May 3, 2021
Simple Shortcuts : Morning Routine
I’m so excited to share a new series with you – Clean Mama’s Simple Shortcuts. Every Monday for the next six weeks, I’ll be sharing my favorite simple shortcuts and gathering yours on Instagram. I’ll share them on Instagram as you are sharing them but I’ll also gather them up over the next six weeks and share them as a free printable at the end of the series. I’ve been feeling like I really need simple and easy right now – you too? I can’t wait for us to all gather tips that help us over the next six weeks. It’s going to be really fun and helpful with a community feel. Make sure you’re following along on Instagram too!
Today, we’re going to be talking about our favorite Simple Shortcuts for Morning Routines! I’m going to list some 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 Morning Routine? These are the things that I do that start the day with a little more ease and they help get my day started in the right direction. I’m sharing an example of my current morning routine on a perfect day when everything aligns. It’s important to note that for as much as I love and advocate for structure and routine, I understand that I can never get too secure in my routines because they need a little flexibility and grace to change with life and schedules. My morning routine has flexed and changed quite a bit in the last year – here’s where it’s landed for now. Once summer starts, it’ll morph again – that’s life! If you are wanting to change up your morning routine or lack thereof, add one thing at a time, don’t try to adjust things too quickly or make lots of changes. Little by little, your morning routine can be the best part of your day!
- Get an early start to the day and have a little time alone before anyone else is up. I wake up between 4:30 and 5:00am – I am a morning person and enjoy being up this early because the house is dark and quiet. If the idea of being up before the sun makes you want to dive back under your comforter, then get up later! This is about finding what works for you.
- Unload dishwasher + make coffee – I race the coffee machine while unloading the dishwasher – I love this routine. This pairs a pain point (unloading the dishwasher) with a happy task (coffee) – this is a concept I talk about quite a bit in my latest book, Clean Mama’s Guide to a Peaceful Home.
- Start without screens. Read and spend time in my devotional with my coffee. I enjoy this quiet time without any screens and find that it helps me start the day off right. This time can be spent journaling too – do what works for you.
- Quick check in on emails and schedule my work day – 10 minutes max. I work from home and don’t love answering emails in the morning because emails can sway the direction of the day.
- Water and workout. I start my workout before the kids are up, if they get up while I’m still doing a workout they’ll fix breakfast or hang out until I’m done.
- Breakfast and lunch. Finish helping kids with breakfast and lunches, put breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. Doing breakfast and lunch prep at the same time saves on clean up.
- Double check kids’ morning routines – make sure rooms get a little tidy and teeth get brushed, etc.
- Shower and get ready for the day if there’s time. I like to take my shower before taking the kids to school so I can hit the ground running when I come home.
- Head to the car by 7:15 am for school drop off. Listen to a podcast on the way home.
- Home by 8:00, make smoothie – put in the fridge for later or drink right away.
- Quick bathroom clean up – this consists of putting toiletries away, making sure towels are hung up to dry, sinks are wiped if necessary and toilets are flushed – because, kids 😉
- Start a daily load or two of laundry. This is a game changer for your daily routine – do one load of laundry from start to put away. Sometimes I’ll start a load before taking the kids to school and put it in the dryer when I get home. You can see in the below picture that on any typical day I have something hanging to dry, and clothes in the washer and/or dryer. I love taking care of laundry daily – it makes things so much easier. See the Clean Mama laundry products that I use daily here.
- Do a DAILY or WEEKLY CLEANING TASK. Just one or two things before getting started is really helpful for me. Make the bed, tidy up a space, it all adds up and makes a big difference. You can see the Clean Mama Routine here.
- Head to my home office and start working around 8:30 or 9 am.
I am able to get quite a bit done in the early hours before the rest of the family is up, and I love this time to myself. It also means that I can spend after school hours and evening hours with my kids and husband.
Some people just aren’t morning people or maybe you head to work and don’t feel like you have a spare minute. Or perhaps you prefer to get tasks done later in the day or at night. But I hear all the time about people who wish they could be morning people! If that’s you and you want to get up earlier but aren’t sure how, I have a couple ideas to get you started:
Start the evening before.The key to success in the morning is setting yourself up for success the evening before. I recommend a clean kitchen at night as one of the things that makes getting up earlier a little easier. Why? You won’t have to wake up to a mess from the day before – you’ve already reset your kitchen. This is a huge component in keeping up with this habit because you aren’t waking up to work – who wants to do that? You’re waking up to do something that will make your day run more smoothly.
Turn off the screens.Turning off phones and computers and televisions a little earlier is the best way to get yourself ready for bed. Stop sleeping with your phone – the emfs (electro and magnetic fields) mess with your natural body rhythms. We keep our phones and devices downstairs in a charging station. I find that putting them away early in the evening (optimally/in a perfect world, before dinner and away for the night) is really helpful. Get a cute, old-fashioned alarm clock and use that instead of your phone.
