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Episode #013: Morning Cleaning Routine Ideas

I love routines. Routines save time, minimize decision fatigue, increase productivity, and for me they lower stress. I find that my entire family benefits from consistent routines, especially morning routines. 

It is also clear that my family and I start the day on a better foot when our house is clean and organized. My morning cleaning routine helps make this possible. It doesn’t require a ton of effort and once these tasks become habits, they feel as second nature as brushing your teeth. 

Morning Cleaning Routine Tasks

Want to incorporate some cleaning tasks into your morning routine but aren’t sure where to start? Consider this list of ideas for your morning cleaning routine.

Make the bed

You had to know this one was going to be on the list… In general, I like to reset each room after I finish using it. Think of the old mantra “leave it better than you found it.” At the end of our last meal, we reset and clean the kitchen. Before the kids go to bed, we reset and clean up their toys. 

In my opinion, the same concept applies to the bedroom each morning. Reset and organize your bedroom before you leave it. 

Scrub toilet bowl

No one wants to see a dirty toilet. Most people wake up and immediately use the bathroom, so giving the toilet bowl a quick scrub is easy to add on to the routine. After flushing, apply toilet bowl cleaner (liquid dish soap works just fine). Give the toilet bowl a quick scrub, then flush it once more to rinse clean. 

Depending on your bathroom layout, you can simplify this habit by storing your toilet bowl cleaner of choice (again, I just use dish soap or dish soap mixed with distilled white vinegar) near your toilet.

I decant my toilet bowl cleaner into a small and simple squirt bottle like this to save space. It’s easy to use and easy to store.

Wipe your faucet, mirror and sink area as needed

While you’re brushing your teeth, take a look at your bathroom vanity. Clear your counters of misplaced products and spray everything down with a cleaning solution (try my granite countertop cleaner recipe).

After you finish brushing your teeth, grab a cleaning cloth (I store a stack of cleaning cloths underneath my sink). Wipe everything clean. Polish your mirror, faucet, counters, and sink.

This task takes about 1-2 minutes (or less) depending on how detailed you choose to get. By making this a daily morning habit, you never have to worry about a grimy or messy bathroom vanity.

Clean the shower while you’re in it

Are you a morning shower kind of person? Whether it’s in the morning or the evening, I highly recommend cleaning your shower while you’re IN the shower. 

I keep this scrub brush in my shower. The handle can be filled with my shower cleaner of choice and dispenses the cleaning solution onto the brush bristles as I scrub. 

I do this every time I condition my hair. While the conditioner sets in my hair, I give the shower a scrub, rinse, and then squeegee everything dry once I am finished.

Start a load of laundry (and set a timer!!!)

After all of our hygiene needs are taken care of, most of us head into the kitchen next. If you have the luxury of a personal washer and dryer, then take advantage of this time by starting a load of laundry.

I like to start a load of dirty laundry right after I start our coffee maker. Don’t forget to add a timer on your phone so you know when to transfer the clean clothes to the dryer. 

Commit to folding and putting everything away either that morning or later in the day after work. Either way, this daily habit will prevent that dreaded laundry pile from ever building up.

Empty the dishwasher

My husband and I run our dishwasher every single evening. Usually our dishwasher is full by that time of day. I stay home full time with two small boys and between meals and snacks we go through plenty of dishes.

Even if the dishwasher isn’t completely full, we run it so that in the morning we can empty the clean dishes and start the day with an empty dishwasher. 

This habit minimizes the likelihood of dishes piling up in or next to the sink over the course of our day.

Tips for a Less Stressful Morning Routine

Get Proper Rest

If you wake up most mornings feeling exhausted and groggy (or grumpy!), then you’re probably not getting the rest you need. 

I KNOW how impossible getting proper sleep can feel sometimes. This can feel particularly impossible if you’re raising young children, if you’re a shift worker, or if you’re in some related situation.

Alternatively, if you’re in the habit of staying up too late binging your favorite TV shows, then I encourage you to try going to bed early (yes, that means less TV) for one week. Just one week! Then reflect on how different you feel at the end of the week before falling back into less healthy evening habits.

Time Yourself

Timing yourself while cleaning or completing any task has multiple benefits.

Sometimes I overestimate the time and energy required to complete a cleaning task. For example, cleaning a toilet FEELS like it’s going to take me 10-15 minutes. In reality, it takes me less than 5. Knowing this fact now eliminates one mental barrier I used to carry when it comes to cleaning a bathroom.

Timers also help keep me on track. I tend to get distracted VERY easily. When I get off track, then the completion of the intended task takes 2-5 times longer than necessary. Knowing that I’m “on the clock” helps to keep me focused on the task at hand which ultimately saves me time and makes me more productive. 

If you don’t want to use your phone timer, here is the handy kitchen timer I use and love.

Delegate

Feeling overwhelmed? Try delegating!

If you live in a household with older children or other capable adults, then try sharing more of the cleaning responsibilities with your housemates. 

One way I like to delegate cleaning tasks specifically is with checklists. A thoughtful cleaning checklist gives the recipient a clear guide for what needs to be done. 

It also gives you the peace of mind that so long as all of the tasks are checked off the list, then that space should be clean.

Additional Resources for a Morning Cleaning Routine

Green Cleaning Blueprint

If you’re interested in incorporating cleaning checklists and natural cleaning solutions into your cleaning routine then consider my Green Cleaning Blueprint

Included in the digital (printable) PDF you will receive:

  • Cleaning checklists for every room in the house
  • Master cleaning checklist where it is easy to delegate “rooms” to various household members each week
  • Natural cleaning solution recipes
  • Cleaning recipe cards that can be printed and used as cleaning bottle labels 
  • How-to instructions for how to clean every area in your home
  • And more!

Learn more about my Green Cleaning Blueprint!

Books

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

  • As the name suggests, this book is about how the consistent completion of small, seemingly insignificant actions can lead to meaningful, life changing results over the course of time. These small actions can have significant positive (or negative) effects on your health, relationships, finances, and more. 

Atomic Habits by James Clear

  • I love how James Clear explains how habits work. He goes into detail about how to incorporate new, healthy habits into your existing lifestyle. He also shares how to remove unhealthy habits that are not serving you. If you’re having a difficult time motivating yourself to adopt a new habit, consider giving this book a read.

Podcasts

Habit Stacking Your Cleaning Routine

  • Inspired by the book Atomic Habits, in this podcast / blog post I walk you through a list of ways to stack cleaning habits on top of existing habits. Stacking habits is one of the easiest ways to incorporate new, healthier habits into your existing lifestyle. Give it a listen and start habit-stacking your way to a cleaner home.

Want more?

Subscribe to the podcast and listen to new episodes every week focused on ways to create and maintain a clean, organized, more sustainable home.