When it comes to living a simpler, more organized, more intentional lifestyle, routines make the most noticeable difference for our family.
Sure, I like to keep our spaces decluttered and allow plenty of breathing room in our weekly schedule… but the only reason I’m able to keep up with it all day after day, week after week, is because of the routines I’ve put in place.
One of my favorite routines is something I call Hushing the House.
No, I don’t actually shout out orders to “hush the house” at a specific time each evening, but generally, the process of “hushing” our home begins every evening when the kitchen is cleaned up after dinner (whatever time that happens to be).
So, what is this “Hushing The House” routine?
In our family, Hushing the House is simply the process of preparing our home, our bodies, and our brains for a relaxing evening, a restful night of sleep, and an organized day ahead.
We pick up our home and yard, put things back in their rightful places, prepare for the next day (all 3 meals, clothing, backpacks, to-do lists, etc.), and unwind in hopes of heading to bed at a decent hour.
More specifically, Dave and the kids tackle the upstairs and outside spaces while I handle the main floor. Then the kids choose their clothing for the next day and take showers (Dave keeps everyone on track) while I prep breakfast and dinner, pack lunches, and make sure everything is ready for the day ahead.
After the kids are ready for bed, we read together, do puzzles, or even play a game before they head to bed (anywhere from 7 – 8 pm depending on the child).
Also, we’re not against technology, but we are intentional about not using any electronics during this part of our evening (outside of family movie night.)
Once the kids are in bed, Dave and I enjoy a little free time together each night (a luxury we haven’t always had these last 10 years!)
We usually go over our next day’s schedule, make our to-do lists, read or watch something together, get ready for bed, and discuss anything we don’t want to discuss when kids are hanging around. In the summer months, we’ll often head outside to do a little more yard work, eat a late dinner (or snack) on the deck, and go swimming! 🥰
And… my favorite part of hushing our house is turning on all the little lights throughout our home to give every room a cozy glow!
Want to see how this looks in our home?
Last April, I recorded a video for my email subscribers, sharing how I “hushed our house” each evening. If you’re interested, simply click below to watch that video (I start talking about Hushing the House around 1:25)
If the video doesn’t show up below, click here to watch it on YouTube.
How does hushing the house benefit our family?
Well for starters, our home stays neat and organized because we pick everything up each night.
Also, our kids often ask if it’s time for bed yet… in an anticipatory way because they don’t fight it.
Nope, I’m not joking!
Our entire family has plenty of “downtime” each day and gets enough sleep so we’re not typically grumpy, edgy, or disagreeable in the mornings. In fact, our family enjoys mornings.
Quiet evenings with Dave are a big bonus too…
However, the biggest benefit to “hushing the house” is how this evening routine positively influences everything we do the following day.
Let me explain:
- In order for Dave and me to do everything we need/want to do each day, we need to maximize our productivity…
- in order to maximize our productivity, we need to wake up quite early each morning…
- in order to wake up early each morning, we need to get to bed on time…
- in order for us to get to bed on time, we need to get our kids to bed on time…
- in order for our kids to get to bed on time, we actually need to be home in the evenings with enough time for them to unwind…
- in order to have enough time to unwind each evening, I need to have dinner ready to go at a decent hour…
- in order to have dinner ready at a decent hour, I need a plan for what I’ll make and all the ingredients in the house…
- in order for me to have a plan for dinner (and the rest of the day) I need to maximize my productivity…
You get the idea — sort of like “if you give a mouse a cookie” where one thing leads to the next and it all comes full-circle in the end.
It can be a vicious cycle that’s hard to break if you don’t have a solid system or routine.
If you feel like you’re constantly running behind, rushing to catch up, frazzled and stressed, and too tired to do the things you actually want to do, I challenge you to try “hushing your house” (even if it’s inconvenient).
Maybe you cancel some of your evening activities or eat dinner a bit earlier. Maybe you turn off electronics and turn into bed 20 minutes earlier. Maybe you simply enjoy the glow of a small lamp or even a candle instead of bright overhead lights.
Yes, I realize there are dozens of reason why this routine might not work for you or your family, and I’m not naive enough to think this concept will magically change your home and life tonight (it took our family years to get here)… BUT if you desire a change in any part of your home and life, you must start somewhere.
I’m confident any effort you make today will have a positive effect on your home and your life moving forward.
What have you got to lose?
- Our children’s bedtime routine (from 3 years ago)
- Dealing with exhaustion when you can’t get more sleep
- Encouragement for parents with high-needs children (who never sleep!)
- Why my organized days start with organized nights
- 5 Habit of organized people
- 6 Strategies to take your weekends back
- How to have a hobby when you don’t have the time
- Our favorite at-home date ideas
- Creating routine when every day is different