Talking about our evening/bedtime routine today! We often hear how important it is to have a morning routine that starts the day off right and sets you up for success, but for me I’ve found that my evening/bedtime routine is what makes all the difference! Maybe because I’m more of a night owl than a morning person? I don’t know. What I do know is that you have to figure out what works best for YOU and your current stage of life. Our evening/bedtime routine has changed over the years as my kids have grown older but we still do a lot of the same things! For school nights, my goal is to always connect with each my kids before they go to bed and of course.. to make sure we are organized and ready for the next day. On the weekends we try to find a little time to relax and spend time together.
*Honored to partner with The Company Store on this post and share why bedtime is special to me! I love that they are celebrating moms for mother’s day by sharing their evening/bedtime stories.
A few things my kids do every evening:
Write down one thing they are grateful for. We started using our Gratitude Jar at the beginning of this year and have been doing pretty good! Some nights we miss, but we try to remember to do it at least a few times a week! Addison is usually the one reminding the rest of us.. she keeps us all on track around here. :) Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what’s hard, sad or a struggle during the day and I love how this jar has helped us focus on something GOOD happening every day in each of our lives.
Pick up their rooms. Every evening I tell my kids their room/bathroom needs to be clean before bed. We have been doing this for so many years that my kids are really good at keeping their rooms picked up because they know they will have to do it before they go to sleep. Kole had a playdate the other day and I heard him tell his friend “we have to pick up my room before you go because if we don’t I’ll have to do it all myself tonight..” Ha! Start training them young moms. ;)
Homework and get backpacks completely loaded and ready for the next day. Ad and one of her close friends doing homework together a couple of weeks ago. These two have great plans of moving away to college together and conquering the world. :) As soon as my kids finish their homework I make sure they get every SINGLE thing ready for school the next day.. signed notes, homework, books, snack, water, etc.
Lay out clothes for the next day/week. When my girls were little we had a lot of outfit decisions/drama each morning before school so I would always have them organize their clothes with ziplock bags on hangers each Sunday for the week ahead.
This saved us lots of time (and tears!) every morning. :) As they got older I bought closet organizers for them to lay out their clothes in the night/week before.
If you have little ones and think this would help with your busy mornings you can read more about our system here! I also go into detail in that post about the complex system I came up with for Kole and his every day outfits. ;)
A few things I do every evening:
Read with Kole. Reading with my kids has always been one of my favorite parts of our bedtime routine! For years when the girls were little Kenny and I would take turns reading books to them at night before bed. Now that my girls are older they usually read for 20-30 minutes before bed on their own and I read with Kole. I love that I get some one on one bonding time with him every night and it has really helped his reading skills. (He is obsessed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid books right now!) After I read with Kole we say his prayers together and then I like to check in on my girls and talk to each one of them individually for a few minutes in their room before bed. We talk a lot throughout the afternoon but I always like to check in right before bed and make sure all is well in the ever changing land that is middle school. :)
Late at night after my kids fall asleep I always check on each of them one more time! It’s something I’ve done since they were babies and is a favorite way to end my day. Kids look so peaceful sleeping, don’t they? It always makes me pause and remember what’s important and how much they mean to me.
Wash face/skin routine. About a year ago I decided I needed to start washing my face earlier in the evening so that I wouldn’t be too tired to use my Clarisonic and take care of my skin. I had a bad habit of going to bed too late and then I was always too tired to use all of my skin products (it can be a process right!?) so I’d just quickly wash my face with soap and vow to do better the next day. Which I never did! So now as soon as I read to Kole and get him in bed (around 8:00 each night) I head downstairs and wash off my make-up right after. SO much better than doing it after midnight when I’m usually rolling into bed beyond tired!
Clean my kitchen. I can go to bed with the rest of my house turned upside down but my kitchen has to be clean! It’s messy again after the morning breakfast rush, but much easier to clean quickly for the day if I already did the bulk of it the night before. (Kitchen pics and sources here.)
Brain dump and pick up office. I always write my to-do list/plan for the next day before bed. I know some people like to do it in the morning, but I sleep better if I do it the night before so all of my to-do’s aren’t swirling around in my head keeping me awake at night! I usually take 10 minutes to clean up my work space and write my to-do’s and just go over what’s ahead of me the next day. This is one of my best tips for increasing your productivity!
Lay out my clothes. If I have to be somewhere early I try to lay out my outfit the night before so I’m not scrambling to find the earrings/purse/jeans I need. (Ignore the bad lighting! Took this quick at night when I was getting my clothes ready for the next day.)
