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A nighttime cleaning routine designed to help you keep your house remarkably clean yet still give you plenty of time for some well-deserved beauty sleep!
You come back to a messy home after work feeling drained, stressed and overwhelmed. With a long list of to-dos, children tugging at you, a messy house and zero energy, you get the feeling that this whole week will be a bust. And it’s only Monday.
So how do you get out of this cycle of misery? A smart nighttime cleaning routine!
Whether you work a full-time job, are a stay at home mom or even work from home, you know better than anyone that nighttime is the bonafide best time to get anything done.
Wait a second, let me walk that back.
I think all moms know that nighttime is the ONLY time to get anything done! Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard your house let out a sigh of relief when you finally put your kids to bed! lol
But like you, I want to do more than just clean my house clean at night.
I know you want to work out, get lost on Pinterest, binge-watch See on Apple+ TV, or just sit down without feeling guilty about it. That’s why I’m so excited to share the framework of my nighttime cleaning routine with you!
It’s the other half on my daily cleaning routine. Yep, there’s a quick morning cleaning routine to go along with this if you really want to keep your house under control!
So how do I know this night cleaning schedule will work for you? Because no matter how crazy your life gets, this cleaning routines makes sure you’re doing the most impactful cleaning tasks at the right time.
That means that even if you can’t get everything done, as long as you do the most important tasks, you will still reap the rewards of a clean house without sacrificing your entire life – or weekends!
YOU MAY WANT TO READ // The Super Simple Morning Cleaning Routine For Moms if you’d love an easy to follow plan that will help even the busiest mom keep a house spic and span! It’s the other half of this daily cleaning routine you’ll find here.
The close of each day is just as important as the start. If not more!
By following evening & night time cleaning routines or just routines in general, you can prep for the next morning, create a clean home that really feels like your sanctuary and have a much better chance of getting things done throughout the day that are important to you.
In her book, The Chaos Cure, Marla Cilley says //
Waking up to a messy home isn't the most motivating way to start your day. Without regular sessions cleaning up and putting things away, you'll find your place quickly in disarray.
Thankfully, spending just a few minutes a night tidying up will help reduce stress in the mornings and help you avoid marathon cleaning sessions on the weekends. If there's only one thing you can do every evening, clean and shine your sink. Like making your bed in the morning, this one task will give you a sense of accomplishment.
YOU MAY ALSO WANT TO READ // The Ultimate Fail-Proof Cleaning Schedule For Working Moms. Why? Because if you follow it right, your house will stay clean most of the time - even if you don’t have time to clean! Use the schedule along with this routine to create a home that always stays clean with minimal effort!
Task 1 // 6pm | Drink 8oz of water to rehydrate | 20 seconds
Note // Because I am also trying to drink more water, I use that as a trigger event to jump-start my pre-nighttime cleaning tasks.
Task 2 // Put the clothes into the dryer | 2-3 minutes
Note // I put the clothes into the washing machine in the morning, so I'm putting them in the dryer now. Once this is done, I do all sorts of things from chasing my kids to chatting with my husband.
Task 3 // Clean the kitchen while cooking dinner | 30 minutes
Note // I don't have a hard time for dinner but it's typically between 6 and 7pm. No matter what, while I'm in the kitchen cooking, I'm cleaning it so that once dinner is done, so is the kitchen - for the most part.
Task 4 // 9pm | Fold the clothes & put them away | 15 minutes
Note // At this point, my kids are bathed and in the bed. The house is quiet and I can really start cleaning without interruption. I always start with the laundry - so I can finally sit down for a sec!
Task 5 // Run the dishwasher | 3 seconds
Note // I have to add this task specifically to my routine because it is super important to do and I forget to do it all the time!
Task 6 // Pick One | choose a weekly or spring cleaning task | clean bathrooms, catch up on a missed chore, etc.
Note // You can do something different every day of the week. There's no right or wrong chore you can do. Use a master checklist so you can keep up with what needs to be cleaned. Set a timer for 20-40 minutes.
Task 7 // Scrub your to-do list
Note // The power of knowing what's ahead & planning for it is huge - all you need is 5 minutes!
Task 8 // Stage items for tomorrow
Note // Find your keys, purse, bookbags, diaper bag, papers and anything else you're gonna need in the morning. You'll start your day off feeling like a rock star!
Task 9 // 10:15-10:30pm | Go to bed
Note // Bedtimes aren't just good for kids. Get rid of those bags under your eyes and get some sleep. You'll thank yourself when you look in the morning!
