Washing dishes at night

The Nighttime Cleaning Routine: How To Do A Daily Home Reset

I know. I know. A nighttime cleaning routine sounds like too much work, but hear me out.

Nighttime is for putting up your feet and forgetting about the state of the house, right? I used to think so too… until I got in the habit of a daily reset in the evenings. And now I’ll never go back!

A daily home reset is truly the key to creating a peaceful home.

And the great news? It’s actually not all that much work. I’m not asking you to do any deep cleaning here. This nighttime cleaning routine is simple and achievable, even for us tired mums at the end of a long day.

I don’t enjoy cleaning. I never have been someone who cleans for fun, or because I’m angry about something, or because I need an outlet while I process my thoughts. Nope. I have often wished to be more inclined this way, but it seems it’s just not God’s plan for me to fall in love with cleaning.

However, for some reason, I really look forward to my nighttime cleaning routine.

There’s something peaceful about working through my home, room by room, and getting it all settled for the night. It’s almost as though little pieces of myself are sliding back into place.

And I’ll be honest – there’s something even more peaceful about waking up in a home that’s been resting quietly overnight. Think about it – would you rather walk out to the living room first thing in the morning to yesterday’s mess of toys and chaos, or to a clean slate? We all know the answer to that question.

Woman loading washing machine at nighttime

What are the benefits of resetting your home at night?

  • You feel good. Obviously.
  • Your family feels good – whether or not they’re conscious of it, your kids are less distracted and happier when they come out in the morning to a tidy, put-together home.
  • It teaches your kids to value tidiness and cleanliness. Yep, when they’re old enough, they’ll start to realize the difference it truly makes.
  • It helps prevent your home from getting too out-of-control because it’s being tended to daily.
  • It creates space for you to get those bigger chores done in the morning. Think about it – if the toys are already picked up and the floors are already swept, how quick and easy will it be to pull out the vacuum after breakfast and get that ticked off your list?
  • It helps you wind down for bedtime by giving you a simple, screen-free task to focus on.

Starting to feel convinced that nighttime chores are the way to go?

Though it might be hard to psyche yourself up to get it done at first, it can and will become a habit. And the more often you’re doing it (obviously every single night is ideal!), the less time it’s going to take you to execute it.

Little tips that will help you develop the nightly home reset habit:

1. Get started as soon as the kids are in bed.

Don’t sit down for a quick breather or you’ll lose your momentum. Trust me – get straight into it. If I’m tempted to plop down on the couch to watch an episode or scroll through Facebook, I’m kind of done for the night. It’s extremely hard to rally out of that relaxed state in order to do chores.

2. Set the mood.

Put on a gentle, moody playlist and if you can, switch off or dim some of the main lights and turn on the lamps instead. While more heavy-handed cleaning jobs tend to be more bearable in bright daylight and with an upbeat playlist, a moodier tone for your evening chores will help achieve that sense of peace in the home.

3. Start with something small and achievable

I rarely begin my evening home reset by tackling the overwhelming amount of scattered toys throughout the whole house. I need a small taste of victory before I’m feeling pepped up enough for that! So I wash the dinner dishes. Or I clean the stovetop. Or I simply load the washing machine, ready for the next day. These small wins get me in the right mindset to step up to the bigger jobs.

Woman cleaning kitchen bench at night

4. Plan a small reward to look forward to.

A cup of yummy herbal tea, a few chapters of a book, half an hour of knitting. These might be things you would be incorporating into your evening anyway – now you’re just making them extra special by “working for them”.

5. Involve your husband (if you want to).

I usually prefer to do the routine by myself while Chris plays video games or studies – not because I believe he deserves the break and I don’t, but because I just enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get from completing my nighttime chores alone. But some nights I’ll happily rope him into washing the dishes, putting away laundry, and tidying the toys with me, and it’s actually a weirdly nice way to connect with him at the end of a long day – we chat, we laugh, and we bond over our shared bamboozlement over how impressively our kids can mess the place up in one day.

A daily home reset is ultimately about making things easier for you the next day.

