Creating a Daily Routine {plus a FREE printable!}

Home Anchors and Routines

Creating a daily routine is simple and easy to do. Setting up simple tasks to do during a given time every day can help organize and manage your day to day. Download this free printable to get you started!

Creating a Daily Routine with printable

I’m the type of person that benefits from having a basic routine for each day. I like having a bit of a plan and to be honest, having a set checklist really does help me get stuff done.

The key is that it’s a routine, not a structured scheduled.

I know some people really thrive off of having a structured schedule and that’s great, it’s just that I am in a season of life where I would fail if I confined myself to a schedule that was pretty time bound.

So what is the difference between a routine and a schedule? Well, let’s take a look…

Routine vs. Schedule

Routine is a basic outline of things that you would like/need to get done.

It’s flexible so that you can complete the tasks when you can.

It helps structure and breaks up your day with a bit of organization.

You can set up a routine to meet the demands of your busy day, whether you are a stay at home mom or if you work outside the home.

You can make your routine as simple or as detailed as you like.

A schedule is also an outline of your day but it is usually based on time so it’s not as flexible.

It helps to structure your day but doesn’t leave room for “emergencies” or other life happenings.

Schedules are really beneficial if you have a lot of commitments, are in school or working, or need to break your day up into time frames.

I’m not anti-schedule, quite the opposite actually, I just know that in this current season if I were to “schedule” chores or other home keeping tasks between certain hours, then they probably wouldn’t get done.

I had a time-based schedule that I tried out for a little while and due to my personality, I would find myself getting really frustrated if I wasn’t doing the assigned task during the given time.

So for the purpose of my sanity, I threw out the notion that I had to have a schedule and instead focused on creating some basic routines for the day.

I like to break my day up into the following categories: morning, afternoon and evening.

Creating a Daily Routine with a free printable

Morning

I used to break up my morning by Before Breakfast and After Breakfast chores and tasks. And while I still do most of those things during that time, I decided to create a simple basic morning routine that I try to complete without having a time restraint looming over me.

This way I can look at my morning task list and complete what needs to be done in the time I have… because let’s face it, mornings are usually the most hectic.

Also, it should be noted that I use the term morning for anything that happens from the time I wake up until the time we eat lunch.

So what do I do every morning?

  1. Review daily plan– I take a few minutes and look over the daily to-do list that I usually created the night before, note any appointments, errands or events, and make note of anything that absolutely has to get done today. This is where my trusty planner comes in handy! 😉
  2. Shower & dress– I’m a morning shower girl so I try and get this done before the kids get up. Some mornings I get a shower in but then a kid wakes up so I have to come back to finish getting ready after breakfast.
  3. Quick clean bathrooms- After I shower, I do a quick spray of the shower walls and wipe down the excess water. I also use my old towel to wipe down the sink and counter after I finish getting dressed. It’s not a deep cleaning but it only takes a few minutes to keep the bathroom clean{ish} until I do clean it. My kids are also old enough where they can wipe down their sink after they brush their teeth too.
  4. Tidy up bedrooms– Make beds (the kids all make their own), gather up dirty clothes, clean off nightstands and put away anything that is out.
  5. Wipe down kitchen counters & table– After breakfast, I clear off the counters and wipe down the sink and table of any crumbs.
  6. Unload & Load dishwasher- We run the dishwasher each night before bed so it’s ready to unload first thing in the morning. After breakfast dishes either go in the dishwasher or get hand washed. I hate to have a sink full of dirty dishes.
  7. Begin laundry– I make it a priority to do at least one full load of laundry every day (wash, dry, fold and put away), this really helps to keep the laundry manageable. After breakfast, I throw a load in the washer.
  8. Review dinner plans– If it needs to go in the crock pot I put that together otherwise I just make sure I pulled out any frozen meats last night. If I’m making a new recipe or one that I’m not familiar with yet, I’ll do a quick glance at the recipe to make sure I have all the ingredients or if I need to do any additional prep work. Nothing like getting to dinner time only to realize the meat was to marinate all day!
  9. Daily choresMy weekly cleaning routine is based on this checklist, but I’m a huge fan of just getting them over with.
  10. Ask myself, How can I help afternoon/evening me? – This has been a game changer for me. I have the most energy early in my day so anything else I can get done to help with the later afternoon/evening rush is helpful. Can I chop up veggies for dinner now? Do the kids need lunches tomorrow for a field trip? Do we need special materials for family devotions tonight? Anything I can do now to help gets done.

If you are new to creating a morning routine don’t look at my list and think you have to copy everything.

I’m a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom with three kids, two of which are in school full time, the other in preschool a few days a week.

Most of these things only take just a few minutes and as my kids are old enough, some of these chores are delegated to them.

The best piece of advice I heard once about creating a routine is to start small.

Pick maybe two or three things you want to accomplish every morning and once you do them consistently for a few weeks then add a few more tasks. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew.

Afternoon

Afternoons consist of the time after lunch, the afterschool pickups, and the time before dinner. I’m a morning person so usually my energy wains in the afternoons so I try to keep my routine light.

