Monday, 4 May 2015

Simple living routines: morning and evening

by Rose @ greening the rose


Creative commons by Alondra Olivas
Routines serve us well when we use them as a framework to deal with the essentials of the day, week or month so that the remaining time is free for us to pursue our simple living activities and away from home work/activities.

The rhythm of our lives means certain chores are going to be done over and over: food is cooked, animals and younger children must be fed, dishes washed up, floors swept, beds made, clothes washed, spaces tidied.

Corralling these everyday tasks into the start and end-of-day routines -- morning and evening -- ensures that the basics are taken care of. For these routines to work well we need to allocate sufficient (but not too much) time, know which tasks we are doing in which order, then execute the list.

Household routines don’t include your daily to-do lists or other commitments for the day, they might include your personal time (such as exercise or journalling) but it’s probably easier to build the household routine first then piggy-back personal extras.

How long does a routine take? How long is a piece of string? Generally an hour to an hour and a half should allow for most daily routines. Try not to delude yourself about the time you allocate to your routines. Say 6.30-8am is your considered time for your morning routine -- are you actually up at 6.30 or are you reading your phone? Don't make it hard for yourself.

What works for one household may not work for another but generally we have similar tasks to attend to. For most of us the morning routine will include some or all of:
  • feeding animals
  • making breakfast
  • setting the table
  • clearing the table
  • preparing lunches
  • washing up
  • doing and hanging out a load/s of washing
  • making the bed
  • swishing and swiping the bathroom
  • tidying up
The evening routine will usually include:
  • feeding animals
  • folding and putting away washing
  • making dinner
  • setting the table
  • clearing the table
  • washing up
A good day starts with a good evening routine because waking up to an orderly house starts any day on a brighter note. Determine when your evening routine starts and when it ends, lofty goals can well be derailed if you leave the routine too late until when you are too tired.

Consider who can do which tasks in the routines. My elderly mother sets the table for meals, folds washing, clears the table and wipes up. These tasks give Mum a sense of contributing to the household and certainly share the load. Children, even the smallest, can contribute to setting and clearing the table, putting away their own clothes, picking up toys.

So how does an evening routine look for you and when does it start? In our household my evening routine is carried out between 5.30 and 7pm looks like this:
  • feeding animals 
  • folding and putting away washing
  • making dinner
  • setting the table
  • clearing the table -- at this time I’ll partly prepare lunches for work and home using planned leftovers
  • washing up
Later in the evening I’ll:
  • do a five minute pick-up
  • put on a load of washing
  • set the table for breakfast
In the morning the routine is more streamlined as a load of washing is ready for the line, the breakfast table is set and lunches fully or partially prepared. So my routine is:
  • feeding animals
  • making breakfast
  • preparing lunches
  • clearing the table
  • washing up
  • hanging out a load/s of washing
  • making the bed
  • swishing and swiping the bathroom
  • at this point I check dinner ingredients 
With these two routines in place the essentials are taken care of at either end of the day.