How to Make a Morning Checklist That Works for You

Following a morning checklist every single day will help you know exactly what to do for a peaceful morning, a clean home, and a productive day!

Keeping a house clean, the kids fed, the pets alive, and your sanity intact is no easy job.  As a matter of fact, sometimes it may feel like you’re literally drowning under the weight of it all.  And the further you sink, the harder it gets.

If you’re like me and easily find yourself struggling to keep your head above water, then you need a Morning Checklist that will help you succeed and not weigh you down even more.

Woman holding a baby beside a counter with coffee and orange juice and the words "How to Make a Morning Checklist that works for you"

Following a morning routine is the best thing I’ve found for keeping my home running and in some kind of order, regardless of how hectic and not-together the rest of life may be. It might take the entire day to get my morning checklist finished, but the day feels like a success even if that’s the only thing I accomplish.

How to Make a Morning Checklist:

Now, I am NOT going to tell you to write down “just three things” to do every day. Most people recommend that as a starting point for making a morning routine, but more than three tasks are absolutely essential to my mornings, and maybe it’s the same for you.

Instead, you’ll think about the things that you actually need or want to do in the morning to keep your family functioning and your home under control. And after some practicing and tweaking, you’ll have a morning checklist that works for you!

1. Write down what you must do every morning.

Imagine for a minute that your alarm didn’t go off and you only had time to do the absolute essentials. Those “essentials” are what you need to write down first. They’re the things you must do, no matter what.

For me, the essentials are packing lunches, taking my kid to school, and getting myself showered and put together.

2. Write down anything you feel is necessary to your sense of peace.

Ask yourself if there is any task you do everyday and feel undone if you can’t get to it, even if life goes on if it doesn’t get done. These are things that are important, even if they aren’t exactly essential.

An important, although non-essential, on my list is making the bed. I have a hard time doing anything else if my bed isn’t made. (Because I’m weird.)

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3. Write down anything you’d really like to get done in the morning, even if it’s not essential or necessary to your sense of peace.

It can be really helpful to get a jumpstart on household tasks or work in some healthy habits you’re trying to implement in your life. Even though these things don’t just “have to” get done, you’ll feel a lot better if you can take actin on them early in the day.

I try to do things like clean up the dishes, start a load of laundry, and wipe down the bathrooms every morning. These small tasks only take a few minutes to do, but they provide a whole lot of benefit to my home and family.

4. Look through the things you’ve listed and write the tasks in the order you’d like to do them.

Take a couple minutes to think through a typical morning. Look at your list of various tasks you need or want to do, and write them in the order you’d like to complete them each day. Think logically (and realistically) about the best way to get things done.

5. Go through a morning and see if there are any tasks that need cut from ( or added to) your list.

As you follow your list for the next few days, be on the lookout for those essential or important tasks that tend to fall through the cracks, and don’t be afraid to cut out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary to do each morning.

If you’re struggling to get everything done, then strip your morning checklist down to only the essentials that you listed in the first step. Then start adding in the important items you wrote down in the second step. Once you’re getting through the morning okay with those few things, start adding in some of the tasks you’d like to get done in at the start of each day, such as cleaning the bathrooms or starting a load of laundry.

Here’s Your New Morning Checklist!

After you get your list just the way you want it, write or type it out and do it every single morning. I truly believe that making (and following) a morning routine is one of the best things you can do to bring a chaotic home to order.

You can add more things to your list once you begin to feel comfortable and see what works for you. But add slowly, and only after you feel confident that you can keep up the daily pace.

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11 Comments

  1. Thank you for your ideas on creating a morning routine! Love this! I was wkndering if you could share ideas on organizing or filing bills and or important papers.

    1. Brooke,
      Yes! I plan to get to the subject of bills, mail, and paperwork as part of the 31 Days to an Everyday Clean Home challenge. I’m not an expert when it comes to that sort of thing, but I’ll be sharing a few tips in the next couple of days.

  2. Hi Amy
    I need to say thank you for a sensible, something-I-can-actually-do, day-by-day plan. People thinkI’m crazy if I tell them that sometimes I have to write “Brush my teeth” or it may get forgotten! I have been a wife, mom and grandmom, for a long time and I love all my jobs, but now, we are raising our grandson (who has autism) and I feel like I forgot everything I have ever learned about all these jobs I love! I do feel overwhelmed with all of the advice online and how complicated it all seems. Simple sounds so right. Thank you again Amy.

    1. Nancy,
      Thank you so much for this encouraging note. What a hard job you have, but what a blessing you must be to your grandson! Praying that God will give you the strength you need for each day. 🙂

  3. Amy I’ve read through a lot of ‘getting organised’ blogs but yours by far has to be spot on in every aspect from being used as a human tissue to wanting to eat cake three times day to wishfully squeezing in exercise in the hope of actually getting around to it to trying not to miss out daily reading of the scriptures of your faith – food for the soul! Honestly I only subscribed yesterday but your posts have me nodding my head and giggling silently to myself!
    Just goes to show it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your beliefs are – a Mom is a Mum is a Mother is a Mama is an Ammie or Mimi (in my case!). All have similar struggles and desires for their families’ success!
    I also like the structure of you to do lists and the variations you provide.
    May God bless you for making my morning today!

    1. Saleha,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so glad my blog has been an encouragement to you. That makes me smile! 🙂

  4. I see that this is very useful for many others, but I would have to get up at 2:00 in the morning to do all of these things and make it to work on time! I am lucky to get my makeup done at home instead of in the car! I work 10 hours per day, go to graduate school for my MSW, raise my 7-year-old son, try to be a wife, and run an animal rescue. Taking this much time in the morning is literally impossible!

    1. Kylie,
      I totally understand! Everyone is different and everyone’s morning routine will look different. Even if I don’t have time for any “extra” tasks on my morning list, just having the necessities (like getting dressed, eating breakfast, packing lunches, etc.) written down helps me stay focused and feel like I accomplished something. That’s why the first step is to write down what you “must do” instead of what you “want to do.” Sometimes the “must do’s” are the best we can do! Every family is different and you have to do what works for you! 🙂

  5. Have tried a lot of different peoples homekeeping routines, so why not one more. I am looking forward to yours, and hope this one sticks.

  6. Hey Amy.
    I’m so glad I came across this. I just started writing a whole week menu and and to do list on my kitchen (marbled)wall and it really did relieve me of daily worry to remember menu, or decide on a fresh one each day. And your writing was just like an approval stamp on my work. Im a stay at home mum chasing three kids every single day, writing down has really helped feel more focused. Thanks for putting your thoughts down so beautifully.
    God help you and all us mothers who struggle to bring the best to their kids.

  7. MARY Lou Glenn says:

    Hello Amy
    I keep every email you send out. You are so spot on with your advice.
    I do have two items firmly placed in my routine. I can not move forward with my day if my bed is not made, and I have read my Bible.
    I need to add a lot to my morning routine, but thanks to you I know I will be successful.
    Thanks for your super suggestions!

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