Have you ever noticed how the beginning of your day can set the tone for the rest of it? I don’t know about you, but when I’m rushing around in without a morning routine, trying to get lunches packed, breakfasts scarfed down, lost shoes located, and everyone out the door on time, I tend to leave a wake of destruction in my path – both mentally and physically. And I never quite recover.
Not surprisingly, when I start things off this way, the rest of my day seems to always feel chaotic, stressful and rushed. So recently I’ve decided to make a few small changes by creating a simple morning routine to get my day started the right way.
Here are three of my favorite morning routines to kickstart the day with productivity and peace.
I don’t think you have to do all of these as part of your morning routine, but choosing to consistently do even one of them EVERY DAY can significantly increase your happiness and sense of well being. Which one would you choose?
1. Make The Bed
I’ll admit, this one is hard for me. My husband gets up early to go to the gym, and I usually get up when the kids do. The first thing on my mind (and my reason for getting out of bed most mornings) is a strong craving for caffeine and sugar. I know – not the healthiest options, but hey, we can’t be good at everything, right?
Studies have shown that making your bed every morning – before you get on with the rest of your day – will help you feel more energetic and accomplished all through your day. And it takes less than 5 minutes!
Here’s what I’d suggest:
- Make sure you have clean, unwrinkled sheets. I find that using beautiful sheets that coordinate with the rest of your bedding makes this task much more enjoyable.
- Tidy your comforter and pillows. No rumpled, half-done efforts. Don’t you love how it feels when you walk into a clean, high-end hotel room? Put in a little extra effort to make your own bedroom feel that way.
The result of this morning routine?
- You’ll immediately be on the path of productivity to keep getting things done all day.
- You’ll feel a boost of confidence instead of disappointment in yourself because if you do nothing else all day, by golly, you made your bed!
- Every time you walk in your room, you’ll see that beautiful made-up bed and feel calm instead of stressed about everything else on your list.
- Your kids will grow up knowing that this is an expectation (their future spouses will thank you!).
2. Clean the Kitchen
This is my personal favorite, but it might require a little more time, depending on how consistent you are at cleaning up the kitchen the night before. It’s a totally worthwhile morning routine that gives you the productivity bubbles all day!
Here’s what I do:
- Put away any dishes from last night. You know, the ones that needed to soak overnight or were drying on the rack. I also seem to have at least one large appliance to put away – like the crock pot, rice cooker, or instant pot – from last night’s dinner.
- Unload the dishwasher. We run our dishwasher every night as part of my evening routine. Then my oldest son (who’s 7) has the job of unloading the dishes in the morning.
- Clean up the breakfast dishes and food. My kids struggle with putting things back where they belong. So I’m trying to get them in the habit of putting away their own cereal boxes, milk cartons, and clearing their breakfast dishes. I try to go ahead and load up the dishwasher so I don’t have to see dirty dishes all day.
- Wipe down the counters. With three boys in my house, there are plenty of milk spills, stringy orange guts, toast crumbs, and other unidentifiable sticky gunk to mess up my counters. Even if they were sparkling the night before.
- Vacuum the floors. Again, three boys make a mighty mess, so a quick vacuum with my cordless Bissell keeps me from crunching on crumbs all the live long day. Or at least until lunch.
- Take out the trash and/or recycling. My husband tends to take the trash out at night, but our little recycling bins seem to fill up frequently because all those cardboard boxes and plastic containers are so awkwardly shaped. This job goes to my second son (who’s 6), and he usually does it as part of his morning routine while big brother empties the dishwasher. One benefit of all these boys is Mama never has to deal with the trash. Woohoo!
- Light a candle or diffuser. If you’re going to be home for a while, what could be better than diffusing a calming essential oil or lighting a favorite holiday candle? Scent plays a powerful role in our moods, so I say go for it any way you can. I even buy a specific cleaner for my countertops because I love the way it smells so much 🙂
3. Laundry Quickie
Laundry is the neverending bane of many a mother’s existence. But try as we might, we can’t ignore it forever. Unless you want to encourage your family members to start dressing themselves in your laundry room. No judgment here.
Here’s a great morning routine to keep that laundry pile under control:
- First, make sure all of yesterday’s clothes are in the hamper. I’m sure I’m not the only one guilty of throwing a bra across the bathtub or another pair of jeans on that chair in the corner. Go ahead an start your morning off right by gathering up all those strays and putting them back where they belong.
- Next, get one load started before you eat breakfast. Laundry takes almost no concentrated thought, so you can even do this without your first cup of coffee. Yay, instant win!
- Still have a load from yesterday lingering in the dryer? Let’s get it folded and put away while the kids get dressed for school.
- Finally, I like to do a kids clothes rapid pickup. Instead of always nagging them to pick up their random socks, baseball pants, karate uniforms, etc., I just gather everything up, toss it in a laundry basket and tuck it in the laundry room. That way, I can send the kids to the basket to find what they’re missing and toss those orphan socks in with the next load.
Like I said, depending on your schedule, you may not have time to implement all of these tasks into your morning routine. I suggest starting with just one to get you started. The key is to do your routine consistently until you don’t have to think about it anymore. At that point, it will be a new habit, and you’ll be reaping all the benefits of a cleaner house without all the stress.