Ever feel like the weekends fly by and nothing gets done? Creating a weekend routine sets everyone up for a successful week ahead. Here’s how to make one in just 4 steps!

By the time you get home on Friday all you want to do is relax. You go about the weekend tackling projects, a little laundry, maybe an outing or two, and doing whatever needs to be done as it comes up. But before you know it’s Sunday and the house is messier than you intended it to be, the kids are doing their thing, you’re wondering where they’re backpacks are, and you’ve already begun to dread Monday as the long list of to-do’s for the week (and before Monday morning) begin to play out in your head.

I used to feel the same way. It seemed like the weekend would fly by and I was left constantly putting out little fires everywhere through the week. I ended up dealing with things as they happened instead of addressing bigger problems, projects, or goals I had wanted to accomplish.

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The culprit? Not having a weekend routine. 

Why You (and your household) Need a Weekend Routine

When you haven’t got a clear focus on what your goals are for the week you will achieve nothing. It’s like throwing a handful of darts at a dartboard and expecting them all to hit the bullseye.

Think of your weekend as a staging area for the week ahead. When you assign each day with a focus you are creating intent and accountability. After all, every journey has to have a destination, otherwise, you’re just aimlessly wandering and you’ll end up getting nowhere.

4 Steps to Creating a Solid Weekend Routine

Having a good weekend routine in place is a sure-fire way to make sure you get everything you need to be done, while still having (and enjoying) the much-needed down-time you get on the weekend. Make it happen by instilling a few household rules and strategies that make the most of your weekend and carve a path for a more fluid week.

1. Manage Your Time Well

Because I was so overwhelmed during the week, I ended up using my weekend to chill and ended up never getting anything done. I felt like Scarlet O’Hara, “I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.”I felt like I was on a hamster wheel of stress. 

So I decided it was time to start managing my time on the weekends too, and used my favorite new tool, The Living Well Planner®, to do it. It is the only planner that I have managed to use throughout an entire year. And it really keeps me on track. 

Now you don’t have to plan your weekend days down to the hour; after all, weekends are meant to be more relaxed, but even a simple time block for certain tasks you want and need to complete each day will do wonders! This also helps other family members in the home to know what’s going on, get on a routine with you, and gain a sense of working together vs. you feeling left alone to figure it all out and get it all done.

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2. Assign a Goal for Each Day

Create a very simple yet flexible plan with a goal for each day. First, what events do you already have going on for the weekend? And then what is one thing you definitely want to have done on Saturday? What absolutely needs to happen by Sunday evening? Highlight important activities in your planner, and then schedule your other goals and tasks you want to complete around them. This is key to getting it all done.

Giving each day a theme is another helpful way to stay on track, for instance:

  • FRIDAY: Breathe & reflect. Before you charge into the weekend, take some time to reset yourself. What worked well this week and what didn’t? Why? What could be tweaked to make things work better next week? Knowing the cause of a roadblock in your schedule will help you avoid them next week. Similarly, if you know why something worked, you can duplicate the results and even use them somewhere where something didn’t work.
  • SATURDAY: Events, Cleaning & Projects. Before or after scheduled events of the day, take some time to get the house in order for the next week, work on any projects, and make sure to assign a room or tasks to each member of the family if they’re old enough. When the home is clean and tidy, it helps everyone feel better and helps the coming week run smoothly. But don’t leave all the cleaning for the weekend (that’s no fun)! Check out how to create a cleaning schedule that maximizes your entire week or get our free printable cleaning schedule here
  • SUNDAY: Family time & Scheduling out the week. Aside from any Sunday events, Sunday is a great day to reconnect as a family, prep for the coming week, and now that all the cleaning tasks are out of the way, slow down and enjoy life. Carve out time to sit down with your planner and get your schedule set up for the week. When you have a clear plan, it keeps the frustration of the unexpected to a minimum.

