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Make the Most of Your Mornings: Your Day Starts the Night Before (Day 2)

If you want to make the most of your mornings, you can’t just expect to jump out of bed without a plan and somehow have all of the pieces fall into place for a very productive day. No, a productive morning is usually the fruit of planning and preparation. And it begins the night before.

To change your morning, you need to first change your evening.

If you go to bed late and the house is a mess, the dishes are piled in the sink, you’re way behind on laundry, you don’t have food for breakfast or lunches the next day, and you don’t even know what appointments or events are scheduled for the next day, no wonder you wake up feeling frazzled, stressed, and behind!

If, on the other hand, you go to bed at a decent hour, your house is picked up, you have clothes laid out to wear, breakfast is in the crockpot, lunches are made, and backpacks and your purse and keys are by the door, you’ve given yourself a huge head start on a successful morning.

Instead of trying to get up at some too-early hour and cram in a crazy amount of things in the morning, focus on changing your before-bed routine first. You might find that this is the thing that transforms your morning much more than getting up early does.

In fact, if you prep well ahead of time in the evening, you just might be able to sleep in a little bit more in the mornings. (I bet all of you non-morning people just let out a collective shout of “Hallelujah!”)

How to Set Up a Successful Evening Routine

1) Determine Your Bedtime

What time do you need to get up in the morning by in order to be out the door in time or start your day off on the right foot? Write that time down and then count backwards by 8-9 hours. Whatever time you land on is your new bedtime.

This is the time that you must be in your PJs, have everything finished for the night, and be in bed. No ifs, ands, or buts. I’m your new drill sergeant and you must do what I say, okay? 😉

Sticking with a consistent bedtime just might be your number one key to morning success. When you’re well rested, you have more energy, more clarity, and more productivity. Not to mention that you usually are less stressed, less irritable, and life just looks a lot rosier when your sleep tank is full.

2) Pick Your Top 5 Evening Must-Do’s

Once you have your bedtime determined, then it’s time to determine the five things that you are committing to do every evening before bed. I know you might want to come up with a list of 25 things that seem like they’d really be good to do, but let’s keep it simple and just pick the top five must-do’s.

You can make a list of 25 ideas, but promise me you’re going to whittle it down to just the top five for starters. Keep it simple and you’re most apt to actually stick with it and follow through with it. I’ve learned that one the hard way!

Possible Evening Must-Do’s

::Clothes Laid Out for the Morning

::Kitchen Cleaned Up

::Lunches Made For the Next Day

::Breakfast In the Crockpot (Or cereal out and cereal bowls and spoons set out on the table.)

::To-Do List Made for the Next Day

::Quick 15-Minute House Clean-Up

::Everything Together and Set By the Door That You Need For Getting Out of the House the Next Day

Once you have figured out your Top 5 Must-Do’s, write them down on a piece of paper and put them in a conspicuous place. You could even print them off in a cute font, laminate or stick them in a page protector, put this on your fridge, and then use a dry erase marker to mark each item off as you accomplish it each evening.

3) Plan Your Start Time and Stick With It

Think realistically how long it’s going to take for you to accomplish your Top 5 Must-Do’s and then work backwards from your bedtime to figure out your Evening Routine start time. In most cases, your start time is going to be at least an hour before your bedtime. I’d add in some extra time, just to be on a safe side and to give yourself a cushion in case something comes up.

Write this start time down on your Top 5 Must-Do’s List, set a timer or an alarm to go off to remind you when you’re supposed to start, and just do it. Stick with this for three weeks and I promise you’ll start to see some significant improvement in your mornings — and in your days as a whole.

At the end of three weeks, you can tweak your evening routine and even add a few more things, if you’re sure you’re up to it. If you miss a few days or have a few hiccups along the way, don’t be discouraged, just pick back up where you left off the next day. And remember, moving forward — even at a microscopic rate — is still moving forward!

Day 2 Project

1. Determine a bedtime. Follow the steps above to figure out what a good bedtime is for you and commit to go to bed at that time every single evening for the next three weeks.

2. In addition, pick your top 5 Evening Must Do’s, write them down, and commit to following them for the next three weeks.

3. Leave a comment telling us what bedtime you’re committing to stick with and what your you determined were you Top 5 Evening Must Do’s.

Tomorrow, I’ll share my bedtime and Top 5 Evening Must-Do’s and will check in daily here at 1 p.m. EST to tell you how it’s going for me and to see how you’re doing in sticking with it, too.


Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? It all starts the night before! Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Evenings.

This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you maximize your evenings in order to experience more success in your life, more order in your home, and more joy in your soul.

It’s time to stop sleep-walking through life and wake up to the amazing excitement and fulfillment that comes when you follow my simple plan to Make Over Your Evenings.

Find out more about it here.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • I’m committing to a bedtime of 10:00 so I can be up at 6 (though I would like this to be 5:30 so I can get a workout and Bible reading in before I have to get my oldest up for school). I know that’s not 8 hours but I can’t seem to get to bed any earlier!
    I feel like I have so many things I would like to do in the am before the kids get up (like some blogging added to the above list) but then I would be up way to early and going to bed at 8!
    Anyway, by 5 evening tasks will be kitchen cleaned up, lunches packed, breakfast set out, 15 minute clean up, to do list made.

    Looking forward to the rest of the series. This is definitely an area I need help in.

  • Victoria says:

    I have to be up by 6 so I am committing to be in bed by 9. My 5 must do’s are:
    1. Clothes out for next day
    2. Kitchen cleaned
    3. Calendar checked
    4. Booksacks and other “need to bring” items by the door
    5. Breakfast planned

  • Rachel says:

    Phew, okay- 9 pm! We can do this! lol.
    1. Clean my kitchen
    2. Quickly tidy up the house
    3. Tomorrow’s clothes out
    4. Make tomorrow’s to do list
    5. Start making my husbands lunch, lay out breakfast things

    • Jen L says:

      I’m committing to a 10:00 pm bedtime. My 5 tasks are:
      1. Dishes clean/kitchen picked up
      2. Garbage/recycling out
      3. Lunches packed
      4. Clutter picked up
      5. To do list created/calendar reviewed for next day

  • Jess says:

    I’m going to bed at 9 PM every night (I do this most nights but have struggled with this during the summer) and am doing these 5 things before bed each evening:

    ::Clothes Laid Out for the Morning

    ::Kitchen Cleaned Up

    ::Lunches Made/Determind For the Next Day (we eat leftovers a lot for lunch, so I may just need to make sure there are leftovers :))

    ::To-Do List Made for the Next Day

    ::Quick 15-Minute House Clean-Up

    I do most of this already, but if there are no leftovers to eat for lunch, I usually do not make lunch the night before, and I usually do not lay out my clothes the night before. I’m looking forward to trying these out!

  • Jenni Dill says:

    This is perfect for the beginning of a new school year!!!
    According to this plan, I would need to go to bed no later than 9pm – 8:30pm would be even better. But, then I can’t watch the Big Bang Theory before going to bed… 🙁
    Grown-Up decisions are hard…

    • Jenni Dill says:

      oops, I forgot my list of five things (see what missing the Big Bang Theory does to me?!?)!
      1.Tidy the kitchen and Living Room (counting it as one thing, as my children usually do the L.Room!)
      2. Make my To-Do list for tomorrow.
      3. Set table for breakfast (We have even used a little pitcher of milk in the door of the fridge, and when the kids are ready to eat breakfast they don’t have to wait for an adult to pour the milk!).
      4. Make sure all the backpacks, purses, diaper bags, etc. are packed and ready for the next days’ activities.
      5. Prep for tomorrow’s school lunch packing – whether it’s packed ahead of time or laid out ready to pack quickly.

  • Mackenzie says:

    In bed by 10? Ok, I’ll try! 🙂
    1. Dishes must be done
    2. Toys put away
    3. Coffee ready to go in coffeemaker
    4. Hubby’s lunch packed for work
    5. 10 minute quick pick up around the house

    • Anna says:

      Amen to the coffee ready to go! I did this every-single-night when work demanded very early rising.

    • Joy says:

      Ditto for me…10pm bed…
      1. Kitchen clean
      2. COFFEE ready to go
      3. 15 min pick-up
      4. Wash my face!!
      5. Have a to-do list for the next day

  • Jennifer says:

    My bedtime will now be 10pm! My goals for every evening are to have clothes laid out for the next day, clean and prep kitchen (meaning have breakfast ready for the next morning), KEYS BY THE FRONT DOOR!!! (this is a big issue in my household…always losing the keys), lunches ready to go, and last but not least make sure the kids rooms are picked up!

    • Stacy says:

      Do you have a key hook by the door? My hubby and I are constantly switching cars, depending on his commute that day, so they key hook is a life saver! Keys always go there, no exceptions!

      • Amy says:

        I’ve had the same hook by the door for 10 years, and I’m still begging my husband to use it! You’d think after 10 years of not being able to find his keys . . .

        • Jennifer says:

          We did the key hook thing for a while….but…my husband also refused to use it! I guess not so much refused but just decided not to. I don’t know howmany times we’ve had to hunt keys down in the morning. He has finally found a resting spot for the keys. Now that we have moved we hve a fireplace and mantle and he puts the keys on the matle. It is just my job tomake sure that they are there at night!

    • Kristy says:

      Keys use to be a big issue for me too. Several months back we put a key hook by the door, and after a few weeks it became habit to always hang up the keys when we walked in, so the keys were always there when we walked out. 🙂

      • Lorna says:

        I thought you were advised NOT to keep keys by the door, as they would be easy for a thief to find? Here most front doors have a letter box and it is possible for someone to open the flap, stick a hook through and “fish” for keys in a bowl or on a hook near the door. Then they just let themselves in. Even if you don’t have a letter box a window or something might do the same. I have a bowl for keys in the living room, which is the nearest room to the front door. And also where I sort post and keep things like appointment letters. Whenever I find the keys somewhere else I put them back in the bowl and it is becoming a habit, now throws me completely if they aren’t in the bowl!

  • Jackie says:

    1. Bedtime is 11! Get ready for bed at 10:45.
    2. At 9:30pm start your top 5’s (15 mins each)
    a. Clean up the dishes, and counters
    b. Pick up the house
    c. Do a load of laundry
    d. Plan out the next day’s tasks, and schedule
    e. Plan out food for the next day. (Take out to defrost etc.)

  • Stacy says:

    I’m a stay at home mom, but I found that if I don’t get things ready the night before, I feel frazzled and my sweet 1 y/0 son does not get my full attention during the day. Here are my 5 things:

    1. Kitchen cleaned, including ALL sippy cups washed (this means I have to search the house for them! :))
    2. All toys picked up and put away.
    3. To Do list for next day written.
    4. Hubby’s lunch and iced coffee (minus the ice, he can do that himself at 5:30am!!!) made up and in the fridge.
    5. Hubby’s work clothes ironed and set out for him.

    Bed time is 10:00pm., so I need to start these things at 9:30pm.

    Thank you for this challenge! I am looking forward to seeing the changes in my day!

  • Katie says:

    To be up at 6, I’ll be committing to a bed time of 9pm. Here are the 5 things I need to do as my night time routine:

    1. Lunch/breakfast packed
    2. Kitchen cleaned
    3. Clothes laid out and ironed
    4. Shower
    5. Blow dry hair (this one may sound super simple, but with super-thick hair this is a good 25-30 minutes alone!)

    Looking forward to the rest of the challenge!

    • Katie says:

      Maybe I should lump shower/hair and add a new #5 – make sure all bookbags/diaper bags are ready to go for the morning!

      • Lindsey says:

        It takes me forever to blow dry my thick hair too, so I sit at the computer and use the time to get caught up on Money Saving Mom, etc. Can you guess what I’m doing as I type this? 🙂

  • Jaime says:

    I’m starting with a bedtime of 11, so I can have time in the evening with my night owl hubby. My 5 things are: layout clothes, spend 15 minutes picking up the main rooms, plan and do any prep work for breakfast, get backpacks and lunches packed, check my calendar.

    • Meredith says:

      To get up by the time I want to I need to be in bed by 10. However, by the time we get our daughter in bed at 8, and I were to take an hour to do my 5 things, I would have one hour a night with my husband who has a full work load and is in grad school. So I think I am going to compromise with your challenge and having an extra half hour with my husband per night and be in bed by 1030. My five things are:

      -Make husbands lunch for work
      -Iron clothes for the next day
      -Make coffee and use the auto function on my coffee pot to start it in the morning (I never use it but it would be nice to come down to hot coffee.)
      -Fold any leftover laundry
      -Clean Kitchen

      • Cala says:

        Ok, I’m great on 7 hours of sleep, so no later than midnight bedtime (this is hard, don’t laugh)… Would like to get up around 7:30am (with alarm at 7, giving me plenty of denial time). With dinner around 8pm, and bedtime routines for kids, and cleaning routine for mommy, gives me and my hubby a couple hours still to just be us.

        Pre-bed routine-
        1. 15 min. House pick-up
        2. Kitchen clean
        3. Dishes washed (no dishwasher… Well… That’s me)
        4. Clothes laid out for kids night before
        5. Clean clothes put away

        I usually do most of these things, but checking them off will make it more concrete. Love lists.

        • michelle says:

          Bed by midnight is hard for me too 🙂 most days its 1 or 130 before I get to bed. I am shooting for 11 with a 6 am wake up (I function best with 7 hours). No dishwasher either, we are moving soon and I told my husband our next house will have a dishwasher or we are not living there!

        • Samantha says:

          I thought I was the only person alive without a dishwasher! We haven’t had one in so long, not sure if I would know how to use one. LOL!

  • Tonya says:

    I already thought about this last night, only because it has been bothering me. But the thing I want to change/get back to is making sure the kitchen is clean at night! That just helps my mental state in the mornings. Definitely going to have to go to bed earlier too!

    • Rhoda says:

      I’m right there with you. If the kitchen is clean, the day starts out peaceful. The other rooms cleared of clutter is a bonus and my hubby does those for me when he wants to show me how much he loves me! 😉

  • Amanda Dykes says:

    My 5 evening must-do’s will be…
    -compose and schedule my social media posts for the next day
    -kitchen cleaned up, including running the dishwasher
    -set out outfits
    -put away any clean laundry
    -quick 15-minute house pick-up

  • In bed by 1030pm!

    My list of 5 is:
    1. Clothes for me and the children laid out and/or ready
    2. Bags packed and ready to go
    3. Lunches ready to be finished in the AM
    4. Coffee pot prepped
    5. To do list for next day written out/day reviewed with hubby (counting as one since I’d write the list as we review)

    Oh, yes, we CAN do this!

  • Julie Turner says:

    I’m committing to a bedtime of 10:30 to be up by 6:30 or earlier. This would give me about two hours to have a quiet time, quick morning workout, and get ready so I can be into work by 9:15.
    My 5 to-do’s the evening before are:
    1. Kitchen Clean
    2. Prep Breakfast
    3. Pack lunches
    4. Clothes laid out
    5. Purse/things for work ready to go.

  • Kristen says:

    My bedtime will be 11pm.

    My evening routine is:
    1. Dishes done and put away
    2. Backpacks, gym bags, etc packed and ready
    3. Clothes laid out for the next day
    4. Breakfast planned and prepped
    5. Jammies, face, and teeth

  • Ebony says:

    It’s funny how once I decided to participate in this chall-onge yesterday, I started to try to prethink what you’d suggest as helpful tips…and hit this one on the head. It was already refreshing this morning to know that I’d gotten my 5 things done….but I still didn’t get in bed on time. Yikes!

