It is interesting how we can change during each stage in life. I recall that prior to Little Mister, I made gourmet meals, cleaned excessively, and dreamt of a huge house. Now, I cook easy meals, clean on a much looser schedule, and we moved into a 1,000 sq ft townhouse. Maybe you are in either of these points in your life. Maybe you are looking to cut back and reorganize your home life. Either way, we could all use a little help so I want to offer some really easy ways to simplify your life.
Write it out
No matter what your work schedule looks like, you need to have it all written down. This is such a life saver for me especially in this phase of life. Your schedule could be a time block schedule with every last detail written down or a simple list of 3 things to accomplish that day. Only 3 things, you ask? Well that does not include your normal daily activities.
Make over your evenings
Some time ago I took a very short course that helped me look at every item that I wanted to do on a daily rotation. Make Over Your Evenings, by Crystal Paine over at Money Saving Mom, really helped me to know exactly the household chores, if you will, that I would do every night prior to going to bed. Now, it is part of my day to clean up the kitchen, put away papers, pick up the toys and scattered mess, and sweep the floor. It becomes second nature much like a bedtime routine is second nature for a child. If you are struggling with putting together a daily routine, I cannot say enough about Make Over Your Evenings. She also has a Make Over Your Mornings course which is especially helpful for those of us who have to get anyone out of the door in the morning (including yourself!).
Oh, the bane of my existence! Do you know that I actually do not like to do a meal plan. It makes it really tough when the hubs groans at the mention of meal planning. So, I decided to just make a monthly meal plan. Now, I just sit down once a month at the beginning of the month and write it out. How many meals do we need? How many days of eating left-overs? Are we planning breakfast-for-dinner nights? Eating out? Events that need to be scheduled around?
This makes it so much easier. I am not going to lie, it has changed my life! It is done after 1 hour in a month instead of 1 hour every week. And my list of go to meals makes it even easier. Try it out!
I resisted this one for a long time. Even though I am a blogger, I don’t embrace technology as quickly as I should. Paper planners were LIFE to me. Pretty stickers, different colored pens, a looooonnnnngg list of to-do’s. Oh, wait. (Yes, my list grew too much every day). It was OVERWHELMING!
I finally decided to jump on the iCal boat and it has been transformational for our family. Mr. Hubster puts in his schedule, I put in mine, and viola! Perfection! If you and your family find yourselves asking about your schedules a lot, this is the tool for you! I may never go back to a big paper planner.
For those who are wondering, I do still have a to-do list on ASANA. It is a handy project management app that can be used for office or home. And then I have a big desk calendar that I write my top 3 items on there for the day! That is it!
Minimize the errand days
Errands can take up a lot of time away from family. Decide on 2 days that you will do errands and make sure that you get all of them done those days. Go shopping for toiletries or non-grocery items only once monthly. Groceries hopefully just once a week. Not only will this save time, but it will for sure save money. Make a schedule that works for you and stick with it!
Make a list
Lists are an absolute must! Each month, I have a Target (toiletries, cat litter) list, a Costco (bulk groceries) list, and an etcetera list (Amazon, office store). As I notice we need these items, I write it down. Keeping a list of items helps me only get what is needed at the store and to not forget things that we need ? .
Lastly, keep in mind that, just as it turns from summer to fall, the seasons in life change also. Be flexible and don’t be hard on yourself. Lowering your expectations is not always a negative. It can be a real positive change as well. You and your loved ones will feel less stressed and have better together time. Who doesn’t love that?
These easy ways to simplify should be just that, easy. Making it easier for you to live the life you want. While it may feel a bit overwhelming at first, it really will become second nature. It takes just about 2 months to make a change a habit. So keep up the work and you will see the full effect soon enough.