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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Tweaking My Morning Housework Routine

For the past several months, I've been working on my morning work routine in the house. I've got my personal self-care/quiet time set, so it's really been about trying to streamline and order my cleaning, organizing, and gardening jobs with the goal of greater productivity and freeing up more time in the afternoons for special projects, deep-cleaning jobs, or focused work. 

I was never an organized kid, teen, or young adult. When I started a family I felt like I was starting completely from scratch and flying blind. My mother had already passed away, so I felt I had no one of which to ask questions. Blogs (and the internet as we know it) didn't exist. I read a few books from the library. But still, figuring out this whole "be organized and get work done efficiently" thing was difficult for me. So I'm always on the lookout for other's ideas about their morning housework routines. 

These are the tasks that I try to get done everyday in the morning hours:

  • clean up the kitchen from breakfast, start the dishwasher
  • make the bed, tidy the bedroom
  • pick up stuff from other rooms and put where belong
  • get a start on dinner, at the least pull items out of freezer/set pantry items on counter, harvest garden produce needed for dinner
  • tackle 1 cleaning job (bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, fridge, windows/mirrors) 
  • do laundry, declutter one small area, start bread/yogurt, or take out trash from bathrooms/bedrooms/office
I am in the process of determining the best order for performing these tasks. But I do get them done.

What I'd like to start doing on a regular basis:
  • when cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast, I'd like to do a quick check on fridge contents to ensure I use up or freeze leftovers
  • spend 15 minutes before making lunch planning out my afternoon projects
  • I'd like to move my daily walk from afternoon to morning
I'm not sure when I'll fit my daily walk in. Currently, I walk sometime after lunch. However, that eats into my project time. So moving that to the morning might really help me. The other two items I'll just have to remind myself to do.

Are you naturally organized? How has your morning work routine evolved? What housework tasks do you try to get done first thing in the day? Are there any tasks you'd like to add to or delete from your pre-lunch or pre-paid work routine? I just want to say thanks in advance for all who add their input here. I am still trying to figure out what will work for me.


  1. I am not nearly as ambitious as you are and I'm not a morning person, so my mornings don't accomplish as much as yours. The bare minimum for me is to clean the kitchen, feed the cats, and clean their litter boxes. Depending on my work schedule, I may do a load of laundry before I leave. However, I have started to air out our clothes if they are not soiled and that has cut down on the amount of laundry we do. I love the fresh outdoor scent. Not sure it will work so well during pollen season, but we shall see.

    It looks like you are good at sequencing and organizing your work. The only thing I would add to your plan is priorities. Some days you may have more energy than others and you won't be as productive as you hoped. At least, that's the way it works for me. So hopefully, you will get done what's needed the most. For example, if your walk is important, make sure it happens even if the bed isn't made. And if your list doesn't get all done, it doesn't matter. There's always tomorrow. And over time, it will work out.

    Do others in the household have any house things they do in the morning? Can you give something simple to them from the list that they could fit in before they go to work like make the bed or taking out the trash?

    Good luck, but I think you're doing great!

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Thank you for your input. I'm processing it all. What stands out most is your mentioning priorities. I miss the bus on that one, I think. You nailed it, with my walk being more important than many other tasks. I'm not much of a morning person, either. So my walk has to go later in the morning. But I can still prioritize it.
      As for others helping -- we each do our own laundry now, so that helps. The only laundry I do is my own and household laundry (towels, rags, placemats, napkins, etc). My husband takes out the kitchen garbage and the kitchen compost. My daughters each have a cleaning job for the week (things I really don't like to do), and that helps. Plus, keep in mind, housekeeping is my "job". I don't have work outside the home. But I could ask everyone to clean up after themselves after making their own breakfasts. It's just a little thing, but coming into the kitchen and finding crumbs, used knives, dishes everywhere is a mood-killer.
      Thank you again for your input. It's really helpful.

  2. These are some good ideas to really think about. As a newlywed a long time ago, we had to develop the new couple routine of who does what. Then add kids and their routines and I felt like I learned very quickly a lot of things. First, combine accounts as much as possible. Second, kids need routine and that meant bathing, feeding, laundry, dishes, bedtime all needed a schedule. I still stick by cleaning up the kitchen every night including all dishes washed and dirty linen put by the washing machine. Quiet and calm is the next thing as we head into the evening because too many things result in less that good sleep. Now that the kids are gone and I work from home, I can fit in the housecleaning in a lot of other ways than when the kids were home. I still maintain a clean kitchen after the evening meal because no one likes to wake up to a pile of work in the kitchen. Routines are good and that leaves time for a little surprise once in a while like a ride somewhere special once in a while. A Saturday morning surprise adventure seeking discounts at grocery stores with hubby, and we have even gone out for breakfast or coffee on a Saturday morning. We do not do anything on weeknights at least during the winter. Summers we will take a walk but winter it's too dangerous on the snow/ice/slippery everything.

    1. Hi Alice,
      I agree with you, especially about kids and routines. Most of my organization for years and years surrounded what the kids needed. I also love to leave the kitchen completely clean after dinner. I do not want to wake up to dishes or pots that need washing or messy counters/stove top. I change out dishtowels and dishrags in the AM, though. I use the cloths to clean the sink each morning, so that works for me in that order.

      I like your idea for some pleasant deviations from the routine now and again. I'll have to incorporate more of that.
      Thanks for your input, Alice. It's very appreciated!

  3. My only comment is to give yourself some grace. I have spent years trying to be super efficient and what happened is I became super tired. Yes, I got lots of things done, but at what cost? I agree with L&L that prioritizing what is most important is a good place to start (literally). If you find that your energy is flagging or other circumstances interfere (because life happens) then you know you have hit your priorities and the rest can wait until later in the week. Can you tell that I am tired of trying to be superhuman? ��

    1. Hi Kris,
      Thank you for that! I think you and L & L have the right idea about prioritizing what really needs doing. One thing that I've been somewhat successful at doing is giving myself a reward at the end of the morning (today's reward was a Ghirardelli chocolate square) and taking some time to rest and relax each day after lunch. I find I'm recharged and motivated to do more by including those two.

      Thanks for your input, Kris. I really appreciate your taking the time to offer me some advice.


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