    Bedtime: 1030pm
    Top 5 To Do’s (hard to limit to 5):
    1. pick out clothes for boys and myself
    2. iron clothes for boys and myself
    3. clean kitchen/load dishwasher
    4. get documents/backpacks ready for next day
    5. overall pickup of living space

    We’ll see if I can stick to these…’s looking a little sketchy!

    Tomorrow, I’ll share my bedtime and Top 5 Evening Must-Do’s and will check in daily here at noon to tell you how it’s going for me and to see how you’re doing in sticking with it, too.

  • Miranda says:

    I need to be in bed by 10pm each evening…which might be hard because I have an 8 month old that is a night owl, but I’m hoping that changing my schedule will change hers as well. My evening routine will consist of cleaning the kitchen, picking up and vacuuming the living room, making lunches for the next day, to-do list for the next day, and Bible reading.

  • Megan says:

    10 pm! Clean up kitchen, quick pick up, lay out clothes for tomorrow and make my to do list for tomorrow! I’ve actually been doing this part for a week or so now and it really does make a huge difference!!

  • Erica Hall says:

    I’m excited to start on this program. My bedtime will be 9 pm and the top fives will be:
    1) everything by the door for the next day- purse, kids backpacks, coupons and paperwork for the day
    2) clean kitchen and coffeemaker set 3) plug in all electronics so I don’t start the day with a dead laptop or phone 4) prepare one blog post for the next day 5)check Outlook for the next days agenda.

  • Ebony says:

    I must say, I’m encouraged by simply reading other posts. It’s kind of like we’re all workout partners eggin’ each other on. Thanks for the outlet to literally “clean house”!

    One thing I’m finding is that by thinking through all of this, its helping me to see where I can get help from outside sources…for example, if I let the boys pick out their clothes at night (now 4 and 5) then we won’t have an argument on who’s wearing what shirt in the morning and me having to regroup at the last minute. 🙂

    …in addition, I can ask my husband to do one of these 5 tasks which could give me time to do something else for the next day!
    Thanks again!!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Bedtime is 11pm. Must do’s:
    Have the next day’s to do list made.
    Kitchen cleaned.
    Living room picked up.
    Next day’s dinner figured out.
    Check animals food and water.

  • Wende Lindner says:

    OMG This is excatly what I did when I was a young Mom! My reasons were because I worked 3-11 and was not a plesant person in the morning LOL I think I have to start thinking this way again now that our 3 year old grandson is living with us

  • Tori says:

    Bedtime is about 10:30.
    Items that need done:
    Pick up baby toys
    Clean kitchen and pack hub’s lunch
    Shower at night and roller hair if I have to go somewhere the next day
    Pack diaper bag or purse
    1 load laundry

  • Amanda says:

    New bedtime 9pm. Realistically 8:30 if I want time to read before
    I actually fall asleep.
    1. Set clothes and workout clothes out.
    2. To do list made for the next day.
    3. Quick pick up of the house.
    4. Get anything ready for whatever I want to use in the morning.
    For example, iPhone and ear buds, a book I want to read, stuff for a project I am working on, etc.
    5. Bags packed for the next day.

  • Marilyn says:

    1. Bedtime at 10pm
    2. Top 5 must dos
    a. Lunches made
    b. Clothes put out
    c. kitchen cleaned
    d. time to read
    e. The girl’s school stuff ready for her to head out the door.

  • jess says:

    Bedtime will now be 10:30 at the latest. I had to really pick and choose which chores made it to the final five but this is what I decided:
    1. Kitchen Clean & Dishwasher running
    2. Breakfast planned & dishes set out
    3. Clothes, MATCHED socks and shoes for morning (we have a big problem finding shoes in my house!)
    4. Backpacks and folders ready
    4. To-Do List and Schedule written

  • Becky says:

    My goal bedtime will be 11pm, and my five items will be:

    1. Check schedule and set out needed items to take the next day.
    2. Pick out clothes for the next day.
    3. Wash any dirty dishes.
    4. 15 minute house clean-up.
    5. Clean out catbox and give cat his medicine.

  • Gina says:

    My bedtime will be 10pm.
    My top 5 things are:
    1. pack the diaper bag
    2. lay out my clothes
    3. lay out Liam’s diaper, clothes, shoes on the changing table in his room
    4. have my coffee ready to brew with a touch of a button
    5. pack something for my breakfast/lunch

    Just #3 alone will save me so much time…I can even get a cup of milk ready to go too, so when I hear him wake I can grab it and go get him out of his crib and dressed all in a matter of minutes!

  • Sandra says:

    My bed time is 9:30. I need to be up by 6 to be out the door by 7 and I figure to go for 8 1/2 hours sleep. If I’m done early I’ll get an extra 30 minutes and if something comes up then 10pm is just as good.

  • karrie says:

    I’ve committed to a bedtime of 10pm and my 5 must dos are setting clothes out, a clean kitchen, a quick clean up, bags and backpacks set to go and a to-do list (mainly planning dinners and night time routines).

  • Raisa Guzman says:

    I soo need this.
    I am commiting to a 9:30pm bedtime. Up by 5:30am and my must do’s before bed are:

    1.Kitchen Cleaned Up
    2.Quick 15 min clean-up
    3.To do list made
    4.Breakfast in Crockpot or ready
    5.Clothes laid out.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Karen says:

    I’m aiming for a 10:30 bedtime. My five to-do items are…
    1. Write in journal
    2. Dishes washed, or dishwasher running
    3. yoga/stretching
    4. face washed/teeth brushed/ pj’s on (seems obvious, but I often start reading a magazine while brushing my teeth and somehow twenty minutes goes by and I’m still standing in the bathroom reading!)
    5. clothes picked out for next day

  • Rebecca says:

    Okay, I am going to shoot for a bedtime of 10 p.m. I always read my Bible at night (started the habit on January 1st). I need to be up by 6 a.m. to get ready before I wake up my daughter at 6:30 a.m.

    My Top 5 List:
    1. Tidy house
    2. Make my To-Do List
    3. Get snacks ready for my daughter for school
    4. Make sure all bags are packed and ready for the next day (homework included)
    5. Perhaps lay out my clothes for the next day.

    Just as a little tip for other readers, I set out my daughter’s clothes for the week (hanging in her closet). She has to wear uniforms which makes it a lot easier. But then I don’t have to set the clothes out the night before. It just makes it so much smoother in the mornings having that one little thing already done.

  • Cynthia says:

    Yes, this is where the trouble starts. Getting to bed at a decent hour. What happens is I stay up too late then I go to get up to go to bed, and decide I can’t leave the dishes in the sink, I need to take out the garbage, and if I just mop the floor I won’t have to do it when I wake up… then I go to bed really late. Yes new routine desperately needed. Also getting enough sleep is so good for your health too.

    • L says:

      This is exactly my problem too! If I actually went to bed and didn’t do everything on the way or get back out of bed 4 times to do things I forgot I would be so much happier in the morning and more patient (a HUGE need lately). I say I am going to bed then check the kids and adjust their blankets, pick up the kitchen, switch the wash to the dryer and hang up 10 things from the drier, get on my pj’s etc etc and another hour has almost passed! I really need to think hard about my 5 things and force myself to bed at a decent time-it all comes back to me not having enough sleep…

  • Rachel says:

    10pm bedtime for me!
    Before bed, I will lay out my clothes, pack my bags for work and the gym tomorrow, pack lunches, clean up the house, and read my bible.

  • Brittany says:

    My situation is different than most reading this blog in that I am 21, single, have no kids, live with my parents and work night shift. My morning would be most people’s evenings. I leave for work at 10:10 at night, and return home around 8. I’m doing pretty well to fall asleep by 9 a.m. In a perfect world, I sleep until 4 or 5, and wake up and have the whole evening to do what I please. However, I often sleep until noon or 1 p.m. and then take an evening nap.

    A couple things I always do of an evening are take a shower, and pack my lunch for the day. Those things can happen anywhere from 5-10 p.m. depending on when I wake up.
    If I were doing more of the household chores, I would use my afternoon or evening, whenever I woke up, to cook, clean, etc. But since I have the freedom and ability to, it seems like I spend most of my time napping to try to catch up on sleep. The other day, on a day off, I slept from about midnight to 7 or 8 a.m. and felt wonderful. I thought, “This is what I’m missing out on!” The body is made to sleep best at night, but some of us have jobs where being up all night is required. I’m a new nurse and really enjoy night shift. But it does seem to cut down on the extras a person can realistically fit into their life. Then again I have always really valued my down time and try to keep life simple.

    I also have really missed being able to be a part of my small group with girls at church. It’s just a whole different world, working nights! I’d love to hear how other people do it!

    • Robin says:

      hi there,

      I am a police dispatcher ( part time now that I have the kiddos) and I worked night shift for years. It is it’s own world and often I know sleep is all you want to do. My best advice is to try to keep to a schedule as best you can .. I don’t know if you have a gym or if you run but I found that staying active made a big difference in how I felt with that wacky sleep schedule.

      If your church group meets at a time that won’t work for you due to sleeptime – check to see if you have a CBS (community bible study) program in your area. They have classes that meet all different days of the week and both morning and evening studies. That might be a good way for you to stay plugged in.

      Good luck !

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Brittany,

      I’m 24, single, without kids, living with my parents, so I understand where you are coming from a little bit! I don’t work night shift, but I too feel like these things apply a little differently. I still enjoy reading them, tho, and making them work in small ways for me! It kinda nice to not have to worry about the meals, kids, etc. that alot of other people are mentioning. 🙂

      I’m not part of a girls group either (there aren’t many people my age in our church) so its nice to be part of online communities that offer encouragement! I enjoyed hearing how you “make it work” for you, keep it up!

  • My aim is bedtime by 10 pm. My husband typically works 4pm-2am, so I’m really tempted to stay up late but I’ve gotta get that taken care of!
    My 5 Evening Must-Dos: 1) lunch preparation, 2) find a place for 5 things, 3) do the day’s dishes, 4) read 15 minutes, and 5) make tomorrow’s to-do list.

  • Allison says:

    I need to be up between 5:30 and 6, but I know I definitely can’t be in bed until 10:30. I’m going to make that my absolute latest time, but aim for sooner. My 5 must do’s are:
    1.) Child’s clothes for next day
    2.) Backpack and school stuff for next day ready at the door
    3.) Clean Kitchen
    4.) Quick house pick up
    5.) Top off the dog and cat’s food and water bowls. (It never fails, their bowls are completely empty when you are in the biggest rush in the mornings.)

  • Abigail says:

    Committing to a bedtime of 9:30…getting up at 6:30. Going to be hard, but my baby is sleeping through the night now, so this should be doable. Still thing about mt top 5…

    • Abigail says:

      Okay, so top 5 ~

      #1 Kitchen clean
      #2 Hubby’s lunch packed w/written note
      #3 Bathroom/bedroom picked up
      #4 Breakfast prepped
      #5 Brush teeth, actually get in nightgown & read my Bible

  • jamie says:

    10:00pm. for me. I get up at 6pm, just to get things done before my busy little 18mo wakes.

    My list.
    – Clean Kitchen
    – Quick clean of house
    – to-do list for next day
    – meals planned for next day

    I’ll start with this…we will see.

  • Christa says:

    bedtime at 9 ish 🙂

    top 5- lunches and water bottles filled for husband and daughter
    daughters clothes laid out
    husbands school bag and daughters backpack clean out and repacked
    dishes done/dishwasher timer set
    read a few chapters on my kindle before lights out

  • Jessie says:

    My bedtime will be at 9…that seems so early, but I’m sure it will make a difference in how I feel during the day. I will start my bedtime routine at 7:45.
    My top 5 must do’s are:
    1. 15 minute tidy up of the house
    2. Clean kitchen
    3. Make a to do list for next day
    4. Lay clothes out and put purse and keys by the door
    5. Read Bible

  • Annabell says:

    I have decided on a 10pm bedtime. My 5 evening must-do’s are:
    1. Clean up kitchen
    2. Make next day’s lunch
    3. Get out clothes for next day
    4. Get gym bag, purse, mail ready
    5. Journal/Read/Bible

    • Ashley says:

      Whew! Ok….11 PM Bedtime.

      And my 5 must-do’s are:
      1. Clean Kitchen/ Bleach counters (30 min)
      2. 15 Minute clean of each room in house (1 hour total= perks of a small house!)
      3. Prep breakfast and make lunches (we eat a lot of frozen breakfasts and cereal) 10 min
      4. To Do List for next day (10 min)
      5. Spend at least 1/2 hour quality listening time with the Hubbers (Intentional connecting, talking, praying, listening to his thoughts….)

      2 hours 2o minutes total. So start by 9pm and any extra time gets thrown into #5! Sounds easy enough!

  • Rebecca Dula says:

    New bedtime is 10:30. That seems pretty reasonable. The Evening 5 for me are
    1. Table cleared off in prep for breakfast.
    2. Dishes out of the sink/run dishwasher.
    3. Claire’s lunch made. (Alex buys his lunch every day,we get reduced lunch.What a blessing.)
    4. Papers signed and backpacks ready on their hooks by the door.
    5. To-Do list written out for the next day.

    People are listing laying clothes out for the next day. We actually plan for a week at a time with each of the kids having a days of the week organizer in their closet or you can just get a hanging sweater holder. (I found our two at a thrift store and a consignment sale. This helps so much because as I do laundry, I just put outfits in the organizer instead of hang up or put in drawers. I usually double check on Sunday nights with a check of the week’s weather on the computer and make tweaks as needed. This also gives the kids a sense of independence because they don’t have to ask about what to wear. They just wake up and get dressed. Hope this also helps.

    • Robin says:

      I love this idea !! We have school uniforms but there is so much flexibility in what they can wear that it still seems to be such a chore to pick out what to wear .. and my 3 year old is all about picking out her own things which always leads to a battle. thank you so much for sharing !

  • Chelsea says:

    Looks like I’ll be the latest one going to bed so far. 🙂

    Bedtime: 12 am Waketime: 8:30 am

    5 To-Do’s: (I’m thinking I will need to allow 1.5 hours)
    –Kitchen Cleaned
    — Laundry in washing machine ready to be started the next day
    — Clothes laid out
    — Keys, purse, and diaper bag by door & phone plugged into charger (always forget to do that!)
    — 30 minutes spent toward blog post for the following day

    • Chelsea says:

      Actually- I’m officially changing #5 to doing breakfast prep for the next day instead. This whole thing isn’t set in stone, right? 😉

    • Em says:

      I always go to bed after 11:30( usually after 12) and get up at 6:45 or 7 to be out the door by 7:40 with my three kids. I am not sure how to get everything done after I get home at 5:00 if I go to bed any ealier, especially when we have evening activities.

      I would like to make my children more responsible to hopefully give me some more time to scrapbook or read. Hoepfully I can get a routine set up once the school year starts and we are back on that schedule as both my husband and I teach and all three of your childen will be in school all day this year.

    • Cala says:

      Yay I’m not alone! I totally felt weird putting midnight as my “goal”… Lol We got married young, then had kids young, and we still act young together in the tiny space of time between kids bedtime and ours. We both do hobbies, watch silly shows and eat ice cream (bad nightly habit… Not ready to end that), and stay up talking by accident. We’ll probably always go to bed no earlier than midnight.
      At least as long as I’m a stay-at-home mommy- it’ll be kids up and going at 9am.

      Our schedule is shifted later in the day mostly so we can eat together when daddy gets off work and he has time to be with the kids a little while. Thankful we can do that.

  • Sabrina says:

    My bedtime goal is 10:30pm.

