Before your anxiety starts to rise, let me stop you and say – I am not a supermom and that is not what I am trying to create by sharing with you ways to “do more”. In fact, in the past two months I have been very intentional with trying to Simplify my life, I know that this is coming from the Lord and was specifically laid out before me two months ago while I was on my break from blogging.
It is so easy to become overloaded, but I do think there are ways to get what we need to get done – DONE! Now, I’ve been at this mom and homemaking gig for a few years – 22 years or so. I’ve had seasons of success and also seasons where I flopped at what I needed to do in order to take care of my home. We all go through those seasons.
But I think it is critical for us to be intentional with our time and also to be realistic with our expectations. We can’t do it all – if you think you can you are fooling yourself and things will backfire. A few simple steps will get you headed in the right direction to managing things better and developing good habits.
This is one of the key areas we tend to overlook. In order to make lasting progress, we have to change our habits. Changing habits won’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual process and takes time. One area that I had to examine was critically looking at how I began my day, where I wasted time and what I could change and do differently; thus creating a new habit. It is about priorities for me and constantly evaluating them. I have been focused on getting up to have morning devotional time before my kids get up and that has changed everything for me. Taking the time to spend a few minutes in the morning in prayer is making the difference to how my day unfolds. My attitude, my plans for the day, what I get accomplished – it is amazing!
Pick One Thing
Plan to tackle one thing at a time. Often times we can create a list a mile long of what we think we need to do each day. Don’t try to do it all at once, because you’ll get overwhelmed and give up. Start with the easiest job, so you have a sense of accomplishment that will roll over to the next project. Once things are organized, set up daily maintenance for each area of the house. This is one thing everyone has loved about the Weekly Household Planner, big tasks are broken down into bite size pieces, homemakers feel successful when they can cross off several.
This is a big one – get rid of things that have been piling up, like junk mail, paper and other things you just don’t need. If you can take a day in each area of your home and just de-clutter a bit, things get easier. I am much more relaxed when I can see countertops, table tops and the floor!
Take a look at each room and see what belongs and what doesn’t. If it doesn’t belong in that room, put it in a box to be sorted and placed in the right place later. You can even have a box for each person in the family and put things in it from each room as you go through the house. Then they can put all their things away. It may be time to get rid of some home decor too, that clutters up our eyes and senses too. If you don’t absolutely love something or doesn’t have any particular meaning to you, perhaps it is time to give it away?
Organize your shopping trips. Making a shopping list is a start, and many people forget to make one. If you meal plan, it is a given. If you forget the shopping list you can come out of the store with a lot more things than you wanted, thus blowing the budget, or forget one important item and have to go back again later, wasting time. I hate that! Yes, I forget to make a list sometimes too, and then I am reminded how critical it is.
Just today I had several stops to make, I can sometimes think I will remember them all, but often times if I do not plan it out and write my list out, I will forget things and end up wasting time. I keep a list in my phone which I can easily cross off as I go. Planning is another habit you need to get into.
Another great way to help save time is to cook meals ahead of time or what I like to do even more, make a double batch of a meal and freeze the other half. There are many recipe books that are designed for freezer meals. You prepare several meals at once, freezing them to be reheated later. This saves time and if you buy the ingredients in bulk, can save you a lot of money. Slow cookers are also a great way to help save time. You throw the ingredients in earlier in the day, let it cook all day and then dinner is ready with very little work. My favorite – pot roast in mine right now!
Divide and Conquer
Dividing up the housework is another way to help get everything done. Even young children can help do some household tasks, with guidance. The earlier they learn to help, the easier it will be later. Make a chore chart and remind everyone that this will help make time for the family to do the fun things they want to do.
It may seem daunting at first, but just like anything worthwhile, it will take time to reorganize your house into a smooth running home that everyone can enjoy.
What is your best tip for getting it all done?