How to make a morning routine and creating new habits and, in my opinion, one of the big secrets to a clutter-free life
When it comes to decluttering and organizing, removing the excess is not the only way to fix the problem. You also need to change the way you look at your things.
Teaching yourself to see the items in your home in a different way is the key to finally making the change.
But it is so much more than that.
You will need to establish new routines and habits as you evolve into a clutter-free homeowner.
It sounds like a pretty big commitment but it actually isn’t.
You simply need to start small and work your way up to a brand new minute by minute way of doing things. Intentional steps that will keep you focused and your mind clear.
We call these steps routines and habits and I believe they are the secret behind turning a cluttered home into an organized and tidy home.
Why is learning how to make a morning routine so important?
When you start your day out with a specific list of steps, you are setting yourself up to have a calm and intentional morning. And when you start out with a calm morning, taking that calmness with you throughout the rest of the day is much more likely.
You wake up tangled in covers to a blaring alarm. You stumble around with your hand until you find the off button as you drag yourself out of bed and immediately step bare-footed on a lego. (If you are a parent of boys I do not need to tell you how painful this is) You stumble into the kitchen and are met with a dirty coffee pot and a sink full of dirty dishes. You spend the next 20 minutes cleaning the coffee maker and filling the dishwasher. You work your way to the family room only to be treated by chaos and mess everywhere.
And just like that, your day’s mood is set. (Well, maybe it was set when you did the one-hop-lego-dance.)
Now, picture this.
What if instead, you woke up to a soft soothing alarm? As you get out of bed you find your slippers on the floor waiting for you and your bathrobe at the foot of the bed. You make your way into the kitchen only to be greeted by the fresh aroma of coffee that you prepped the night before. You grab a cup in your favorite mug and head into the family room. Since you did a room reset the night before, it is neat and tidy and inviting. You spend the next 15 minutes watching the sunrise in your comfy chair planning your day ahead.
What is the difference between these two scenarios other than one is enough to make you want to climb back into bed and forget the day altogether?
A morning (and evening) routine.
And bonus, when your day begins in such a calm way, it motivates you to keep that feeling going throughout your day. Encouraging you to put your things away as the day goes along rather than just tossing them as you go to deal with later.
And that right there is the power of a morning routine. The first step to a clutter-free day. Every day.
When you add in the magic of habits then you are really on your way.
So, what exactly are habits?
Habits are simply small, yet positive, decisions that we make throughout our day. Decisions that have a domino effect on how our day and our mood and our homes are kept.
Good habits = good mood and a good day and a neater home.
And sure, maybe the thought of changing your habits seems like an insignificant thing, but it’s those small changes that, if done correctly, can give you pretty big results.
Huge life-changing results that will affect your home and your entire family.
Think of it this way. Each new habit is a decision that you will make every single time you are exposed to a clutter forming situation.
When you set up and instill good habits you take away the guesswork and you are able to move forward instead of getting stuck and giving up.
Habits such as setting up zones for your kitchen, for example, or having a laundry routine the entire family can follow, will help to keep these areas streamlined without you having to do another purge.
And anyone that has done a full home clutter-purge understands just how important it is to never have to do one of those babies again.
So, now that we have covered the why, let’s dive into the how.
How to Make a Morning Routine:
- First, download your Morning Routine Worksheets. This will really help you to do this much easier so you are better able to set up a routine that is easy to stick to.
- Using the routine worksheet, make a list of all the things you hope to accomplish before you dive into your day. Be sure to include self-care such as praying, exercising, or meditation. You want your routine to be something you look forward to so you stick with it for the long haul.
- You will also want to include home care items, family, even pet care. The most important thing to remember here is to be thorough. The goal of this sheet is to help you do your mornings on a pleasant sort of auto-pilot. Just following along as you mold your perfect morning.
- Next, take the morning routine sheet and working your way backward, fill in all the items listed in step #2. By listing things out backward you will create a real-time path you can use and just follow along.
- Read over your list to be sure you haven’t left out anything important. If so, simply add those items in.
- Follow the same steps to set up your evening to better ensure you get a full and restful night’s sleep.