Keep your routine simple! I only have three hard times in my evening routine // 6pm + 9pm + 10:30pm. There are a few things I need to do at 6pm so that once my kids go to bed, I can easily jump into my full cleaning routine at 9pm. From there, I have from 9 until my bedtime to clean & prep for the next day.
Note 1 | This nighttime cleaning routine is meant to work with a morning cleaning routine.
You’ll notice that some of the tasks on here are half the task. That's because my daily cleaning routine has two parts: a morning and nightly routine. Like the laundry for instance - I start the load in the morning and finish it at night. But seriously, do whatever works for you! Tailor it to fit your life.
Note 2 | You need to build out a full evening routine - which is easy!
Add times and other specific activities that you need to complete each evening. For instance, if you go to the gym in the evenings, you’ll need to write that in.
But with that being said, every task doesn't need a hard time. Just the important ones that will help keep you on track throughout the evening.
THE PERFECT TOTAL HOUSE CLEANING CHECKLIST // You should check out my Room-By-Room House Cleaning Schedule For Year Long Clean Vibes! Realistic weekly cleaning, deep cleaning & spring cleaning checklists make it easy to keep your house clean. Just pick tasks from the checklist to plug into your daily cleaning routine!
Tip 1 // You Must Learn The Art Of Cleaning As You Go!
That will eliminate having to add things to your to-do list. The most impactful place to practice this is in the kitchen. You’re already in the kitchen cooking so while pots are on the stove, wipe down the cabinets, counters and appliances. Put food into tupperware once it's finished cooking and wash the pots right then. You can have the kitchen almost completely clean before you even sit down to eat!
Tip 2 // Your Family Should Either Be Helping Or Out Of Your Way.
This is important because to be honest, it’s really hard to clean with people in the way - and impossible with young kids!. So even if they aren’t sleepy, they just need to be out of your way. This will allow you to get the items on your to-do list done quickly and without interruption. What a luxury!
And if you have older kids or people in the house, everyone can join forces for just 10-15 minutes to knock out designated tasks! Everyone is busy so don't let anyone off the hook because of that excuse. It's just 10 minutes.
Tip 3 // If You Can Only Clean One Thing Every Night...
This one was tough for me but I’m actually going to second Flylady’s opinion that the kitchen or more specifically, the kitchen sink should be the one thing you clean if you can’t clean anything else.
You can read more about it in her book Sink Reflections if you’re interested.
Personally, I believe this is a great idea for one reason. In order to complete the task of cleaning the sink, you have to do something else first - clean the dishes or at least load them up in the dishwasher.
But on another note, the most important thing to do is run the dishwasher every night!
YOU SHOULD READ // How To Clean Your House Super Fast if it takes you all day and night to get your house cleaned! You’ll learn the strategies and techniques you need to get the job done faster!
Bonus Tip 1 // What About Tidying Up?
Tidying up is crucial! Just 5 minutes of picking up the house can make a huge difference. The only reason I don't have it on my routine is because when I start my main cleaning task at 9pm, decluttering or tidying up is always the first part of it.
Bonus Tip 2 // The True Key To Keeping Your House Clean Is Time Management!
Use a physical planner, binder or posted signs to keep up with your routines. Make sure you keep them out in the open so that they are always visible. And I mean always! You don’t have to be all cute and conventional about things either. Personally, I LOVE sticky notes on everything.
I also set reminders on my phone to help me stay on track. I most definitely went through a phase where I kept forgetting to turn the dishwasher on in the evening and had to set a reminder for it…there’s no shame in that!
Bonus Tip 3 // Things Will Be A Little Weird At First
Your routine will feel unnatural for a while. You’ll probably take longer to do things than you want and may feel like your routine just isn’t working. This is totally normal and lets you know you’re on the right track.
But once you learn the routine, you’ll be moving on autopilot. Try to stick with your routine for at least 1-2 months to give it a chance to really sink in.
Of course, you should make tweaks as needed to make your routine fit with your life and goals. Your life will constantly be changing so be flexible and flow with the changes.
You may also want to read this super interesting book called Habit Stacking to really dig deeper into how to effortlessly form new habits like a habit-forming-goddess! It truly helped me get a handle on my new mom duties and life.
And of course, if you found this content useful, I'd love it if you share this by pinning it on Pinterest or your favorite social media spot. It's kind of like giving me a virtural high-five! You're the best, XO -- Victoria!