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5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day — Even When Life is Stressful

Does this season of your life feel overwhelming and stressful? Try developing these five daily habits to add a little more order and structure to your life! They make such a difference!

Are you in a period of life where it just feels like everything is overwhelming and out of control? Like you just have too much to do and too little time?

But you try as hard as you can to cut some things from your life and schedule and you just can’t come up with anything to cut?

Maybe you have a newborn and a toddler. Maybe you’re in the midst of a personal crisis.

Maybe things are really stressful at your job. Maybe you’re caring for a special needs child or an aging relative.

Maybe it’s a thousand other things…

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I get it. I really do.

Some days, some months, and some years, life is just very exhausting and stretching. Sometimes, you just wish you could find a way to run away to a very quiet, clean place where you don’t have to worry about bills or work problems or kid’s struggles or health issues or any other things that can weigh us down in life.

If you’re in a season of life where you are feeling overwhelmed or if you would just love to find a way to have a little more order and structure in your life, I encourage you to develop the habit of doing these five things every single day.

They might seem so simple — and they are! — but if you’re not doing these on a daily basis, commit to making them non-negotiables for 3-4 weeks and see if it makes a difference for you.

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 1. Write a Short To-Do List

If you don’t have a plan, there’s a good chance you’ll live life just spinning your wheels and putting out fires. Pre-determine a few top priorities for each day and write these down on your to-do list.

I suggest no more than 5-7 items on your to-do list each day, otherwise, you’re probably setting yourself up for defeat and frustration.

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

2. Make Your Bed

Truth be told, this is something I’m still working on myself. However, I’ve been much more committed to making this a priority after watching this video. (Yes, go watch it. I’ll wait for you!)

Isn’t it amazing how such a simple thing can make such a big difference? 5 Things to Do Every Single Day -- Even When You're Overwhelmed With Life 3. Get Dressed in Something That Makes You Feel Great

Anne Bogel and Dear Abby Leigh have both written on the importance of “dressing for the life you want to have” and I think there is a lot of truth in this. When you put a little effort into how you dress, it can impact your entire day.

I want to write more in-depth on this topic soon as making dressing nicer a priority in my life in the past six months has actually made a huge difference in my productivity and overall outlook on life.

I’ve found that I get more done, I feel more energetic, and I just feel happier. It might almost sound weird, but I dare you to try it.

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

4. Do One Load of Laundry From Start to Finish

So, this is also something I’m still really working on. And I need about five more years of success before I should be preaching about anything laundry-related. 🙂 But what I can tell you is that by watching the Simple Homemaking Video Course that came as part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and then by following the advice to follow through and finish all the parts of laundry every single day I’ve experienced incredible freedom this past week.

I honestly had no idea how much being 3-5 loads behind on laundry all the time was dragging me down.

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

5. Keep Your Kitchen Clean

When my kitchen is clean, it feels like my whole house is pretty much clean. When my kitchen is messy, the rest of my house can be clean, but it will feel like the whole thing is a wreck.

Maybe I’m the only person who is this way, but I can’t encourage you enough to develop a system for keeping your kitchen clean. Just at least try it and see how you like it!

What works for us is to make sure the kitchen is completely clean twice a day. At night before bed, I load and start the dishwasher, wash/dry/put away any larger items that won’t fit in the dishwasher, and wipe down all the countertops and table.

In the mornings around breakfast time, I unload the dishwasher, re-load it with breakfast dishes, and wipe down/clean up anything that needs to be cleaned. Throughout the day, as we use plates/cups, we rinse and stick them in the dishwasher — which means that, for the most part, our kitchen always looks pretty clean.

And a clean kitchen makes me so happy!

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

Bonus: Take 5 to 15 Minutes to Do Something for YOU

Carve out a little time each day, if possible, to do something that fills you up. Whether that’s reading or napping or chatting with a friend or journaling or texting a friend or gardening… whatever it is, take time to refuel and refresh yourself so that your tank is not depleted.

But Wait! Is This Really Realistic?

Now, you might have read through all of those above and thought, that’s great, but I just don’t have time to implement any of that right now. Well, I wanted to show you a practical example of how you could accomplish all of it with minimal time and work each day.

