, starting your day right and wrapping it up peacefully is bound to make a difference on the way you feel and function. If you’ve been jumping out of bed late, rushing around to get ready, forgetting to eat breakfast and finally, getting onto the road only to be caught in the office-goers’ traffic snarl, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. I’ve been there and done that and trust me, starting my day off right makes the biggest difference to my mood and productivity and for that, I need to organize my evenings.

 How to Have an Organized Evening Routine    

 Organizing your evenings is a simple and practical way of unwinding from the day’s stress and making a fresh start the next day. Best part is that it hardly takes any time. Most of these items can be done as you catch up with your kids and spouse or as you watch TV. Even, if you like being mindful and focused, the entire evening routine will take you only a maximum of 30 minutes. Now that isn’t so bad, is it? 

 Clear Up – I hate waking up to a cluttered and untidy room. Since I work in the dining room, these days, I make sure that I clear up the living room and the dining area each night before I go to bed. I make it fun and have my toddler join in as we run around trying to see who can pick up the fastest. Since most of the things are her toys, it’s a great way to have her put back things where they belong. A clean and clutter-free room is a joy to be and work in and wake up to.

 Clear Your Head – It’s easy to spend 10 to 15 minutes each evening to jot down your to-do list  for the next day. Clearing your head will help you sleep better and you wouldn’t have to waste time in the morning trying to remember things to do and errands to run.

 Put Your Clothes Out – The morning is not the time to think of what to wear. Instead, do it while you watch your evening T.V. Take out your outfit for the next day, complete with accessories, and lay it out. If you have school-going kids, do the same for them. Also, spend some time getting your handbag (if you’ll be headed out the next day) and the kids school bags ready.

 Put Your Breakfast and Lunch Out – Again, the morning is not the time to think of what to eat. Depending upon what you want to have, you can put out everything on the table, as in the case of cereal, or just the ingredients for whipping things up. For instance, when its pancakes, I keep the flour, sugar, vanilla essence out on the countertop along with the mixing bowl and the pan. So, in the morning, I just take the eggs and milk from the refrigerator and I’m on my way to making a yummy breakfast. You’ll be happier in the morning when all you have to do is sit down and eat and then, pick up your lunch and head out the door.

 Create an Errand Central – If you have a list of errands to run the next day, keep everything you need to carry out with you, in one place. So, if you have trip to the hospital, library, supermarket on your to-do list, keep your hospital paperwork, library books and grocery list all in one place. That way, you’ll save time in the morning looking for things you need.

 Unwind – Spend time doing what you love as you get ready for bed. Whether it is snuggling with your kids as you read bedtime stories, an evening walk or run, having a heart-to-heart with your spouse, watching a favorite TV show or reading a good book, do it. It’ll leave you relaxed, calm and happy. The day’s ended and you should end it well.

 Set Your Alarm – Finally, before your head hits the pillow, set the alarm. And yes, keep the clock or your cell phone (if you use that for your alarm) at a distance, so that you’ll have to get out of the cozy warmth of your quilt in the morning. It’s all too easy to reach out, switch off the alarm , turn over and go right back to sleep. Don’t ask me how I know!

  How to Start Your Morning Right

 Let’s face it, your morning does set the tone and rhythm for the day. So, let’s start the day on the right note. You’ve already done half the job the night before, so now just enjoy yourself.

 Wake Up Early – Getting up even 15 to 20 minutes earlier than usual can make a difference. I don’t want you to join my club and wake at like, 4:30 in the morning, unless you want to, of course. But if you’ve been waking up at say, 7 and finding yourself short on time, try shifting your wake up time to 6:40 and see the difference. If you need any help on how to wake up early and with enthusiasm, do check out Christina’s excellent guide.

 When you’re up 20 minutes early, here’s how you can use that time to start your day right.

 Take a Shower – Again, whether you’re a SAHM, WAHM or working mom, taking a shower and getting dressed is really what you should do once you’re up. Besides shaking you out of your sleepy stupor, a quick shower will ensure that you never feel untidy, crumpled and messy through the day. Since you’ve already laid out your clothes the night before, you just step in, shower, get dressed and voila, you’re ready to face the day. 7-10 minutes. 

 Read Something Nice – A few inspiring words, motivating phrases or simply, a scripture verse to lead you through the day will fill your head and heart with happy, positive and mood-uplifting thoughts. I never read the newspaper, first thing in the morning. I have a few books with Daily Inspirations and pick one up to quietly read and reflect upon in the living room.  5 minutes

 Listen to Something Nice – Soothing music or happy beats, take your pick. Music is a great way to get in the groove. Pop on a good track and enjoy it while you eat your breakfast. I’ve noticed that whatever I listen to in the morning, tends to stay as a tune in my head through the day and I often, find myself humming and singing the same song as I go about my work. So, choose wisely.

 Eat Breakfast – If you’ve used your evening smartly, you would have planned your breakfast and even, set out the cereal bowl or plate. So, just sit down and enjoy it. Breakfast is fuel and eating it will help you avoid a mid-day energy slump or afternoon crabbiness. 5-7 minutes.

 And you’re set to face the day, peace-filled, happy and organized.

What helps you create a peaceful morning? How do you organize your evenings?