    The top 5 things I need to do before bed are:
    1. Have an empty kitchen sink
    2. Make lunches for the next day
    3. Lay out everyone’s clothes for the next day
    4. Quick 15 minute house clean up
    5. Spend quality time with my husband!

  • Robin says:

    this is the #1 area I struggle in .. I have so many big plans but then go to bed WAY too late and sleep til one of my kids wake up. No wonder I am in such a bad mood in the mornings right??

    Ok .. here we go. I would like to be up at 6am in order to do my bible reading and get dressed/ready before I have to think about getting the kids up. So, that means I need to be in bed by 10-10:30.

    My top 5 are –
    1. 15 minute pick up
    2. bags packed up and by the door for the next day
    3. dishwasher ran and kitchen cleaned
    4. clothes for kids and myself laid out for the following day
    5. review calendar and make to do list for next day

    sounds simple … lets see how i do 🙂

  • Mandy says:

    I’m aiming for a 10:00 bedtime.
    I’ve made a “How to Have a Happy Tomorrow” list to follow each evening:
    -clean kitchen
    -quick pick-up of living areas
    -set out clothes for tomorrow
    -make lunches for tomorrow
    -pack bags for tomorrow (my kindergartener’s backpack as well as a purse and/or diaper bag for me and the littles depending on if we have plans to be out and about)

    I know for a fact that having these things done makes the morning (and really the entire next day) go so much more smoothly. One of my least favorite things to wake up to is a counter full of dirty dishes…ugh.

  • Rachel says:

    Bedtime – 10:45 p.m.
    Wake up by 6:30 a.m.
    -Main rooms tidied
    -Kitchen cleaned up
    -Critical items (purse, back pack, shoes!) by the door
    -Lunches prepared

  • Dee Dee says:

    I was already mulling this topic around in my head and checked in on my Reader and voila! You have a series started for me… I mean US. 🙂 HeHe!

    I am a morning person, but over the summer I have gone to bed later and later and thus, up later and later…
    I am committing to a bedtime of 10. I’m shooting for being in bed sooner than that, but lights out by 10. Up by 6 AM, ready for walking and devotions.

    Evening To Do:
    *Kitchen tidied
    *Clothes/shoes laid out
    *Hubbies lunch prepped
    *House tidied before kiddo’s bedtime @ 8PM

    Thank you for doing this series! I need it to get back on track for the upcoming school year!

  • Heather says:

    I need to be up at 4:45 am, but bed time of 8:45pm is just not doable. Monday & Wednesday I don’t get home from my second job until 845. So I’m aiming for 9:30 regularly (with option of 10 on M&W).
    Evening routine=
    Wash dishes
    Prep the coffee
    Package dinner leftovers as lunches
    Move tomorrow’s dinner from freezer to fridge
    Pack workout clothes for tomorrow

    • Amber says:

      Heather, I’m glad I’m not the only one! Every post I was reading allowed for the 8+ hours recommended, but I have to get up at 5, and I have a two year old and a five month old to tend to in the evenings! By the time I get home from work at 6 pm, cook, eat, and do baths, I would like to have time to give my kids a hug and not just do housework! I’m aiming for a 10 pm bedtime and get up at 5. Good luck!

      • Stacey says:

        I will have to join this group because I also have to get up at 430am to be at work by 530am. Thankfully my 28 month old twins stay at home so I don’t get them up and ready but by the time I get home and finish dinner, play , bedtime routine for them, and lately they are in bed by 815pm but dont go to sleep until 9or later!! So earliest for me that I am aiming is for 930pm. Right now I am focusing solely on that. I will get my lunch ready, stuff for them, but sometimes the house just doesn’t get picked up. Not getting at least 6 hours of sleep makes me lose my patience really quickly with everything so that is my main focus! Good Luck to you too:-)

  • GM says:

    Wakeup: 7am
    Bedtime: 12pm

    Evening Activities:
    Put out tomorrow’s clothes
    Evening hygiene routine
    Lunch/snack prepared
    Dishes done
    Thaw meat for dinner, prep tea

  • Brandi says:

    I need to be in bed by 9:45 and my 5 things to do before then is to do a quick “pick up” of the house, lay out clothes for next day, have breakfast/vitamins laid out, purse/bags packed and ready by the door, and schedule looked over for next day.

  • Jimi says:

    Bedtime – Lights out by 10:30. Probably need to move it up to 10:00 next week when school starts, but we will ease into that.
    My initial list of 5:
    1. Clothes set out (and ironed if needed)
    2. Pack lunches
    3. Get bags ready
    4. 15 minute pick up
    5. Check calendar

  • Jennifer C. says:

    10 pm for me so that I can be up by 6! I think my 5 evening to do’s will be:
    1. Clean out kitchen sink and counters/stove (not the whole kitchen ! ha!)
    2. make to do list for the next day
    3. Have my husband’s lunch items together in the fridge and packed up.
    4. lay out clothes for the next day (including workout clothes)
    5. Have breakfast items out for the am (including filling kids sippy cups).

  • Anitra says:

    Hm. Some of this I knew – but realistically, for me this means starting on “must-dos” either before the kids go to bed or right after, and as soon as the must-do’s are done, get ready for bed.

    Kid’s bedtime has been moving later and later (not my choice), and so they’re not usually both down until 8:30 or even 9, and I’d like to be in bed before 10pm. Just doing the dinner dishes takes me 30-45 minutes… Obviously, something is going to have to change here.

    • Anitra says:

      My top 5:

      #1: CLEAN DISHES!
      #2: Coffee set up for the morning
      #3: Check the weather for the next day
      #4: Lay out clothes (once school starts, doing this for my pre-schooler before bed, too)
      #5: Read Bible or devotional and pray.

  • Dee says:

    Bedtime 9:30 pm. Strictly, I have a DVR, I should use it and stop trying to catch up at the end of the day!

    5 to-dos

    1. Lunches for the next day

    2. Breakfast plan for the week

    3. Dinner menu done

    4. 10 minute quick clean up

    5. Have my plan laid out and ready for the day, without some flexibility for life’s little surprises.

  • Kamila Straker says:

    My goal:

    be in bed before midnight

    1) pull frozen meat from freezer for next day lunch/dinner
    2) do dishes
    3) supervise kids to clean their room
    4) remove toys from the living room area (have the kids do it is a better idea)
    5) ….?

  • Michelle says:

    Bed time 10pm.

    Evening 5:
    1-Coffee maker ready.
    2-Lunch x2 ready.
    3-Kitchen cleaned up.
    4-15 quick clean in other areas.
    5…..still working on this one

  • Okay my bedtime is now 10:00 pm that will give me 8.5 hours of sleep. I have my nightly routine start time set to 9 pm. My top 5 things I need to do in the evening are: clean up the kitchen, 15 minute house clean up, write my to do list for the next day, put stuff in the school drawers for the next day of homeschool, and review the next day’s schedule. I typed this up and found a fun font online and printed it out so I can see it. 🙂

  • Tracy says:

    I am committing to my bedtime of 10 so I can be up by 6.
    My five evening tasks would be:
    1. Lay out outfit and make sure it is ironed.
    2. Put away days dishes
    3. Pack lunches
    4. Have everything I need to complete the days errands by my purse.
    5. Get a shower & dry my really thick hair

  • Becci C says:

    Realistic bedtime for me will be 10:30 since we’re still on summer break for the next 3 weeks! But would like to move it to 10 PM when school starts on Sept. 5th.

    Top 5 Evening Must-Do’s:
    1) Kitchen cleaned up
    2) Breakfast planned
    3) Quick pick-up of main rooms in house
    4) To-do list made
    5) Get ready for bed! (in pjs, brush teeth, etc.) I tend to get distracted!!

    My one must NOT do: Do NOT get on the computer before #1-#5 are done!!!!:-)

  • Davonne says:

    This series is such a blessing. This is the perfect first assignment and I’m going to do this with my family tonight. Thank you so much!

  • Libby says:

    Bed by 10:30!

    Top 5:
    Kitchen clean
    To-do list planned
    Living room straightened
    Bookbags/diaper bags packed
    Laundry PUT AWAY!

  • Leanne says:

    I love this post! I began an evening routine in college – making sure my books and notebooks were in my bag before I went to bed. Now that I’m married, working, and have a 7 month old I have a few more things to do at night, but making sure things are ready to go at night makes our mornings that much smoother! Each night I make sure my lunch is packed, my son’s bottles and food is ready to go in the fridge, pack his backpack and pack my things for work. Our mornings run smoothly even though things are a little bit chaotic because we have things ready to go the night before. Thanks for more suggestions!

  • Kimberly says:

    I’m probably going to seem insane to some of you, as my wake-up time is 4:45am (eek). My husband has to be out the door by 5:30 for his hour and a half commute (one way) to his current job-site, and I will have to drop both children at school/sitter by 7am in order to get to the school I work at (in a different county) by 7:30am. This includes getting a 4 year old and 4 month old dressed and fed….one of which MUST have a bottle! I like to get there early so that I can things done before school starts and leave at a decent time in the afternoon after faculty meetings/parent meetings/etc.

    So….my bed time will be no later than 10pm…won’t give me as many sleeping hours, but I will tweak this over the 3 weeks.
    My 5 things are:
    1. Clothes laid out for all
    2. Bottles for Baby J washed, prepared, and labeled in fridge.
    3. Diaper Bag / Book bag / my purse and teaching bag ready and at the garage door
    4. My car keys on the hook….I lose my keys too easily!
    5. Extras for lunch boxes (veggies, fruit, chips, etc) bagged and ready to be put in the bag.

    (I really need a list longer than 5 b/c typing this made me think of other things….!!)

    • Amber says:

      Kimberly – Not crazy! I just moved this weekend so that I wouldn’t have that 1 1/2 hour commute each way anymore! I did it for a long time, but I’m so relieved to be a little closer to work now!

    • Chelsea says:

      You’re amazing! Wow! 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      I remember those days! My husband is also gone very early for a long commutes so it used to be up to me to get the 4 month old and the 2 yr old and myself out the door every morning for daycare drop off and off to the office. Everyone dressed, fed, lunches packed, me in office attire, packed gym clothes, and dinner prepped for that night when I got home. Life felt like a giant treadmill! You may do this, but when I would go in to get the baby (as he gets a bit older) I would just have his bottle ready and hand it to him while I changed his diaper and clothes. He would drink at the same time. I also switched to a leave in conditioner in the am. That net me 10 WHOLE minutes! lol!

  • Meredith M says:

    Bed by half nine…. Coffee ready to go in coffee maker, clothes laid out, kitchen straightened up with sink empty, lunches packed, and backpacks by the door!

  • Kristy says:

    Bed by 10pm!

    Clean up kitchen.
    Run dishwasher.
    Put toys away.
    Do a 10 minute quick house clean.
    Let dogs out for bathroom break.

  • Debbie says:

    Bedtime will be 10:30. That’s about 7 1/2 hours but it’s a start. Top 5 are:

    1. Kitchen picked-up/ dishwasher started, if haven’t already/phone on charger.
    2. Backpacks and lunches packed and ready to go.
    3. Rough sketch of next day/meat out of freezer if needed
    4. Shower (I’ve switched my shower from morning to night so new to me.)
    5. Read

  • Megan says:

    New bedtime- 10:30

    Top 5:

    1. Kitchen surfaces clean and dishes done
    2. 20 minutes of physical activity
    3. Check menu to see if anything needs thawed for the next day’s meals
    4. Check calendar for next day’s activities and pack purse/tote accordingly
    5. 1 load of laundry: washed, dried, and folded

  • Nicole says:

    bed time is 11pm up at 6am so I can have a workout and shower before the baby is up!

    1. Kitchen Clean
    2. Laundry put away
    3. Vacuum
    4.Viggle Post for blog done
    5.Cozi calendar updated

  • Rachel says:

    My bedtime is 10pm and my kids bedtime is 8pm. We will need to be up at 6am starting next Wednesday so we might as well start now to avoid the crabbies.
    My top 5 will be starting tonight:
    1. set out clothes/backpacks for tomorrow
    2. set out breakfast items
    3. shine my sink and make sure my dishes are put away
    4. check my calendar and make my ‘to do list’
    5. 7pm quiet time with bible study. NO electronics after 7pm

  • Christa says:

    Top 5 Evening To Do’s
    1. Kitchen Cleaned Up/All Dishes Washed
    2. Hubby’s Lunch Packed/Laid Out
    3. Breakfast Planned
    4. 15 Minute House Clean Up
    5. To-Do List Made for the Next Day

    Bed by 10pm.

  • Sara says:

    My bedtime is 10:30pm

    My top 5 things are:
    1) 5 minute living room pick-up
    2)Pack husband’s lunch
    3) Clear and wipe kitchen counters
    4)Make to do list for next day
    5)Fold laundry (put away unless it goes in the baby’s room)

    I’m allowing for an hour and a half so I am free to hang out and talk with my husband while doing these things.
    … So I need to start at 9pm. Any extra time before bed will be spent RELAXING!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ok- I really need this because I find myself being short with my children and I know it is because I am going to bed very late and not getting enough sleep.
      My bedtime will be 10:00pm so I can get up at 6am- 30 minutes prior to my children(once school starts).
      My list:
      1. Dishes done and put away, counters washed and kitchen swept
      2. Family room picked up
      3. Dinner planned for next day- meat or meal out of freezer if needed
      4. Lunch boxes ready to pack and on counter
      5. Coffee made for next morning

    • Lisa D says:

      Uggh…if I get up at 5:00 to workout, then I would need to be in bed by 8:30/9. That is not going to happen seeing the kids go to bed at 8:00 during the summer! I will shoot for 9:30 on the morning I get up to workout and 10:30 on the days I don’t need to get up to workout (on an every other day schedule working out in the mornings since Hubby and I trade off watching the monitor).

      My top 5 are:
      • Pick up Kid Toys
      • 10 minute house clean-up with Hubby
      • 10 Min Laundry put away/laundry sort
      • To-do List for Tomorrow
      • Pack up Bag / Lunch bag if needed

  • Maria says:

    Bed at 10:30/Up at 6:30

    (Start to get ready at 10:00)

    1. PJ’s
    2. Teeth/Face
    3. My Clothes Laid Out
    4. Husband’s Clothes Laid Out
    5. Read Devotional Book

  • heather says:

    Okay, here goes!!

    My bedtime to start will be between 11pm and midnight (may seem really late, but I’ve been averaging 1am lately).
    My top 5 Must do’s:
    -lay out kids clothes
    -dinner prep/crockpot meal planned
    -kitchen cleaned
    -load washer and set timer for 9am
    -next day’s to do list written

    Now that my little one isn’t napping, my laundry routine has gotten out of whack. I’m hoping by having the machine start automatically and switching it over during Morning craft, will help get that ball rolling more regularly.
    I’ve been what feels like a shut-in, since we moved into our home 3 years ago. Only going out for doctor appointments when I had our one vehicle. My oldest starts school in September and the few times we’ve run out during the day, the whole rest has been so lopsided, forgetful, disorganized. I’m really hoping this will help get us a working routine so I’m not falling behind on meals, cleaning or even FUN with the kids.
    Thanks so much Crystal for these motivating challenges!!

  • Sandra Davis says:

    1. My bedtime is going to 11 pm. I would love to go to bed earlier but by the time I get kids around I get a second wind and need some non kid time.