So here’s an example of a morning and evening routine that wouldn’t require much extra time and effort but would allow you to accomplish all five of these things every day, plus more:

Example Morning Routine

  • Get up, make your bed immediately, and make coffee (unload the dishwasher while the coffee is brewing).
  • Spend 10 minutes journaling/praying/reading while you’re sipping coffee.
  • Start a load of laundry.
  • Do 10 minutes of quick exercise (maybe a YouTube video workout or a walk or run around the block).
  • Shower, get dressed in something you love, do your hair and makeup.
  • Switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer.

Example Evening Routine

  • Load the dishwasher, start it, and wipe down all the countertops.
  • Fold and put away the load of laundry you washed and dried in the morning.
  • Lay out your clothes for the next day.
  • Take 5-15 minutes to do something you love.

See? It doesn’t have to take hours of time!

Just being a little more intentional with your morning and evening routines to make sure you accomplish these important daily tasks can not only help you feel more organized, it will keep your house cleaner, and probably help you feel a lot less stressed.

What items would be on YOUR Daily Top 5 List? I’d love to hear!


Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Mornings.

This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your routines, invest your time in things that truly matter, and find more joy and peace in the process.

If you’ve ever wished that you could figure out how to get more done, have more organization in your life, and find time to spend on things you love, the Make Over Your Mornings Course is for you. Find out more about it here.

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  • Karen says:

    Re: laundry: I try to fold shortly after the clothes come out of the dryer, but they stay out of the drawers for a couple of hours to allow the ambient moisture in the clothes to evaporate. And the door to the room is closed; the public areas of the house are open plan, and no one needs to see the laundry!

    • Brenda says:

      The first thing that jumped out at me was that having a clean kitchen makes my world right. No matter the condition of other areas, my kitchen is the hub and when it’s orderly, I’m ready for work! I didn’t realize I wasn’t alone in the love of a clean kitchen.
      I’m going to work at the laundry task. I’m always behind. I get that it’s a drain so I’m going to work on it!

  • Cherri says:

    This sounds great for a stay at home mom. I get up at 3:30 a.m. To be at work at 5:00 a.m. I work until 1 p.m. Most days. Then there are the changes in schedule that toss a monkey wrench into anything resembling routine. Work…say from 1 p.m. To 9p.m. Kinda hard to envision myself having the morning routine you describe. I have coffee on the run, the bed gets made the day the sheets are changed and I pray aloud that the kids load or unload the dishwasher and feed and water the 8 animals. Then I jot down what we PLAN to have for dinner(on my break) so I know what to shop for on the way home. After dinner I toss in a load of laundry and wash pots n pans. That’s the short list of our normal.

    • Heather says:

      I don’t find this list unrealistic… my schedule is pretty similar to yours, work from 4am-12:30pm 5 or 6 days a week. The stuff on this list takes less than 15 minutes of time in the morning or evening (though truthfully the morning routine gets done when I get off work at lunch time most days). I live on a farm too so we also have to look after animals… a donkey, goat, horse, 3 pigs and 25 chickens (and three house cats, but that takes less than 5 minutes a day). I plan meals for the week and shop on whatever day I have off that week, prep breakfasts and crockpot meals for the week, and catch up on any laundry we have, with two children under 5 and a farm we can’t keep up with one load of laundry a day 🙂 I go to bed when the toddlers do so when the alarm goes off at 2:45 I can get up and start it all over again. Once you have a routine down it takes no time to maintain it. It just depends what you want to do with your ‘free’ time.

      • Thanks for the info I have to much clutter which Iam tired of looking at. I prepare bags for Goodwill and our Church is having a give away in October of items that you donot need so I take them to the Church. I have a storage building suppose to be mine and my husband has taken it over with his stuff.We are in the antique business and I have a room of antiques which I need to get rid of. I try to keep kitchen clean and my husband and 18yr. old grandson keep putting dishes in the sink. I have no dishwasher, my kitchen is old need to be up dated. Iam 72yrs. I could go on about this house but I wont.

        • Jill Johnson says:

          Start with shining your sink at night… just waking up to a shiny sink is a start and it’ll make you happy. Add something else after that… You can’t clear up years of clutter in a few minutes, but a few minutes a day will get you somewhere and feeling good…

          check out FlyLady…

          You can do it!!

          • Claudia Mais says:

            When I started reading your post I said to myself, “I’ll bet she follows FlyLady”! I love her too! I also started doing Peter Walsh’s 31 day challenge on Facebook!! I cannot believe how much I’ve accomplished in that timeframe…and most projects take me 15-30 minutes.