If I’m going to exercise (most mornings I hop on our treadmill for 30-45 minutes before I take Kole to school) I lay out my exercise clothes. Everything down to the socks I’m wearing! And I fill up my water bottle! I have to make it so that I have no excuse but to just get dressed and get moving because I stay up too late with all of this evening routine stuff and have no mental energy first thing in the am. ;)
Friday night evening routine: Life is SO busy and a lot of times making time for yourself can be near impossible (especially if you are in the thick of it raising kids!). I started a little Friday evening “relax and unwind” routine years ago when I was feeling especially burned out and it has become something I look forward to all week! It doesn’t happen every single Friday night.. but most Friday nights I pull it off. Kenny and I are always so tired by the end of the week that we usually make date/friend plans for Saturday night and just take Friday night off. If our kids aren’t with friends we put on a movie for them upstairs so we can relax. Then I kick my Friday night off with a bath!
I LOVE taking relaxing baths and always have. When we built our home I wanted a free standing tub so badly because I love the look, but after trying a few out (yes.. I laid in them in the store!) I knew they wouldn’t work for me. I actually use my tub and comfort was my top priority on this one!
I love to turn the lights on low and light a few candles and relax in a nice hot bath. It feels so good to just ZONE out and slow my mind and body down from the week.
I get out my favorite soft towels (love this set too!) and my favorite bubble bath and just have some of my very own spa time.
(I also love these chevron towels and aside from being soft they are perfect for bath decor! Roll them up in a basket, etc.)
BEST way to end the week. My bath totally relaxes me! Then I put on comfy pjs and blow dry my hair and join my husband on the couch for a movie. Half way through the movie he’s usually asleep and I’m on Pinterest, checking my favorite blogs or shopping on-line.. but that’s ok. Whatever relaxes you right? ;) My Friday night evening routine always helps me recover from a busy week and rest before the weekend madness hits.
Sometimes (if I’m feeling relaxed enough after my bath) we even let the kids join us for movie night.
That wraps up our evening/bedtime routines! They help us stay organized, connect and relax. I’d love to hear about your evening routine! Anything special you do with your kids/family? Or a good habit you have that helps you get ready for the next day? (I’d love to hear from you in the comments or share your bedtime routine/story on IG with the hashtag #ShareYourBedtimeStory!)
I think I have some free time each night between 11:35 and 11:40 pm so I can implement your suggestion then..
31 thoughts on “Our Evening Routine”
Thanks for sharing what works for you and your family, Erin. I’ve got to get better about doing a brain dump. Most of the time I can settle down and get to sleep, but other nights thoughts are swirling around. I must read a little before I turn out the light. If I don’t read just the right amount, I will be restless for a long time before being able to fall asleep. It could be I read one page or a couple of chapters. My kids mostly get ready for the next day before they go to bed and we’ve never had any real issues with getting dressed…probably because I let them wear plaids and polka dots together if it was what they wanted. My goal was get dressed in clothes that covered you appropriately and if that meant plaid and polka dots, you were a standout that day. LOL I used to read to my girls each night, too. My little bit of me time is reading or working on a crafty project. Wish my tub looked like yours. I’d do my own spa day, too. That looks like heaven. Thanks so much for sharing, Erin! You’ve given a lot of great ideas. :) Have a happy day!
Jeanne I’ve heard that it’s so smart to read a little before you go to bed to help calm your mind down! I need to start being better about getting off the computer late and reading instead. If only I just had 10 more hours each day to get work done.. ;) I was cracking up about your kids with their outfits! Rest assured we’ve had many days of plaid and polka dots over here too. Sometimes they leave and I just shake my head! But it’s good for them to have ownership in how they look. My girls don’t need to lay out their outfits as much now, but when they were little it saved us! I loved hearing what works for you Jeanne! Thank you for sharing! And have a good day. :) xo
Love all of this and I especially agree about checking in on the kids after they’ve gone to sleep. It is such a peaceful and contented feeling! Will we still do this when they are in high school?!
Thank you Jaclyn! It really is isn’t it!? I know I’ll be doing this until the day my kids move out! And then I’ll probably still be going into their rooms at night and bawling that they are gone.. ha! ;) xo
I love your gratitude jar tradition. Such a good idea! I’m going to try that with my kids, too. Now that my kids are getting older, I turned over the responsibility of packing their lunches to them. They quickly learned that it’s much easier to get it all ready the night before instead of rushing around in the morning! We like to get backpacks and shoes/jackets all ready and by the front door the night before, too. If we have a busy day, I will sometimes send my husband an email at night, right before I go to bed, knowing that he will read it in the morning and it will help him remember anything he needs to do (like where to go for a school event, what time, etc). We share a google calendar, too, but sometimes having a sweet little email reminder helps us all get to the right place at the right time!
Hi Erin 😊
I’m very much like you in that I’m a night owl and crave organization and neatness, so I have basically the same evening routine as you do. I feel so much more productive and clear headed at 10pm than I do in the morning. I’ve never done a gratitude jar but I like the idea. And I totally agree that reading with my kids before bed is my favorite part of the day with them. We’ve got the Wimpy Kid books on heavy rotation around here too 😉
Love it Holly! Sounds like the two of us would get along famously. ;) xo
I cannot hardly get through a morning without having had a solid evening routine to set my morning up right. It just makes my morning go smoorhly.