Evening chores are not a punishment, so try not to view them that way! Developing this habit is actually a wonderful way for mums to self-care and honour themselves.

Smiling woman completing her nighttime cleaning routine

If you’re ready to have a more peaceful home, here are some chores to being incorporating into your nighttime cleaning routine:

  • Load the washing machine ready for the next day
  • Fold and put away the day’s laundry
  • Clean the kitchen
    • Wash the dishes
    • Wipe down the sink area, cupboard doors and bench
    • Clean the stovetop
  • “Pick up” in each room:
    • throw away rubbish
    • collect dirty clothes (we all have random stinky socks and sweaters that have been shed throughout the course of the day, right?)
    • remove out of place items (collect in baskets for each room to make it easy to redistribute)
  • Move furniture back in place, close drawers and cupboards, flatten rugs
  • Sweep the floors
  • Take out the garbage
  • Wipe down the bathroom counters
  • Water house plants (if they’re thirsty!)
  • Top up the ice tray, fill and refrigerate water bottles
  • Throw out leftovers from the fridge that have gotten too old
  • Take meat from the freezer and begin defrosting in the fridge for tomorrow’s dinner
  • Prepare essential oil diffusers with water and oils ready for the morning
  • Lay out breakfast items on the bench (non-perishable foods, cooking utensils, plates and cups)
Nighttime dish washing is an essential part of an evening cleaning routine.

I know it looks like a lot, but try to remember that:

a) Most of the tasks above take only a minute or two,

b) Leaving these tasks for the morning will start your day off on the back foot and can leave you feeling disorganised and overwhelmed before the day has even begun.

c) You personally may find that some of the tasks already fit really nicely into different parts of your day, and if you’re perfectly happy with them being there, there’s no reason to move them into the evening!

The goal here is simply to create a peaceful home.

So if that goal resonates with you, give the nighttime house reset a go and see if it works for you.

(I’m pretty sure it will!)

Do you already have a nightly cleaning routine?

If so, I would love to know what you do for your home in the evenings – let me know in the comments below! Or if you’re going to give my routine a try, take the first step by commenting “I’m in!”

Be sure to check out my list of super helpful daily habits for busy mums who have a lot to juggle in their day-to-day.

If you’re looking for more inspiration for your home, be sure to follow my Pinterest board Homemaking For Moms. I’m constantly pinning ideas there!

Plus, be sure to follow me on Facebook for all kinds of daily tips for moms (and the occasional hilarious-to-me meme). Hope to see you there!

Gloved hands washing dishes in the evening
Woman washing clothes at night

The Nighttime Cleaning Routine: How To Do A Daily Home Reset

32 thoughts on “The Nighttime Cleaning Routine: How To Do A Daily Home Reset”

  1. Love this! I’ve recently started an evening clean up routine and it’s improved my life so much! Mine is simpler though
    Feed all animals, empty cat box, clean kitchen, load and start dishwasher, pick up toys, vacuum and damp mop whole downstairs. Then sit down and actually RELAX, it’s lovely. I don’t do laundry every day bc I find laundry soul crushing and prefer to do a laundry day once a week and know I have 6 days of not doing laundry.

    1. “I find laundry soul crushing” OH MY GOODNESS. Wish I could plant a laughing emoji here in response to this! Totally feel you, and if that system is what works for you, that’s freaking fantastic. Honestly 6 days of no laundry sounds like a dream! I think my family would run out of undies by that point, but maybe we just need more undies…

      1. undies are relatively cheap so having a minimum of 12 pairs each and at least 8 tops means you won’t run out

    1. I ready the coffee pot, clean the stove and wash, dry and save supper dishes. Even when my children were small they knew-once the kitchen is done(closed), nothing is available except water(and wash, dry& save glass). If I wake up to a kitchen in disarray I am not in a good mood all day. I am 58 years old and I have been that way for ever it seems. Also, I am making my bed and straightening up my room every morning, just makes my day go better. As a nurse working 12 hr shifts several days a week, these processes assisted me in coping after work. I also gave my children chores(do homework & pickup you stuff) before I get home. Bad days get worse if you come home to a mess. So thank you for spreading this to everyone!!! Happy momma makes a happier life for everyone!

