How to Establish Your Morning Routine {& why it is so important}

Morning Routine - Beautiful Bathroom

BHG

love having a morning routine. While I readily admit I’m not the most organized or scheduled person in the world (far from it), I do have a few simple routines that help me keep my house clean enough and get me through my busy life in a somewhat balanced manageable way without losing my mind (you may have read about some of my daily routines in my Four Daily Routines post).

While some more awesome women than me might be successful with an a elaborately lovely color coded chart or regimented system for their day, I can only handle very short lists and routines and need some flexibility in order to stay sane.

I believe in homemaking simplicity  because I know myself: I will lose interest or fail at anything too complicated, time consuming or elaborate. I’ve tried so many systems and never kept up with any of them. I’ve followed my four basic daily routines for at least 13 years (not perfectly every day but they have definitely been a part of our life!). I really tried to love detailed colorful housekeeping chore charts and file boxes with chore cards, I really really did, but the reality is I mostly just loved the idea of being THAT organized. I loved how pretty it was, too, rather than loving following what it said to do.

white kitchens morning routines

BHG

This will probably disqualify me from Homemaker of the Year if I ever wanted to apply, but the truth is (shhhhhhh) I would be more inspired to clean the toilets by simply planning a party for this weekend than I would be by being told by a chart that I had to clean toilets on a Tuesday morning. 

I may not feel like cleaning a toilet on a Tuesday.

But I DO want the toilets to be clean, that is a MUST for me. So if they need attention and I notice it, I’ll clean toilets right then and there (even without planning a party! YAY ME!). I will! I will make sure that every nook and cranny of that toilet is spotless. The toilets WILL get cleaned because I WANT them to be clean. And each toilet only requires a few minutes to be sparkly again so I can fit in that task as needed in my four daily routines.

Just don’t tell me I have to clean them on Tuesday or I probably would do them on a Monday and it would mess the whole week up. :-D

I have A LOT to do every day and I get a lot done between running a growing business, all the responsibility we have in managing a church, my family and household. But housekeeping is not something I can or want to spend a lot of time on. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a clean house and strive to keep our home clean (enough), but the tasks required need to fit into the time I want to devote to homemaking and I often need to be inspired to want to do them. Thus, I have my four daily routines to keep me focused and inspired.

coffee

Why is a morning routine so important to my day?

My routines give me hope and daily inspiration for a “clean enough house” as well as a great start on a productive day. They help me keep up with the house a little bit at a time, which makes every task seem manageable since nothing piles up too big.

But here is a very important aspect of my morning routine (and all my routines):  ENJOYING my routine is important to my emotional health and productivity. My morning routine sets the tone for the day. My routines are a pleasant part homemaking, not a dreaded part. Since I enjoy the morning routine, I can start out the day much happier and content with my life!

Honestly if I had to face a long list of dreaded chores on Tuesday morning like CLEAN THE TOILET and PULL HAIR OUT OF THE SHOWER DRAIN I probably would crawl back in under the covers and never come out. But maybe that’s just me. I have issues with boring tasks. I need a simple routine that is comforting, familiar and inspires my day (mixed in with a few routine tasks that must get done every day) so it is something I actually look forward to! Like coffee! I love the smell of coffee, I love the ritual of coffee. I don’t even really drink that much coffee, I just ENJOY that it is a part of my routine.

There is also something motivating about routine when it is manageable and you know you can succeed with it! We all probably have a morning routine even if we aren’t intentional with it, so if your morning routine isn’t contributing to the success and happiness of your day, time to do some editing!

Morning Routine - A clean kitchen sink

BHG

How much time does a morning routine require?

A  simple morning routine can be as quick as 10 – 30 minutes or as long as an hour or two. Pick a realistic morning routine for your schedule and make whatever adjustments are necessary to set yourself up for success in the morning.

We all have different schedules and morning expectations, but you can mix and match what tasks work for you to create your own daily routine! Obviously those of us who work outside the home or have children (or pets, eh hem!) who need our attention may have much different morning routines than those who have more free time at home. But don’t make excuses for why you can’t have a morning routine, even if you just get dressed, brush your teeth and wipe out your sink THAT is a morning routine most everyone should be able to manage and benefit from.

Organized for the day - Built in Desk

Set up a morning routine with three kinds of tasks:

1. Tasks you need to strive to complete every day to be productive, pulled together, energized and ready to dive in to the day’s work (like brush teeth, make the bed, shower, get dressed, have coffee, unload the dishwasher, have some quiet time, etc.)

2. A couple of tasks that you can catch up really quick depending on what needs attention or how much time you have that morning (tasks like doing a load of laundry or sweeping up the kitchen floor or wiping off the bathroom counter).

3. A thing or two you enjoy and look forward to (like coffee, or music or journaling or bible reading or praying, walking, catching up on blogs).

Even if you occasionally have to skip making the bed or have to run out the door without a shower, try to stick with your routine every single day as much as possible. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t feel natural at first or seems like a bother, it takes a month or so to get in the habit.