3. Implement Good Week + Weekend Habits

Here are some tips that have truly helped in making a busy week and weekend seem less chaotic. They’re easy to implement, and once they become a habit for everyone, it truly makes life much easier. 

  • Every night, before bed, make sure all the dirty dishes from the day are loaded into the dishwasher and started. Having a clean kitchen ready for the start of a new day, versus a sink full of dirty dishes, really helps set the tone for the day. Unload the clean dishes as you wait on your morning coffee.
  • Have the kids clean out their school bag every night when they get home, and layout their clothes for the next day. (This really made a huge difference in how my daughter’s day, and mine, went when she was in school)
  • Do one load of laundry (if possible) from start to finish each day. Taking the time to fold and put it away will save you from dealing with piles of clean laundry to sift through on the weekend. And from doing the clean laundry two-step (on the bed, in the basket, on the bed); let’s be real, no one wants to fold the laundry on the bed no matter how good of intentions they have–it usually doesn’t happen. 
  • Create a simple command center in the home. Have an inbox for important papers that need to be seen (permission slips, documents that need to be signed, etc.). If possible, create a small box for each member of the family. This will help you get ahead of any events, tasks, or projects that need to be taken care of. Nothing sucks more than your kid reminding you of a field trip you knew nothing about, the day before it happens!
  • Create a morning routine that helps everyone in the household, but one that primarily nurtures you. Find out how to make the most of your mornings in just a few easy steps here.
  • Need a little help in getting out the door each day–on time? Our Morning Routine cheat sheet will help you get organized. Best of all, it’s free! Get it here

4. Deal with the Unexpected

Now, even if you have a weekend routine in place, remember this is life and things are not always going to go as planned. That is why you need to have an idea of how you are going to deal with the unexpected. Always remember to give yourself grace. Things get forgotten. Even the most put-together person has rough days, but here are some ways to help you deal with life’s little speed bumps:

  • Leave some room in your schedule for the unexpected.
  • Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed.
  • Don’t be afraid to say, “No”. It’s important to know your limitations and set healthy boundaries.
  • Always have a couple of freezer meals handy for unexpected situations. (i.e.: Your hubby forgot to tell you his parents were coming for dinner, you’re out of milk, etc.)
  • Remember to stop and breathe when you hit an obstacle. Taking a moment for clarity can really be a game-changer, and it oftentimes offers up a new solution.
  • Appreciate that difficult times are what puts the rest of our lives in perspective. And there is nothing more gratifying than overcoming an obstacle.
  • Don’t get attached to your plan – let it be like the ocean, and you the ship on it. It will take time to get used to so go with the flow until then and even so after.

Use a Weekend Routine to Save Your Sanity

I know having a weekend routine can at times seem like you’re micromanaging your life, but if it’s done the right way (leaving room for plenty of family time and fun), it can actually bring a sense of calm to the chaos of life. And who couldn’t use a little more of that in their life?

Kids aren’t the only ones who need consistency to thrive. Most adults need it too–it just takes us longer to realize it. But having a consistent routine, no matter how loose, not only makes dealing with

The important thing to remember is to try and be flexible. Roll with the setbacks. Make this routine your own. Keep what works for your family and change what doesn’t. Set you, and everyone in the household up for success.

Looking to build some good new habits? Good or bad, habits require repetition. Once they become habitual, they become automatic! They no longer require extra thought—we simply do them. Embrace these 10 habits to really change your life! Get your free printable cheat sheet here

Barb Hudson
Barb Hudson is a wife and a mother to one adult daughter. Raised in the Pacific Northwest, she developed an appreciation for strong coffee, nature, and self-reliance. She is passionate about all things homemaking, homesteading, and healthy living. As a former research librarian she enjoys learning about many topics and helping people find solutions for their daily struggles. She uses her writing skills and diverse knowledge to help families get the resources they need to nurture a simpler, happier, healthier home life with her blog Making It Home.
Barb Hudson

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