I've started a new routine of taking 10 minutes each night, to tackle 5 things that have since made a world of difference in the overall upkeep of our home. It makes mornings easier and nights more calming...
1. Do The Dishes - It's a proven fact that we're more likely to eat at home and make dinner ourselves if the area in which food preparation happens is clean. It's easy to cook dinner and leave cleanup for later, but making sure the dishes are done before the morning routine starts makes for a healthier day. Breakfast is a snap, dinner is easy and best of all the dishes are easy to do. Doing them each night eliminates those little bits of crusty stuck on food that can take extra time to scrape off later.
2. Pick Up Outerwear - It's easy to come home, take off your jacket, your shoes, your hat and get comfy! After all, that's what a home is for! But if your home is anything like ours, more than a days worth of shoes on the floor can be a disaster. Literally. Making sure that stray bits of clothing and shoes have been returned to their closets and baskets makes other chores on our list easier throughout the week. No one wants to clean their space before they can clean their space. Knowing you have a few minutes to spare to vacuum is easy when you don't have to tidy before hand!
3. Replace Entertainment - Most often our days are filled with busy stressful things and after our projects, homework or activites are done, there's nothing more we want than to sink into our couch with a snack and a great dvd or video game. The downfall to such habits usually necessitates a little clutter out in the open. Game boxes, dvd cases, controllers, remotes... they can seem simple and harmless, but keeping it in check each night means our main living spaces are ready to go for the next nights fun. Plus it keeps things at bay in case impromptu guests come over.
4. Tie Off Trash - Each morning before we leave the house we take the trash out. It's a great way to keep our space clean and to prevent having to drag more than 1 bag outside at a time. Because if more than 1 bag goes out at a time, that means there was a bag sitting and waiting in your home. And although it's easy to do (we've been there too), the thought of a bag of trash just hanging out is kind of... gross. By tying it off each night, it's ready to grab as we walk out the door to walk the dogs. We don't have any fuss, mess or frustration. We also have smaller bags than most, so if this isn't applicable to you, then adjust it as it works with your home.
5. Make A List - It seems silly, but there's nothing more annoying that having been out all day, only to return to discover you forgot to pick up something important. Shampoo, toilet paper, copies that needed to be made, whatever the case may be, a simple list of things that need to be picked up or done the next day can be quite freeing. We put the list in our pocket on the way out the door and it helps us keep track of the things on our agenda.
Do you have something you do before bed? Leave us a note in the comments below!
Image: Anne Ingman from Anne & Jake's Bright Colorful Midwestern Home on Apartment Therapy
Re-edited from a post originally published 4.13.09 - JL