      • Karen says:

        I agree. Some days are not as easy, but as long as you prepare the night before it makes mornings so much easier. I find as I get older it is harder to do. Perhaps I have less people to take care of, but you must prepare the night before and plan out your day. Keep yourself on track!

    • Amy says:

      Maybe a stay at home mom with older kids! The thOught of my A – getting a shower, B getting all dolled up and C – actually taking time for myself in that order without interruptions or stress is not only extremely unrealIstic but laughable when you have little ones LOL!!!!!!

      • Luly says:

        I know what you mean. They are not little that long, so I guess this could be something to strive for in the future 🙂

      • Stephanie says:

        I have 9,8,5&2 year olds and I’m my kids chauffeur all day and this is easy for me to do cause this is what I’m doing already. I also have two dogs in between the four kids!

        • Pearl says:

          This has been pretty much the schedule I have had for the last 31 yrs. I have 4 children 29,28,19,15 and have helped raise several nephews and nieces that blends in between my children and also worked full-time. For the past 2 1/2 yrs I have been helping my daughter who is a single parent who works and goes to school full-time.

      • Kimmy says:

        I used to feel the same way as Amy and then I realized I was setting unrealistic expectations for myself. I have a 3 year old and 2 year old who simply will not leave me alone and I felt I didnt have time to shower, shave, primp, workout and dress up let alone clean a house and cook. I finally just started paying more attention to my daily routine and found time wasters (internet, tv) that I could have done something else in that time. I also broke down my chore list into daily duties and weekly duties and assigned a different weekly dury for different days (because I honestly wont do a whole day of chores). I also set my expectations of my appearance to realistic. I cleaned out my closet and got rid of all the clothes that I had that would look good if only I lost 10 pounds. I started buying clothes for my real life instead of a fantasy life. I developed a “uniform”, a style I knew looked good on me, that I felt great in. With keeping these pieces only, I can get dressed in 5 minutes and still look put together and comfortable. I realized makeup would not happen, neither would anything with a curling iron. So I instead try to stay hydrated and wear moisturizer and work with my natural hair texture so it looks nice.
        Hopefully this advice helped and you can try to make a system that works for you because it is frustrating enough to feel like kids run your life 24/7 but I felt much worse about it unshowered in pjs with greasy hair and an unmade bed lol.

        • Bonnie says:

          This^^^ 🙂 😉 <3

        • Paula says:

          I agree that the list can be done. It’s only five items, after all. Making a bed only takes 60 seconds in my home because I keep that simple. No frilly stuff.
          While a load of clothes is washing/drying, I can be accomplishing something else like vacuuming or loading that dishwasher and wiping down the kitchen and bathroom. ( a clean kitchen makes me happy too. But I also want that bathroom picked up and clean)
          I noticed when I had small children and was working full time that I made my weariness an excuse to veg out instead of taking care of what mattered. My husband mattered. My kids mattered. But so did those five things on this list. In fact, these things also mattered to my husband.
          We pick what our priorities are. I have the luxury of being able to do more so-called “time wasting” now that I’m older. But I still make my bed, get dressed so I’m presentable to the world (I can do it because the laundry’s always caught up), and keep that kitchen clean.

        • Sherry says:

          I loved your post of 1/12/16! Your idea of a “uniform” style is genius and stress reducing! I also like your idea of not only planning daily duties, but weekly duties too, so nothing gets neglected! I also loved the idea of keeping the primping to a minimum. Some people waste so much time with the blow dryer, curling or flat iron trying to get the hair just right, and then the makeup! The primer, the concealer, the foundation, the 3 different eyeshadows, the eyeliner, the mascara, and then the lip liner, the lipstick, the lipgloss! My gosh…who are they trying to be anyway!?
          So I wanted to thank you and tell you that the strategies mentioned in your post are better than the advice I’ve seen from most ‘experts’.

        • Jessca says:

          Love these suggestions!

      • Fran maddox says:

        This is so not the way it works in real life as I am a stay,at home mom of 5 children 1 grandchild and 1 grandchild on the way and a owner of 2 businesses. I find that when my children with the oldest being 26 ,20,17,9,7 and grand baby that’s 2 I had way more time when they was smaller and younger because I have always tried to be a friend as well as a mom to my children I find that they require way more time as they get older so don’t think it’s easier as they grow up enjoy them while they are young.

