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My Evening Routine

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There is much said about having a strong morning routine, but I believe the evening routine is even more important because it sets you up (or doesn’t) for a smooth morning the next day. Every time my family has a frenzied, stressful morning I can blame it on not preparing the night before. Here are the top five things I try to do each night before crawling into bed:

Shira At Work

1. Do the dishes and wipe down the table and counter tops. Who wants to wake up to sticky surfaces and dirty dishes? Not I.

2. Make lunches. I absolutely dread making lunches but it’s so much better to wake up knowing they are packed and ready to go.

3. Have my kids select and lay out their clothing for the next day. This has been a game changer for my indecisive first grader, who used to go through five outfits before breakfast. Now it’s one and done!


4. Map out the following day. For me this includes thinking through what we will make for breakfast, making sure I have addresses for all upcoming appointments and meetings, and jotting down any errands I need to run (groceries for dinner etc.)

5. Have a gratitude practice. Every night at dinner everyone at our dining room table shares the three highlights of their day. This simple ritual has become a wonderful family tradition, and helps us connect after a busy day. I also use the Five Minute Journal to jot down my own thoughts right before bed.

What do you do the night before to prepare for a busy day? Please share in the comments below!

photo credit: vivian johnson photography


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One comment on “My Evening Routine

  1. I love this post. Thank you. I do a lot of what you do. Somehow the payoff the next day feels way bigger than the relatively small investment of time and effort the night before. I make sure everything in the kitchen is put away (no matter how tired I am, I unload the dishwasher before I head to bed). I’m only making one lunch now, but I’ve also always done that the night before. (Like you, I hate this task. At some point I discovered that if I did it while I was preparing dinner, it didn’t feel as burdensome.) My kids don’t seem to have problems selecting outfits in the morning, but if it ever starts, I will insist they choose the night before (which is what I have done for years–even though I have a small wardrobe, there is still some decision making, and I like having it done when I get up). Another thing that helps is insisting that my kids have their backpacks packed before bed. They have to leave the house at 7 am (sigh) so it’s nice to do anything we can to save time and make mornings smoother. I really like your gratitude practice, although we don’t do it in a formal way. I think you are smart to start this with younger kids.–what a lovely tradition you have given them. I wish I had done the same. I think my own, older children might resist a little if I try to institute this. But I might anyway. 🙂

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