Thanks for sharing your routine.
Thank you Audrey! Same! I would be lost without my evening routine! I’m a mess in the morning.. ha! :) xo
Erin this was such a fun read! I’m a mom fail on the clean rooms at the end of each day – I need a do-over on that one! :) But otherwise we do a lot of the same things! I do need to institute the fluffy towel/bath night – that’s perfect!!
Oh my word.. my Friday night baths save me! I’m always so exhausted by the end of the week! I’m getting old.. ha. :) Thanks Kris! Missing you! xo
We do movie night every Friday night! My husband works on his hot rod in the garage and the kids and I eat popcorn and watch a movie! Great way to end the week. On week nights we read a bible story before bed! My kids are 8 and 6.
Amy in Wisconsin
Love those traditions Amy! Such a great way to end the day and week! Thanks for sharing! :) xo
Erin, I am SO motivated by this! Thank you for sharing- I have some work to do on making small changes and improvements that will make a big difference.
Oh so sweet of you to say Kel! I’m thrilled you liked this post! Thanks cutie! xo
As you know I’m a night owl too. I dump my Brian on Sunday and add to it during the week. I agree with you on taking my make up off early. I laughed because there have been nights that I only used Dove soap and water. It really does take time. I too use to check on the kids every night. Now I call Elle and check in. She has my love for late nights. We can’t go to sleep unless we say goodnight to each other.. When we talk in the morning we always say we’re going to bed early the next night but it never happens. That time that you spend reading and talking to the kids is something they will always remember.That was always my favorite time of the day. Elle never forgot it and it’s her nightly routine with her kids now. It can be tiring and hard but being a mom is one of the best jobs in the world! xo
Loved your comment Cathy! So true. Some nights I’m SO tired and just want to crash but I never regret taking that time out for my kids. They always seem to really open up at night and it’s a good time to slow down and just be there for them.. even just to listen. :) I love that you and Elle have to say goodnight and are both night owls like me! The three of us could have some good late night chats no doubt. ;) And that is so me with Dove soap and water on nights I don’t do it early! Ha ha.. we have too much in common Cathy! I love it. :) Love you! xo
Great post with lots of great ideas. Thanks for sharing. I’m putting that gratitude jar on my wish list!
Thanks Amy! We love it! :)
So much of our routine is the same, minus the kids for me! I do much better w/ a routine and a plan and am also a night owl so I tend to drag in the mornings. It’s so nice to know exactly what I need to tackle first in the am and not have to worry about what I’m going to wear or if my bag is packed with everything I need. One other thing I started doing is packing a lunch at night for the next day, even on the days I work from home. It takes the guess work out of everything the next day and also helps keep me on track with better eating habits. It may seem silly to do that but it works well for me! :)
Shannon I think that is SO smart! I’ve tried that before too and when I can pull it off I eat so much better! Anything you can do the day before that makes life easier the next day is a smart move! Thanks for sharing.. you are motivating me! :) xo
Thanks for blogging even though your family is at a busy phase in life; I enjoy your posts. I love allthethings you post and am excited to see the parts of your home we haven’t yet (Kenny’s office, updated garage, finished theater room, etc). I’m also a fan of a good before and after organizing posts (my personal favorite types of posts) so here’s to your kids getting something messy this summer so you can whip it back into shape :)
So sweet of you Casey! This made my day.. thank you! And thanks to my lovely children I will DEFINITELY have more before/after organizing posts. Ha ha.. :) xo
I feel relaxed just reading about your bath and looking at the pictures of your tub!
Thank you Kerry! It’s a favorite spot for sure. :)
I love your evening routine and will implement the bath on Friday nights! Just curious, what are some of your favorite blogs?
Thank you so much Dolores! Oh my word.. I have way too many to mention! :) I’ll have to share a list in a post sometime! xo
I enjoyed reading your post. Great ideas! Would you mind sharing where you purchased the stool you have sitting next to your tub? Thank you!
Thank you Monica! It was from Restoration Hardware but they don’t sell it anymore!
Hi! First, I love your home! I have 3 girls in elementary school, I love the idea of outfits put together on Sunday and I’d like to ask you all what you do with shoes? My girls tend to get really confused about what goes with what… do you have all their shoes in a mud room? Do they keep their shoes in their room? How do you organize and plan this for your little’s? Thank you!
Hi Rachel! Thank you! Did you see my recent post on getting ready for back to school? I shared our mudroom in that post but also a picture of what I did in our past house before we had a mudroom! I’ll add the link. I hope it helps! Planning outfits out early helps so much with little girls especially! :) xo