  1. Wipe down kitchen counters & table– I do this after lunch to keep the counters clean
  2. Load dishwasher– Lunch dishes get put away
  3. Sweep kitchen & dining room floors- Unless the floor is really messy, I only sweep the floor once a day and I have found that it is easier for me to get it done after lunch then wait until the end of the day.
  4. Sort mail– I have a touch it once policy: I toss the junk mail, file the bills for my husband and place any magazines in the book basket until I have the chance to sit down to read them.
  5. Empty trash– I gather up the trash and recycling from around the house and place it in the big trash can in the garage.
  6. Finish laundry– I know I sound crazy, but the laundry is my favorite chore and I have a whole system for how I make it the favorite part of my afternoon.
  7. Quick clutter pick up– School bags and folders get placed where they belong for easy handling in the morning, any toys or books scattered about gets put away, all laundry is placed in appropriate bedrooms for kids to put away and any other visual clutter that needs to be dealt with gets taken care of.
  8. Dinner prep– My husband gets home around 5, so he usually plays with the kids while I fix dinner or do any last minute chores.

Evening

My evening routine is anything that happens around dinner time until my tired head hits the pillows. I try and get most of this done early so that way once my kids go to bed, I can have an hour or two to read and relax before bed to unwind for the day.

  1. Wipe down kitchen counters & table– Counters and table gets cleaned up after dinner
  2. Load &run dishwasher– Unless we used a lot of dishes during the day, I usually wait until the end of the day to run the dishwasher.
  3. Pull out any frozen food for tomorrow– I pull out any meat that needs to defrost in the refrigerator
  4. Set out breakfast dishes & prep coffee maker– Breakfast is hectic enough, this just helps me to get ahead.
  5. Make lunches– We check the school menu to see if the kids are taking or buying their lunch. If they are taking, they help me make their lunches and place lunchboxes in the refrigerator.
  6. Plan for tomorrow– I look over my day, make a daily to-do list and write down any notes, this usually helps me to relax if I can get this down on paper.
  7. Last house sweep through of the house– While my kids do a pretty good job of picking up their toys, there is always the random item left out, as well as any laundry that is waiting to be put away.
  8. Ask myself, How can I help tomorrow me? – Anything that can help tomorrow morning run smoother is worth getting done before bed.

Once all this is done it is so rewarding to get my PJs on and curl up on the couch and either read or watch a TV show with my husband.

Nothing is worse than being ready for bed only to realize I forgot to do something, although it happens!

So there you have it, my daily routine. For me it’s simple, others may look at this list and think the opposite and that’s OK.

Remember no two routines are the same, it has to work for you for your routine to work.

You might have also noticed that I didn’t include a few things, mainly my Bible reading time and exercise, among other things.

While I usually do those in the morning, some days they don’t happen until later in the day. Also I didn’t include all the time I intentionally set aside to play, read with and teach my kids.

To me those things are obvious and I’m doing them all day, so I didn’t feel the need to write them down.

There are also several things that I didn’t include that you probably do every day. As you are thinking over your day and your routine, think about the things that you do every day and make sense to you.

Alright ready for the FREE printables?

I’ve put together a simple daily routine sheet where you can write in your morning, afternoon and evening tasks. You can laminate it to update it daily or fill it once with a pen. The printable is also editable which means once you download it, you can type in your own routine and print it out!

I keep mine on my refrigerator where I can see it often. Others might keep it in their home management binder.

I also included in the download my daily routine if you need some inspiration and a starting point. Just remember that it is something that works for me and may not work for your current season.

Both daily routine printables are housed in our exclusive Creative Home Keeper Resource Library that is available for our email subscribers. To gain access, enter your email list below.

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Creating a Daily Routine with printable

What are some simple routines that you do every day to make your home and day run more smoothly?

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4 Comments

  1. DesignedByBH says:

    I’m a routine person, too…unfortunately I was laid off about a month ago and I have yet to figure out a new routine…well, at least one where I’m actually productive!!!! 🙂

    – Brooke –

  2. I need to get back into routines and writing down what I need to accomplish regularly is helpful. I agree that a routine is much easier than a schedule. I am blessed with 4 older children that sweep, mop, do dishes and bathrooms. I need to start doing a load of laundry a day again and doing one “big” thing a week. Big thing = make monthly meal plan, clean tubs, cut limbs, freezer cook, organize my … again (sigh), change all the sheets, talk to insurance company or doctor’s office, etc. I fear writing stuff down, because it seems so set in stone, but it is so much better than relying on my memory. Tomorrow… a load of laundry.

    1. Just aim for that one load of laundry and you will be on your way, don’t be too hard on yourself. A year ago I was a complete mess with a newborn and a toddler so different seasons bring different challenges but take heart, you can do it! And an added bonus is that you have 4 “helpers” 🙂

  3. This really does help me re-frame my days. I too have 2 toddlers and it feels like so many of our days are just ‘survival’, and while I do a great job at playing with them and taking care of them, I wish I was better at taking care of our home so that my husband doesn’t have to help with that as much. Appreciate hearing what you do; gives me something to work towards!

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