    2. I picked 6 must dos cause 1 is pretty much a given.
    2. 15 min house pick up
    3. dinner out for the next day
    4. clothes laid out for next day
    5. To do list for next day so i know what i need to do.
    6. Clean the kitchen. (I cant go to bed with a messy kitchen)

    My start time is 8:30 I should be able to shower all kids in 30 minutes, get them to lay out their clothes and after they go to bed at 9pm Ill finish doing the downstairs stuff, shower my self and by 930 to 945 Ill have 1 hour or so to relax 🙂

  • Sharyce says:

    My bed time should be 930-10, my top 5 are:
    1-activity for the little boy to do at wake up
    2-breakfast set up/planned
    3-Coffee set up
    4-Lunches packed for big kids
    5-To -Do list planed

  • Kerri says:

    10:30pm bedtime

    Top 5 To Dos

    1. Clean up kitchen
    2. 15 minute clean up
    3. Prep clothes for the morning
    4. To Do list made and schedule review
    5. Quality time with my husband

  • Jennifer S says:

    Bedtime: 10pm
    Five Must-Do Tasks:
    1. Clothes picked out
    2. Take vitamins
    3. Breakfast/Lunch ready for the next day
    4. Clear the Kitchen Counter
    5. Clean the Kitchen Sink

  • Amy says:

    Bedtime 10pm

    Evening Must Do’s:
    Kitchen Clean
    Downstairs Picked Up
    Husband’s lunch Packed
    Next Day’s To Do List
    Clothes Laid out

    Now just praying my infant starts sleeping throughout the night 🙂

  • Ok, I can do this! My bed time is 11pm, so that I can be up by 7am. I usually go to bed and do some blog reading, but I’ll have that finished up before 11.

    My 5 goals:

    1. Have dishes washed and kitchen cleaned up. (This was great when I did back at the beginning of the year for another one of your challenges. I’ve let the bad habit of not staying on top of it creep back up on me.)

    2. With school starting next week, have kids lunches packed.

    3. Have my husband’s lunch packed.

    4. Make sure breakfast is planned and quickly ready for our fast-paced mornings.

    5. All school uniforms & husband’s work clothes cleaned & laid out, ready to be worn.

    I think that’s manageable. Thanks for the challenge! 🙂

  • Carolen says:

    Ok, so I would like to get up with my honey in the morning… which is 3:45am.
    That would mean going to bed at 7 or 8pm. Not going to happen.
    9pm is my realistic compromise.
    My five things:
    1. Clothes laid out for next day
    2. Kitchen clean up
    3. 15 minute house clean up
    4. Create To Do List
    5. Prep happy juice machine… otherwise known as the coffee maker and the kids breakfast

  • Kristina says:

    My bedtime will be 11:00pm, so I can be up by 7:o0am.

    Top 5 Evening Must-Do’s:
    1. Clean-up the kitchen/pre-set coffeemaker
    2. Pack next day’s snacks/water bottle/lunch
    3. Pre-set clothes and supplies
    4. Set next day’s to-do list
    5. Shower/wash-up and PJs on!

  • Kim says:

    Don’t hate me … my bedtime is midnight. I function best on 7 hours of sleep, so a 7am wake-up time means a midnight bedtime.

    My five must-dos:
    * kitchen cleaned up (including loading the dishwasher)
    * next day’s meal prep (take out frozen meat to defrost, LOOK at the menu so I know if I have to do the crockpot, etc)
    * massage from my husband
    * pray Compline
    * a rousing game of Scrabble with my husband after the kiddos are asleep

  • Amy says:

    I’m going to commit to bedtime at 10:00 p.m. because I know that it works for me to be rested enough and get up at 5:50. My five things are these:

    1) Clean up the kitchen.
    2) Set out my clothes and the kids’ clothes.
    3) Put away all laundry. (This is monumental.)
    4) Check over to-do list and schedule.
    5) Check over food to-do list (thaw meat, etc.)

    Setting out my children’s clothes will be huge because so often they’ll put something on that is not appropriate for that day’s activity, and I have to send them back down to change–this adds time, mess, and stress.

    Great ideas, Crystal!

  • Christina says:

    I’m excited about getting started! Thanks for your encouragment and for this post! I’m going to be at 10:00pm. I have these five things to do before I hit the sack:
    1. Clothes laid out for the morning
    2. Kitchen cleaned up
    3. Workout clothes laid out and ready for morning
    4. 15 minutes for Bible reading
    5. Table set for breakfast

  • Carol says:

    I am committing to a bedtime of 11:30 so I can get up at 7:30. My five things will be kitchen cleaned up, Clothes picked out for next day, anything I need for work in a central spot, kids clothes ready (when school starts) and to do list made for next day.

  • I’m committing to get to bed by 9:30pm so I can be up by 5:30am.

    My top five evening priorities are:

    1. Write to-do list.
    2. Clothes out. (I do this all ready want to continue.)
    3. Breakfast planned and table set.
    4. Kitchen cleaned and dishwasher goes on.
    5. School area prepared and supplies for next day’s lessons gathered.

    Let’s do this!

    • Kristy says:

      Bedtime will be 8:30?!?!? Unrealistic since the kids (are in bed, but..) not even asleep yet. So, it will probably be more like 9pm. The top 5 things I commit to do are:

      1. Main floor of the house picked up.
      2. Kitchen floor swept.
      3. Backpacks/Lunches packed.
      4. Clothes laid out.
      5. Breakfast planned.

    • Shannon says:

      I understand this concept but I would only have 1-1.5 hrs between putting my daughter to bed (2 yrs) and my bedtime. I do not see how I can fit the things I need to do in that time.

  • Rachel says:

    I want to be up by 5:00 so I need to go to bed by 9:00. My list of things I need to do before I go to bed are:
    1) Clean Dishes
    2) 15 Minute pick up
    3) Set Clothes out for the next day
    4) Write to do list
    5) Make lunch

  • Missy says:

    Okay…so I’m going to try to be in bed by 9pm and get up at 6am! My 5 evening must do’s are:
    1. Clothes Laid Out for the Morning
    2. My son’s lunch packed for the next day
    3. Calender checked and to-do list made for the Next Day
    4. Everything Together, diaper bag restocked and Set By the Door …ready to walk out the door the next day.
    5. Quick 15-Minute House Clean-Up

  • Bedtime by 11 pm.
    1.Clean the kitchen
    2.Prep lunch for the next day
    3.Pick up the bedroom
    4.Make my to-do list
    5.All of my husbands things and outfit in one place and ready to go for the next day

    Whoo, power in numbers. Way to keep ourselves accountable everyone!! =)

  • Laura says:

    1) Everything picked up around the house
    2) Finish anything on my to do list that didn’t get done (that is within reason)
    3) Look over to do list for the next day
    4) Get clothes picked out and everything ready for the next day
    5) Spend time reading and with my husband

  • Ann Marie says:

    Okay, I’m going to put this in writing instead of just thinking about doing it – that whole accountability thing!

    In bed by 10:00 with lights out by 10:30 – I like to read or do a little Sudoku to unwind.

    Top 5 things:

    1. Clothes and SHOES laid out.
    2. Backpack ready to go
    3. Kitchen cleaned up/dishwasher running/coffee pot prepared for morning brew
    4. Check activities/appointments for next day
    5. Breakfast planned and prep started, if possible.

  • Sheila says:

    I think 10:30 will work. Top 5: lunches made, kitchen sink empty, 15 min tidy of the rest of the house, make sure kids have school bags packed, & I’ve looked over my calendar for the next day.

  • Shelly says:

    My bedtime will be 10:30. I think this will be reasonable for me I been trying to get back to this time for a while.
    My top 5 Evening Must Do’s
    1. Take Bread out to thaw if needed
    2. Load dishes into dishwasher and start if needed
    3. 15 minutes pick up around the house
    4. Make a to-do list for the next day
    5. Take meat out for next days dinner ( I am constantly forgetting to do this)

    That’s my plan.

  • My goal bedtime will be 10pm.

    My five tasks will be:
    1. Clean up Kitchen
    2. Take out all trash (dirty diapers)
    3. Shower and floss (flossing is a big daily goal of mine)
    4. Pick up house
    5. Journal/Make To-do Lists

    I hate waking up to a mess so maybe I will stick to this!

  • Katie says:

    I’m a SAHM, but I always feel better getting up before my daughter and getting a head start on things. Bedtime will be 10:30 to get up by 7:30. May occasionally be later depending on how late hubby gets home. He works late most days so by the time dinner is done, daughter put to bed, and everything else done that needs to be done, we would hardly have anytime to spend together.

    5 evening tasks:
    1. dishes washed/dishwasher started
    2. put away laundry
    3. check to make sure of appts etc scheduled the next day
    4. quick pick up of house
    5. pack hubby’s lunch/other bags if there is something to do the next day

  • Rebecca says:

    I am going to set my bedtime at 11:00pm, so that I can get up at 7:00am.

    5 To Dos
    1) Read One Chapter in a Book
    2) Kitchen Cleaned Up
    3) To-Do List Made for the Next Day
    4) Quick 15-Minute House Clean-Up
    5) Everything Together and Set By the Door That You Need For Getting Out of the House the Next Day

    Thank you for your encouragement!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m committing to a bedtime of 10:00 so I can be up by 6:30 (and I’m always up at least once during the night with my 4-month-old). I shower at night so I need to start getting ready for bed at 9:30. The five things I’m going to do before bed are:
    1. Clean up the kitchen
    2. Make lunches
    3. Plan/prep breakfast
    4. Make sure bags are packed/by the door
    5. Review calendar/to do list for the next day

  • Rebecca says:

    I am committing to a bedtime of 8:45, I have to be up @ 3:45. I know this only allows for 7 hours but that is the soonest I can get to bed.
    My 5 to do list items are
    15 minute house clean up
    Kitchen cleaned up
    dinner planned for next day
    lunches planned or partially pre-made
    clothes laid out
    I am looking forward to the rest of this series as well.

  • Nicole says:

    So excited for this!! 10:30 – 11:00 pm bedtime…up by 6 am. Top five things:
    Make sure clothes are set out for myself and kids
    Prep lunchboxes and backpacks for next day
    Prep breakfast and coffee pot for the morning
    Do one load of laundry
    To do list/check calendar for the next day

    Can’t wait to see what’s next!!

  • Abbey says:

    I’m committing to a 10pm bedtime. I plan to bump it back to 9 – 9:30pm once the kids go back to school, but I need baby steps!

    My five things are: kitchen cleaned up, dishwasher started, tomorrow’s to-do list/schedule written down, tomorrow’s meals and snacks planned out, all surfaces (counters, tables, floors) in the main living space clear.

    Whew! This is ambitious, but I need a big change!

  • Dorothy says:

    Ok – committing to a bedtime of 10:30 for now (may change once the kids are back in school)
    5 Must do’s:
    1. 1 Load of laundry throught the washer and into the dryer.
    2. Kitchen cleaned up and Dishwashers started.
    3. Lunches packed.
    4. To Do List for Next day writtend down and prioritized.
    5. Straighten 1st floor of house.

  • lauren says:

    Bedtime is 10.

    Nightime Routine:

    1. Clean kitchen
    2. quick pickup
    3. todo list for next day
    4. prayer time with husband
    5. quick bedroom/bathroom cleanup

  • I have a horrible time winding down so I start at 7 pm. At 6pm I pick of the house one last time for the day, put the last load of laundry in the drier, and then play a game with my daughter or do a bit of craft work. At 7pm I start reading for 1 hr. At 8 pm I go up to bed. I brush my teeth, get in my pj’s and then get into my bed. I fill out my thankful journal, say my prayers and read my one a day bible. If I stay awake the whole way through my bible reading (often my hubby removes it from my sleeping hands when he comes to bed) and I am still not really tired I might read a magazine for a while but usually I am fast asleep around 8:45 to 9pm. I wake up sometime around 4:30 to 5 am so that gives me 7 1/2 to 8 hrs sleep.

  • Rachel says:

    I have an infant, so my wake up time is often determined by him, but lately he’s been waking for an early morning feeding around 5 or 6 am. Which means I should have a 10 pm bedtime.
    My five must dos:
    Pick out clothes for the next day for myself and kids
    Clean kitchen
    To Do list for next day
    Talk about the next day’s schedule with hubbie (he is in ministry and does not have a regular 9-5 schedule)
    15 minute quick pick up

    Thanks for doing this series! It is an answer to prayer!

    • Elizabeth says:

      My bedtime is 9:30 so I can read for 30 minutes : ) I want to be up at 6:00 So I can do my quiet time before my kids are up at 6:45 to get ready for school. My 5 things are
      1.Make to do list for next day
      2.Pick up house 15 minutes
      3.Find shoes for morning
      4.Set out backpacks/go backs
      5.Set out my clothes and kids clothes
      Excited for this study we recently moved and the kids school now starts an hour earlier than before so I really need to be on my game : )

    • Desire' H. says:

      I’m in!!! 🙂

      My new bedtime will be @ 9:30 P.M. with a wake up time of 6 A.M. (sleeping 8 and a half hours…can’t function on just 8 hours, so I thought between 8 and 9 hours would be good because I wanted my wake up time to be for 6 A.M.- about the time daylight comes (at least until the time change). I’m no good waking up when its still dark outside- makes me want to crawl back under the covers! I have to see some daylight in order to wake up and get my body moving!

      My Top 5 Must Do’s are:

      – Kitchen cleaned
      -Pet dishes cleaned and ready for the morning
      -Dogs potty before bed
      -Clothes laid out and ironed for next day
      -To Do list made for next day and any preparations for any errands that may need to be ran the next day

      Start time for this is 7:30 P.M. which is right after I feed all the pets (birds, rabbit, dogs, fish) their evening meal and after we’ve had our 6 P.M. supper and dogs walked.

      Sounds like a plan!!!! 🙂 Better get started on my evening routine..its time right now!

  • Camille says:

    I’m committing to a bedtime of 10:30 p.m. to be up by 6:30 a.m.

    Five things to get done before bed would include:

    1. Kitchen cleaned up.
    2. Meal plan for the following day and any items that need prepped ahead.
    3. Work out and regular clothes ready to go.
    4. Coffee pot filled and timer set.
    5. Brita pitcher filled and work out disc in the player.

    I definitely need help. I’ve really been slacking in the mornings lately.

  • Melanie says:

    My bedtime is 10:30pm! My little one’s first feeding is currently at 6am, and I’m hoping to transition it to 7:30 so I can wake up at 7am. For now, he and I both go back to sleep and my goal is to get up at 8am.
    I love the 5 Evening Must-Do’s! I hadn’t thought about that before, but I can already see how much it’s going to help me. Mine are: 1) Lay out clothes, 2) Pick up house, 3) Clean the kitchen, 4) Make a to-do list for the next day, 5) Work on something blog-related.

  • Maggie says:

    Alright, time to make the commitment!
    I am committing to a bedtime of 10, but will shoot for 9:30.
    5 must-dos
    1. make out tomorrow’s to do list
    2. make hubby’s lunch
    3. put out next day’s homeschool work
    4. get out breakfast or ingredients
    5. 15 minute house clean up

  • Shu says:

    Thank you Crystal for encouraging us in better utilizing our time in the morning!

    I’m going to be conservative and set my bed time to 10:30pm so my husband can get up at 6:30am.

    Five things:
    1. Kitchen clean-up and start dishwashing machine
    2. Tidy up the house (limited to 15 mins)
    3. Pack husband’s lunch
    4. Make my to-do list for the next day/calender review
    5. Shower

    I’m excited to execute this plan!

    • Lydia parks says:

      My bedtime will be 10:00…lights OUT! As a single mom to 4 boys, I need tondo this, since we have to be upnat 6:00.

      Kitchen cleaned up.
      Bags and lunches packed.
      Quick pick-up for whole house.
      List made for next day.
      Dinner planned.

