Night Time Routine – Getting Ready For The Next Day

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A couple of the most common requests from the Planning With Kids survey were for:

  • More info on the day to day stuff I do that makes our house run smoothly.
  • Insights into other families and how they manage the daily situations.

Over the year I will be sharing with you posts from other mums and how they manage with particular parts of the day. They will be from a combination of bloggers and non bloggers. Being the planner I am, I have already asked some lovely mums for posts that I will publish in October!

For each part of the day I will either post about what we do in our house, or if I have already written about it, I will link back to the relevant post. It is part of the “What Other Mums Do” series. As the series grows all the posts will be collated with this tag for easy reference.

So today I am very excited to introduce the first one, which is from Claire Hewitt. Claire blogs here and describes herself as “a fabulous mum, marketing guru, and domestic goddess failure. She sometimes waffles on about her love of handwriting. She works in Social Media for a large Melbourne Maternity hospital, where she gets to have her fix of gorgeous babies without having to give birth to them.”

Claire will take you through what she does the night before that helps her get organised for the next day. You can see my previous post on the subject here 10 Things To Do Before You Go To Bed.


I am not late, I don’t miss things, my kids don’t turn up places with teeth and hair unbrushed (usually) but this is something I have always had to work on.

My mornings are my worst time. When considering going back to work after having children, I even included the frantic mornings as a ‘con’ on the list of to go or not to go back to work, was the stress to our household worth it?

But I have now been getting to work, dressed and organised for over five years and there are a few things that I have learnt (the hard way) that are essential to making this happen.

Clothes ready

The night before, while the kids are in the bath, please note that mine are not of the drowning in the bath stage now, do not use this time if you have little ones, always remain in the bathroom with them, but I use the time of getting jarmies out and ready to also be getting clothes for the next day out. We have a mainly unused second lounge which is where the clothes for the next day go. ALL OF THEM, socks, shoes and hairbands included.

I also place the hair brush here, no matter how many I buy, we can never find them when we are running late.

Bags ready

On the floor beside this I have the required crèche or school bag at their feet, with hats and drink bottles and what ever is required, other than food.

I also have my own work bags here, as I work from home and in the office I have to lug around a great deal of stuff. I need to collate it all, bag it up and be ready to go.

Getting me ready

I find getting out of bed difficult. I find going to bed difficult. It doesn’t take a smart person to work this out. Going to bed too late ruins my mornings. I have an 11pm limit now. I find this hard, but I do persist and that is lights out time.

On work days, I shower the night before, simply because my hair takes forever to dry and could take up 15 minutes of precious time in the morning.

Breakfast ready

I also have breakfast slightly organised. Breakfast is not a choice. Miss School gets weetbix and Miss Creche gets porridge with sultanas and honey. They take forever to eat, but I have accepted this is the way things are and this is when I get ready myself.

Lunches ready

As for lunches, well, I am still working that out. So far I have only had to organise two. It went well, I gave a call out for help for new school Mums and was given some helpful tips which I am starting to work with.

My last two things are to make sure I have petrol and/or public transport tickets.

And I put the dishwasher on after dinner and unpack it before I head to bed, this way I don’t always return home to breakfast sitting on the bench too.

You can connect and find out more about Claire at these places:


What are your must dos, the night before?


  1. claire says

    good tips, why didn’t i think of having more than one of those blimmen hidey hair brushes?!
    i have to stay in the room while my kids bath and use (some) of the time to wipe down in there (only some, because i can’t resist those wet noody kids!)

  2. says

    Oh my. This is EXACTLY how I operate. I have always been a little embarrassed at even getting the matching hair bands out at night ready for the morning, but not any more – glad to see I am not alone!

  3. says

    I need to set that 11pm bedtime too and buy myself more than one hairbrush – it is always going missing in the morning rush! It will be set out with the clothes from now on! Thanks for the tips!

    • says

      The brushes are essential, LOTS of them, both bedrooms, both bathrooms, put a spare one under the couch and under the seat in the car…they seem to end up there anyway!

  4. says

    We have always been nighttime showerers but as the boys get older they are wanting to do it in the morning. Which is fine as long as they are up early enough! I am also more of a morning person so I prefer to get up and do the lunches in the morning. I am trying to put a lot more responsibility on the kids to organise their stuff for the next day. Before we go to bed I remind them of what they may need for the next day, what afterschool sports they need to have things organised for and any excursion notices and money etc which seem to be an almost daily occurance! Now that the boys can walk to school on their own I seem to have a lot less stress in the morning as they are always keen to get there early to have a longer play! (fine by me!)

    • says

      My eldest went to wanting to shower in the morning last year, to then changing this year to wanting to do it at night – preferring a few extra minutes sleep!

    • says

      And there is another blog post I need to read in a couple of years – when do they start to walk to school on their own. I have measured it out, we are 900metres from school, with 5 roads to cross, no major ones, at what age/year level do others decide to do this?