Soon you’ll start to look forward to your routine! Your day will start to feel less stressed and your home will be more in order! When I first started my morning routines and kept them for longer than a week my husband could hardly believe I was the same woman. :-).

Laundry - Morning Routine

So, what is MY basic morning routine? 

Brush teeth and wipe out sink (because I hate bad breath and icky sinks!).

Make the bed (because it lowers the chances of me from crawling back in, starts my day out with order and motivates me to keep the bedroom clean).

Open the blinds (I need to see daylight to feel energized!)

Turn off the porch lights (I turn them back on in the evening as a part of my nighttime routine!).

Make a cup of coffee (if you are a coffee lover, no explanation necessary!).

Quiet time (sometimes I switch the order with making the bed).

Unload dishwasher, put breakfast dishes in dishwasher and clean out sink (when I have a clean sink I am more likely to keep it clean all day).

Shower (it’s my thinking time!), throw in a load of laundry (set a timer to move it to the dryer), apply light makeup and dry hair (so I feel put together and ready for the day), get dressed (shoes and all because I am more productive when I don’t put my slippers on).

Move the laundry to dryer, set a time to remove and lay out clothes (we rarely iron anything since we take clothes out immediately and never pile clothes in a laundry basket).

Turn on computer. Start the work day! (because it not only pays our bills but because I LOVE my job!).

How to Establish a Morning Routine for a Clean Enough House

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this and those gorgeous photos! I look forward to the rest of the routines.

  2. Morning is my best time, and I seem to do my best if I have a routine too. Can’t wait to see what the rest of your routines are!
    Jann from Newton Custom Interiors recently posted..How To Make Collages With PicMonkeyMy Profile

  3. Wonderful post, full of really good advice. My morning routine is tend to house animals, drink coffee – made the night before so all I have to do is turn on coffee pot…yes, I do understand! – and then have devotions while still in my robe/gown. When I have morning devotions – Spurgeon, Bible, Youssef, Begg – the rest of my day is easier to handle, no matter what. It’s not going to be perfect but it will be perfectly manageable. Then, dressed and barn chores before coming back to the house and getting started.
    Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm recently posted..Sabbath KeepingMy Profile

  4. Our routines are much the same…open the blinds to let the sunshine in, brew a pot of coffee, read my Proverbs 31 daily devotion/prayer, and then read The Inspired Room. Yep, TIR is part of my weekday morning routine! Its good to start the day off inspired!

  5. Thank you for sharing this post! I too am one who needs structure but not too structured or I turn into a 5 year old stuck inside on a sunny day. I enjoy reading your blog it is encouraging and helps me focus on what’s most important.

  6. I LOVE my morning routine, but I tend to fall out of routine after coffee and quiet time! I need to add a few more things to my list! Great encouragement! Life to the full! Melissa

  7. THANK YOU so much for this. I have a 4 month old son and I will be quitting my job in 2 weeks to stay home with him. I’m a little worried about being productive at home without something like a job that I need to go to to get me up. I think morning routines will make all the difference!

  8. I love this. I need a routine but not so much structure that I don’t have choices. I’m choosing to get up super early to get my work done before the kids are up. I’m not a morning person so to entice myself to get up the first thing of my day has to be something I really look forward to. Right now it’s a protein mocha latte and my scriptures. <3
    Angela recently posted..10 Ways to Save Money TodayMy Profile

  9. Had to laugh at the schedule requiring you to clean the toilets every Tuesday. Much worse is the Monthly Declutter Calendar which gives you an activity for each day of the month. Monday of week 1 turns out to be “clean and sort one drawer in the kitchen”. OK. Big Whoopee! Unfortunately the next “clean and sort one drawer in the kitchen” comes Friday of the second week. Exactly what do you do in the meantime. The reason I need to sort the drawers in my kitchen is that I find a can opener in one drawer and I know I have another can opener in another drawer, and here’s a pile of plastic ties in this drawer but I know I have a box for plastic tiles somewhere else. If I don’t empty all the drawers in one place, then sort, then re-drawer, I’ve wasted my time and accomplished nothing, and driven myself nuts in the process.

    Meanwhile, point of post – my morning routine is similar to others – get up in the morning with a smile on my face because I’m in my perfect home, open the curtains to let in the sunshine on my way to the kitchen to fix coffee, pop on Willie Nelson singing “Blue Skies” because my perfect home is on Blue Sky Drive and I’m very grateful, feed my kitties, pour my coffee and sit down at the computer to check e-mail and read The Inspired Room and other favorite blogs. Need to work in more play time with the kitties, a better exercise/meditation routine (yoga and tai chi/qi gong and meditation/reading) as well as a good walk while the Arizona winter/spring weather is so gracious.

    Thanks for naming your blog as you did, Melissa, and for being an inspiration every day in so many ways.

