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How does that saying go? If you can dream it, you can do it…is that it? If not, I think that is a fine place to start when it comes to the beginning phases of creating an evening routine. While it is true that the things we would like to have happen oftentimes don’t come to fruition, if we don’t start with the ideal plan first, it certainly won’t ever come to be. In this way, planning your evening starts with planning your perfect evening, which includes creating a purposeful evening.
When you think of a perfect evening, you may initially think of an evening that is filled with all the things we would love to do from a hobby, relaxation, or playing standpoint, however, a perfect evening should also include an evening that is purposeful. Our purposeful and our downtime, as I am choosing to refer to that hobby, relaxation, and playing standpoint, need to be kept in balance. When I say balance, I don’t necessarily mean even, just that there are some activities in both category.
When creating an evening with purpose, it is vitally important to determine what you can do at night to pave the way for a smoother morning and overall day when the next day begins. In fact, creating an evening that is purposeful is one of the most effective ways to have a purposeful morning.
If you are new to getting a head start on your morning the night before, try visiting these major categories, choose which ones apply to activities that you need to take care of in the morning, and brainstorm just one thing that you could do in each category to make for a smoother morning:
Here are 10 areas to conquer in creating a purposeful evening:
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1. Overall cleanup
Need to hide some clutter? Try reading about how I hide clutter sometimes by reading Five Simple Strategies For Hiding Clutter. Even if I don’t have time to cleanup like I would want to, I at least have to have a house that appears clean in the morning.
2. Clean kitchen
I know, I know. I love having a clean kitchen in the morning but don’t always have the time or the energy to take care of it in the evening. However, the stress I feel walking into a dirty kitchen in the morning tells me that this is something that simply must be part of my perfect evening routine.
3. Breakfast prep
Are there things you can do to make breakfast go more quickly and smoothly? From a frugal standpoint we also eat a homemade breakfast most days. We do things like cinnamon bread, overnight breakfast casseroles, and even waffles and pancakes made from scratch. Many of these things require the bulk of the work to be done in the evening, which makes the breakfast rush a breeze.
4. Lunches prep
Do you have family members who take a lunch in the morning? I do often run out of time and energy in the evening to do this, however, most times I force myself to just get at least a good start on the lunches the night before.
5. Dinner prep
Yes, I find it is a good thing to even get a jumpstart on getting some things ready for dinner the night before. Many of my weekly meals are prepped on the weekend since I am all about multitasking and making the most of my weekend, however, there are generally a few things I can do even the night before.
6. Clothes prep
Do you have little ones who like to dress themselves? I often pick out and prepare their outfits for the entire week on the weekend, but at least working through this the night before makes for a smoother morning.
7. School prep
Gather backpacks, school materials, and even things like instruments, sports equipment, and anything else that your kids will need if they are leaving for school in the morning.
8. To-go prep
Are you headed out tomorrow? Make sure that you’ve got a to-go bag packed and waiting for just those last few essentials. You can read all about how I have a to-go bag ready for me. I find this to be an essential tool in the life of a busy mom who is on the go even just a little bit.
9. Car prep
Our car gets cleaned on the weekend, but with as much time as we spend in the car on a weekly basis with a busy family there are always things that need to be cleaned out here and there during the week. If you don’t want to find the random apple core that your kid left in the car the day before, give the car a quick once over in the evening.
10. Morning efficiency prep
I love having my morning routine, and I love when I make the time to gather the things I need to have my morning quiet and “office time” the night before. For me this includes gathering my planner, calendar, and water bottle among a few other things that I know I will need right when I get up. The extra few minutes I take to do this at night somehow adds up to huge dividends in the morning when I may not be moving quite so quickly.
After working through these areas when it comes to tackling the nitty gritty of a purposeful evening, do take the time to choose at least a few relaxing and enjoyable things that will refill your tank from everything you poured out of your energy stores during the day. After all, an evening routine, even a purposeful evening routine, must contain those soul filling things that we do for ourselves.
This post is based on Day two in Crystal Paine’s new course, Make Over Your Evenings. We are working through this course together as a community, and you can still join in. Click on the graphic below to purchase the course, it’s only $17, and there is even a money back guarantee!