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It's Closing Time

About two weeks ago, I watched a video from one of the girls I follow on TikTok as she was talking about closing up her apartment for the evening.  Her words, "to set me up to have a great morning," really stuck with me.  I love mornings, I am a true morning person.  A lot of times while I am pouring my first cup of coffee I will see things that need to be handled, and before I know it I am knee-deep in tidying and prepping for the day, and I never really get to sit and enjoy that coffee. 

Well, that phase of my life is over.  The more I watched the video the more I connected with her mindset.  She talked about how many years of retail and food service prepped her for a closing routine, which she uses in her present-day life.  I connected with it immediately.  For years I also worked retail and the morning crew definitely depended on the closing crew for their success.  If the closing crew was slack, the morning crew wasn't happy at all. I had been the morning crew with a slack closing team.  I was feeling the effects.  The problem?  I was my own enemy in this scenario, and it was time I made some changes. 

First I noted what worked for her.  Sometimes it was a tidy effort and sometimes it was a full clean, it just depended on what she was dealing with at the moment.  I identified three areas that caused me stress in the morning and decided to tackle those and see what else I needed to add.  

My first problem was that Nathan is often the last one to come up, and his ADD doesn't assist him in a closing routine.  I would need to be the last one downstairs.  That was an easy fix.  A lot of times, I come down in the morning to a lot of lights left on from one or both kids leaving them on when they come in.  Okay, area number 2.  Areas 3 and 4 were easy to identify, one was dog toys that I stepped over in the morning that never had a place to live during closing.  And the last area, the counters and table.  Both seem to be drop zones for everyone in the house.  It needed to stop.  This is the area that adds the most stress to my days. Once I made a list of problem areas I was easily able to come up with a closing routine that worked for me. Since I am the one who seems to bother the most, I can easily fix these and set myself to have mornings with a lot less stress. 💗

Here is my current closing list.  So far I love it, and as I need to I can add and remove things, but for now, this one is perfect. 

1. Wipe down counters + table, and put everything away that shouldn't live there

This was a big one for me.  I hate seeing crumbs and the bevy of things that would get dropped was making me crazy town.  So, any mail or keys that are left here get put in their proper places.  I love a clean slate to begin the day. 

2.  Sweep the kitchen, and Bona mop the sink area and under the table

Easy to do and the best time to catch the day's dog hair and crumbs that the dogs don't find for me. 

3.  Take out the trash

Who wants to throw something away in the morning and deal with a full trash can that needs to be emptied?  Definitely not me. 

4. Set the coffee for a 7 a.m. prep.  

I love coming down to the smell of fresh coffee. Since we changed from a Keurig to the Ninja I can set the timer for my morning coffee. 

5.  Put away any items that have gathered on the dryer.  

The dryer is another spot of stress for me.  Our people love to fold their clothes and just leave them there.  Nope, they will end up in a basket outside your room for you to manage. 

6.  Fluff pillows in the living room and put away all dog toys

A basket in the corner and some timers for lights, and I now have a lit and tidy living room each morning. No more toys to step over and no more toy fluff hanging out waiting on me. I snagged these plugs from Amazon and set the lights in the kitchen and the living room to be lit from 7 in the morning to 9 in the evening. It is perfect. 

7.  Wipe the sink in the guest bathroom and make sure the potty is tidy.  

Our half bathroom gets a lot of use from the family and needs to be guest-ready at all times.  You just never know when a friend will pop in and I like to make sure it is guest-ready. 

8.  Turn on the porch light and head up

And the routine is done and takes me less than 15 minutes if I focus. 

I have really loved the mornings more than I did in the past.  I wake up knowing I did myself a lot of favors before bed so that the stress that can appear is now gone. Why, oh, why didn't I think of this so much earlier.  It is so simple and yet so very important.  My morning self is so happy with the closing team now, I would say they even deserve a raise. 


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