After dinner, our whole family is exhausted. My sons are worn out and ready for bed, my husband is tired from a day after work, and I’m completely brain-dead after a day of caring for my beautiful, curious, energetic preschoolers.
We’ve created a great bed-time routine for our boys, and my husband loves putting the boys to bed so he can spend some time with them after work. Once everyone has gone upstairs, I have about 30 minutes of uninterrupted time.
I used to stumble around and try to clean up the kitchen, pay bills, check Facebook, take out the trash, look at a magazine, or just do whatever I saw that I wanted to do. Then I realized that this time in the early evening is an opportunity for me to “re-set” my home for the next day, and get a lot accomplished with some focused effort.
First, I had to figure out what needed to be done. Of course, this will be different for every family. I started to make a list of things I needed to do after dinner to “re-set” my kitchen and prep for tomorrow. Here’s what I came up with:
- Clean the table– We have a basic white kitchen table, so I do this with Windex and paper towels. If the paper towels are very wet after cleaning the table, I save them to do spot cleaning on the floor.
- Clean the counter tops – Wipe them down and get rid of the weird crusty things that seem to accumulate on them every.single.day.
- Sweep the floor – I use our stick vacuum for this. So easy! It’s good to do this before the kiddos fall asleep so it doesn’t wake them up.
- Spot-clean the floor – We always end up with milk splashes, gobs of spaghetti sauce, and other weird spots on our floor. I use leftover paper towels and my love, Windex, to clean these up. I limit myself to ten spots. Otherwise, this could turn into a bizarre Windexing the floor activity.
- Load the dishwasher – I try to do this as I clear the table, but there’s usually more stuff to put in the dishwasher. I do a quick sweep of the house to pick up stray sippy cups, snack bowls, and glasses. Once it’s all in, I turn it on!
- Clean the sink – Again, I use Windex. And sometimes a scrub brush to get rid of the disgusting-ness.
- Make snacks for the boys – The boys take a small snack with them to school. By making this in the evening, our mornings go so much smoother.
- Make AM milk for the boys – Every morning our boys drink milk with breakfast. Prepping their sippy cups the night before takes one more step out of our hectic morning routine.
- Enjoy a glass of water – I try to drink water throughout this entire process. I think of it as my last shot at hydrating before going to bed.
Your list will most certainly be different than mine. It took me a few days to refine my list and figure out what things I could reasonably do to be able to re-set my kitchen. I added things, and took things off my list before I came up with my routine. You will probably need to brainstorm and go through your routine a few times before you find something you like.
My routine changes. My husband isn’t always home to put the boys to bed, so sometimes I shift some of the tasks to the next day, or do some things later in the evening. It’s on those days that I realize how lucky I am that my husband puts the boys to bed, and loves to spend quality time with them!
What are some things you do in the evenings to re-set your home?
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