Normally, I tell you to not overthink things but in this case, you want to really map out each step no matter how small, especially if this is your first time.
To make a morning routine, include things like:
- Brush my teeth
- Turn on the family room light
- Sit down and read for 15 minutes
- Have a glass of juice
Sure, these items might seem silly now, but when you are first waking up having them might just be a game-changer. Just imagine. No thinking needed when you first wake up. What you need to do is all right there listed step by step and all you need to do is follow along.
Okay, so sure this just might help me get off to a good start but what does this have to do with a clutter-free and organized home?
Let me now introduce you to the power of habits. Juicy little nuggets that will do that very thing. Keep your home neat and tidy and, oh yes, clutter-free. Habits are something I believe so strongly in, I have studied the science behind them for years.
It’s not the habit itself that is powerful, it’s the SIZE of the habit. Science shows that making the action easy to do increases the likelihood that it becomes a habit.
And for our habits, we are going to think of things just a bit differently than we did with our routines. Because your morning routine is simply a list of habits. Habits for your personal care, family care, and your home care.
And when we talk about home care, habits are simply decisions made ahead of time for situations you are sure to encounter. Clutter decisions that until now may just have made, well if we are being honest here, a hot mess of things.
Each day you move along following habits you have developed over time. Clutter causing habits that have buried your kitchen counters and hidden your family room chair.
By presetting brand new habits, we will keep the clutter from ever coming back again.
But, rather than teach you a step by step on how to form good habits we are going to approach this just a bit differently.
Let’s first look at the biggest roadblock when it comes to habits.
Lack of motivation.
So if we can instead overcome that motivational roadblock then it only stands to reason that successful habits will follow.
It has been said that motivation is like a muscle and if you work that muscle and strengthen it, you will not only check off the habit success box you will open yourself up for some pretty incredible change.
To strengthen your motivation it is important to start with small and simple habits and work your way up.
How to Strengthen Your Morning Routine with Positive Habits
- Make a list of 5 new habits you would like to work on. Be sure to choose habits that will allow you to wake up to a calmer bedroom, or kitchen, or family room. (Or even all three) Use the habits worksheet to see just what habits you want to focus on first.
- Write these habits down and keep them with your morning and evening routine sheets. This will be your visual reminder to remember these. Keep them tucked in the back of your mind, let’s say, so you are somewhat aware of them throughout your day.
- A few examples are:
- Make the coffee before heading to bed.
- Be sure the sink is free of dishes.
- Do a room reset in the family room.
- Set out slippers next to my bed.
- Make my bed as soon as I am out of it.
Simple, yes, critical to keeping a calm and stress-free (and clutter-free) home. Absolutely.
Each week revisit your routines and list of habits. Do a mental check to see how you are doing and how your routines are working. Make any adjustments you feel are needed to keep the flow a calm and nourishing one.
As you instill new habits and you feel you are ready to move on and add in a few more you can up the game a bit. Add in clutter specific habits to keep hot spots in your home from taking over.
Some clutter-free habit ideas are:
- Keep all incoming paper in the office and go through it every day after dinner.
- Do a load of laundry every day to stay caught up.
- Wipe down the shower after each use.
- Teach the kids to pick up their toys before heading to bed.
- Teach your spouse to take his dishes to the sink before heading to bed. (Okay, this might be a tall order to fill.)
The thing to remember is, the more habits you can form for not only yourself but for your entire family, the easier it will be to keep your home from getting overrun with things.
The next thing to remember is, if you have a morning routine to follow that starts your day out right and an evening routine to help you close out the day on a positive note, your mood and your health will naturally improve as well.
If you want to be healthy, you need a good night’s rest, ensure you get that with an evening routine.
If you want to be happy, then you need to wake up on the very best foot each day, ensure you do that with a morning routine.
If you want to keep your home clutter-free and organized, ensure you create habits that will get you to that goal in small and simple steps.
As you go along on your decluttering journey you will begin to see things in a completely different light. Habits and routines will most definitely help you to do that. Put away what you have, remove what you do not need or have room for, and keep working at this every day until you have a home that is for your family and the memories you share.
And yes, this can all be done by simply learning out to make a morning routine.