      • Rosie says:

        I have 5 children under 6 years of age, youngest is 1 year old. So yes 5 in 5 years. My routine is nearly exactly the same as Crystals! I need this routine to make time for myself and my husband. It might seem unrealistic to look at. But the blessings of having a routine are immense and well worth getting up that little bit before the kiddies.

      • Debora says:

        I disagree. Exercise in the living room with the kids (bonus: they get in the habit of exercising too! ) Put a 30 minute educational video on to occupy the kids while you shower, get dressed, and do your hair. Enlist them in helping put clothes in the washer/ dryer. Yes, it is easier when they’re a little older, but I’ve done all these things since my 4 kids were babies. Also, it’s completely ok to say, “go play on your own for a few minutes while Mommy has some ‘me’ time.” This teaches kids that the world doesn’t revolve around them and mom is a person too who needs to recharge. Then you can be an even better mom.

    • Danielle says:

      The timing of WHEN you do each step certainly could be unrealistic for you, but don’t naysay until you give it some thought to adapt it to your life!

      I prefer to run the dishwasher in the AM cuz I am at work full time days, and my daughter has a hard time falling asleep and her room is right off our dining room/kitchen open area.

      On Mondays I probably won’t do the laundry or dishes till lunch time (because my normal lunch date always has Monday meetings, and I live really close to work).

      The one load of laundry a day sounds amazing, but who says it has to be YOU that does it. I plan to enlist my oldest when it comes to bathroom towels and kitchen towels!

    • Donna says:

      I relate, had 6 kids, close. but at 84 have lately read about a pot (instant) that my daughter bought 3 weeks ago…. similar lifestyle…too much work, I would enjoy sellingl it, (not an option) because I now see how it has made a difference….food wise in her time schedule. Keeping food warm for 10 hours …safelyl was a biggy as my daughters kids come and go all hours, (UPS, 2 students,tutor teacher, and a husband!!! lol I won’t go into the workings of it but check it out, it can make a difference food wise. The Du0 6 qt. is what she got with extra insert, and you just have to really READ ALL the directions carefully and you are good to go. Get the extra seals, read why. Yeah, it’s not cheap (daughter got one for $80.00+ lots of holiday sales on it) Food takes a lot of your day buying and making. They also have a 8 qt. but feel that one needs a little more working on. Good luck

  • Apple says:

    I have been sticking to the same morning routine for a couple of years, and it works! 🙂 I love the simplicity and reliability of the routine.
    7.00 I & husband get up and get breakfast & luchboxes ready, unload dishwasher
    7.30 wake up kids and we all have breakfast together
    8.00 everyone has a wash/gets dressed
    8.30 husband walks to work
    8.45 kids walk to school
    I load breakfast stuff to dishwasher, tidy kitchen, make the bed (or beds if kids forget), speed- clean bathrooms.
    Get ready for work.
    9.30 Go to work.

  • Liz says:

    In an ideal day my top 5 would be:
    pray every morning
    spend time playing with the kids
    doing administrative stuff–pay bills, coupon, menu plan, write my to do list etc.
    Run errands
    However I always seem to skip playing with the kids. It makes me sad and I want to change that!

    • Harriet says:

      Please do…move it to the top priority! You only have them for a short time and then they grow up! Enjoy…..experience speaking here after kids grown and gone!

    • Cc says:

      I’m right there with you! I saw this other post that said just try ten mins a day with the kids. Try playing a video game with them, coloring or what not. Do what they’re doing for ten mins, then get back to your list. They’ll remember and you still get everything done. I added it to my New Years resolution along with “quit nagging husband and just do it cause you’re tired of asking ten times” lol

      I have an 8 yr old and a 4 month old.

      I’ve done it the last two days and it seems to help with the kids. Now let’s see how it works now that we’re all back to school and work.

  • Kimee says:

    I get up at 3a, work from 4:30a–2:30p. I get hime at 3pm exhausted. My husband is a fulltime student as well as works fulltime, so kids and house are in me!! I clean as soon as i get off and do laundry then clean as I’m taking care of a 2 and 4yr old. At 4p my 8 and 9yr olds get home, they have a snack, then it’s straight to homework. That takes us into 6pm. I make dinner, they eat, baths for the boys (8 and 9) ate done between 7 and 7:30 and they are in bed at 8p. The girls get bathed about 7:30-8p, and then go to clean the kitchen, take a shower and try to be asleep by 9p. I do get a lot done during my 3 days off. It is overwhelming and there is absolutely no way i have time for myself!! I’m ine exhausted mama😊

  • TDC says:

    “Dressing for the day you want to have” made me have a flashback to watching ‘Leave it to Beaver’ as a child. Mrs. Cleaver and other moms always looked their best (and in dresses) for housework, cooking, etc. I know it was the basically the “dress code” for the era, but look at how productive they were. 😉
    An interesting thing that goes along with dressing for the day you wish to have is that I heard on the radio that the sales of jeans is low, yet the sales for workout pants and clothes is high. Young people today, especially college students, wear workout clothes on a daily basis. Sorry, just a couple of things that came to me.

