MENU

50 Ways to Streamline Your Life

I love the title of a Calvin and Hobbes book, The days are just packed! Ain’t that the truth?! Between 6:11 am (about when FishBaby awakes) and 11:39 pm (about when I collapse in bed), it seems like those minutes just race out the window in a blink of an eye. If you’re a mom, your days are full. That is for sure.

While we can’t “do it all,” we can find ways to help us do what we do a little quicker and a little easier. Here are some suggestions that have come to my mind this week:

(This is the seventh and final part in a series of ways to make life easier and more efficient. Go here for the first installment.)

44. Don’t fold the laundry. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? I’m still reeling from the thought of it. But, TWO books I’ve read recently have recommended a more casual approach to laundry. They suggested sorting each kid’s clean clothing into a basket and letting your children be responsible for folding and putting away their garments. Gasp! Yet, since half the time I find my hard work on the floor, clean, unfolded, and in a heap, abandoning the hard work part certainly makes sense. They are capable and with a little help and follow through, they can take care of their clean clothes themselves.

45. Wear an apron. Donna Reed and June Cleaver had it right! How many times have you stained a shirt during meal prep, bath time, or regular housework? Better question, how many unstained shirts do you own? ‘Nuf said. As cute as aprons are these days, it makes sense to don one when cooking or cleaning. Put it on before you start work, take it off once you (and your clothing) are out of danger and save your clothing from looking frumpy. Check out the Apronista for some great new looks.

46. Expect Good Behavior from your children. Now that’s a doozy, isn’t it? But I realized this week that things were taking me so long to accomplish in part because I wasn’t enlisting the aid of my small army of children. And why not? Because I dreaded dealing with their fussing and complaining about it. I was being held hostage by the thought of their balking. Just between you and me, this is not an efficient way to operate – and it does our children no favors. Expect them to behave well and to help with the household chores. Though it can seem bothersome, teaching them how to help and expecting them to – and following through will save you tons of time, effort, and sanity in the long run.

47. Go to the doctor. So many of today’s illnesses and diseases can be prevented or detected early. Maintain regular checkups so that you can maintain good health. Getting sick does not help you make good use of your time.

48. Clean out the car. I wish I had taken a picture of how bad my van got recently. How disgusted impressed you would have been by my transparency. But, alas, no picture. As it got so unbearable, I realized what a detriment the car clutter was to our daily life. Enlist the aide of all able bodied children. Pull out the trash, organize what stays, give it a good wash and vacuum and enjoy your ride once again.

49. Be prepared for an emergency. No matter where you live, a natural disaster could strike. Don’t let it catch you unawares. Get an emergency box together, two, in fact: one for the house and one for the car. Find suggestions as to what to pack and how to prepare here.

50. Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep. Doing otherwise is getting you into a trap of guilt, unreliability, and disappointment for the person expecting something from you. Make realistic goals — get advice from hubby or a friend if you’re not sure a plan is realistic. Then, do what you say you will. It does no one any good to promise more than you can deliver.

Have you got a tip or trick that helps you keep things together? Share it with us in the comments!

Would you rather subscribe by RSS?
Read Newer Post
Read Older Post

Comments

  1. Abundant Living says:

    Get ready after getting up so that you feel ready to conquer the day. I find if I get up and don't shower, get dressed, and paint my face, I am slow-moving. I'm normally an M & M type of person if I get ready right away. What is M & M you ask? Some hate it, others love it: A morning and moving person. As Ben Franklin said, "The early bird gets the worm!"

  2. Great tips!

    One thing that helps me tremendously is thinking ahead. Yeah, I know all you moms do that already, and have it down pat, but for me, only 3 years into the life of a wife and mom, I'm slowly learning.

    It's so helpful if I have even a general idea of what breakfast is going to be in the morning. And doing a little prep the night before, if I can squeeze it in. (Meal planning is my biggest challenge, so that's where the planning ahead really comes in for me).

    I'll have to check out your previous installment on this – new tips are always good. Thanks!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I have to get my clothes and my daughter's clothes ready the night before. She helps decide what she's going to wear the next day, so there aren't any battles in the morning. I can't tell you how many times I've had an outfit in mind for myself only to find that one of the key pieces of it is in the laundry hamper! Gathering everything (down to the socks) the night before makes mornings much smoother, and it gets the day started on a positive note.

  4. Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog today.
    I am still finding my way around blogland….
    I always love making new friends..

    I am posting about Disney so hope you will stop by.
    Each comment enters you for the June giveaway.

  5. McClure Family says:

    i keep diaper bags packed and make sure i am completely ready for the next day's activities before i go to bed!!

    thanks for all the great tips! i am your newest follower!

  6. thehorizontalyoyo says:

    I learned not too long ago, that things go so much simpler when you throw a basket of clean clothes at the kiddos that need to folded and put away. They are responsible for their own clothes and they usually don't want to undo all their hard work by putting the clean laundry on the floor.

  7. Jenn @ youknow... that blog? says:

    Great tips!

    I am a list-maker. I find if you give a short list to everyone who is able to read, there is no excuse for that list to not be completed. Obviously you have to be realistic and keep age and attention span in mind (my hubby has a very short attention span… haha) The younger set can have their list put on the fridge, and you can read it to them and make a big fuss over things being checked off.

    I also believe in teaching children young how to do laundry and cook basic meals. In the long run, independence and responsible thinking are the greatest gifts you can give your kids.

  8. Melinda says:

    Planning ahead for each day helps me a lot. If I take a few minutes to write myself a to-do list for the next day (on which I out ONLY essential things I MUST do) it helps me stay on top of things. I also like to keep a running list of less important things that I'd LIKE to get done, and if I get a few extra minutes or we're bored, I pull it our and enlist help to get some of it done.

  9. Judy @ Frugal at Home says:

    My kids fold their own laundry, too, for the same reasons you mentioned! I also started washing each child's laundry separately, to avoid having to sort it out (I have 2 sets of kids that are in almost the same sizes, and it used to take forever to check labels for sizes). Oh, and no one is required to fold undies–they just get tossed in a smaller drawer by themselves!

  10. Don’t fold the kid’s clothes? Heck, sometimes I don’t even fold mine or my husband’s! I say clean, in a basket, in the laundry room or in our closet is good enough.

    Also, divvy up chores. There are some things that I absolutely loathe (like the aforementioned laundry, and emptying the dishwasher) and my husband does not mind so much.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts

*