Go to bed when you’re tired.Stop fighting through the tiredness and just go to bed. If you are used to staying up late, try going to bed earlier and see how you feel. See if it makes a difference in your day. Everyone needs to sleep but everyone’s perfect amount of sleep is different. Make your goal 6-8 hours and experiment to find what amount makes you feel most rested and alert during the day.
Get your morning drink going. Coffee, lemon water, a smoothie, tea – whatever you drink first thing in the morning, get that going. It gives you something to look forward to when you step out of bed. I like to start my coffee as I’m unloading the dishwasher and make it a race to see who wins – me or the coffee machine. You might find that getting a pitcher of lemon water ready the night before is just what you need or maybe your coffee machine has a timer on it so you can set it up the night before and waltz into the kitchen as the last drop hits the pot.
Start small.If you want to get up at 5 am but you’re getting up at 7am, don’t just jump into the two hour time difference. Set your alarm for 6 or 6:30 am for a week or so and go to bed earlier. When you’re ready to make the adjustment to 5am work in 15-30 minute increments over a week or even up to a month. If you like the results, keep going to bed a little earlier and waking up earlier until you’ve formed this habit. You might find that getting up at 6am is plenty of time for you and you aren’t interested in getting up any earlier.
Your turn! What are your best Simple Shortcuts for your Morning Routine? Share in the question box on Instagram Monday and Tuesday of this week or in the comments here on the blog.
My latest 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 homekeeping journey.
I am not a morning person and after years of getting up at 4.30am for work happily stay in bed much later now! I have my quiet time in the evening, after everything is tidy and I can relax. However, to keep on top of things and not feel behind all day I also prepare the night before. I turn on the dishwasher and a load of laundry as I go to bed. I always tidy the house and have the coffee ready to go and mugs on the bench. This way I can hang out laundry (we rarely use clothes dryers here in New Zealand!) and empty the dishwasher first thing. I love following your daily tasks as I do ‘t have to think about what to do in the morning. I find them very helpful for knowing when to stop … I am inclined to be a bit obsessive with cleaning so the tasks are a good guide to what is enough for the day.
Becky – I absolutely love this routine idea! I have always been a fan of schedules and have been getting up at 6am but I am now encouraged to try the 5am time again. Will mesh well with my son’s early morning swim practice this summer ????. I love that you remind everyone that schedules are always a work in progress!
Cindy in SD????
With kids my best morning timesaver is without a doubt laying out their clothes the night before, including socks! I feel like that one thing saves us at least ten minutes.
Ruthie Stuhlman Says
Hi Becky! Your routines have really worked for me. Of course, I do my own tweaking but I love the idea of the 5 daily tasks. We call them to “clean mama five” at my house! Takes less than an hour daily and has been a huge game changer for our family. Even my husband noticed and said “the house has never looked this clean before.” I feel more peaceful! So glad I found your blog! Ruthie
Clean Mama SaysPost author
Love this Ruthie! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Ruthie Stuhlman Says
Hi Becky! Your routines have really worked for me. Of course, I do my own tweaking but I love the idea of the 5 daily tasks. We call them the “clean mama five” at my house! Takes less than an hour daily and has been a huge game changer for our family. Even my husband noticed and said “the house has never looked this clean before.” I feel more peaceful! So glad I found your blog! Ruthie
Thank you for sharing this, Becky. It is so helpful. I have long been struggling with creating a morning routine. Particularly since my kids are still distance learning, I’ve been less and less inclined to wake up early to find time for myself… even though it would be the only time I could have to myself since everyone is home all day.
I still set my alarm daily but turn it off and go right back to sleep. I will try to set an incremental change as you suggest.
Dyanne Nieves-Gutierrez Says
For so many years I have been just getting by with no schedule. I want my day to start off good and end just as good. I dislike wasting so much time. I’m going to implement these changes little by little. It is never to let to change.
I’ve added flossing (dental NOT dancing????) to my morning routine after years of using the excuse “I’m just too tired” to do it at night. I’ve done it daily for the past several years as a result of this simple switch.
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Hi Becky, there is nothing like having the morning go smoothly. I am a work in progress, but my 5 year old has gotten the hang of it. She picks her clothes out each night before bed – including shoes. She was helping me pick mine out (fun for us both) and I think I need to get back into that habit again. That saved me at least 10 minutes every morning. I am not a morning chore person though. Not enough time. And definitely not enough time for me time, need to move the alarm clock up 10 or 15 minutes… I do try to set my coffee up the night before, and least prep the grounds and cup. I love the idea of trying to beat the coffee maker.