  • Pamela says:

    Thank You Crystal!

    This post has been a game changer for me. It’s simplicity pulled me out of the ‘deer in headlights’ state I’ve been in for a few months. I feel so much more in control and energized each day. I can honestly say I’ve made my bed every day since. Big victory! I love going in my bedroom now💗
    I’m getting things done that I would have kept procrastinating on. So…thank you for bringing clarity to my day when I couldn’t find it on my own.

  • Megan says:

    Hello Crystal!
    I cam across your blog lastnight at the perfect time… I am coming off of the first Thanksgiving since losing my dad and your article really helped me realize that I need a simple routine to get me through this time and stay sane and peaceful. Thanks so much for the great article…. I linked up to it my blog.

  • Pamela Jones says:

    I tried to have a very simple morning routine about 2 weeks ago: I woke up 2 hours ahead of when I needed to leave. I had a HOT cup of coffee, did a quick devotional and then got ready. I made my bed right before leaving the house. I also tried to be in bed by 9. I fell off the routine quickly but it was the best idea and I plan on doing an intentional routine next week. I admire you Crystal and thank you.

  • Crystal says:

    I used to make my bed every day before school as far back as a second grader. My mom would actually get upset that I would feel the need to do that every morning! I made my bed because I loved coming home and getting into a made bed. My issue now is I am married to a complete opposite husband who I don’t think has ever made a bed in his entire life by his own choice. He leaves later than I for work so do I make our bed at night before I get into it? Thoughts anyone? Other than that I’m already doing the other things on this list so I’m really excited about that!

    • debzy says:

      I hate going to bed in a bed that isn’t made – I don’t always have time to make it in the morning but yes, I make it before I get in it! Sometimes that’s when I get home from work and am changing my clothes. I guess some people can just crawl in and let the covers fall where they may but I like my covers straight 🙂 If I can make it in the morning I do, but if I can’t, I don’t! Nobody sees it but the cats and they like it messy 🙂 We all do what we can. It’s good to be a little organized in your routine – keeps you grounded. That’s regardless of what time you get up and what time you get home. If you have a bit of a routine it helps you to stay sane.

    • SomethingBeautiful08 says:

      Obviously making your bed at night is an option but if you have patience I would also offer another option. I had a similar situation when I was first married. First I talked to my husband about why I’d like to have the bed made and how it makes me feel when the bed is made versus not made. Also when I was home when he got up I would make the bed shortly after he woke up normally with him there. Lastly when he did start making the bed I made it a point to tell him and show him that I appreciate his efforts to make me happy and help me. It has worked as he makes the bed almost every morning now.

    • Flo says:

      I love to let my bed ‘air out’ so the sheets can offload the sweat for a few minutes before I make at least my half of the bed. That seems to encourage my husband to flip the sheet and comforter back in place if he gets up after me. We don’t have any room or desire to “dress up” out bed with extra pillows, etc., cause there is no place to put them at night.
      I would like to thank my husband here for being willing to pitch in and do jobs since we are about equally busy. He will sweep the floor, do laundry, and wash dishes (we are the dishwashers!) if they need doing and I’m not there, which is a big blessing. (And I can mow, shovel snow, clean the chicken pen if he is not there, too.) We have both stayed pretty busy over our 42 years of marriage, but I am surprised that we are even more busy in retirement!! I must admit, though, that I am enjoying it immensely.

  • Jessica says:

    I know this post is a few months old, but I love this idea! I’m a single mom of 3 young (elementary school age and pre-school age) boys. I work full time, but am “blessed” to work weekends when my boys visit their dad and therefore have most weekdays as a quasi stay at home mom. I’ve found that if I wake up at least a hour before its time to get my kids up and ready, I can manage coffee, alone time (reading/journaling), getting dressed, and packing lunches without being rushed, and I love it!
    Its making each minute count, and those 15 minutes of coffee and reading count so much towards my sanity.