  • bobcat says:

    Great series idea. Here is my question….After dinner (and we eat dinner a little later, at like 7 PM or after since he gets home later) is really the only time I get with my husband to cuddle and connect for the day, and normally we watch TV together because it’s basically a hobby we enjoy. So I put off my evening routine until after he goes to bed, because everytime I do it after dinner while he’s up, he’ll say, “please come sit down with me, I missed you all day” or “I just want to spend time with you before I fall asleep.” Which breaks my heart, that I’m doing chores, and it also breaks my heart when he falls asleep while I”m doing them!

    So if I “could” do it before dinner, that would be great, but that’s impossible because it involves brushing my teeth, doing things in kitchen, and the like. I suppose a few things I could do earlier, but still……even if I get up for like 15-20 min, it disrupts “our time” together, and he starts asking me to just sit down. He hates coming home and seeing me scrambling (first dinner, then evening routine) when he looks forward to just spending an hour with me.

    So then I’ll do things after he goes to bed, but then it wakes me up more and messes up my sleep schedule. Suggestions?

    • Meegan says:

      Could you tackle a few chores together? My husband and I used to do the 15 minute post dinner clean before settling into our tv relaxing time… My house was never spotless, but it worked pretty well. We had to make it right after dinner though or no chores would happen!

    • Laura Jane says:

      I personally would just have a very simple, basic bedtime tasks – lay out clothes for next day, brush teeth, and that’s about it. Then I’d make the other chores like cleaning up the kitchen to be something to do for the next day, maybe part of your morning routine. When my husband is working almost full time and going to school full time at the same time, we don’t have much time to spend together. Therefore, when there is an evening that he has free time to spend together, I just let all the chores go. The key (for me) is that I make the conscious decision to postpone the chores, so I don’t feel guilty about it. You could consider doing some tasks together. My husband and I often prepare dinner and clean up the kitchen together and chit chat while we’re doing it. Or even sometimes it’s just more like him standing in the kitchen while I prep dinner or vice versa, but we’re still able to talk.

  • WilliamB says:

    So true!!

    My list is
    – clothes laid out, including running clothes if I’m running the next morning
    – whatever needs to go to work in briefcase
    – travel reading material in briefcase (can’t run out of that!)
    – lunch in briefcase, or packed and lumped together in the fridge

  • Sedonia L. says:

    I am committing to Bedtime at 10!
    My Evening Must Do’s are:
    1. Clean up the dishes, and counters
    2. Pick up the house
    3. Do a load of laundry
    4. To do list
    5. Prep for next day’s dinner.

  • Oh, I love to be in bed around 10! That way I can write in my journal and read some before I get too sleepy to keep my eyes open. (Whatever happened to the days when I could read for hours no matter how tired I was???)

    I don’t always make it to bed by 10, but it’s a great goal and having something like that to shoot for really keeps me honest. Otherwise, it’s all willy-nilly in the evenings.

    The summer, like everyone is experiencing, is so challenging, as I don’t have a set time to be up. So I let my bedtime goal slide way too often.

    Even though the school year drives me batty with its demands, I still like the regular routine of it. It really gets me going in the mornings.

    My friends think I’m a little quirky because I always get things ready for the day the night before- I am particularly devoted to setting the breakfast table no matter what. And since my daughter likes homemade waffles, I have batter ready to go for waffles at least three days a week.

    I also like to straighten the kitchen, pack lunches, shower, and straighten the house a little in the evenings.

    I don’t sweat it if something is left undone, but setting the table seems to guide me smoothly through the morning, no matter what else happens.

    I grew up sitting down to breakfast every day, so that is the one thing that we do every day- and having that table set the night before is so comforting and welcoming the next morning.

  • Rachael says:

    My bedtime goal is 10:00 to be up by 6:00. My five tasks are:

    1. Kitchen cleaned up; run dishwasher.
    2. Pick up toys in living room with help from kids.
    3. Lay out clothes for next day.
    4. Plan lunches.
    5. Read and relax!

  • Meegan says:

    In bed by 9:30, to sleep by 10. 1. Lunch packed for hubby 2. Clothes off the floor 3. Bottles made for morning 4. To do list written out 5. Laundry in the dryer

  • Lois says:

    Thank you! I didn’t think it was for me, but have re-thought after reading this post. We’re retired and there is no “schedule”. I really need this discipline.
    So. Bedtime 10:00.
    1. kitchen cleaned up
    2. lunch planned/prepped
    3. breakfast out
    4. to do list made
    5. ready at 9:45 so can read Bible/pray

  • Lauren says:

    Bedtime….10:30pm and that will be a challenge for me! My 5 to do’s:
    *coffee maker set
    *lunches packed
    *backpacks ready
    *kitchen clean
    *breakfast planned

  • Sheri says:

    Bedtime 10:30
    1. Pack work bag
    2. Put my daughter’s backpack and instrument together
    3. Pack lunches
    4. Kitchen clean up
    5. Quick house clean up

  • Megan says:

    I am so excited about this challenge! My new bedtime is 10, with 10:30 being the absolute latest. My 5 evening to-dos are:
    1. Clean kitchen (put dishes in dishwasher, clear counters, clean pots)
    2. Read 1 chapter in my current book (usually non-fiction, so I’m not sucked into a good fiction book)
    3. Get husband’s lunch ready/put food in refrigerator to thaw for dinner
    4. Fold 1 basket of laundry
    5. Get coffee ready for the morning
    Thanks again for this challenge!

  • Jess says:

    Bedtime 11pm on nights when my night shift hubby is off so I can see him and 10pm on the nights when he is at work.
    1. Clean up kitchen.
    2. Wash bottles
    3. Quick pick up of baby toys and paraphenalia in living room
    4. Floss (I’m terrible at remember this one….)
    5. Prepare tomorrow’s to-do list.

    6. Adding one extra since I only work supplementally. Pack my lunch if I am working the next day.

  • Rebecca says:

    Going to bed by 10 p.m. to be up by 6. My 5 evening tasks will be:
    1. Kitchen/living room cleaned
    2. To-do list/calendar reviewed
    3. Packing diaper bag for the next day and setting it by the door
    4. Lunch and dinner for the next day planned
    5. Dishes cleaned and put away

  • Jane says:

    Just reading about the challenge yesterday inspired me to get up at 6 this a.m. Go for a walk, have quiet time, & a cuppa, before i ever turned computer on. Just read for a very short time, & then had breakfast, showered, dressed all before 9:00.

    Hope to make 6:00 every morning.
    Evening to-dos.
    In bed by 10.
    quick pick-up of house.
    make sure dishes are done.
    plan tomorrows day.

  • lisa s says:

    okay. 9pm, starting time 730pm.
    1. breakfast preped
    2. pack lunches
    3. clean kitchen
    4. layout clothes
    5. next day to do list

  • Tara Blanchard says:

    I’m committing to an 11:00 bedtime since I need to be up at 7:00 to take the kids to school.
    My 5 must dos are:
    1. pack lunches
    2. set clothes out
    3. clean up kitchen
    4. make to do list
    5. have breakfast set up

  • Laura Jane says:

    I really need to do this! My summer has basically gradually gotten less and less structured to the point where I haven’t seemed to accomplish anything the past couple weeks. (The funny thing is working full time with no kids, nothing actually changes for me during the summer, but I tend to stay up later enjoying the wonderful longer days and even just socializing with friends and doing a lot more outdoor activities in the evenings.)

    Earlier this year I (who could not possibly be less of a morning person) actually somehow manged to get myself into the habit of getting up everday between 4:45 and 5am, working out and showering before I headed to work at 6:40am. I did not miss so much as one weekday before workout session for 10 solid weeks! It was such a wonderful feeling to have all that accomplished before I even sat down at my desk.

    It was the first domino that got the positive momentum going in a lot of other areas of my life that require discipline and confidence. I really need to get back into that.

    That said, I need to go bed at 9pm to make that happen. That means I really need to start my bedtime tasks at around 8pm. Tuesdays will be an exception because we don’t get home from church until after 9pm, but I will do my best to get everything I can done in the hour I have at home between work and church. My 5 tasks are:

    1) Put clothes out for the next day
    2) Prepare breakfast and lunch for the next day
    3) Spend at least 5 minutes writing and reflecting on the day
    4) Plan dinner for the next day and take anything out of freezer that needs to be thawed
    5) Unload dishwasher and wash dishes (if time allows)

  • addie says:

    In bed by 10.
    1. Clothes laid out
    2. Breakfast prepped
    3. Bag packed for work.
    4. Lunch packed
    5. Dinner done

  • Susan in St. Louis says:

    Here goes! In bed at 9:30!

    My top five evening list:
    -kitchen cleaned up
    -review next day’s schedule & to-do list
    -start laundry and/or make lunch (if we’ll be on the run)
    -walking clothes/shoes ready
    -coffee prepped

    Now to print it out and follow it…! 😉

  • Paula Cameranesi says:

    My bedtime is 9 pm; I am usually in bed at this time. My first 5 are: Clothes Laid Out; Kitchen Clean up (a problem for me); Lunches Made; Breakfast on the Table; Everything Together and by the Door.

  • Michelle says:

    Up at 5:30, in bed by 9:30
    Pack lunch
    Pack work bag, purse, diaper bag
    Lay out clothes
    Put out breakfast items

  • Lisett says:

    Well, I am not a morning person! And I’ve tried this before but having a one year old that wakes up often at night does not help! But I’m willing to try again and again. So my bedtime will TRY to be at 10pm (the latest).
    My 5 must do’s
    *Lay out clothes for me and girls
    *Clean kitchen
    *Quick 15 min. house clean-up
    *Prep for next day dinner
    *To-do list for next day
    Thanks for this! It’s encouraging to see others!

  • Deidre says:

    It’s great to see so many people commenting and committing to a bedtime routine to make their mornings better.

    To be up at 6:50am, I’m committing to a 12am bedtime.

    My 5 evening tasks:

    1. Always go to bed with a clean kitchen
    2. Toss/put away 10 things
    3. Spend an hour off the computer with the bf
    4. Make lunches
    5. Start evening devotionals

    Good luck everyone!!!

  • Tracy Francis says:

    I put a bedtime of 10pm with planning on getting up between 6 and 6:30 (depending on if I have to leave the house that day or not).

    My 5 things are:
    -clothes laid out
    -kitchen cleaned
    -15 min house pick up
    -to do list for next day
    -everything by front door ready to leave next morning

    Can’t wait! 🙂

  • Heather says:

    Bed by 10:30pm and have the following items checked off and done:
    1. Kitchen cleaned up/counters cleared
    2. Toss a load of laundry in the washer
    3. 15 minute pickup around house
    4. Prep for tomorrow nights dinner, does something need to be thawing?
    5. Read for a half hour
    *Trash tomorrow, don’t wait til tomorrow AM for the mad dash to beat the truck! 🙂

  • Anna says:

    I am going to bed at 9:30 and getting up at 5:45 am.

    My top 5 on my list are:
    1.Clothes laid out

    2. Kitchen cleaned

    3. Lunches made and breakfast set out (I am in the kitchen so easy to do both)

    4.To-do-list made for next day

    5. Everything set by the door

    6. Quick pick up or what I call minimal maintenance

    I do these things routinely but I need motivation to get back into this routine.

  • Melissa says:

    I would LOVE to be in bed by ten, but my new little Munchkin doesn’t sleep for more than an hour or two at a time til about 11pm, so 11 it is…

    Evening Routine
    1. Prep. meals for next day (Cutting, chopping, defrost, etc.)
    2. Wash Dishes
    3. Make out to do list for next day/prep. devotions w/ kids/ lessons 4 preschool
    4. Shower
    5. Devotions

    I’m allowing myself 2 hrs. to complete these so I can nurse and snuggle with my baby girl when she wakes up without losing out on precious sleep.

  • Jess says:

    Ok..not sure how this will go! Bedtime-has to be 12am, (SN child who needs seizure meds at this time), up at 7 am
    I usually try to do these 5 things (the real challenge will be going to bed at midnight for me..I love the quiet “me” time)

    1. All meds drawn up in syringes for the next day
    2. All bags, lunches, backpacks packed and by the door
    3. To-do list for next day
    4. House in order, kitchen cleaned, toys picked up
    5. Clothes laid out and ready for the next day

  • Bed by 10pm
    5 things
    1) kitchen cleaned/dishwasher started- hate having dirty dishes to run in the am!
    2) living room picked up
    3)exercise clothes laid out
    4)bedroom picked up (dirty clothes PUT away!)
    5) bathroom straightened before bed (that helps me feel better in the morning, I have a habit of leaving things out)

  • Denise G. says:

    I am committing to a 10:30 bedtime. Here are my five things:

    1. Make lunches for next day
    2. Scriptures and prayer
    3. Brush and floss teeth
    4. Get tomorrow’s to-do list ready
    5. Read a book

  • Melissa M. says:

    I am going to bed at 10:00pm.
    My 5 must dos are:
    pick up the house, get items together for breakfast, start the dishwasher, shower, take items out of the freezer that I need for dinner the next night.

  • Aneliz says:

    Thanks for this challenge, I know it will help me!

    Bedtime 9:30pm
    5 to do’s:
    Kitchen clean up
    Quick Clean up the house
    Lay out clothes for next day
    Thaw meat or chicken for next day dinner (prep anything needed)
    Fill water bottles and leave snacks ready for next day, leave diaper bag ready.

  • Rachel says:

    OK, so here’s mine.

    Go to bed by 10.

    1. Clean up kitchen
    2. Set table for breakfast
    3. Plan and/or prep breakfast
    4. 15 minute clean up
    5. (Not starting this one for a few weeks tho) Pack school lunch for my 2nd grader.

    Looking forward to getting my morning routine working for me a little better!

  • Lisa C. says:

    I tend to get caught up in social media at night so sticking to a bed time is a good challenge for me. My goal is to be able to, perhaps just maybe, fit in a workout in the AM before everyone else is up and moving. Also, I don’t normally get 8 hours sleep so I’m pondering whether I need to stick with that….

    Bedtime: 10:00 but I’m afraid it will turn out to be 10:30 (get up time 6:00 so I can fit in a workout)

    Top 5 things to do:

    1. Wash dishes and put in drainer/prep coffee pot for morning cup (both at the same counter);
    2. Prep kids lunches (maybe hubby’s too – he’d LOVE that);
    3. Next day’s dinner planned (meat out of freezer);
    4. Clothes put away/ready for next morning;
    5. Read before going to sleep 🙂


  • Tracy says:

    Okay, I can do this! To bed at 10!
    5 Must Do’s:
    1. Clean Kitchen
    2. Make sure everyone’s clothes for the next day is ready to go.
    3. Know what will be for breakfast, and do as much prep (if necessary) as possible.
    4. Backpacks ready to go, notes signed, etc.
    5. 10 minute pick up around the house.

  • CJ says:

    I’m grateful for the extra boost to go to bed on time, which is 10.
    Five evening to-dos (not in order):
    1. Have the dishes done
    2. Get my son up (for, ya know)
    3. Get ready for bed
    4. Have breakfast set out
    5. Have to-do list ready
    Looks like I’ll be starting at 9:15.

  • cindy says:

    Okay, I’m shooting for a 10pm bedtime after having done the following:
    1) prep clothes for the next day
    2) make next day’s to-do list
    3) prep next day’s lunch
    4) ready school bags (mine and the kiddo’s)
    5) leave phones and computers charging

  • Sarah says:

    I agree with someone else who noted how encouraging it is to read others lists. I start back to work tomorrow and so this is a timely challenge. I am married with no kids yet, hopefully soon, 😉 I guess because of this my bedtime is relatively easy to keep. I NEED to be in bed by 10:30 in order for me to be a happy, healthy person, so this is nothing new.

