In the past, we’ve written quite a bit about the best ways to make your mornings run smoothly (you can read all about that here, here and here).
But we haven’t focused on how to simplify your evenings so you can finish up the day with less stress. Obviously, every family is different. So whether you have small children with bath and bed routines, older kids with after school activities and late dinners or you’re just trying to wind down after a long day of work, we have some tips for you!
1.) Meal Prep
The hardest part of any evening is, hands down, dinner time. Trying to get a healthy meal on the table every night can be a Herculean task. The solution, though we know it can be a hard sell, is food prep. Taking time out of your already busy schedule to plan, shop and prepare meals ahead of time can seem next to impossible. But if you can find a few hours over the weekend to throw a couple of meals into the fridge or freezer, your evenings will run more smoothly. We recommend simple recipes with easy ingredients! Not only will you save time, you’ll save money by not ordering in or going out to eat. We have a ton of great ways to make meal time easier in our post, 7 Steps To Successful Food Prep.
2.) Create Routines
For those of you with children, you know how important routines can be! It gives young kids a sense of security – dinner, bath, jammies and stories, for example – and it helps older kids accomplish any tasks that need to be done before bed such as homework or household chores. When everyone in the family knows what to expect, you’ll spend less time frantically running around trying to tie things up before the end of the day.
But routines aren’t just for the kids! Household chores that need to be done every evening such as wiping down counters, folding the laundry, or programming the coffee machine for the morning will all be easier if you follow established patterns.
3.) Winding Down
The best thing you can do to minimize evening stress is to make your bedroom a sanctuary. There have been several studies done that suggest sleeping in a cluttered room is bad for your health. If you’re trying to fall asleep amidst loads of laundry to be put away, piles of paperwork to be dealt with or kids toys that will trip you up in the middle of the night, it will be very hard to sleep soundly. And if you’re not sleeping well, your days are going to be effected as well.
Take some time to clear out anything currently in your bedroom that doesn’t belong there. If you have a home office, keep your paperwork there. If you have a desk in the corner of your bedroom, use solid bins with lids so you can physically create a barrier between work and sleep.
Declutter your clothes and put anything you’re keeping in either your dresser or closet.
Clear off your bedside tables and if you’re so inclined, add a scented candle (lavender is a good choice for relaxation). The goal is to remove anything that will cause your brain to work overtime about all the tasks you need to accomplish.
Streamlining your evening routine can transform how you finish up the day. No one wants to go to bed with stress and anxiety hanging over their head and you don’t have to! We’ve compiled all of our knowledge and skill into a course that will answer all of your organizing questions and give you the skills to create a home that is efficient and stress free. If your evenings are chaotic, our Love Your Home Again course is just what you need!