  • I’m 71 & my husband is 74 & our divorced son lives with us. His daughter stays with us when she’s home on break or holidays from college. His 8 & 10 year old sons spend week-ends with us. I cook every day & my kitchen is always clean, with help from my husband – because I like a clean kitchen! (my grand-daughter recently said to me, “I thought you liked cleaning the kitchen!)
    I intend to start your routine immediately – with one addition – cleaning the bathrooms when I shower & dress in the mornings. You make organization sound so easy! Thank You

  • Crystal says:

    Exactly! Love how you have an example of how little time it really takes to do the extras. Now, to start dressing better even when I am at home all day.

  • Brandy taylor says:

    Love that idea! I’m a stay home mom kinda lol I also have my own house cleaning business so my own suffers but I know for a fact that the kitchen being a priority makes everything better and I got 2 lil ones one with special needs. However I don’t have time for pets so we don’t have them.

  • Beth says:

    The kitchen step is what hangs me up! I totally agree though. If my kitchen is clean, I feel like the rest of the house is clean. One thing I found that works with my laundry is that I have one basket for carrying dirty laundry down, folding clean laundry in, and carrying it back upstairs. Another load isn’t allowed to be started if the basket still has clean laundry in it. I also read at least 20 pages in whatever book I am currently reading. That’s my “me” time.

  • Kim says:

    I LOVE this! I love it so much, I just had to convert it into a printable document I could post on my mirror. Let me know if you’d like the Word document or pdf… Thanks so much.

  • arlene says:

    Nice post! Thank you!

  • Helen Quinn says:

    Great post! I actually made a New Year’s resolution years ago to put on makeup every day. I was working virtually at the time and really let myself go. I would get dressed up to see clients or lunch with girlfriends but generally my husband came home to my shiny red face and pale lashes. I’m a stay at home mom now but I still do a quick brush with my Bare Minerals, mascara, and lip gloss. Makes me feel terrific.

  • DONNEA says:

    Thank you for this post! I am a single mom & though I have a sea of responsibilities that I’m dealing with solo, this post reminds me to take care of myself. Its like they tell you on an airplane…put your oxygen mask on first and then you can save the person next to you. As a Single mom….No matter what is going on, we have to remember to breathe & recharge, so that we can be the best we can for our kids. If we burn out or get sick to the point of being out of commission then our families & households are in compromised. I urge every working mom married or single to take heed to this article! It will be a lifesaver! Modify her sample list to fit your schedule but commit to doing this for yourself!!

  • Erin says:

    I love this. I just put bub to bed and kissed my hubby goodbye as he left for night shift, then had a shower and thought to myself ‘I really need to get myself together’. I thought what if I wrote down 5 things I want to get done tomorrow…. Something with my daughter… Something to clean… Something outside… Something that has to be done and Something I want yo do. I thought of what I could do for each of those things then I read your blog. I am on the right track 🙂 I love the bed making idea 🙂 I am currently on maternity leave but work still work part time as a primary school teacher, my husband works 13hr days 7 days at a time. I am also studying a business management course and renovating a caravan to turn it into a shop, plus I have my baby and house to run so my days are usually pretty full but I think your advice if perfect for what I need to feel as though I have got control over my days and not just running after myself trying to keep up. Thank you again 🙂

  • Radwa says:

    Hi Crystal. Thank you for the tips.

  • Jess says:

    Very good ideas for keeping on track and staying motivated. Your point about doing something for you is also important and probably what a lot of people forget! Great post.

  • Sandy says:

    I am a homeschooling mom of 5. Dressing “up” in almost any way seems silly as I will be doe gong my time cleaning, playing, eye. No I don’t wear T-shirts and yoga pants every day, but wearing the cute shirt and skirt shown in the pic would not work!

    • ann says:

      Genes and t shirt can also be cute, if clean, pressed, and your hair is neat, sneakers are clean, just add a little necklace or scarf & earrings. if you ware lipstick put a little on. Part of teaching is showing self interest

  • Nathana Clay says:

    Great ideas and advice! I try to do most of these every day. When I get them done I really do feel better!

  • Kathy Prince says:

    This sounds great. Getting up to a clean kitchen is such a great way to start the day. The only thing I also do is freshen up the bathroom. That way you are always ready for company or someone who drops in.

