Wednesday, February 23, 2011

my morning 5

Miele coffee maker

Our home is by no means perfectly clean and organized, we have stacks and piles, dirty laundry, legos in every room and dust bunnies in the corners.  But, I have a morning routine that helps keep me sane {and showered} and it works for our family, so I thought I'd share it here.  Having this little routine has shown me how a few small changes can add up to make big differences in my home and my mindset.

Shortly after Grant was born, I was feeling overwhelmed by a never ending to do list and a house that I couldn't seem to keep in order.  Never mind trying to grab a shower or throw some make up on.  So, for 2010 my New Year's Resolution was "Keep the House in a State of Clean" 

My goal was not perfection, just basic tidiness.  Get the most important things done and then try and relax about whether or not the rest got done. 

I started subscribing to the FlyLady emails.  If you are not familiar with FlyLady and you are feeling overwhelmed by your space, I highly recommend her.

I started small and set up a basic routine for my morning.  I call it my morning 5.  Let me preface by saying that I only make it through all 5 items once or twice a month.  On an average day, I get 3 or 4 done and I am totally okay with that.  I'm a perfectionist at heart, but I try not to let that rule me at home.  If I did, I would never do anything until I had the time to do it "perfectly".  But, I have 2 kids, so let's face it, that time is never coming.  So, my goal is progress not perfection {that's a FlyLady-ism that I remind myself of almost every day}

My Morning 5:

1. Shower and Get Ready
I have two choices when it comes to showering: do it before the boys need me, or miss it altogether.  Since I cannot deal with not showering, this is the very first thing I do in the morning.  I walk straight from the bed to the shower.  I do my makeup, blow-dry my hair, get dressed, put my jewelry on, the whole bit.  By the time I step foot out of my bedroom I am totally ready for the day.  For me, this is about a 45 minute process.

2. Make the Beds
I make all three beds every morning.  It drives me crazy not to have a made bed.  It sets the tone for the whole room.  This is a 2 minute investment of my time and it makes a huge difference in getting the day off to a good start.  At bedtime, it's so nice to get into a made bed.  Getting into a sloppy bed at night just doesn't feel restful to me.  I have literally made the bed at 5pm just so we had a nice bed to get into a few hours later. 

3.  Start the Laundry
I need to wash, dry, fold and put away 2 loads of laundry a day to keep the dirty clothes from climbing up the walls.  Starting the laundry first thing in the morning helps me keep up. 

4.  Wipe Down The Bathrooms
I hate cleaning the bathrooms and luckily, I never have to do it anymore.  I do a quick 3 minute morning routine in each bath and they never get dirty.  I'll share this little routine in more detail later in the week.

5.  Empty the Dishwasher and Pick up the Kitchen
I usually do this while Grant is eating breakfast.  I empty the dishwasher from the previous night, put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher and pick up any clutter that's found it's way onto the counter.  If I have time, I also wipe down the counters.  This is also the time that I eat breakfast, and guzzle as much as caffeine as possible.

And, then!  It's time to start the day! 

Once I've done my morning 5, I know the basics are out of the way.  I can focus on the rest of the day knowing that although it's not perfect, the house is in a basic state of clean and that helps me feel centered and able to focus on all the other items on my to do list.



  1. Oh I love this! RIght now I just escaped for a minute to check my dashboard! A quick moment of Zen, but as I speak the dog is eating a lego! Thanks for sharing;)Alyssa

  2. I agree with your five things. If I don't shower right when I get up, I'm doing things around the house and suddenly it's 10am and I'm still in my jammies!

    My house certainly isn't perfect either, but if I take care of the beds, laundry and kitchen, I feel good about it.

    Have a great day.

  3. This is really helpful! I also love that FlyLady encourages you to polish your sink every night before bed. That really does make an enormous difference!!
    Thanks for this list! I love it!

  4. That is a great list. If I can makes beds in the morning, I feel like I have accomplished something in the day! I clean up here and there and do laundry about two times a week and the clean good on Sat. Not ideal and hopefully things will get easier as the kids grow, but for now it allows me time with them! Thank you for sharing these!

  5. I remember reading flylady's ideas several years ago. So practical. I have a routine too, and it makes my day go well. I have a "before bed" routine too, I just don't want to wake up to "messy" :-)

  6. My mornings are exactly like yours Amber. I get all the chores done early and then have the rest of the day to work on the important things. I also clean a little at a time. I get overwhelmed when I have to clean the entire house, so I do a little every day.

  7. great routine! I need to get better at this.thanks for sharing

  8. I'm really loving this. You've made some good points here. I remember once watching an episode of a house cleaning rescue show and the family never emptied their dishwasher bc they never had time. The host asked the Mom to empty it, and timed her. It took her 3 minutes. 3 minutes!!
    I think of that every time I look at my clean dishwasher needing to be unloaded and take those 3 minutes.
    I feel like this post did the same thing for bed making, bathroom tidying etc. Love it.
    Thank you for sharing. Love this post!!


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