  10. Patty Aslin says:

    WOW….I loved every photograph! I love order in my home too. You have a beautiful way of organizing all the things we need in our everyday lives….THANK YOU for sharing these photos and KUDOS for a job well done! Patty from Colorado

  11. So is it bad that I’m reading this at noon – no routine on this St. Louis snow day – my snow day routine is: sleep late – read in bed and look out the window at the beautiful snow – shower – dry hair (really dry as going outside to 0 degrees soon) – make peanut butter toast – open computer – read this post – ok – now going out to shovel :)

  12. My goal is to implement a morning routine. I got the “open blinds” trick from you awhile back and make sure to do that every morning, but beyond that, my routine is to sleep until the baby demands my attention, then get her out of the crib and hold her while I zombily make coffee with my free hand. Then I “entertain” her with some cheerios while I nurse that cup of coffee for 45 minutes as I idly scroll through Facebook on my phone. An hour after I wake up I’m able to function enough to do something useful.
    This must stop.
    I really want to start waking up earlier and starting my day off right, but it is so much easier said than done.
    Carly recently posted..The First and The SimpleMy Profile

  13. This is a wonderful post to begin the month of January and I love your photos and quotes:) I agree.. the morning routine – or routines in general help keep us focused. It’s interesting that we all seem to need that quiet time in the morning. It’s do important to me and sets my mood for the day.

    Hope your week is off to a great start!
    Leslie

  14. I do pretty much the same thing every morning, exercise, shower, makeup, study/prayer, quick clean-dishes and bathroom- at that point it is about 7:30am…..from there chart my day…meetings and I decide what need my attention the most .
    Thanks for sharing your tips…I always look forward to them!
    teresa recently posted..10 minute challengeMy Profile

  15. I am so with you on this. I see charts and stickers on blogs that to me take up wall space. I make a list every night. I call it dumping my brain. There is always something new I need to get done the next day. Appts. Things that need to be returned or picked up…ect…. I have been doing this for years. It works for me. A pretty colorful chart will just feel like cutter to me and I, like you, will more then likely never look at it. I also HAVE to have a morning routine. I do a lot of cleaning at night. I love waking up to a clean house. That is what I think makes my morning routine so enjoyable. I don’t have a good day when I have to leave the house really early. (Something I try very hard not to do.) Love your blog by the way. Can’t wait to read your future posts on this topic.

    I also have to open all the blinds first thing in the morning! :)

  16. My a.m. routine consists of waking up, in the shower, then out getting ready, drying hair, makeup, etc. while drinking my one cup of coffee my husband has made and brought to me. Getting dressed, making bed, taking boys t school, and off to work if needed. Off days I tend to keep it the same so I can help my mother in law if needed or a friend.

  17. I loved this post. It speaks of how genuine you are. I agree with the need of a morning routine and also that it must be somewhat enjoyable or else we would all want to stay in bed. Mine sounds very similar to yours. I also agree that if you tell me I have to do something like clean the toilets on a given day…there is just enough rebellion in me that I won’t want to do it that day. I like a clean house but I won’t be a slave to it. We have a very busy household so I try to keep my expectations realistic. I try to make certain the kitchen stays tidy. It helps keep me focused. The bathrooms get cleaned in stages. The timer is my friend, and I will use it while tidying up to keep me from spending too much time on something when I should be at my desk working….

  18. Melissa! I read your blog very often but on my iphone so I rarely comment. I just wanted you to know that you inspire me. I love your openness, honesty, and style. Thank you! This post is one of my favorites so far! I too love those colorful charts and lists, but I fail every time. I have found that having certain tasks assigned to a specific day helps me to allow myself to procrastinate without guilt -“I could clean the floor, but that’s on tomorrow’s list”. LOL! I find that I use the list for a few weeks every few months or so. When I start to get overwhelmed it helps to make a plan. Thanks to you for helping me see that I dont need to label that as a failure.

  19. I’m not a morning person but a morning routine keeps me sane. I’ve also started making a few afternoon and evening routines and I love how they make my day flow. Flexible, but focused. And I love the idea of having something enjoyable in your routine to get you moving! So smart.
    Shannon [Our Home Notebook] recently posted..Weekend ReadsMy Profile

  20. This is so helpful! I can’t tell you how many times I have read organization blogs, made the chore charts, sticks, etc… And then ended up more overwhelmed because I failed… This sounds realistic. I would like some advice on my morning routine, because I have 4 kids, 11months, 4, 5, and 8yrs old, and a husband. And I seriously struggle with ppd and ptsd. My mom always makes her bed first thing in the morning, and when she doesn’t, she’s in a funk. I have absolutely no order in my life…. Any advice on my morning routine? I don’t know how to incorporate my own agenda while feeding the kids and getting them dressed as well. I would love your feedback.

  21. It’s posts like this that make me feel as though I need to scour the archives of your site for more excellent nuggets of awesomeness like this, you’ve been very studious in making your life efficient and we all benefit from it, I’m looking forward to seeing your book!

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