  5. susan says

    I have found freezing lunches the night before, a terrific time saver in the morning. Also empty all bins and hang your washing out the night before. We pack school bags the night before saves a lot of dramas in the morning. Before leaving the house in the morning sweep, I clean up kitchen, and lounge, make all beds, so if I have surprise visitors or I am out all day my house is tidy.

  6. says

    Wow Susan, that is great. Sadly, I return home to the breakfast crumbs on both the bench and floor and only my own bed made. Realistically, how long do you allow for the morning ‘get ready’ maybe I am not getting the kids started early enough to make this happen.

  7. says

    Looking for the hairbrush every morning kills me. It’s right up there with the left shoe! I’ve slipped out of a good routine and really need to get sorted again. My biggest difficulty is having the energy to get everything organised at that time. I’m usually destroyed after a day with the CrashKids. We only have one day of daycare and two sessions of Kinder to get ready for – that’s hard enough!
    Great tips Claire :)

  8. Lucy Moore says

    That’s interesting we don’t have the hairbrush problem, maybe because hair brushing is my daughters least favorite, scream inducing activity, so she never touches the hairbrush. My night before musts are dishwasher on, shine the sink – check out, if need more info on this one, daughters clothes out, I can grab my 2 year olds as I dress him, bread maker set, clothes hung on line or clothes horse, check dinner for tomorrow, fill water bottles. I was showering in the evening and it was essential when kids were little, otherwise I’d never get one, but nowadays I can go either way, depending on how I feel.

    Anyone got any ideas to get over the hating hair brushing? My 5 y.o. daughter loves having long hair and doesn’t want it cut but it’s vey straight and needs brushing and styling every day, although no matter how gentle I try to be she screams, hits me, yells and cries. I’ve taken to being a quick as possible and just grinning and bearing it as nothing seems to help…she gets knots,they have to be brushed…

    • claire says

      i know the hairbrush grief, it’s awful, and i always get the sneaking feeling i’m teaching her something about beauty = pain. BUT someone i know siad they have found a magical-not-pully-hurty brush so i will see if i can find out what it is and let you know

  9. susan says

    I must admit, I don’t go to bed unitl 12 to 12.30am each night. In the morning I am up at six, as I am still breastfeeding my youngest. Mine get up around 7am and we are out of the door by 8.30am. I have a bread maker so my bread is fresh, each child has the same breakfast. Plates are rinsed in dishwasher, I sweep and wipe benches pack lunch boxes. Everyone is dressed, one bed is stripped each day, teeth and hair and we are gone. My Grandma taught me the morning routine, and i stick to it as it means the house looks tidy so no one looks any further. When we come home I set the table for dinner than no one questions when dinner is ready.

  10. says

    We do all of these things too-It’s much less stress in the morning!
    We hang washing out the night before-I used to hate the idea of crease lines from such a long time on the line plus early morning birds flying over and pooing on it. But now it’s just one less thing to do in the morning.
    We also meal plan for the month now- so we just look at the menu and get out whatever frozen meat is needed so we dont have to think of anything when we are tired in the evening.
    It’s the little things that add up to a happier/less-stress home!

  11. says

    Sounds like my dream plan. I rarely execute it though.

    Once the kids are in bed I want to clock off. I know I shouldn’t, but I just can’t motivate myself.

    I am starting with the clothes though. That is the biggest nightmare in the morning at our place. One step at a time?

    I am a night owl too. Doesn’t help does it?

  12. says

    I am so totally endorsing the hairbrush thing. I have 6 of the beggars and sometimes the only one that can be found is the one that’s in my handbag :-)

    I make lunches in the morning – it seems to work OK for our family to do it then. The night before – clean kitchen (cannot stand waking up to a filthy kitchen), make sure schoolkids have uniforms out INCLUDING SOCKS, check schoolbags for any notices they neglected to give me, do a load of washing and hang it out if I have the energy. I am also a nighttime showerer.

    I am not really a night owl naturally – more of a lark – so going to bed is usually not a problem unless (like now!) I am super busy. (Here I am at 10:50 commenting on a blog because I am waiting for a last batch of muffins to come out the oven! Party prep is fun but exhausting).

  13. says

    So many good ideas, thanks everybody.

    Our night-time essentials are:
    – hubby’s lunch made & in the fridge (& mine & toddler’s if we’re heading out early)
    – nice clean & tidy kitchen
    – porridge mixed & ready for microwaving
    – washing on
    – quick tidy round the house so we don’t wake up to a disaster zone – this is actually in 2 stages: a ‘toy hunt’ before bath time & an adult clean-up later

    I’d like to get back in the habit of getting my own clothes out (or at least thinking about them) the night before. Decisions take time.

  14. says

    This sounds very similar to the way things work here also. As far as lunches go, I pack all the snacks and put them in the fridge with the water bottles, and then only have to make the sandwiches the next day.

  15. says

    Our kids have their morning and afternoon routine charts. It’s great. I just keep sending them back to their charts if I find them wondering aimlessly around the house. They also take it in turns to make each others lunches so they’re not doing it every night themselves. As for me, I wake up each morning looking like Medusa so a morning shower is a must for me.