    My 5 things are going to be new things that I don’t already do (like cleaning up the kitchen, or prepping lunches). 1. prepare clothes including ironing (I like someone’s idea of doing this for the whole week on Sunday!) 2. Fill water bottles. 3. Gather materials and pack work bag. 4. Journal about my day. 5. pray with my husband.

  • Diana says:

    In bed one hour after my little guy goes to bed.

    -dishes done
    -dishwasher running
    -toys picked up
    -blankets and pillows on couch
    -find hubby’s keys, wallet, and gate card

    Simple list for simple seasons of life 🙂

  • Sandra Davis says:

    I have to admit, after reading a bunch of the replies it makes it very hard to not want to add more to the list that I didnt put on there that would be so much more helpful. Hoping we add to this list as we go along.

  • Lesley says:

    Bedtime: 11pm, or earlier if possible (oldest daughter, 16, goes to bed at 10pm and my husband and I like to spend a little bit of time together by ourselves)
    5 things to do before bed:
    1.Kitchen cleaned
    2.Know what I’m making for lunches the next day (my daughters don’t like their sandwiches made the night before and many times they bring leftovers in their thermos, so this must be done in the morning…and I don’t mind…but knowing what I’m making ahead of time is a big help)
    3.Check schedule and weather for the next day so we know what to wear (daughters wear uniforms to school so no issue there. We live in FL and I have a bad habit of assuming that every day will be hot and sunny and that is not always the case)
    4.Know what I’m making for dinner the next day and write any last minute items I might need on to-do list.
    5.Tidy bathroom after washing face/brushing teeth (5 people + 1 bathroom = messy bathroom every day!).
    Let’s hope I can stick to this.

  • Gala says:

    I’m setting by bedtime for 10:30.
    1. Shower
    2. Kitchen cleaned
    3. Clothes laid out
    4. To do list for the day
    5. Living Room tidied

  • Tiffany says:

    10:30 Bedtime (this will be hard – I’m such a night owl) so I can get up at 6:30.

    5 To-do’s:

    1.) Lunch packed
    2.) Kitchen cleaned
    3.) Clothes picked out for next day
    4.) Purse/laptop by door
    5.) House quick tidy-up

  • Ellen says:

    Right now my husband is off with a broken foot, so things are more relaxed around here. I’m committing to a bedtime of 11pm, with a wake-up of 7am. That’s 1/2 an hour before my kids come out of their rooms. It will become 10pm and 6am when we get back into the swing of things!

    My usual 5:

    1- tidy house
    2- breakfast planned
    3- day planned/to-dos
    4- clothes chosen
    5- sourdough/kombucha/yogurt fed/bottled/refrigerated

    • Ellen says:


      – tidy up/wrap up kitchen
      – plan next day (with breakfast and needed thaws)
      – prep coffee press
      – choose clothes
      – read

  • Anne says:

    What great timing! I have been working on sticking to a bedtime and this – “This is the time that you must be in your PJs, have everything finished for the night, and be in bed. No ifs, ands, or buts. I’m your new drill sergeant and you must do what I say, okay? ;)” – somehow makes me feel like I need to stick to it.

    I would like to work up to a 5:15 AM wakeup time to have plenty of time for getting ready, a good breakfast, and reading my Bible so I can leave at 6:30. At the moment I am doing okay with 5:30 but I am not getting to bed until well after 10 (or 11), but my goal is 8:30 because this allows me time to read and lights out by 9.

    My 5 evening Must-Dos are:
    1. Make my lunch/snacks for the next day and have anything I need to take ready to go.
    2. Shower/dry hair – this makes my life easier in the morning because my unruly hair will behave so nicely this way, saving a mountain of time.
    3. Lay out my clothes – otherwise I will be hemming and hawing over my choices the next morning.
    4. Have a cup of tea – this has really made a difference in my sleep.
    5. Read or crochet after going to bed but before going to sleep. A crochet magazine works best because it is easier to stop after a while, instead of getting caught up in a plot, and there is just nothing stressful or agitating about a crochet pattern!

    An afternoon Must-Do that I have found will be very important that affects my rest, and so my morning, is having all of my school stuff and lessons ready for the next day so that I don’t have to stress over it. Last year I would lay there all night thinking things like, “Did I remember to set out the sight word cards for the English lesson?” If I take care of it early (and know that I will be at school most of an hour early), that stress goes away.

    So since it is 8:31 and I have done all on my list but the tea, and even though I would love to stay up and finish this movie, I guess I would have absolutely no excuse to not be in bed on time this evening!

  • I am committed to going to sleep by 9:30, I get up at 6:00 but I need that extra 1/2 hour to wind down or I’ll never get to sleep.

  • Jennifer says:

    Bedtime will be @ 11 which is early for me!!
    1. kitchen clean
    2. lunches made
    3. Clothes laid out for all 3 kids
    4. Quick house clean up
    5. Laundry

  • Laura says:

    I get up at 5am, which means I should be in bed between 8-9pm, but that just ain’t gonna happen as my kids are in bed between 7-8pm. I’m going to shoot for 10pm at the absolute latest with the goal of getting in bed before then.

    My 5 tasks:
    — lay out my workout clothes for the next morning
    — pack my husband’s lunch
    — clean up kitchen
    — quick house pick-up
    — check calendar/make to-do list

  • Michelle says:

    I set my bed time for 11:30. I can’t promise any earlier then that – so I figured I better go with an honest time. Even thought that only allows me 6 1/2 to 7 hours. But lately I have been staying up much later then that. I will work to slowly bring it to an earlier time as we get the family back into the school schedule and the structure returns to our schedule.

    My Top Five Tasks before Bedtime:

    1. Take out the garbage – all of it, empty every bin and bring it out.
    2. Prep the Coffee Pot for the morning – that way I can just turn it on when I come down the stairs. Eventually I will learn how to set it to go off automatically…
    3. Load the Washing Machine so that I can run it immediately after morning showers.
    4. Pick up the Living room.
    5. Wipe down the Kitchen Surfaces (counter top, stove, etc).

    These are a good start to get me in the practice and habit – normally I am dead tired at night and barely find my way up stairs. Here is to a better and brighter morning! In order to complete these and meet my bed time – I better get started – NOW!

  • Julie says:

    In bed by 10 pm. My top 5: kitchen cleaned, breakfast planned, living room picked up, laundry folded, time to read before bed. So glad for the accountability! Thanks Crystal! 🙂

  • Nicole M. says:

    My bedtime is 11:00 and I’ll get up at 8:00. I have to have a lot of rest due to an autoimmune disease so this should be a good amount.

    My bedtime list is:
    1. Load the dishwasher.
    2. Sweep the kitchen & dining room floor and vacuum the living room. (the dog hair is crazy right now!!)
    3. Tidy the living room and powder room.
    4. Set the table for the kids breakfast.
    5. Clean off the stairs and entryway.

  • Faith Schofield says:

    I will try to be up by 5:30, but not until next week until when school starts back.

  • ~kp~ says:

    I’m committing to a 10pm bedtime (starting tomorrow, since it’s already past that now). My 5 things are:

    1. Clean up kitchen (which we’ll do as a family after dinner)
    2. Tidy living spaces (the kids will help with this, also)
    3. Check homework and backpacks
    4. Set the coffee pot for tomorrow
    5. Sync calendars, create tomorrow’s to-do list

    Thanks for starting this series!

  • Jennifer says:

    *review menu for next day/prep if possible
    *kitchen cleaned up
    *quick 5-min. tidy
    *to-do list made for next day/planner

  • Carri Duke says:

    Today I determined my bed time is 9PM. This allows me at least 7-8 hours sleep which my body is accustom to since I have been an early morning runner since age 16 and am now 30. My top 5 things at night are: 1) Clean up kitchen and run dishwasher if full. 2) pack hubby’s lunch for next day. 3) set out running attire because we all know trying to match clothes in the dark is not cool…at least my running shoes glow in the dark now so I don’t lose those! 🙂
    4) quick pick-up of living room area. 5) layout all homeschool materials for next day.
    Oops! I am already 20minutes late to bed. Thanks again for this awesome challenge!

  • Michelle says:

    Bedtime goal of 11pm, which means being in down in bed by 10 pm so I can wind down and fall asleep while watching netflix, awful habit I know, but one thing at a time. The wake up goal would then be around 7 when hubby gets up for work.
    Evening goals:
    -load of dishes started in dishwasher
    -15-20 min upstairs pick-up
    -bible time
    -laundry rotated

  • Amy says:

    Going to work my way back towards 10:00 for bedtime.

    My five are: bath/shower, clothes for tomorrow, 15 minute cleanup, to do list, and laundry

  • Patricia K says:

    I hope I can make this work! My son just started preschool this week so my must do like will be a little different every other day but I would have to say:
    1. Kitchen clean up
    2. Quick house pick up
    3. To do list for the next day
    4. Lunches made / plans for lunch made (Sunday, tuesday, Thursday / Monday, Wednesday, friday, Saturday)
    5. Everything together for the next day ready.

    Bedtime will be 10:30

    Let’s hope this works out!

  • Alison says:

    I stopped while reading this to get a few things in the house in order before continuing to catch up on your blog! Thanks for the motivation!

  • Anna Hettick says:

    I get up at 5:30 and check the computer quickly, empty the dishwasher, make my bed and straighten up anything not straightened the night before, then I pack the kids lunches if needed and get breakfast ready to go. That way when I get them up at 6:45 I’m not rushing around trying to do all those things in 45 minutes and get them up and ready for school. To be able to get up at 5:30 I need to be in bed by 10:30 or 11 at the latest. But if I go to bed any earlier than 10 I tend to be more tired than rested the next morning.

  • Summer says:

    I just got a chance to sit down and read this…lol…I committing to a bed time of 9:30…I’m late
    My top 5
    Main floor cleaned up
    Clothes ready/kids bathed
    Plan for breakfast
    To do list ready
    Phone charged for morning walk
    I will start this @ 6

  • Abby says:

    Bedtime- 10:00 (Oops! Guess I’m starting that tomorrow!)
    1) 15 Minute Pick Up
    2) Kitchen Clean
    3) To-Do List Made
    4) Garbage Taken Out
    5) Diaper Bag/Book Bag/Purse Ready to Go

  • Kelli says:

    I’m in… I was just talking to the hubs about finding a routine because I am NOT a morning person… but I need to be this semester with 2 jobs, college, home and 2 kids + extracurriculars. And college starts on Monday… yikes!!

    I need to wake up by 615 so I need to be in bed by 115. And that’s a total stretch for me but I can’t afford to stay up later because I have no afternoon nap opportunity!!

    Things to do before bed:
    1) 45 minutes of cardio done + shower when i get home
    2) Lunches planned out and lunch bags prepped/packed
    3) School bags packed, w/signed tablets and filled out forms in their proper place
    4) Next night’s dinner plan set + laid out with lunch items so I can defrost in the morning
    5) Kitchen + eating table cleaned up and set for breakfast

    which means I need to start my evening routine at 11… get cardio done by 12, showered by 1230, in bed by 115… I definitely can do this. THANK YOU for this series!!

  • Melissa says:

    I am committed to be in bed by 1am so I can be up by 9am. DH and I both work better in the evenings and have no kids (yet!) so this isn’t a problem. I plan to move it earlier a little bit at a time, and eventually would like to be up by 7am eventually. ^_^

    The top 5 activities for my evening must do list are:

    1. See if DH’s clothes need to be washed (if so, start a load)
    2. Empty and reload dishwasher
    3. Write out to-do list (and any scheduled activities) for the next day
    4. Pick up bedroom for 10 minutes
    5. 15 minute Bible reading/devotional
    BONUS: If I had to start a load of clothes, throw them in the dryer right as I head to bed.

    I know as time progresses, this will evolve, but it’s a great starting list for me, and will make my days -so- much smoother and less frantic ^_^

  • Robin says:

    I am committing to 10:00 bedtime. I have always been pretty disciplined in getting things done the night before, but I have decided to stick to my 5 most important and let the others go so I can get in bed by 10. My five are to have the kitchen cleaned up, lunches packed, thaw meat for the next day, do a quick main level pick-up, and make a basic plan for the next day.

  • Gidget says:

    Aiming for a 10:30 bedtime… Not gonna make it tonight. 🙁

    5 things in the evening:
    Pickup living room
    Clean up kitchen
    Make tomorrow’s to do list
    Set out stuff for morning
    Get my pump supplies ready for middle of the night pump session

  • Mary Ellen says:

    Okay my bed time is 10:30pm.
    1. Dishes done or in dishwasher.
    2. Load of Laundry.
    3. Workout.
    4. Shower.
    5. Check To Do List for the next day & have everything prepared.

  • Leah says:

    I have some serious night owl habits. (borderline vampire hours) I want to be more productive by getting an early start on my days – so this series is perfect for me. Thank you for doing this.

    I will start with a commitment to get to bed by 11 pm. That is still kind of late, but it will be a realistic start for me.

    1. Kitchen & living room clean & tidy
    2. Lunches ready
    3. Breakfast planned/ready
    4. Workout clothes laid out
    5. To do list done for following day

  • Amanda says:

    9:30 pm —Bedtime is 2 minutes away!!!
    Must Do:
    Kitchen Clean
    Clothes laid out
    To do list written
    Lunches made
    Laundry done—Pre loaded for the next day

  • Susan says:

    I’m posting in hopes it will keep me committed. Sadly I just finished reading this after my newly allotted bedtime, so tomorrow this all starts.
    In bed at 11pm. (Fingers crossed that dh stops watching tv late, he just started this up again in the last week.)
    Evening 5:
    – 15 minute kitchen cleanup
    – 15 minute pickup
    – breakfast set up for morning
    – write to do’s for tomorrow
    – reset kids chore clips, update chore chart
    – 1 load into washer (and 1 into dryer)

    I’m good about doing the last one most nights already, but its doesn’t hurt to put it in writing to keep me on track. I fall behind on laundry when I get lazy with this.

  • Kelsie says:

    Bedtime is at 10pm!! Eek!
    My 5 Must Do’s:
    1. Pick up clutter in living room
    2. Pick up the kitchen-counters and floors.
    3. Unload dishwasher if it is clean
    4. Plan meals for the next day
    5. Make a to-do list for the next day

  • Denise says:

    So excited to start MoneySavingMom’s 3-Week Challenge. I have to laugh though. I am totally positive that my kiddos know I’m doing this and are already challenging it. 🙂 They have both been up 1-2 hours earlier than normal this week. Really?! LOL.

    1. Determine a bedtime. With a 2.5-year old and 1-year old in the house, I really value my alone time in the mornings before they wake up. Now with a new routine of going to the Y every weekday morning (with the kiddos), I like to have as much of my household stuff done as possible before they wake up. In order for that to happen, I like to wake up at 5:00am. I know MSM suggested 8-9 hours of sleep, but getting 7 is an improvement for me, so I’m going to start there. Bedtime is 10:00pm, and I’ve totally botched that tonight. I was reading Crystal’s post and took the wrong medicine. I took my AM medicine instead of my PM and now I’m wide awake. Dang! Tomorrow night is 10:00 for sure though!

