How to Establish a Daily Routine for Your Family

Mighty Mommy has six tips to help build time-saving routines into your family's busy lives.

Cheryl Butler
5-minute read
Episode #379

Tip #4: Choose Easy to Start

Rome wasn’t built in a day and so neither will a productive, lasting routine. Without biting off more than you can chew, take a look at the list you just made and pick one thing, just one, that will be easy to implement.  My original list all those years ago had about 20 items on it. Although I was eager to get all my family’s needs worked into a new routine ASAP, I started with the laundry. It was most necessary for the laundry to be taken care of the night before so I focused on getting outfits picked out right after baths and showers for the following day. That was the first step in creating one component of our new routine.  When my kids were much younger, right after they had baths and got into their pajamas, I would pick out their outfits for the following day so they would be ready to go for the next early morning rush out the door.  As they got older, my kids became involved in picking out their own outfits, and to this day, all these years later, we are all still in the habit (myself include) in getting our clothing ready the night before.

Tip #5: Work off a Daily Checklist

Once you’ve managed to establish one new routine, add another one. Work off of the list you made and put a timetable together of when these items can best be incorporated into your day.  For instance, you are going to have morning tasks related to getting the kids ready for school that may take priority over when you empty the dishwasher and prep for dinner.  If you can slowly add in a few items at a time, your new routine won’t seem as daunting and overwhelming.

Although, I’ve had a routine for many years now, I still work off of a checklist, and I review it and tweak it as my family’s needs change.  Here’s an example of a daily checklist.

Sample Morning Do-It Checklist:

-Rise and shine at 5:30 am

-Check the day’s calendar and checklist



-Make bed

-Read e-mail

-Wake children and make breakfast

-Feed Pets

-Run one load of wash

-Have kids take folded laundry to bedrooms

-Place breakfast dishes in dishwasher

-Clear kitchen counters

-Brush teeth, make-up/hair

Sample Evening Do-It Checklist:

-Empty dishwasher and preset kitchen island with breakfast items

-Make lunches for next day

-Feed pets, walk dog

-Oversee kid’s individual chores

-Oversee kid’s homework

-Select the next day’s clothing and get backpacks ready

-Kid’s baths, brush teeth and bedtime stories

-Review mail, Pay bills

-Review E-mails

-Skin care regimen, brush teeth

-Gratitude Journal entries, reading and writing time

-Review next day’s calendar and checklists

There are dozens of free, printable checklists on the internet that you can search and print.  Stever Robbins, QDT’s Get-It-Done Guy has a helpful article, Choosing a Tool to Manage Your To-Do List, that also gives great ideas on the subject.

Tip #6:  Personal Routines

Don’t forget about yourself when it comes to establishing routines. Parents need to build in time for their needs as well. I find it helps to get up at least 30 minutes before my kids wake up so that I can have a few quiet moments to myself before the day takes off. If I don’t schedule my own personal time each day, guess what—I won’t have any!

How do you manage routines in your home?  Share your thoughts in the Comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook pageor email me at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.

Also visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.