How to Create a Nightly Routine in 4 Easy Steps

How was your weekend? We had a great time at my mom’s birthday brunch. She loves a good breakfast so it felt like the perfect way to celebrate the first phase of her milestone birthday week. I was able to rest on Sunday which was nice because this week is – THE WEEK – and I couldn’t be more ready to celebrate a milestone birthday of my own.

At the birthday brunch we were all sitting around talking about making more time for each other in 2017, being intentional about our goals, healthier eating habits, getting organized and creating routines. I love a routine because I feel like they keep me productive and on track. I’ve had a morning routine for a while now and it sets the tone for my entire day. Most people I know have some sort of morning routine but here’s the kicker…

…it’s my nightly routine that sets the morning routine up for success.

I know some of you with littles are barely getting enough sleep to feel completely functional much less productive. It seems that you don’t have a lot of time to devote to a long morning routine but you’re able to accomplish your goals once you get home from work and after your kids go to bed.

You don’t have to have littles to create a nightly routine, you just have to make your nightly routine a priority and keep it consistent. Here’s a look at how to create a nightly routine in 4 easy steps and set your morning and your day up for success…

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Step 1 – decide how much time you have for a nightly routine. The length will depend on how much you want to accomplish and if you have help.

Step 2 – determine the tasks you need to accomplish each day before you go to bed. These are things that will make you rest easier including a healthy dinner, lay out clothes for the next day, review planner/calendar/agenda for the next day, brush teeth, bath, nightly skincare routines lavender room spray, turn down the bed.

Step 3 – designate time to complete several EASY items on your Daily Cleaning Schedule before you go to sleep that will make you feel ready to tackle the day when you wake up. These include: clean up dinner dishes, load and start the dishwasher, nightly sink scrub, spray down counters, sweep/vacuum floors if needed, take out trash if needed, check or sort mail, 10-minute clutter catcher (explained below), complete a load of laundry-wash, dry, fold, put away if needed, make lunches or breakfast for the following day, prepare morning coffee and set the timer.

PLUS one item on your Weekly Cleaning Schedule depending on how much time you have. Keep in mind some of these items may be completed as part of your morning routine which I’ll share later this week.

Step 4 – devote time to doing something that is just for you like have a cup of warm milk or tea, devotional/quiet time, read, listen to a podcast, nightly yoga or stretching exercise, meditation app, gratitude journal.

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Here’s a look at my nightly routine:

  • Check/Sort Mail (this includes filing and putting away especially if you’re a “paper stacker” sort of person because it piles up quickly)
  • Make dinner

Make lunch or breakfast for the following day (we usually take leftovers for lunch the next day or find a way to repurpose what we have left. For example, say we have black bean tacos and there aren’t enough black beans for a full taco lunch but there are still black beans left. We add the black beans to a salad with lots of veggies and take it for lunch OR put the black beans in a breakfast burrito the next morning. That way we’re not wasting food AND the refrigerator always stays organized.

  • Clear away dinner dishes
  • Load and start dishwasher
  • Make the coffee and set timer
  • Spray down kitchen counters
  • Nightly sink scrub (I’ll show you how to make this tomorrow)
  • Sweep/Vacuum floors (kitchen and dining room especially so crummies aren’t left on the floor overnight)
  • Take out trash (when needed)
  • 10-minute clutter catcher (set the timer for 10 minutes then pick up and put away any clutter that has accumulated throughout the day. This could be anything from toys to crafts to paperwork that needs to be filed, sorted and put away)
  • Charge electronic devices
  • Lay out clothes & shoes for the next day INCLUDING your workout clothes and shoes
  • Review schedule for the next day AND review menu too
  • Prepare your bedroom (turn down the bed, lavender linen spray, set out pjs)
  • Bath (while I’m in the bath I’ll usually listen to a podcast, read a magazine, catch up on a book, or listen to a devotion)
  • Nightly skincare routine and brush teeth
  • Write in my gratitude journal/planner
  • Off to sleepy town!

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Ok, so you may be looking through the nightly routine and notice TV did not make the list. While there are a few shows we really like (hello, Fixer Upper) we usually catch up on any TV shows we missed during the week on the weekends if we have time. Speaking of which, have you guys seen The Crown on Netflix yet! SO good! You have to do what’s best for your family so decide if you want TV to be a priority for your family or not #nojudgementsatall.

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I know sometimes after you come home from a long day the last thing you probably want to do is look at a list of things you feel like you have to accomplish. If you feel this way, give yourself some grace and rest. That being said, being tidy and organized does take effort. It takes consistent effort. It takes pushing through the thoughts of, “I’m too tired…too busy… too overwhelmed” to get things done.

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Think of it this way, if the last thing you want to do is look at a list of things you have to accomplish before you go to sleep, imagine waking up and starting your day with a cluttered and disorganized mess because you procrastinated in cleaning it all up. You get what I’m saying?

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I don’t know about you but waking up to a chaotic mess would stress me out, which would stress my morning out and then stress my day out. I’m just being honest with you.

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I know this is going to be our best year yet, I’m totally serious. I truly believe we are going to reach our goals and set the world on fire in 2017. Set your morning up for success by creating a simple nightly routine, it’s a gift you can give yourself today.

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See you guys back here tomorrow. I’ll share a nightly sink scrub that will leave your sink sparkling clean and your kitchen smelling fabulous. Until then, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,



  1. says

    Great motivation for me to stick to a nightly routine. It’s easy to get lazy after working all day. Waking up to an organized home and day is so helpful. Hugs sweet friend!!

    • says

      I completely understand, Angie, you are so right! There are some nights, I just want to go to sleep but I’m always glad when I push through even if it’s just for 20 more minutes. It makes such a difference. Love and hugs, CoCo

    • says

      You guys work two completely different schedules so if anyone could understand the importance of a nightly routine, it’s you two. So excited to hear you’re getting organized and ready for 2017. It’s going to be amazing. Sending you lots of love and big hugs, CoCo

  2. sarah says

    This is definitely a gift I could give myself and my family too, CoCo. Thank you very much for these posts lately. I feel like you’re speaking right to me.

    • says

      I completely understand, Bonnie. Just remember it’s not about changing everything, it’s about making small changes at night that will have the biggest impact on your morning. Hugs, CoCo