  • Vanessa says:

    I love you for this. I think I’m gonna give it a go. My biggest battle will be keeping up with it. Apparently I’m allergic to completion & consistency. My body is trying to protect myself from anaphylaxis, and therefore I am inable to do something from start to finish, and keep up with doing it in the future.
    Well, at least that’s my theory on how it works for me. Lol.
    But I get an “E” for effort! (: So it begins tomorrow!


  • Janine says:

    I do all your routine, figured this out with kids and husband years ago figured out that I had to get up an hour early if I wanted a quiet private time with a cup of coffee however now I’m 65 and everybody’s gone and I mean everybody. So tell me how do I get interested in doing anything again . I don’t care . I don’t care if I make the bed. I don’t care if I do anything I don’t care if I do yard work or gardening or sewing anything that used to make me happy , there’s nothing that has any joy in it how do I put the joy back in my life.

    • Laura says:

      You are worth a made bed. You are worth a delicious meal. You are worth a pretty yard and garden.

      Loss of interest in things that used to bring you joy is a sign of depression. PLEASE make an appointment with your doctor immediately to get treatment options.

      Check out volunteer activities such as Meals on Wheels, which will get you out of the house. Taking care of others will bring joy back into your life.

      I’ve been where you are. Joy will return, but you may need professional therapy to help you find your lost joy.

    • Anna says:

      Is it realistic to get a pet? A few years ago I was suffering from mild depression. When we brought a new puppy home, suddenly I was needed again, had a schedule to keep, and was out for a walk twice a day. The changes in my moods were remarkable! I hope you find something to bring you joy again soon!

  • Fulya Ulusoy says:

    I am not a mom and happened to stumble upon this article which makes a lot of sense whether you have children and/or animals (I have the latter). I am simply amazed at how hard working and tirelessly great at what you all do. What is even more amazing is that you are wondering how much MORE you can do.
    I mean, some of you have 5 children, and grandchildren and babies, some are homeschooling, some wake up at 3 to start work at 5 (Where do you work?).
    After reading your stories, telling deep down how wonderfully resilient women are, I have decided never to moan about my workload ever again. Good luck, love & respect.

    • Robin says:

      YOU are amazing. What a wonderful outlook! I’m POSITIVE your attitude blesses everyone who knows you!

      • Fulya Ulusoy says:

        Robin, thank you. Very kind of you. I mean all of what I have said, wish I could have expressed myself better and more eloquently. Moms deserve the best of everything, including words of praise and respect.

  • Kendra says:

    Seriously people you need to listen to her when she post’s something to help us in life that’s her job and she writes about it for us to be better…
    My gramma used to say keep your kitchen clean and the whole house will be/ seem cleaner and she was very wise because it’s so true..
    And you as women/mothers you need to realize if you don’t take time for your self make your self look better makes you feel so much better and then you are able to get more done because you feel better about your self and everything else.. And taking just 5 to 15 minutes a day is something that YOU NEED TO DO.. If you are tired, not looking good, and not taking care of yourself you can’t take care of anyone else properly either.

  • Rachel says:

    Crystal, I just wanted to thank you for everything you put out to the world. It is so helpful. I just got accepted to the South Africa trip (woohoo!), and I can’t wait to learn from you and everyone in the group. I just started reading your blog a few months ago after hearing your podcast with Power of Moms about morning-routines (and doing the Makeover Your Mornings course as a result). I love reading your tips about organization, managing stress, and family life. I don’t read a lot of blogs anymore, but I always open my emails from you. Thank you for being brave enough to share your life, dreams, family, and heart with the world. It’s awesome!

  • Novella says:

    Thank you, I completed the Make over your mornings online series. Teaching my young daughters what I’ve gained as well as coworkers. This is such a blessing Love it!

  • mandy cat says:

    One caveat about the evening routine: I used to set the delayed start on our dishwasher to take advantage of our lower electric rates at night. That was until some acquaintances who did the same thing woke up to find their dishwasher on fire. If they had been awake, they would have smelled the smoke much sooner and a great deal less damage would have been done. Of course, the other lesson here is to have plenty of smoke detectors installed no matter what else you’re doing!