 

Photo Credit: Lin Fuchshuber

Next in the Series: Getting Organized in the Kitchen

Prerna


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Comments

  1. Christina Crowe says:

    Hi Prerna,

    First, thanks for the mention! This was a great read, and you include some really good pieces of advice that I’ve never even thought about. This article was so good, that I just have to retweet it. :)

    I agree with keeping the room clean and organized before you start work. I always tidy up my office before going to bed. It’s nice to have a clean room to step into each and every morning. I think that’s a good exercise that you do with your daughter – it teaches her how to be responsible with her things in a fun way. I might adapt the same exercise when I have children. :)

    And I LOVE your idea to have your clothes ready the next day. I’ve always been organizing things in the morning, and it does eat up a bit of time during my morning routine when I could be starting my morning exercise or planning out my day right then.

    I also like your idea to unwind. I always reward myself at the end of the day with a nice good fiction novel. By having a reward at the end of the day, you have something to look forward to while you’re working. It really helps loads.

    Christina

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Christina, you’re most welcome..Your post is a great guide. :-)
      Glad you liked this post and the tips.. Oh and I forgot to mention that my daughter totally loves doing her chores.. In fact, its such fun for her that if I pick up her toys on my own, she gets really upset that she didn’t get to “help mamma” :-)

  2. All fantastic advice, and I’ll definitely be trying to use it, because I’m feeling the morning slump lately, lol!

  3. Hi Prerna! I love the idea of having an organized morning and evening routine. I like the idea of clearing up our space in the evening so we wake up to a tidy space. I’ve also been working on the idea of waking up earlier in the morning. Some days work out better than others, getting there slowly. :)
    Thanks for your insights. Loving blessings!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Andrea, glad you like the tips.. Yep, waking early does take some getting used to.. And the cold, winter months can make it especially hard to get out of a cozy bed:-)

  4. Ranjeetha says:

    Hii Prerna,
    After reading your post “The Beauty of Waking Up Early in the Morning” I was inspired to wake up a little earlier than usual and now this article just made things better.
    When you set the mood for the next day on the previous night things are bound to be a little bit easier.
    Today was my 1st day at waking up early. I had a tough time but on the whole I got a better perspective of how to go about things. I just changed my son’s baby sitter (the former was just down my house….could afford to be late and lazy) and the new one is a bit far away so I have to drop him off and then go to work – this just got me more determined to get up early.
    I have to say you are doing something that is true to your name “Prerna” = “Inspire”.

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Aww.. Ranjeetha, that is so sweet. Am so glad you’re waking early.. Isn’t the quiet of the morning the most beautiful thing?? Do have an evening routine too, it’ll make your mornings really peaceful.

  5. Hii Prerna…
    I am following an evening routine now…it really saves time…will be blogging about this in my blog soon….I have already mentioned your article in my blog (hope you don’t mind)…just want more people to realize the joy of early rising.
    Thanks a lot…and do take a peek at my blog if time permits.

  6. How ‘do-able’ these are Prerna! I’ve been subscribed to your blog for a while now and love the practical and yet profound stuff you write. Sorry I haven’t stopped by to say how much I appreciate it all. Thank you! You truly have a gift.

  7. Hi
    Prerna,
    great great post very very inspiring…
    I am basically a night person , I love to do things that are pending when I finish off my daily cooking and other chores and I am most enthusiastic at that time probably because I know the demands of the day are all done and I am free to do what I like now…
    I sleep quite late and with my hubbies timing sleeping early wont be possible … but I would love to try this early routine will let you know my feeling if I do so..
    THANKS AGAIN

  8. Dear Prerna,

    From one dining-room-desk-mom-writer to another: Thanks so much for this! It’s super helpful! Like you, I also clear up my work space and home before going to bed. There’s so much peace in going to sleep knowing my home is clutter-free.

    Right now, I am a bona fide evening person. It’s not by choice, though! I guess I gradually evolved into one because I can only find long stretches of time to work at night, when my baby is asleep. It’s not ideal, but I’ve managed to go with it so far.

    You know what the funny thing is? I used to have an evening routine of relaxing and unwinding, and then I seemed to forget about it when I started to work from home! Hmmm. I must make amends and kick-start on a meaningful evening routine. Thanks for the reminder.

    What keeps me organized? My planner! I always tell people, “I’m not organized; my PLANNER organizes my life for me!” I need my task list, my reminders on my phone, the notes on my Google calendar. Everything just seems to work better for me when I can write it down and tick it off.

    I have a lot to work on, and now that I’ve learned more tips from you, I’ll be sure to put them into practice. Thank you!

  9. Hi there thank you for the advice on routines i love it! I am looking for ideas on routines for my children I am a SAHM AND A WAHM AND a working mom to be outside the home as well and am really nervous about how im going to be with my kids and enjoy them instead of worrying about the home routine etc…any feedback would be great thanks for the website its awesome so glad i found it!

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Esther! Thanks SO much for stopping by and sharing..Glad you liked the post.. Regarding routines for children.. I have a bedtime routine for my daughter that really helps settle her down, gives me some quality time with her.. I’ve shared more about my routines for stress-free homes here http://www.themomwrites.com/2012/05/summer-routines-for-the-busy-mom-simple-tips-to-keep-the-family-organized.html
      Would you like to read about tips on routines for kids so that they can do more independently? Like dressing up in the morning, etc.

  10. it feels so nice to just read it.. i am sure would feel more energetic doing it.. thanks for making me find my extra 20 min in life.. :)

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