Slow Living Homemaker Morning and Evening Routines

I've posted about my morning and evening routines before, but they always focused around working outside the home for 8+ hours a day. I had to accomplish certain tasks by a certain time each morning and set things up every night to ensure I was prepared for the next day. Life looks quite different now, so my routines needed to adjust. I still enjoy having some sort of plan to count on, simple as it may be, even though I now have the whole day at home during which I can get tasks done. I need something to signal to my brain when it's time to start getting things done and when it's time to relax and sleep. Making over these routines, slowing them down and simplifying them, has been a fun task to cross off my 101 in 1001 list.

I plan on posting about my cleaning routine and what a typical day in the life of a homemaker looks like, but it seemed simpler to break it up and first dedicate a post to these bookends of my day.

Morning Routine

My wake-up time varies now between 5:15 and 6 a.m. If John is home, we're up at 5:15 to get the day started and get him off to work. If he spent the night at the firehouse, I'm up about 6 and he's home around 6:30. The first thing I do is reach over and put my glasses on, because I can't see a thing without them. Then I open the blinds in the bedroom and pull the covers down. I don't like to make the bed right away because it's important for the bedding to air out. Then I step out into the hall and disarm our alarm system so I can let Hawkeye out into the backyard. I leave the door open to get some air in and she wanders back in when she's done.

John heads right into the shower so I go to the kitchen to start on his breakfast and, if he's working the construction job rather than the firehouse, his lunch. Breakfast is always scrambled eggs and either oatmeal or yogurt with granola. Lunch is almost always leftovers that I reheat and put into an insulated lunch bag. While I'm in the kitchen, I make sure to take my Flintstones vitamin because I'm secretly still 8. I open the other blinds around the house while he finishes getting ready. He's out the door by 5:30-5:40.

I don't know about you, but once I'm awake and moving around like that, I'm up for awhile - I can't just go back to sleep. So I get my day started by heading into the bathroom, brushing my teeth, and putting my contacts in. As often as I can possibly make myself (which has been every day lately!), I go straight back into the bedroom, change into workout clothes, and get on the treadmill for about half an hour. If I do anything else first, even have my coffee, I will not workout. I just walk, it seems to wake me up.

After that, I get my morning skincare done and put on my touch of makeup. I brush my hair, generally leaving it down or half up. I change into one of my dresses and add a couple of accessories, generally just earrings, sometimes a necklace. While I'm in the bedroom getting changed, I make the bed.

Then it's finally time for coffee! It's my reward for getting prepared for the day and getting a walk in. I like to sit and relax while I enjoy it. I check my planner (more on that in the evening routine) and usually call my mom. She's had a lot to say lately. Since it's been nice, I do this outside on the deck while Hawkeye enjoys the yard. When it's rainy though, we sit in the living room and light a nice candle.

That's what I consider the end of my morning routine; the things I do every day in the same order, finishing between 7:30 and 8 a.m. After this, I jump into my cleaning and cooking tasks but that's the subject of another post.

Evening Routine

I consider the start of my evening routine to be the moment when I remove my makeup and shower. That always signals the end of the day for me. I do my super quick nighttime skincare routine as soon as I'm out of the shower, to lock in the moisture in my skin, and put pjs on. I also brush and floss my teeth and use mouthwash. I take out my contacts and switch to my glasses, just to give my eyes a little break.

Then, I end my evening with planner time. I'm currently using the Silk and Sonder planner, which is a subscription planner - a new one comes each month. That link gets you 25% off if you want to try it. I love the fresh start, and it has more than just traditional planner pages. There's also space for meal planning and expense tracking, along with mood, goal and habit trackers. Super useful. Check here if you want to see the inside pages. So it's equal parts planner and journal. The evening brain dump is essential for my sleep. I'm able to write down everything I'm thinking and everything I want to remember to do the next day. I check the schedule and decide the meals so I can get started early if there's anything that requires all day cooking (steakhouse mushrooms are a hit in our house but take 9 hours to cook!) Sometimes I'm reminded to defrost something, so I move it to the fridge. It's soothing to know I'm not forgetting things, and I can keep track of my habits and moods to see where I can make changes.

Once I have everything down in the planner, I let Hawkeye out into the yard one last time, close all the blinds around the house while she's outside, and set the alarm when she comes back in. Then we settle into bed and turn the sound machine on. When John is home, we're out pretty quick, but when he's at the firehouse, I tend to read for awhile before falling asleep.

And that's my entire evening routine.

There are a variety of things you could add to your own morning and evening routines. There's been seasons of my life where routines included prepping lunches, cleaning tasks, and laying out clothes for the next day. They've been much more complicated than they are now, but of course I've intentionally slowed down and simplified to the essentials that not only ensure I get done the things I want to do but also that provide peace and happiness. Because I'm a big believer that your routines should include something you love and adds beauty and joy to your everyday - mine are planning/journaling, reading, coffee, and candles. What's the point of creating and sticking to these routines if you don't actually enjoy them?

Do you have morning and evening routines? What's an essential part of yours?