  • Belinda says:

    Lovely post, but I must add something … I’ve raised my two kids alone, they are 13 and 14 now, and the most important thing is to teach them to help clean the house. When mine were little (3 and 4) I started a morning routine that when I tidied they carried washing to the basket, put a toy in a box etc. We would spend half an hour a day tidying together and that helped, also helped getting my son with ADD focused. Now they make their beds, pack away dishes and wash and hang laundry while we are tidying, the house is clean twice a day and I stay sane 🙂

  • Paula H. says:

    Wonderful concept and truly is doable, with few exceptions, for everyone. The trick is to make the sequence in which these things are done suit what works for the individual. I have read many times that it will keep your bedding and mattress cleaner and healthier if you pull down your bedding and let the moisture dissipate (about 1/2 an hour) before making your bed. I found this to be so true. I now usually only have to change my sheets once a week instead of two or three and I have less allergy issues when I wake in the morning too. So I make the bed after the kitchen and laundry stuff but before getting dressed. My point is just about everyone can make this work for “them”.

  • Catie says:

    I purchased the 2016 Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and from that I’ve started implementing small daily ‘chores’ that really do a lot for my sanity (and pride, too, if we’re being honest). Making the bed is something I’ve discovered helps me get my brain in the right frame. If my bed is made, my mind can have clarity. If it gets left undone, I feel sluggish and murky all day. Through habit-building, keeping my kitchen tidied is beginning to have the same effect. The whole getting dressed thing is still a struggle for me. I like to look and feel nice and confident, but I don’t like getting chore-sweaty in skinny jeans or a nice top! Still figuring life out, one outfit at a time. 😄

  • Victoria says:

    This sounds great but is not realistic for me. A am the first one up and out of the house so it’s kind of hard to make the bed with someone still in it! Lol. And unfortunately my laundry gets done at the laundromat!

  • Cami says:

    These are great ideas and I do some of them already. They do help. I also try to spend 5-10 minutes getting rid of clutter. With just 2 kids I still can’t seem to stay ahead of the clutter but when my house is organized (like RIGHT after I clean), it is such a peaceful feeling.

  • Angela says:

    Great, attainable ideas! I totally agree that the kitchen sets the tone for the rest of the house, and sometimes for the day! I struggle with the to-do list because I’m a little more free-wheeling in that area, but something I continue to work on. A nicely made bed and a put-together outfit can have a surprising impact on a person’s outlook! I love the green and blue outfit you have pictured! I definitely need to add a few more pops of mix-and-match color to my wardrobe in the form of cardigans and layering pieces! I get into a slump in the winter though, when I tend to just pile on as many pieces of clothing as I can. Maybe that tells me I need some cute warmer clothes! Good reason to hit a few after-Christmas sales! Thanks for the motivation! May God bless you and your family – thank you for the good work you do!

  • Paula says:

    ok, ok I will give making the bed a go 🙂

    I am a small family, my son and I, so we only have 2 loads a week to do. One on Tuesday (clothing) and one on Thursday (linens)

    The rest I’ve built over time and made it possible and automatic.

    Thank you for your Evening Course, I am almost done and already getting so much benefit from it, I feel more peaceful, hopeful. I am not done, but getting there. Thank you!!!

    So Blesses I foun you by googling about routines for moms

  • LinnyLee says:

    No idea how I found your post, but I am a stay-at-home mom of a large adoptive family. I am 59 and still have 9 kids at home which I homeschool. Two of our kids are quadriplegics, many are “lifers” (we get to keep them for life!). I have to agree wholeheartedly on what you wrote. I find that I function best when the kitchen is clean (or at least relatively clean) , our bed is made and I’m dressed looking “pretty”. I have even recently started wearing a speck of make-up again – somehow it helps me feel “perkier”. (If anyone saw me writing that they would laugh I’m sure. I’m hardly a make-up girl, never have been. But I figure a tad of blush and mascara makes me look alive and not dead. haha). Anyway, your post was published years ago, but thank you for writing it. It always helps that I start my day also with spending time with the Lord. I feel like it all just functions so much better when I have Him first. God bless you.

  • Dawn says:

    Moms….take the time to look after yourselves after all what you are teaching your kids is that you matter too and that they matter. After raising three kids on my own, one special needs, I am just learning to look after myself after fighting cancer for six years now. I have finally made myself a priority…better late than never I guess. You are all amazing , doing what you do, but fifteen minutes for you is important too! God bless you all ❤️

  • Mellany says:

    What an amazing article! I always try to take care of me and my house, cause I`m really happy and relaxed when I look good and my home is clean and cozy!

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