The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.
It’s the end of the day and you are exhausted (with a capital “E”!). But before you crawl off to bed and allow your head to hit the pillow- there are a few things you should do in order to both appropriately “close the day” as well as get yourself set up for a good day tomorrow! Here’s my list of 5 Things to Do Before You Go to Bed!
Declutter and Clean Your Kitchen Counters!
I bet many of you have heard FlyLady’s recommendation to make sure that you “shine your sink” every night before you go to bed, so that when you walk into the kitchen in the morning you’ll see your beautiful shiny sink and feel a great sense of accomplishment. But I have to say that for me… it’s not about the sink! It’s about the kitchen counters! If I walk into my kitchen in the morning and see not only a stack of dirty dishes (I have teen boys that seem to require an entire meal at 10pm every night!), but also piles of school papers to review and sign, newspapers that need to be recycled, lunch bags that were never emptied, and so on…. I feel completely unorganized! And that I have a large amount of work staring me in the face at a time when I really want to focus on making breakfast for the kids and getting them out the door in time to meet the bus to school!
So before I go to bed each night, I spend some time decluttering my kitchen counters. All dishes get loaded into the dishwasher and I start it so I have clean dishes in the morning. (And the teens are instructed to at least rinse their dirty dishes and place them in the sink after late night meals!). I sort through all of the paperwork and read, recycle, add items to to my calendar/to do list, or put it on my desk to follow up on later.
And when I am done, I clean those counters too! A neat and shiny kitchen counter is a great way to start the day!
Make tomorrow’s to-do list
In the evening I like to grab my calendar and to do list and make a short list of what I plan to accomplish the next day. I also try to take a moment and review what I tackled today and give myself a little pat on the back or silent cheer for all that I did get done! (And try not to focus on the things that I just didn’t get to!)
List 3 things you are grateful for
Last month some friends and I took PopSugar’s 30 Day No-Fail Happiness Challenge which was based on the idea that happiness comes from inside of you. We had to take on one new small task each day for the first 5 days, and then continue to do these 5 new things every single day for the next 25 days. Hopefully these five daily inspirations to happiness would become a life long habit.
But for me… only one of the habits really took hold, and that was the idea to write down three things that I am grateful for every single day. The feeling of gratitude leads to a happy heart, and that is a great way to end a day!
Tuck them in, connect, kiss them goodnight
There are days when I am still downstairs cleaning up the kitchen, and it is already bedtime for my youngest ones. And I feel so “busy” and have “so many things left that I’d like to get done”, that it would be really easy to tell the kids to just put themselves to bed… knowing that by the time I actually made it upstairs, they would be sound asleep. And I’ll admit that I have done this on a few occasions. But later on…. I regret it. Bedtime is such a magical time of day when you have kids. It’s usually when you can get them to open up and chat about what’s on their mind. It’s a golden opportunity to give hugs and kisses and let them know how important they are to you. Don’t let it slip by!
And the same thing goes for spouses! Be intentional about saying goodnight and letting them know how much they mean to you! It’s important to do this every single night!
Set our alarm and set an intention for the first thing you’ll do!
Of course don’t go to sleep without setting an alarm! But take it one step further, and think about what you’ll do first right when you wake up! Head out for some exercise? Strike a few yoga poses? Meditate? Reflect?
If you have an intention, you will be less likely to hit the snooze button, and you’ll get tomorrow started off in the right way!
Do you have anything you’d add to this list of things to do before you go to bed?
If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at MomOf6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and making meals that kids will actually eat!