Alright ladies, tell me: Is there anything better than figuring out a new system, tip, or trick that makes your life so much easier?! I know we’ve all got them, and they are different for each family and likely for each season of life as well. Right now ,we are in a particularly busy, hands-on season in our home with four kiddos under the age of five. Here are the current tips that are making me fist pump at the simplicity they add to our weeks.
Once a week laundry: This is my favorite trick to keeping our day to day lives more sane. Rather than always shuffling the laundry up and down the stairs and perpetually leaving a load in the washing machine to inevitably need another wash, we get it all done in one day. Yes, that’s a lot of laundry in one day – usually around eight loads (or more) for our family of six. However, on that day, we are in the rhythm of switching it over and it doesn’t seem overwhelming. We drag all dirty clothes to the laundry room in the morning, push it all through, and drag all of it back up to our room and throw it on the bed to sort. Which brings me to my next favorite trick…
Family closet. That’s right, we keep all of the clothes for all of the people in our family in one closet. In this house, we are blessed with a really large master closet which makes this a breeze, but that hasn’t always been the case in our past homes. We still made a family closet work though, even if it meant keeping the clothes in the laundry room or a spare room closet. When our children are older, I’m sure they will want their clothes with them and that will be great, because that will mean they are old enough to hang or put it away themselves. In the mean time, it is fabulous to have all of it in one spot. Choosing clothes is quicker in the morning, getting clothes put away is quicker on laundry day, seeing what we’ve got and what needs handed down or donated is a breeze.
Menu Planning: This one is always recommended, and I’m sure is nothing new to you! Making a plan (I do weekly) not only keeps my grocery bill down, it keeps my sanity (mostly) intact on week nights around 5 p.m. when I’m doing the dinner prep shuffle. On the weeks I don’t menu plan, I find myself staring into the freezer or pantry blankly and trying to think of any means other than spaghetti that I know how to make. Not pretty! Related to menu planning is my next ohmyword why didn’t I start this sooner tip…
Pre-cooking and freezing meat for meals: Ground beef is usually purchased in larger quantities when there’s a good price, and browned as soon as it’s brought home and packaged in meal-sized portions in the freezer. Then when it’s meal time, thaw it and add it to sauces or turn it to taco meat. For me, this is a huge deal, as it saves time standing over the stove with a baby on my hip while browning. I do the same with cooking, shredding and freezing chicken. Such a time saver!
The last trick that works for our family is one that I now a lot of you will think is insane – we put the kids to bed early. Really early, according to some of you. For our family, it works out nicely that the kids go to bed early and get up early. This schedule ensures that not only do my kids get lots of good Daddy time before he has to work in the morning when they are fresh and happy, but that my husband and I get time in the evening to spend together. This time for us is invaluable! We have a super predictable bedtime routine for the kiddos, and when they are down – we still have a few hours to do house projects, watch TV or work on our separate hobby projects (ahem, catch up on The Bachelor). I know this won’t work for some families due to natural rhythms, work schedules, etc. – but if you don’t have anything big working against you, give it a try!
So there you have it, my top five simple sanity savers – what are yours? I’d love to hear what is really working to make your life flow more smoothly these days. You never know where you might pick up your new favorite trick!