June 1, 2021
It’s the final week of Clean Mama’s Simple Shortcuts. For the past six weeks, I’ve shared my favorite simple links and collected yours on Instagram every week. I have a free printable version next week that includes all of the tips from this series. I feel like I need really simple and easy now – you too? Follow on Instagram too!
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Today we are talking about our favorite Simple shortcuts for evening routines! I’ll list a few of mine below, add yours to the comments here, or head over to Instagram to add yours in the Stories question box.
My favorite simple shortcuts for an evening routine? These are the things I do in the evening to end the day in a relaxed manner. I’ll share an example of my current evening routine on a perfect day when everything fits. It is important to note that, as much as I love and advocate structure and routine, I understand that I can never get too confident in my routines because they need a little flexibility and grace to change with life and schedules . My evening routine has loosened up and changed a lot over the past year – this is where it ended up for the time being. Now that summer begins, things will be different again – that’s life! If you want to change your evening routine or not, add one at a time, don’t try to adjust things too quickly or make too many changes.
Depending on your schedule, your evening routine can start when you get home from work, have dinner on the table, the kitchen is clean for the night, or when it’s time to go to bed. I will encourage you to think about your evening routine as you start preparing for dinner. This is a time to trust and make it easy for you to draw a line from start to finish.
For my family, the evening routine starts around 5 p.m. when the children have mostly finished their homework and are playing outside or somewhere in the house. Sometimes we finish or go to an exercise session around this time, but most of the time the clock starts at 5:00 p.m. to bring dinner to the table around 6:00 p.m.
My evening routine ends with a kitchen reset, including my favorite Nightly Sink Scrub, and when the kitchen is clean we turn off the lights – I love the cozy look and feel under the counter lights in the kitchen. Ideally, we would have a candle lit in the evening or let a diffuser run to give the ground floor a bit of ambience. The children do their homework, shower, we play a game, maybe watch a show, read books and go to bed. The kids are usually all in bed around 8am and my husband and I go upstairs around 9:30 pm.
Start the night before.The key to success in the morning is to adjust to success the night before. I recommend having a clean kitchen at night as one of the things that makes getting up early a little easier. Why? You don’t have to wake up to a mess from the day before – you’ve already reset your kitchen. This is a great component to keeping up with this habit because you don’t wake up to work – who wants to do that?
Turn off the screens.Turning off phones, computers, and televisions a little earlier is the best way to get ready for bed. Stop sleeping with your phone – the emfs (electric and magnetic fields) mess up your natural body rhythm. We keep our phones and devices downstairs in a charging station. I find it very helpful to clear them away in the early evening (optimally / in a perfect world, before dinner and away for the night). Get yourself a cute old fashioned alarm clock and use it in place of your phone.
Go to bed when you are tired. Stop struggling through fatigue and just go to bed. If you’re used to staying up late, go to bed earlier and see how you feel. See if it makes a difference in your day. Everyone needs to sleep, but the perfect amount of sleep is different for everyone. Set yourself a goal of 6-8 hours and experiment to find out what amount will make you feel most rested and alert during the day.
Ideas to optimize your evening routine:
- If you want to sleep longer, turn off the devices and the TV before you go to bed. Add reading, even if it’s only 10 minutes, this will help you build a new habit.
- Take a bath, make a cup of tea, find something that feels restful and replenishes you before bed and for the next day. Find the periods of time that you can use for yourself.
- I worked on reading before bed in the evening. Even if I read a page or two before I turn off the lights and close my eyes, I love that this is the last of my day. Small goals and small steps are gateways to habits!
- Start by making changes on one night a week and see how that feels. Add as you see fit – you don’t have to take a bath every night or brew a cup of tea every night, but it might feel good on Monday night. Start there.
It’s your turn! What are your best simple shortcuts for your evening routine? Share this on Tuesday in the question box on Instagram or in the comments here on the blog. I’ll be back tomorrow with my must-haves for the evening routine!
My newest book, Clean Mama’s Guide to a Peaceful Home, goes into detail about setting up systems and rituals in your home and would be a great addition to your household trip.