Something that is incredibly important to living an organized and successful life, is to have a daily routine.

I know that sounds so boring, but sometimes boring is necessary so we can get on with the fun stuff.

At some jobs, they call it an order of operations. If you ever worked somewhere that had one in place, you know the value of it! If you worked somewhere that didn’t (and most don’t), I know you wished they had!

In the first message I sent about getting up 1/2 hour earlier than you actually need to, getting yourself ready for the day first thing, and having a bedtime, we discussed how this is what ALL successful people do.

They don’t get swayed by other people’s needs and agendas. They take care of themselves first thing and know when they are going to bed and waking up.

They also know what is going on in their day. They have a set order to things they do and don’t allow the dings of technology, thoughts about something they need to do, or a phone call sway them from their routine.

The routine I’m sharing here is “mini.” If you want to add to it, please do. BUT if you haven’t been adhering to a routine, I ask you to do this mini routine for a couple of days before you add anything.

If there are things you have to do like pack a lunch or get a child out of bed and ready for school, you will do that, but you don’t have to write it in the routine right now.

I ask you NOT to include it in your written mini routine that I suggest here.

This will set yourself up for success. You will see that having something set to follow really does make a world of difference, and when you’re ready to add things, you will… with confidence. You don’t want to start too gung-ho and not be able to accomplish what you set out to do which leads to discouragement and quitting.

Here is the mini morning routine:

  • Up on time
  • Make bed
  • Clothes in dryer
  • Drink glass water
  • Shower/Groom/Dress (or get cute)
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Put dishes away
  • Check to do list
  • *Fold Laundry

Evening Routine:

  • Check Calendar
  • Make to do list (from what was on your calendar for tomorrow)
  • Put things that you need for tomorrow by the door
  • Prepare for bed
  • Put on Pajamas
  • Brush teeth
  • Clothes away or in hamper
  • Wash a load of clothes
  • Dinner dishes done
  • Bed on time

I start my evening routine in the morning. When I’m taking clothes out of the dryer, I’ll think about what I’m going to wear tomorrow. If I’m at the computer and see I’ll need my checkbook or insurance card, I’ll put it in my purse. While making dinner I’ll think about tomorrow’s dinner…

Be sure and begin your evening routine early. If I wait till after dinner to think about my night time routine, I’m too tired and I don’t want to do it. It makes excuses too easy, and putting it off is counterproductive.

Let me know how you do!

The Tidy Tutor


Leave a Reply 6 comments

Andrea Rugland - Reply

OK, just mounted the am/pm file cards in the kitchen. They’re expanded a bit as I’ve had written routines in my planner for years, but they’re still a ways from perfect! My generally cluttered, disorganized surroundings at home are the big culprit, I think. Some parts take too long and I’m often fuzzy as to how long they take in total, so will be timing them so I’ll have a clearer idea of how soon I gotta start so I can actually get to bed and get up when I intend to without feeling sleep-deprived or being left with a ‘short day’ for productive tasks.

Another dilemma is habit of excessive time spent on laptop doing all kinds of things. Besides being a useful tool, its also my entertainment and distraction from loneliness. I’ve been living alone for about 18 years now after being married over 30 years. I love movies, and getting drawn into someone else’s story helps me temporarily forget my own problems and experience empathy and vicariously, the emotions of others. I admit I’ve become addicted to my laptop companion. I wasn’t so much like this when I had a family at home and employment with all the attached ‘musts’ and ‘have to’s–and no computer available at all!

When I do this in the evening, its HARD to shut it off (fatigue, OCD rising?) and I’ve often binged on this maybe watching 2 or 3 movies before I drag off to bed in a semi-stupor too tired to do all my bedtime routine, so the mascara stays on and I just flop.

Some morale-boosting good news: I’m finally making real progress in my little kitchen! Cluttered counters are 90% cleared and clean. Cupboards are better organized and thinned out of unneeded stuff. Sinks clean and cleared of dirty dishes. Last couple of mornings it was a surprise and pleasure to go into a kitchen that was looking so much better and even kinda cute! I could easily find the things I needed without having to wash them first!…

Fast forward to last night after I cleaned up after my meal. I looked at the dirty kitchen floor and thought that it was the only thing marring the otherwise nice view. I wanted to get up this morning and see a clean floor TOO. But I remembered that I still didn’t have the new power mop set up that I bought a year ago which was still in the package. (Pitiful, right?) So I decided to set a timer for 15 minutes and see if I couldn’t at least set up the mop within that time. Well the timer went off before it was done because I was hung up on one thing I hadn’t figured out. Without resetting the timer, I resumed the assembly process and happily, I had the thing together after about 3 minutes more. Since I was so close to finishing the job, I just took about 5 minutes more to do the mopping. So I was able to see my tidy kitchen and clean floor too when I got up today. :=)

    Kathy Robers - Reply

    You set up the cards so you could see them, how are you doing with doing what they say? Everything has to be deliberate.

    I understand lonely, and oh boy do I know distraction. The thing is, we have to want what we want enough to do what we need to.

    You CAN have all your movie time in the world and a clean home, in the beginning it takes some work cause your digging out, but still even with that, there is an end time and if you make everything stay at status quo you will be golden moving ahead every day.

    Love that you got your mop put together after a year and your floor is all shiny! 🙂

    Kathy Robers - Reply

    Hi Andrea, I get a lonely issue, and how a computer can be a wonderful company. You don’t have to give it up, but you do need to stop using it as an excuse. You can have your cake and eat it too. But not right now.

    Right now you have a mission and it’s to get your house back and in doing so, you will get your life back too.

    So much more is waiting for you but you can’t see it past the clutter.

    Stick with me 🙂 You’ll get there.

Lilly the Toastmaster from South Jersey - Reply

So I printed this last week and hung it n my kitchen window over my sink. Yes just seeing it there does something so this part helps.
Its just that I have not been able to do all of it and I just reviewed the email again and noticed that I need to start really as soon as I get home.
So OK I will try that tonight.
thanks Kathy!

    Kathy Robers - Reply

    It’s ok not doing it all, and not doing it perfectly. We are practicing and never are good at something we are just beginning.

    If you can start your nighttime routine early – early you will be so happy cause if we wait till our day is over we will not want to do it, come up with an excuse and not do it.

    We are doing all these things anyway, it just has to be a change in attitude. Like a new identity. THIS is what you do! 🙂 Keep me updated.

    Kathy Robers - Reply

    Let me know how you do Lily.

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