    2. Top 5 Evening Must Do’s.
    – Load the Dishwasher. Getting the dishwasher loaded is a definite must for me. To wake up to dirty dishes, is so discouraging and I already feel like my day is behind. Of course, to make this task less daunting at night when I’m already exhausted from the day, I need to keep up on the dishes all day long. 🙂
    – 10-Minute Pick-up.Toys, clothes, and sippy cups have a way of multiplying throughout the day. I think I have them all picked up and then viola` more appear. So to take this extra time before bed to make sure everything finds it’s place (and now no one is running around to drag them out again) will definitely improve my outlook the next morning. I think I breath better in a tidy house. 🙂
    – Pack the Diaper Bag. Now that we are actually leaving the house every morning to go the Y to exercise, having the bag ready with diapers, extra clothes and snacks will definitely cut back on the “rushing at the last minute” stress.
    – Stick to a Bed Time Routine for Kiddos. Unfortunately we have been pretty loosey goosey with bedtimes. To have them bathed, in PJs, teeth brushed, prayer time and snuggled in bed for story time by 8:45pm is our new goal, which means I need to start at 8:00pm every night.
    – Double Check Meal Plan & Schedule for Next Day. In order to do this, I need to be more faithful in my meal planning. But what a relief to have a plan for the day and not be standing in front of the refrigerator pondering what to make. I have a tough time at night “turning my mind off” so to already have in my head what we are eating the next day and what our schedule looks like, I hope to cut that “planning in my head” button off so I can get to sleep. 🙂

  • Caroline says:

    I really need to do this and have tried before. I have been thinking I need to do this again, so I hope that joining in with everyone else will help. I will go to bed by 11:30pm. (I would like to say 11pm, but 11:30 is more realistic to start out with, except tonight since it’s already 11:45!)

    My top 5 things to get done before bed are:
    1. Dishes in the dishwasher
    2. To do list written
    3. Breakfast items out
    4. Turn off my laptop (I often will leave it on and just close the lid, but turning it off is more final and helps me regulate it better the next day. I don’t get on as much.)
    5. Homeschool activities prepped

  • Deanne says:

    What a simple, yet profound concept- consciously and deliberately prepare for a smooth morning the night before! I’m thankful for the accountability. 🙂
    I get up at 6, so I need to be in bed by 10:30, 10 if I want to read. Because my kids aren’t in bed til around 9pm (we’ve tried earlier- it just doesn’t work) and I like to have that hour with my husband, I will do these 5 things right after dinner.
    1. breakfast & lunch planned for next day. set coffee pot. (I love being welcomed to the day with the smell of coffee.)
    2. make to do list.
    3. plan work out.
    4. 15 min general pick up around the house.
    5. workout clothes and regular clothes laid out.

  • Tracy S. says:

    I’m going to go to bed at 10 every night. I must get the kitchen picked up and dishwasher set to wash, a load in the washer set to start about an hour before I get up, give the floors a good sweeping/dust mop (soon to be crawling baby and two older brothers in the house ;), shower and lay out clothes, and check my bible study group to see who I might be able to pray for or encourage. 🙂

  • Kendra says:

    10 pm! Going to start going to bed at 10 pm and hoping my son starts sleeping through the night!!

  • Annie says:

    Bedtime is 11:00. This may seem late for people, but this is probably the best I can do in this season of life having a nursing baby and three other small children. My top 5 Must Dos are:

    1. Kitchen cleaned up (15 min)
    2. To Do list for the next day, which includes reviewing meals and thawing anything necessary (15 min)
    3. Clothes laid out (5 min)
    4. Bedtime routine: Take potty-training toddler potty for the last time for the night, brush teeth, jammies on, use bathroom (20 min)
    5. Feed baby for (hopefully) the last time for the night (30 min)

  • Amy says:

    I would like to be up at 7:30. That means I need a bedtime of 11:30. I actually cannot remember the last time I went to bed at 11:30. I cosleep with my baby, and nurse her to sleep while reading stuff on my laptop. Then, I stay up way to late on the computer. Like this!
    I am having a hard time deciding on five things.
    1. Basic kitchen cleanup
    2. Get Bible study or devotional materials ready for AM
    3. Wash face/brush teeth
    4. Put baby to bed, but listen to something instead of surfing internet.
    I do not know what else to add.
    When school starts, I will likely have to add getting school materials ready. Hopefully we will be disciplined to put our things away as we go through the day, though. And hopefully I will have all the kids’ assignments planned out and written down on a weekly basis. Haha!
    I think we will start at 9:00 at the very latest, with the kitchen clean up having been started right after dinner. The children’s bedtime is 9:30. We have been staying up way too late this summer, though. Especially the past two weeks with the Olympics on TV. We enjoyed the Olympics so much, but it really shifted our schedule in a bad way!

  • Tiah says:

    Bedtime will be 10:00 pm so that I can workout in the morning.
    My five important tasks:
    1. Dishes complete, clean sink, start dishwasher
    2. 15 minute clean up
    3. Lunches made and in the freezer
    4. Agenda for the next day
    5. Clean out compost and recycling

  • Gina says:

    I’m just now catching up on Facebook posts I’ve missed. (It’s almost 1AM…blech!) I hope it’s not too late to join the plan?! I typically wake up at 4:30AM during the school year. Your Morning Routine Plan couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time!! I need to get back on a better schedule. School in my area begins in less than 2 weeks.

  • Sarah says:

    So my husband likes to call me Supermom, kind but not true. We (I) am in need of help and the first way our life is going to improve is by realizing that life is messy! If it wasn’t it wouldn’t be as much fun. And I like to think we have a lot of fun at our house 🙂 Second improvement will come when I decided to go to bed earlier. I know I am not productive at night and instead of wasting time, I will now have a bedtime of 10:00. (Except Thursdays I work till midnight) I will just need a nap on Friday after class. Finally after analyzing what needs to be done at night I have realized I need to delagate. I have to be okay with realizing that I can’t do it all on my own. So in the spirit of changing our schedules (with a goal of more time together in the end) my whole family sat down tonight and wrote out a Top 5 list for night time. I am hoping it will help all of us have smoother transitions from night to day 🙂 We even wrote one for our 2 year old! We are excited to try it out tomorrow night!

    My Top Five
    * Dishes (I hate dirty dishes)
    * Meals Planned for next day
    * To do list/ Calendar Review
    *Errands Ready for next day, Bags Ready for School
    * Kids Clean (lol, I know, I know, this shouldn’t seem so difficult but trust me it can be some nights)

  • Lorna says:

    Bedtime for me will be 11.30 at the latest.

    My top 5 are:
    1) wash the dishes (a real challenge for me with a late mealtime and no dishwasher)
    2) quick tidy downstairs
    3) planning to suggest a packed lunch to OH, in which case make his lunch
    4) review day’s do to list, make list for tomorrow
    5) read a book just for fun, or have a bubble bath, or any similar relaxing “me time”

  • Sherry Lochner says:

    I’m starting a day late, but I’m excited about this series. I’m going to hopefully get my two teenagers excited about doing this as well.

    Bed at 10.
    Evening Must Dos
    1. 15 minute pickup
    2. Daily To-Do List
    3. Kitchen Cleaned Up
    4. Lunches Made
    5. Make sure kids’ schoolwork/backpacks are ready

    Thank you for having this series! 🙂

  • Samantha says:

    I’m committing to a 10:00 bedtime so that I can get up at 6am. I’m hoping this gives me enough time in the morning before the baby gets up. My 5 to-dos are finished up any dishes,15 min pickup of downstairs, school stuff ready, diaper bag ready and go over schedule for next day. I’m very excited to get this challenge underway, hoping I can stick to the getting up at 6 every morning!!!!!

  • Lori says:

    Up by 5:30 and in bed by 9:30.

    Top 5:
    To Do list for the next day
    Pack Lunches
    20 min House Clean Up (Kitchen, Living Room and Sweep)
    Check Work Email
    Prep for Breakfast

  • I am currently going to bed at 11:30 and getting up at 6:30. I would like to be getting up at at least 6am, but don’t think I can commit to a bedtime any earlier than 10:30 ( a 30 minut eimprovement). This will give me 1 hour after my oldest is in bed for uninterrupted chore time before stopping at 10pm to get my top 5 done:

    1. Set out clothes
    2. Pack lunches
    3. Kitchen cleaned
    4. Living room tidied
    5. Clendar review

  • Carli says:

    I need to be in bed by 10:45

  • Nikki F says:

    Day 2

    Determining a bed time

    Although I did not do the calculating thing I did get a jump start on my morning today last night, and it is always a life saver!!! I am in my third trimester of pregnancy right now due next week! : ) So I’ve had to reduce my speed greatly from going 90 mph to like 40 mph!! This pregnancy has been so different from my other two, I have been very tired. I usually would get things done the evening before but slacked off a great deal the past 5 months (poor hubby) or so. However, this has given me a “burst” of energy to get back into routine, and with our youngest starting school next week the same week I have the baby I really need to get back on track! I guess my bed time would be 0900 am however that just never seems to happen for me, I get the most done in the early mornings and at late night.

    Here are my top 5 evening must do’s:

    -Make sure hubby has clean work clothes hung out (we use a hook on the wall by our bedroom door, works pretty good for us, gotta love hooks they sure help save space!).

    -Make hubby’s lunch for next day.

    -Plan breakfast(s) for the next morning.. This actually applies to the kid(s) and my husband separately. I know my kids will only eat certain things in the morning, some eat lighter than others especially my daughter, so I try and keep breakfast light for hubby (he likes cold and sweet stuff in the summer, and hot and savory in the winter along with routine morning coffee to keep warm!) since he leaves so early (5 am early) in the mornings, and the kids are usually satisfied with hot cereal (oatmeal), cold cereal, or pancakes. I decided yesterday that I would start this crockpot breakfast thing and see if it really helped, tried it last night and what a great idea and how come I haven’t tried to cook breakfast in the crockpot before??? Such a time saver and I feel even more productive getting it done while I sleep!

    -To do list for next morning (no number on this yet, but I have taken your advice and tried to keep the number 5 or lower).
    For me, this only applies to the “need to” category, everything else (in the “want to” category), I just work in when I can, and right now, when I feel like it.

    -Clean the kitchen.
    This one has been a huge challenge for me for months now. Once I hit my second trimester me and my husband were bickering a lot because he had gotten used to me doing so much, and then it just stopped suddenly. The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in our home, I could live in my kitchen, I love food, and I love cooking. But the kitchen was becoming the center of our bickering, we adjusted and that moment passed of course. As a way to really clear the tension in this area for good I decided to add “cleaning the kitchen” to this list. It helps so much, and I wake up in a much better mood seeing a nice clean kitchen with delicious aromas coming from the crockpot first thing in the morning. Can’t wait for the rest of the challenge!

  • Holly Hall says:

    I am committed for the next 3 weeks to be in bed by 10 so I can be up by 6 a.m. My top 5 are: 1) Clothes laid out, 2) Kitchen cleaned up, 3) lunches made, 4) Breakfast set out, 5) everything at the back door. I went beyond this though and set up a nightly routine for my kids since we were kind of lax on this during the summer and there’s will be going to bed at 8 and getting up at 6:30 and there top 5 will be 1) clothes laid out, 2) pick-up house for 15 minutes, 3) everything together at the back door, 4) shower, brush teeth, pj’s on, 5) Read book for 15 minutes each. My children are 5 & 7 so most of these things with a little help from mom and dad they can do on there own. I am so excited about getting back into a routine for the school year, especially since I will start substitute teaching this year in school as well.

  • ashley says:

    My goal will be to be in bed by 10, I’m up by 5 or 5:30, but I just can’t do any earlier….
    1. set out clothes for next day.
    2. get diaper bag & book bag ready
    3. get hubby’s lunch ready
    4. decide what’s for dinner & defrost
    5. 15 min. house sweep

  • Cherilyn says:

    I love this series. For the past 2 months I’ve been getting up at 5am – nearly 3 hours before the rest of the family and it has been wonderful! I don’t really aim to get a bunch of stuff done, just some quiet, me time. I spend time with the Lord and then spend quiet time on the computer – mostly so that I can focus on the family for the rest of the day. I rarely check the computer throughout the day anymore, I just look forward to my 2-3 hours of uninterrupted time each morning. It is motivation to wake up each morning too.

    My determined bed time is 10:30 and I get up at 5am.

    I lay out my clothes the night before and shower or bathe the evening before.

  • Denise says:

    Bedtime 10….this is gonna b super hard but need to do
    It….I have to b refreshed in the morning
    5 things:
    Kitchen cleaned
    Laundry put away
    Quick tidy up of the house
    Clothes ready for next day

    Lunches ready

  • Bedtime: 9:30
    Checklist: make lunches/snacks
    figure out kid fun project for next day
    lay out everyone’s clothes
    breakfast planned
    kitchen cleaned

  • Anna says:

    Lately my schedule is totally out of whack due to having a 3 week old! He loves to stay up all night so I have had some odd “bedtimes,” 2 am, 4 am, etc. So I would like to have a bedtime of 11 pm, but for now I am going to set a reasonable goal of midnight and work on that first. But I will start my “bedtime routine” at 11.

    Things to get done before bed:

    All laundry put away
    All bottles and breast pump parts sterilized and ready to go
    15 min tidy-up
    Make to-do list for tomorrow
    Bible time/Devotions

  • Katie says:

    My husband is a teacher so every single routine I work to establish during the year goes right out the door at the end of June. I”m going to miss him like crazy in September, but I am looking forward to having some routines again. One thing I love about getting ready the night before is that the kids sleep through it even if I make a bit of noise. If I do dishes and run around getting things done at 5 am then my kids will wake up and quickly derail my morning plans and often make my husband scramble to get to work on time. At 9 pm they’re too tired to wake up for a little noise!

  • Melissa says:

    Ok…. Here goes nothin’.

    10:30 P.m. bed time (up at 6:15)

    Top 5 Evening Must-Do’s:
    1) 15 min clean up/kitchen
    2) Pack Lunches/ready backpacks
    3) Lay out clothes
    4) Review budget
    5) Spend time with hubby

  • Susan says:

    I love this series! I need the mornings to go smoother for sure! I picked 11:30. That’s realistic for me and my family.

  • Amy says:

    Ok I’m in….this will be tough but good for me. I may struggle a little getting up on time cuz I have a two month old who is still waking up one to two times.

    My goal bedtime is 11pm to be up by 7am.

    5 evening must-dos:

    1. Quick house clean up
    2. Get clothes for me and kids ready
    3. Breakfast plan and prep
    4. Make work and home to do lists
    5. Spend quality time with hubby

    My hubby is going to do this with me too! So his 5 things are:

    1. Get clothes ready for next day
    2. Dishes done/Kitchen cleaned (I hate doing dishes so this is kinda his territory 🙂 )
    3. Make lunch for next day
    4. Spend quality time with wife

    I’ll give him a break and only give him 4 things 😉

  • Leslie says:

    I am working for a 10pm bedtime.
    1. clean kitchen
    2. set up crock pot for dinner ingredients
    3. set up one counter with canning or freezing utensils
    4. set out everyone’s lunch utensils
    5. put morning reading material on table

    I am excited to complete this challenge!

  • Ayisha says:

    I have to get up at 5:30, which means my bedtime would be between 8:30-9:30. But I know that two days a week I won’t get home for the day until 8. So I set my bedtime between 9:30-10:00.

