“A Sunday well-spent brings a week of content.” ~ Proverb
I am a firm believer that preparation is the key to success in all aspects of life – home, work, relationships or finances. I also believe that there is a strong correlation between preparation and one’s level of contentment, which is why I am a proponent of the proverb above.
For me, the way I spend my Sundays greatly influences the remainder of my week. If I am able to accomplish all that I need to, my Monday through Friday is significantly smoother and more enjoyable; however, if I neglect those items, the rest of my week feels unsettled and I am forever scrambling to catch up.
A few weeks ago, I posted a photograph on Instagram highlighting my “Sunday Refresh” (cleaning and organizing my home in preparation for the week), and received some requests to elaborate on my routine.
As I began to write this post, I quickly realized that the Sundays I consider well-spent, are filled with far more than just a refresh, but are in fact, guided by four “Rs” – Rest, Refresh, Reflect & Reset. When I am able to attended to these four “Rs” (which I might add, do not need to be completed in any particular order), I feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the week ahead.
With that said, I offer my recipe for a Sunday well-spent:
After a long week of work and activities/commitments that often bleed into my Saturdays, I make a concerted effort to catch up on my rest each Sunday. When I make time to rest, I am able to hit the ground running on Monday morning; however, if I don’t take time to rest, well, let’s just say you don’t want to see me when I don’t take time to rest.
Rest doesn’t necessarily mean sleep (though I do enjoy that), but rather engaging in restful activities like:
- Rising naturally rather than with an alarm
- Lounging in bed with a cup of tea and a copy of the Sunday Times
- Sitting down in the afternoon with a magazine, book or favourite jazz record (and possibly partaking in an afternoon snooze)
- Cuddling on the sofa in the evening to watch a favourite television show or movie
When you allow yourself time to decompress after a long week and before the beginning of the next, trust me, it is time well-spent.
There is something so inspiring about starting my weeks off with a clean and fresh home. Mondays are so much more enjoyable when there aren’t dishes overflowing in the sink or piles of laundry scattered around the bedroom.
While I do spend time maintaining my home every day (for more on a few of my daily tasks, see The Pursuit of Tidy – No. 1), on Sunday mornings, I set aside a some additional time to complete a deeper clean/reorganization.
One of the (many) perks of living in a simple and modest home (approximately 1300 square feet), is that I am able to accomplish my refresh in under two hours. While I may share more detail on my refresh at a later date, here is a brief list of my Sunday tasks:
- Wash and replace bedding
- Dust all surfaces
- Clean bathrooms (toilets, sinks, shower/bathtub)
- Clean kitchen (sink, counters, refrigerator)
- Vacuum all rooms and upholstery
- Wash floors
- Sweep balcony
- Dispose of trash and recycling
- Place fresh flowers throughout my home
Starting my week with a clean and orderly home makes Monday a breeze rather than a burden.
Another important part of my Sunday routine is taking time to reflect. I often spend time, usually while completing my refresh, reflecting on the past week. I ask myself questions like:
- What went well?
- What could have gone better?
- What tasks did I accomplish and which ones need to be carried over to the next week?
- What goals do I want to accomplish this week?
Reflecting on the past week helps to inform and direct the week ahead.
The final step in my Sunday routine is to reset. By resetting, I mean just that – identifying things that have come out of line over the past week and putting them back to their original state. To give you a better sense, here are a few areas of my life that I like to reset:
- Wardrobe – On Sundays, I reset my wardrobe by putting away any laundry that has been hanging to dry (my husband and I wash our clothing on Friday or Saturday evenings to ensure it has dried and is ready to be put away on Sunday), steaming, ironing and mending items, or putting them aside to be taken to the tailor or dry cleaner. Doing this makes my work day mornings much easier.
- Purse and Work Bag – I also take a few minutes to reset my purse and work bag by cleaning out any garbage or receipts that have sunk to the bottom, restocking essentials that I carry with me (like hand sanitizer or lip balm), and ensuring my wallet and its content are in their proper place.
- Refrigerator – On Sundays, my husband and I usually pop to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials for the week (i.e. milk, bread, eggs, lunch items, fresh flowers); however, we only purchase enough fresh produce for the first half of the week and then return later in the week (we live 5 minutes from our local store) to pick up the rest. While this may not work for everyone, we find that we waste less food this way and enjoy fresher food more often.
- Planner – One of my favourite resets on Sunday is spending time with my planner. Using the information I collected during my “reflect”, I sit down and plan out my week ahead. I list tasks that I need to accomplish along with ones that I didn’t get to during the previous week. I also list two small, personal goals for the coming week, along with any important dates (i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, parties and social events). While we cannot always know what the future holds, we can certainly ease the stress by planning for the things we do know.
While the four “Rs” may seem a bit overwhelming, they really do not take as much time as you may think. In fact, you may be doing many of these things already.
Whether you choose to incorporate all or none of the above, ultimately, the key is to find a process that works for you and makes you feel ready to tackle your week, whatever that looks like.
Wishing you all a lovely Sunday!