  2. Its always nice to clear up the house for a fresh feel mornings!
    I have been doing most of this, but, there are some things I have never thought of doing-like clearing the fridge.
    Thanks so much for this💙

  3. Thank you Klara!
    I’m feeling better already, I am definitely going to start doing this and I know that it will make a huge difference to restore peace in my home, which has been struggling of late.
    Blessings from South Africa

  4. Just bought a house and my family isn’t very amazingly clean and also being homeless for almost 2 years and not having much furniture sucks. We have 2 toddlers and a 4 month old so getting to clean is semi-hard but I’ve been cleaning at night an it has always been my happy time. I love when everyone is asleep and I can just clean to my hearts content. I do tend to stay up too late like tonight but it makes me happy that my home is getting cleaner little by little. I love your added tips though and will try to incorporate some of them.

  5. I’m in I’m a night cleaner too, I get chores done much easier and faster if the family is not underfoot and I get to wake up to a clean house, will take your suggestions Thx Andrea

  6. I started doing a night time cleaning routine, with fidelity, when COVID-19 quarantine began. Let me tell you, it makes me so happy. Sometimes I start immediately after dinner by washing up all the dishes and cleaning off the stove top, microwave, fridge handles and dinner table. I do a light sweep under the table and in the kitchen. This literally only takes 15-20 minutes. While I’m doing this I have my scented candles burning to fill the apartment with a fresh smell. When the kids go to bed, I start in the living room, picking up toys, empty cups, clothes, etc. and I move to the dining room and finally the kitchen. I put on the kettle for my tea and head to the bathroom to wash my makeup off and do my nighttime beauty routine. In the middle of that activity, the kettle usually sings so I pour the water and let the tea brew while I brush my teeth and set my alarm. Then I’m ready to sit and watch tv or browse pinterest. This routine makes me feel so happy and it makes me feel so great when I wake up in the middle of the night to check on my kids and everything is still in and in its place. So so peaceful.

  7. I love this idea. I work full time and have two young children, so trying to stay on top of the housework is a nightmare! This might be the answer. I’m just so exhausted after working 10 hours and doing the dinner and bedtime routine then studying for another hour (I’m working on my professional qualifications) there is not a lot left. But I need that peaceful home, so I have to try something. Thanks for your suggestions.

    1. Wow, you have such a full plate! A peaceful home is SO satisfying and feels amazing, but not always easy to achieve, especially in such busy seasons. Make sure you’re giving yourself lots of grace – and focus on the jobs that will be the most satisfying/important to keep on top of, at least until you’re in the swing of things a bit. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  8. I have started doing this as well and let me tell you, it’s a game changer! I really enjoy waking up to a clean house. I have added my own thing as well. I will prepare my sons backpacks (snacks,folders, and library books). I will definitely get my husband to help occasionally too. Thank you and God bless you!!

  9. I have incorporated a night time cleaning routine for awhile now. While showers are being taken by our son I load the dishwasher, clean countertops, stoves and frig, sweep kitchen and public area floors. Putting our clothes out for the next day is key to my sanity. I will take your suggestions and clean the bathroom counters and sweep in there and also load the washing machine from now on. When i walk into the living area in the morning I feel so good and starts our day off so peacefully. Thanks my dear

  10. I’m retired now but when I was working 50-60 hours a week night time cleaning was a necessity. No matter how exhausted I was I did my clean up as you outlined. I’d also do my grocery shopping at night. Usually between 10-11pm after my nightly tidy up. I’d put all the groceries away then head off to bed.
    My Sunday was cooking day. I’d make up enough meals to last the week and bake for lunches.
    This was my way of surviving a very demanding job, kids who were in every sport and an ex husband who didn’t help with a thing.
    I think most working woman who have a clean home, homemade meals and busy kids know that this is the only way to do it.

  11. I think this is definitely the secret that a lot of people are missing out on to get that clean house they so desperately wish they had. Thank you for sharing these tips!

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