    My Top 5 to do’s:
    Bookbags & Mom bag packed and by the door night before
    Clothes laid out and ironed night before
    lunches made night before
    kitchen cleaned
    quick house pick up

  • AMBER says:

    Mommy bedtime 9:30, Kids 8:ooish

    1. kitchen clean up
    2. lunches made / am snack (eat on way to daycare)
    3. house pick up/kids pick up (part of their bedtime routine)
    4. am out the door basket complete
    5. to do list for next day

    i have a closet organizer in the kids bedroom (it’s designed for sweaters or jeans) and has 6 slots. For the kiddos i put their mon – friday clothes in the first 5 slots. the bottom slot is for their shoes. i fill this organizer on sunday nights so i have all their clothes for the week in place. i wear a uniform for work and make sure i have 5 ready for the week. husband is on his own. 🙂

  • Nicci says:

    9:30 Bedtime

    1. Kitchen clean
    2. Prep done for school lunches
    3. Make sure all assignments, backpacks, etc. are ready to go in the AM
    4. Put folded laundry away.
    5. To Do list for the next day.

  • Sandy says:

    I would like to wake at 0600 to worship, eat breakfast and exercise before I leave for the nursing home to take care of my mom for the day. I will try to commit to get to bed by 2200 each night. My 5 “Must Do’s” before bed will be:

    1. Worship
    2. No TV/music once I arrive home so I can start winding down for a better nights’ sleep.
    3. Picked up house
    4. Clothes for the next day laid out, including purse and car keys
    5. “To Do List” for the following made completed.

  • Phyllis says:

    I’m setting a bedtime of 10 and my tasks will be Clean Kitchen, prepare/plan breakfast, 15 minute house pick up and 1 load of laundry. Thanks for doing this….it is exactly what I needed for the school year starting up in a few weeks.

  • Renee says:

    Bedtime 10 pm

    1.) Cloths laid out for next day.
    2.) load of laundry (putting a load in washer, drying a load, or folding and putting away)
    3.) All items for school, work and babysitter next to door
    4.) Dishes done
    5.) Daily Devontional

    I am trying to find to make a daily or weekly to do list for household chores for me and the family. I want a daily to-do list, but I have trouble sticking with it.

  • Nicole says:

    Wouldn’t you know it, I had this all planned out and determined to begin last night and then came down with a head cold that kept me up most of the night. Le sigh. Ah well, guess I’ll be starting tonight instead!

    The plan is to go to bed at 11, so that I can be asleep by 11:30. I read somewhere that it takes the average person 17 minutes to fall asleep, so if that is the case I should be asleep by 11:30 no problem.

    Evening must-dos are:
    1. Pick up clutter
    2. Put projects away
    3. Get coffee pot ready for the morning
    4. Lay clothes out
    5. Make to-do list for the next day

    I usually do some reading and my personal devotions before bed, too. I’m more alert at that time of day plus it helps me wind down for sleeping. That is and will continue to be included in my night routine. Its kind of a given!

    Thanks for this challenge, I’m excited to conquer my mornings!

  • Sarah G says:

    Bedtime: 10:30pm
    5 Things (start 9pm):
    -Quick Kitchen Clean
    -Backpacks Ready by Door
    -Kid’s Lunches Made
    -Clothes Laid Out
    -Quick To-do List for Next Day (no more than 6 things)

  • Heather says:

    Bedtime: 10 pm
    5 evening to-do’s: clean-up kitchen, make boy’s lunch, lay out clothes, set out breakfast materials and vitamins, make to-do list

  • Jennifer Hendricks says:

    I am a grad student, and quite the night owl, so I am committing to go to bed at midnight, this way I can get up at 8. This means at 11 PM I am going to start my evening Must Do’s: Pack my school bag, Lay out my clothing, Do a 15-20 minute house clean up, Stretch, and pack my lunch.

  • Alicia says:

    My bedtime will try to be 10pm. My 5 things are:
    1. Dishes/kitchen
    2. Fold any laundry that needs folding/put away
    3. Get ready for next days- clothes picked out, diaper bag packed, lunch/breakfast ready
    4. Coffee ready
    5. To do list!

  • Heather says:

    OK! My bedtime is 10pm. My top 5 to-do’s before I hit the pillow are:

    1. Dishes in dishwasher and started
    2. Boys stuff together (including baby bag) for tomorrow – sometime we have play date, other times it is getting ready for school. I just have to get it together so I’m not insane in the morning.
    3. Read an hour before bed – so get to reading by 9pm
    4. Get my stuff together for tomorrow – clothes picked out, errands list, etc
    5. Workout – I workout with my husband at 8pm (after we put the kids to bed )

  • Rhoda says:

    I set my bedtime for 10pm. Five bedtime goals: create to do list for tomorrow, 15 min tidy house, clothes laid out for tomorrow, get ready for bed, read Bible and pray with Hubby.

  • Jennifer R says:

    Bedtime: 9:30
    Top 5:
    1. Lunches prepared
    2. Clothes laid out
    3. Dinner prepped for tomorrow
    4. Set out breakfast “stuff”/fill up sippy cups
    5. Clean kitchen

  • Amy Looney says:

    My bedtime is 10:00 p.m. Oh, this is going to be a struggle! I might really need your drill sergeant help, Crystal!

    My top five are:
    1. Get clothes laid out for tomorrow
    2. Set up kitchen for the next morning
    3. To-do list for tomorrow morning
    4. Put up clean laundry
    5. Read before bed.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m shooting for a 9:30 bedtime which I have no idea how I’m going to do.

    My top 5 tasks:
    1.) Clothes laid out for kids and me for next day
    2.) Kitchen clean/dishes washed
    3.) Dinner prep for next night
    4.) Pack lunches (hopefully leftovers for me which I can pack as I put them away)
    5.) 15 min clean up (tidy another room, put away laundry, etc)

    Hopefully I can get up early so I can get a workout in so I do not have to do it on my lunch break! Then I can leave 30 minutes early from work or get some wiggle room in the morning.

  • Larissa says:

    My bed time is 10:30, and my 5 tasks are have clothes ready for me and kids, have all lunches packed, have my Frapee made and in the fridge, know what appointments I have and when I need to be at them, have breakfast prepped as far as possible (for everyone).

  • Shannon says:

    I really need to get my act together so I’m in!

    For now bedtime will be 10 but hope to get it to 9:30.
    My five:
    1. Kitchen cleaned up.
    2. 15 minutes – tidy up house
    3. Look over homeschool lessons for the next day.
    4. Lay out clothes
    5. Make a to-do list.

  • Liz says:

    How I wish I could do this … I’ll give it my best shot, but I have a 6-month old who is currently up 4 times a night. There’s no way I can do 8 solid hours of sleep a night, but I’ll do my best with the rest of it. No reason I can’t have my “top 5” done every night anyway. Wish me luck!

  • Jenny says:

    I am a day late on this but here are my five! I am committing to a 10:30 bedtime.

    1. Clean kitchen.
    2. Sweep kitchen and dining room.
    3. Run dishwasher.
    4. Update white board for tomorrow.
    5. Stock diaper bag. I have been caught not doing this too many times!

  • Kate says:

    Bedtime: 10:30
    except that might be hard some nights because I am taking to college courses at night to finish my teaching degree.
    Five things:
    1.) Have the kitchen cleaned up
    2.)Lunches made
    3.) Clothes laid out
    4.) Tidy House
    5.) Things I need by door ( How many times have I spent 15 minutes searching for my keys and my son’s shoes ?? )

  • Staci says:

    I got my husband on board!!
    10:30pm bedtime with 7am wake up
    My husbands 5 night time goals are:
    1. Dishes and kitchen cleaned
    2. 1st floor cleaned up and put in it’s proper place
    3. School lunches made/water bottles filled
    4. Read Bible
    5. Snuggle and talk to my wife

    My bedtime is 10:00pm and a 6am wake time
    My goals are:
    1. Kids clothes laid out & work out clothes laid out
    2. Quality time with husband and read Bible together
    3. Wash face, moisturize, brush teeth, braces rubber bands on, etc.
    4. Review dinner and breakfast plan and prepare
    5. Review next day schedule and pack anything car if necessary

  • Lori says:

    Ok, so I’m a little behind, but here goes;

    Up by 6, so in bed by 10? Yeah, it’s not likely, but I’ll aim for 9:30, then maybe I’ll actually be in bed by 10:30…I’m not very good at this part!!

    Top 5:
    Dishes Done (no dishwasher; blah!)
    House picked up
    Clothes laid out for all 6 of us
    Lunches Made
    Breakfast Planned

    • claire7676 says:

      I have a NOT to do item: do NOT get on the computer or internet after dinner! I ALWAYS stay way too long on it & totally blow my bedtime schedule. Staying off of it also allows me to mentally unwind and lets me get to sleep easier.

      I used to iron clothes each night for the next day (I need to add that it’s just me that I have to iron for), but I have found that I’m so tired each night that it’s not the best solution. So I have started do any needed ironing for the week on Sunday afternoons/evenings well before bedtime. And it takes less time overall: I just have to get the ironing board out & the iron going once a week instead of potentially 5 times.

      I really should be in bed by 10:30 because I read before going to sleep (I have a really hard time sleeping without reading), and I usually have a hard time pulling the book away before 1/2 hour passes.

      So my 5 things are:
      1) Make myself start this process by 9:30!
      2) Put the next day’s outfit aside.
      3) Wash face/brush teeth
      4) Check the alarm clock to make sure it’s set correctly
      5) Read

  • Dita says:

    I have to get to bed by 9:30 and asleep by 10:30 to get my 8 hours.

    My MUST five, exactly like Crystal’s
    1. 15 minute tidy the house, dishes loaded
    2. Get changed and ready for bed
    3. Clothes Laid Out For the Next Day for myself and my daughter
    4. To Do List Made For the Next Day
    5. Read a few chapters In Bed

  • I’m committing to a bedtime of 10pm. I normally get up between 6 and 6:30.

    I’m only doing 3 things in the evening- that will be plenty for now.
    1. Get stuff together and put at door
    2. Get clothes laid out
    3. 15 min, pick up

  • Michelle W says:

    I need this challenge!
    My bedtime will be 10pm and getting up at 6am (until school starts, then up at 5am).
    Start evening Top 5 Evening Must Do’s at 9pm.
    Top 5 Evening Must Do’s:
    1. Lunches ready
    2. Clean kitchen including start dishwasher
    3. Bathroom spruce up
    4. To Do List (written) and Calendar
    5. Read

  • I have committed to a 9:30 bedtime. My husband would like to go to bed at 9, and I would like to go to bed at 10, so this is a good compromise. And my five things to do in the evening are: clean up dinner dishes, straighten living room, put away laundry, sweep floor, wipe off kitchen table. I don’t really need to have anything ready for in the morning because I’m a SAHM and my only child is 1. We usually don’t go anywhere first thing in the morning. But, I do like waking up to a neat house.

  • beingjennifer says:

    Thank you Crystal for having this forum for us to clarify our goals and schedules.
    I already do 3 1/2 of these, so I’m really only adding 5. Some could probably be combined, but this is what makes sense for me right now. I love having a “start time” for these. I think that will make all the difference!
    9:30 p.m. – Start Must-Do’s – Set timers
    *Drink glass of water & take medicine
    *Clean Kitchen (dishes done and counters cleared)
    *Set Menu for next day (pull food out of freezer-if needed)
    *Review Calendar and Make To-Do list for next day
    *10 minute Quick House Pick-Up (mostly LR & DR)
    *Floss, brush & swish teeth and wash & moisturize face
    *Drink another small glass of water
    *P.J.’s on and stretch &/or do Intu-Flo
    Bedtime 11 p.m.

  • Ann says:

    I’m joining in a little late, but had started on this journey when my kids started school last week. We’ve recently moved, and they have to be AT school by 7:35…last year they were WAKING UP at that time. I actually gave them a nightly to do list:

    Their evening 5 (ages 3, 8 and 10):
    –lunch packed (actually in a box in the fridge, so all we have to do is transfer it to their lunchbox)
    –clothes laid out
    –backpack packed

    My evening five:
    –dishes done
    –dinner planned (and prepped if it’s a busy afternoon/night)
    –my lunch and work bag packed
    –papers sorted and put away (my nemesis when it comes to clutter)
    –electronics charged

    • Tracy says:

      Go momma, I am there with you, my kids are 4, 8, and 10. They start back to school next Monday and I am not looking forward to those 6am wakeup calls.

  • Anne Stogner says:

    Better late than never I guess. 🙂 My bedtime will be 10:00, so I can be up at 6:00 at the latest. I’m going to have a hard time starting my evening routine at 9, but I really want to give that time a few weeks’ chance. After the kids are in bed, I usually want a lot of chill time with my husband and/or veg. time (where I am not productive at all for a bit), but once I start vegging, I lose all motivation, so that habit needs to go. Thank you, Crystal, for being a great motivator.

  • Tracy says:

    It is only a week late but I committed myself today that I am marching right along behind you. My new bed time is 10pm, which is better than my 11-12 o’clock finally drag my body to drop into bed. My goal is to work my bed time back to 9pm and start earlier, but I am by no means a morning person.

    I need a little structure to my day, not my norm, for not only for myself but for my children.

  • Ms. Edith says:

    Since it’s just me and my daughter, we sat down together and decided that 9pm would be our bedtime. We have to get up by 6:30am on school days, so we are going to stick with that as our daily wake-up time too.

    Here’s our ‘To Do’s” before bedtime:
    -Clean up kitchen
    -10 minute apartment cleanup
    -Have breakfast prepped and ready
    -Lay clothes out for next day
    -Gather items for errands and place by door
    -Read for 15 minutes
    -Bedtime routines

    My daughter likes that she has been included in this ‘Bedtime To Do List’. And since it’s just me and her, I feel that we can both do it together and it will set a good example for her at the same time.

  • Tamara says:

    My wakeup time is 6am so I’m committing to be in the bed by 9pm or 10pm.
    My 5 must do’s are:
    1. Clothes laid out for next day
    2. Kitchen cleaned-bottles washed & ready
    3. Breakfast & lunch meals made
    4. Diaper bag and other items ready to go by the door
    5. Baby’s bath

  • Jennifer P says:

    I’m setting a bedtime of 11pm, so I can be up by 7am.

    My top 5 evening to do’s are
    -15 minute house pick-up
    -kitchen cleaned up
    -to do list made
    -lesson plan ready for the next day of homeschooling with my son 🙂

    • Jennifer P says:

      After reviewing my 5 to do’s, I’m revising them to :

      -15 minute pick up
      -Clean up the kitchen
      -clothes laid out for the next day (for both my son and I)
      -To do list made
      -Review lesson plan for the next day 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    This is so hard for me – as I am a night owl! I will try and go to bed by 10:30 each night. I get up at 6. My 5 night-time must-do’s will be: clean up kitchen, get breakfast planned/or prepared if needed, have kids get all their clothes/school things ready to go, get bathroom cleaned up (we have one bthroom for our family of 6 and it’s also the laundry rm – thus always needing a pick up), and make list of “to-do’s” for the next day. This might be hard for me at first – I have always had trouble sticking to lists and schedules in the home. 🙁

  • Cristiana says:

    As a full time student, full time worker and mother of 4…the earliest I can commit to go to bed is 11 PM. Sticking to it will be a challenge but I think it will be helpful. My five things are to be making lunches, prepping breakfast, setting all of the clothes aside, putting all my stuff for the next day by the door and the 15-minute quick clean up.
    So far this website has transformed me into a much more organized person needless to say its my favorite!

  • i know this thread is a couple years old, but i would love to start this routine. my problem is finding the energy at night to get all these chores done. i know its something that needs to be done so my mornings go smoother, but i really poop out at night.

  • Carletta says:

    This is a great idea. I know to do some of this but have a habit of falling off of sticking to it. I must be more consistent to help myself have a better next day. Great tips!

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