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12 Sunday habits for a much smoother week

12 Sunday habits for a much smoother week

The temptation to do absolutely nothing on Sundays is strong, I know. So instead of ‘Sunday habits’ you may wish to call these Saturday habits. Or even Monday habits, if you’re prepared to get up nice and early on Mondays, which I am not.

For me, they have always been Sunday habits. I have long used Sunday afternoons to prepare for the week ahead. But then, fair warning, I am the person who would prefer to spend New Year’s Eve cleaning to start the year off nicely, so there’s that.

The thing is, doing a few things on a Sunday afternoon (sometimes evenings, and sometimes late on a Sunday night, depending), will make your week suck far less. Forward-planning has a way of smoothing family life along. These are my Sunday habits that I honestly don’t think our family would be as happy without.

Sunday habits to help your week suck less

1. Menu planning

I know, I know, if you were going to #$%@ing menu plan, you’d be doing it already. So, I’ll just leave this here. But please note that it is number one on the Sunday habits list. Not another word…

This might help: 25 dinner recipes we make again and again


2. Check the calendar

I know many people live and breathe by their calendar, but I have a habit of forgetting mine exists. So I make sure I check what’s coming up in the week ahead and make any necessary preparations. This is also the time that I up-date the paper family calendar which lives inside a kitchen cupboard door. The kids check in with that one. {You can print our freebie family calendar here.}

3. Rough out the To Do list

It helps to write down everything I need to accomplish in the week, then chunk it into ‘like minded’ activities and allocate them to a day. I think it helps to give a task a specific day. Otherwise things tend to languish on my To Don’t list a little too long. I am a boss-level procrastinator.

It helps to keep one of these too: The Ta Da list and why you need one


4. School clothes all prepped

Because I absolutely loathe ironing and never do it, the fella irons all of the school uniforms ready for the week ahead. His motto: iron once a week, never think about it again. My motto: body heat is an excellent iron.

I suppose, now that I write this, it might be time for the kids to iron their own uniforms, but that hasn’t happened yet. Not my department.

We also make sure that each kid has five pairs of clean school socks, ready to go. School shoes polished, trainers found. Bags packed with Monday essentials. Everything spick and span and ready. 

How many wretched mornings did we face before these Sunday habits, hunting for one more sock, one lost shoe, one book? Argh, no thanks!

Sunday habits - sock prep

Not allocating enough sock preparation time has brought down even the most organised family.

5. Bulk lunchbox prep

One of my favourite Sunday habits is baking. Often this happens at 9 o’clock at night, but it generally happens. I make a loaf or slice to freeze for the lunchboxes, and some kind of savoury muffin or frittata or fritter as well. A bit of Sunday prep makes lunchbox packing so much easier all week.

Fave helper list: 21 lunchbox snacks to bake or buy


6. Hold a family meeting

We don’t do this every week (I don’t think even I could take the structure!), but if we’re going to get together in our weird ‘formal’ way, it happens on Sundays.

We are a busy family, as most families are. A family meeting brings us together to discuss issues that might otherwise fester.

We have dinner around the table most nights, but we’ve always preferred to use that time as a catch up, not a beat up. Family meetings, on the other hand, are where the kids can bitch about whatever they fancy, and we get to do the same. At family meetings we can problem-solve and plan together. Highly recommended.

7. Make things tidy

I don’t like cleaning on the weekends (I save that particular for Tuesday and Friday mornings), but we like to start the week tidy. The now-infamous Sunday Box is generally empty come Sundays. This means I do a quick glance around to make sure the kids haven’t redistributed their things under the beds or in closets. It’s like they forget we were kids ourselves once…

• Try it for yourself: The Sunday Box technique
• This is also helpful: Secrets to tidy kids

The hubs and I do a quick spruce every night after the kids are in bed. It’s our little refresh to start ‘adult time’ (sounds porno, we wish!). Mind you, porno adult time is getting shorter and shorter, have you noticed? What time do your kids go to bed? Ours are like possums, rattling around until the wee hours.

I digress: one of our Sunday habits is to do an extra-careful kitchen and bathroom clean. Means we start the week out feeling like we’re on top of things. (This is rarely actually true.)

Sunday habits - make things tidy

Not my dining table. It’s obvious that no child has ever been near this dining table.

8. Take time without the kids

The week is all rush, rush, rush, so it’s nice to steal away for an hour or two without the kids. I think of it as parents’ compensation for having our kids grow up in the first place.

We’ll go for breakfast, or a walk, or a coffee, or something easy like that. A little connection out in the big, wide world. Otherwise some weeks our entire romance would be conducted in the four walls of our home. And that feels… stale.

Time together is so important: Me-time versus we-time


9. Check the budget

We were terrible at budgeting for so long. I try not to think about all the money we frittered away. Many of us are like that, aren’t we? Best not look back!

These days, we try to stay fairly on track and are doing much better. The fella has a quick look at the finances as one of his Sunday habits and ‘gently mentions’ if I’m heading off the rails. It helps.

10. Do something just for you

As important as time with the husband and family is, so is time for me. I work from home, so I feel like I get a lot of time to myself. But it’s always ‘busy’ time. Work, housework, logistics, distribution, etc. I try to do something quieter on Sundays, like read a book, meet up with a friend, go see a movie. One of the most necessary of the Sunday habits, don’t you think?

Sunday habits - Or I could be a mermaid

Or we could all just be mermaids for the whole day…

11. Enjoy Sunday lunch

Some of the oldest family traditions are still going strong because they matter. Coming together for a long, sit down lunch once a week is rather lovely. We often go out, but we are happy to enjoy cooking together and eating at home as well. Sometimes we invite friends or family, often we don’t. It’s just one of the nicest times that I look forward to all week.

12. Set an intention for the week ahead

This might be a bit woo for some, but I love to focus myself by setting an intention for the week. This varies, depending on what’s going on. My intention might be to relax if the week looks quieter and I think there’s a chance, or be more productive if there isn’t.

Sometimes I like to challenge myself with a new habit to work on, or one to remove. Perhaps I want to be kinder, or more thoughtful, or notice the small things. Other times it’s about being more goal orientated – so I’ll set the intention to walk daily, or do 20 sit-ups, etc.

Gratitude often features, as does being gentle with myself and others. Regardless of all the things we need to plan and do and be, being gentle as we go is a lovely way to spend a Sunday, too.

Do you have Sunday habits in place for a smooth week?

Feature image by Emily Rudolph; 2 Jisu Han; 3 Reinaldo Kevin; 4 Emily Goodhart


Sunday 17th of March 2019

I like to start the week with a tidy house, makes the whole week flow better if that happens

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