Over the past few weeks I have been sharing the specifics of my daily routine. To read all the post in my daily routines series click here.
Today I’m going to break down my afternoon routine, everything that I aim to do between lunch and dinner. My days are pretty full and sometimes often hectic, so I don’t have a defined set of before lunch/after lunch/ before dinner routines. Rather I have a set list of things that try really hard to accomplish before dinner time. As always, some days they all get done, and others… well you know the drill.
What I love about my afternoons is that they are pretty relaxed since I try and get most of my chores and house keeping tasks done earlier in the day. This is also the time that my kids nap which means that I have about a two hour block that I can pretty much do whatever I want to, whether that be to read, write, work on blog stuff, or even to take a nap! I work hard in the morning to get my chores done so that way I can enjoy some rest in the afternoon too.
OK so on with my list…
6 Things I Do Every Afternoon
1. Clean the kitchen after lunch
Just like breakfast, I immediately clean the kitchen up after lunch. Dishes go in the dishwasher, counter tops and table gets a quick wipe down along with the high chair. If the floor underneath the table is really messy, then I will quickly sweep it, otherwise I wait until after dinner to do a thorough floor sweeping. If the dishwasher needs to be ran, I will run and unload it before dinner.
2. Sort mail
Our mail comes mid-morning most every day, so once I get the kids down for a nap, I quickly sort it. I separate bills from junk mail. Junk mail goes in the recycling bin (if it’s a credit card application or something with personal information then it get’s shredded). Occasionally it is a fun mail day, which means I get a package, card, or magazine. Those unexpected days are such a treat :).
My mantra is to touch the mail just one time so that way it has less of a chance to remain as clutter on the desk or counter top.
3. Empty trash and recycling
If the trash or recycling bin are getting full then I will empty them out. On Thursday afternoons I gather up all the trash and recycling to take out to the curb for trash day. This is one activity where my son loves to help out, after all trash day is ONE of his favorite days!
4. Quick house clean up
Usually right before I start to make dinner and before my husband gets home, I try and do a quick house sweep through. Anything that needs to be picked up and put away does. I help the kids pick up any toys that they aren’t currently playing with. I also straighten up the couch pillows, because the living room just looks better when the pillows are arranged neatly!
While my husband knows that we have little ones and the house can easily become disorderly, I try really hard to allow him to come home to a picked up home at the end of his busy work day. He doesn’t ask for it, it’s just something I try to do to bless him with. Who wants to come home to a crazy house after working all day? Plus if I get most of the house picked up now, then it is less that I have to do right before bed time.
5. Fold and put away laundry
Usually later in the afternoon while my kids are playing, I’ll fold the laundry that I washed earlier in the day. I hate to leave clean clothes in the dryer or baskets, mainly because I don’t iron so if the clothes get wrinkled then we have to wear them wrinkled. I only wash one to two loads a day so it’s not a whole lot of folding that I have to do. If I don’t get around to actually putting them away I will simply put them in the bedroom so that way they are a least out of the main living space.
6. Dinner prep
I usually set the kids up with a toy or TV show to keep them occupied while I make dinner. Usually this is the time when my husband gets home and he is really good about quickly changing his clothes so he can take the kids and play with them while I finish up dinner. I also try and clean up as I go so that way I don’t have a huge mess to clean up after dinner.
So that’s it, those are the 6 things that I like to get done between lunch and dinner. Like I said before, I try really hard to keep the kid’s nap time free for me to do something to refreshing. But if I don’t get my chores done in the morning, then obviously I will have to do them during this time. But that is another incentive to get my chores done early!