In this post, I share my evening homemaking routine. These are the seven tasks that I do every evening to reset my home and prepare it for the next day.
Evening Chore #1: Wash a Load of Laundry
The first homemaking task that I do every evening is put in a load of laundry. This task gets performed first because it takes the longest. Here are my favourite tips for a streamlined laundry routine:
- Do at least one load of laundry every day. This is the easiest way to stay on top of the laundry.
- Don’t overload the washing machine. Stay within the recommended weight limit for each load of laundry. This allows the washing machine to work effectively and extends the life of the appliance.
- Check each item before putting it into the washing machine. Treat stained items before putting them in the washing machine, and check that all pockets are empty.
- Choose your laundry time wisely. Choose a laundry time that complements your preferred drying technique. I do my laundry at night because I air-dry it overnight.
Protect your laundry by placing items in mesh bags. This tip is especially helpful if, like me, you tend to do a mixed laundry load. Mesh bags keep items separate in the washing machine, which protects them from getting entwined, snagged, or stretched. Mesh bags are also helpful for keeping like items—like a pair of socks—together.
Evening Chore #2: Prepare Supper
The second homemaking task that I do every evening is prepare supper. In my home, dinner is served early in the evening, and supper is served a couple of hours afterwards.
For supper, I usually serve a small platter of fruit. If we are feeling hungry, I also serve a light snack, such as a slice of bread, a small bun, or a handful of nuts.
Make even the smallest meal an expression of love. Although supper is a simple meal, I try my best to make it pretty. I strongly believe that presentation affects the flavour of any meal. Even a run-of-the-mill apple tastes better when presented as elegant, wafer-thin slices fanned across a plate.
Evening Chore #3: Reset the Kitchen
The third homemaking task that I do every evening is reset the kitchen. Here is my routine for resetting the kitchen after supper:
- Wash dishes. I start by washing the dishes that we used for supper. Since supper is a light meal, this is usually a fast process.
- Scrub the sink. After washing the dishes, I empty the sink strainer into the rubbish bin. Then I use a soft sponge to scrub the sink and the sink strainer. This leaves the sink clean, shiny, and ready for the next day.
- Clean stove and benchtop. Next, I give the stove, splashback and benchtop a final clean. While I do this, I also return any stray ingredients to their proper homes.
- Dry kitchen surfaces. After that, it’s time to make sure that my kitchen is as dry as possible. I use a squeegee to dry the flat surfaces and a soft, absorbent cloth for any remaining nooks and crannies. Removing moisture is the key to preventing mould in the kitchen.
- Hang up kitchen towels. After a day of use, my kitchen towels are damp. I hang them up to dry overnight, so that they can be transferred to the laundry basket on the following morning. I installed a rail in my kitchen, next to the sink, for this purpose.
- Take out the rubbish. After emptying the rubbish bin, I wipe it to make it clean and shiny before inserting a new rubbish bag.
Evening Chore #4: Stock the Fridge
The fourth homemaking task that I do every evening is stock the fridge. The purpose of this task is to make sure that I have everything I need for the next day’s meals. Here’s my simple system for stocking my fridge:
- Check the meal plan. First, I look at the meals I have planned for the next couple of days. (For help with meal planning, you can read my article on meal planning for beginners.)
- Check the fridge. Next, I look inside my fridge to see which ingredients I already have.
- Defrost food. Finally, I move any ingredients that I need from the freezer to the fridge, where they can defrost.
To make it easier to locate items in your freezer, label your food. Frozen food can be difficult to identify, and you can solve this problem by labelling each item with its name and the date on which it was frozen.
Evening Chore #5: Hang Up the Laundry
The fifth homemaking task that I do every evening is hang up the laundry. By this time, the wash cycle is finished and my laundry is ready to be hung up.
I air-dry my laundry on a clothes horse overnight. It’s easy and can be done year-round. For more information, you can read my article on how to air-dry clothes indoors.
Evening Chore #6: Return Stray Items
The sixth homemaking task that I do every evening is return stray items. During this portion of my evening, I walk around my home and return out of place items to their homes.
This step is the most satisfying part of my evening homemaking. An untidy space has a tendency to fog my mind, and as I restore my home to a state of tidiness, the fog dissipates.
Evening Chore #7: Dry the Bathroom
The last homemaking task that I do every evening is dry the bathroom. In particular, I dry the area around the bathroom sink. This keeps it clean and dry, which inhibits the growth of mould. Here is my two-step method for drying my bathroom:
- Swipe with a squeegee. First, I use a squeegee to swipe water from the counter into the sink.
- Finish with a microfibre cloth. Then, I use a dry microfibre cloth to remove any last traces of water.
Polish your bathroom tap. Each time you dry your bathroom, use the same microfibre cloth to polish your bathroom tap, too. Microfibre cloths are excellent for removing smudges and restoring shine.
The Homemaker’s Sonata
In my post about my morning routine, I likened a homemaker’s morning routine to the prelude of a piece of music. Following on this theme, it follows that a homemaker’s evening routine is the finale, or coda, of that same piece of music.
Just as a prelude acts like an introduction, a coda acts as a conclusion. The coda signals the close of another day of homemaking, and it prepares us to start anew on the morrow.
Homemaking is a lifelong work filled with repeating tasks. This cyclical nature of homemaking can lull us into the belief that our work is monotonous and meaningless. But when we align our homemaking to the framework of a sonata, we can learn to view each day of homemaking as a glorious piece of music. What will your next sonata sound like?