I have been trying very hard to reduce stress in my life, which means getting organized and simplifying things whenever possible. If you feel overwhelmed regularly, here are a few ways you can start making your life easier, less stressful, and more fun.
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Moms Help the World Go Round
We are a very active family and I feel like I am constantly running to and from SOMEWHERE to get somewhere else! Take the teen to Krav Maga, run to the store…back to Krav Maga, home for dinner… It just never stops! Some days I feel like I have run a marathon and wonder how I am going to make it til bedtime so I can crash in my chair and relax.
Eating healthy and staying organized are really important when it comes to playing supermom. When mommy gets sick and/or disorganized, the whole house seems to fall apart! I have seen a few make your life easier quotes that really hit home for me. This one by Marilyn Monroe really inspired me:
“Keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.”
We sometimes forget to look at the beauty in our everyday life. We want to make life easier, get more done, and tackle day to day life. Which is great. We do need to be organized. But, in your quest to make life more efficient, don’t forget to stop to smell the roses occasionally!
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Stay Organized Using a Day Planner
Looking for products that make life better? A planner should be number one on your list of must have items for making life easier. I put all sorts of things in mine. Doctor appointments, martial arts lessons for the teen, errands that need to be run and phone calls that need making!
I prefer day planners that have large spaces for each day. That way, I can make lists of things that need to be done right on the day of the week it needs doing. I really LOVE the kind of day planner that comes in the handy zip up leather cover. That way, I can take it with me when I leave and make notes as things come up.
Like this post on making your life easier? Try these posts, too:
- Why Stress Makes You Sick and My Plan to Fight Back
- Managing Sports Teams For You Or Your Kids
- Spring Cleaning Your Office: Don’t Let It Lead to Identity Theft!
When I am home, I leave it open on my kitchen desk so that my husband can take a glance at the week ahead and see if he has any conflicts with the rest of the family. He often forgets to tell me he has to work late or play tennis with a friend and that drives me NUTS! Make sure the whole family is on board with the system or it will just not work…use a dry erase board or chalk board in the kitchen if the planner system doesn’t work for you.
How to organize a day planner to make life easier
Want to keep your planner organized? It might take some getting used to but used consistently, a it will start making your life easier and more efficient.
- Keep your planner updated. You won’t remember things you don’t write down. Take it with you everywhere. Leave it by the phone or computer so you can add new tasks into it easily and quickly.
- Write your schedule out and be exact. Don’t just say ‘Monday, I bake cookies for the bake sale’. Write ’10 AM Monday: bake cookies’ to really stay on task.
- Keep tabs for specific sections. Write down phone numbers, to do lists, birthdays, or whatever else you need to know regularly.
- Color code tasks. I like to use assorted color highlighters, a different color for each person.
- Check tasks off as they are finished. This gives you a great sense of accomplishment.
- Be consistent. You will eventually turn your planner into a habit, however it will take a while.
What are the benefits to keeping an organized planner? Having all of your appointments and to do lists in one place will make life simpler in the long run, I promise. Of course, no planner will help you get organized all by itself. It will take some work. Set aside 5 or 10 minutes every evening to go over your tasks for the next day.
Always keep a “Mom on the Go” bag handy
Want to know how to make life simpler? Be ready for anything! The term ‘go bag’ or ‘bug out bag’ is usually used for emergency preparedness. However, a ‘Mom on the go bag’ is more like a collection of things that will make your life easier if you have to run out the door last minute for an unplanned emergency.
What to stock in your on the go bag:
Make sure you keep it well stocked and sort through it occasionally. A summer go bag for a mom with young kids might include sunscreen, snacks, an assortment of kid’s entertainment like search a word puzzles and a Rubik’s cube, a small first aid kit, tissues, etc.
Keep it by the door so it is ready to grab when you head out to that last minute doctor’s appointment. There is nothing worse than having to drag your kids around when they are bored and hungry. And since my kids were ALWAYS hungry, I kept lots of different snack options in there for them!
My favorite bag types:
The type of bag you choose will be a deeply personal choice. I exaggerate a bit, however, I changed my preferred bag many times as the kids grow up. If you are just starting out with babies, invest in a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag. That way, it grows with your kids and you aren’t stuck with something babyish when your kids are in kindergarten.
Backpacks are also very handy to take with you on the go. In addition to being roomy, backpacks also give you two hands free to wrangle children. Large purses tend to fall off shoulders and whack kids in the head when you start moving quickly!
Stock your pantry to fit your fast paced lifestyle
Eating healthy takes time, however, it makes life easier by helping you ward off colds and stay healthy. There are a ton of healthy food options that can be grabbed quickly as you run out the door. Stock these healthy foods in your pantry for on the go healthy snacking:
Easy and healthy on the go snacks
- Fresh fruit on the counter is fast and easy.
- Granola bars are easy to throw in your go bag.
- Bagels make a great on the go breakfast.
- Nuts are loaded with protein to keep you energized for a long time.
- Jerky. Beef, pork, salmon, etc are all widely available.
- Trail Mix. Throw in some chocolate chips for your sweet tooth
- Yogurt: Avoid the ones with loads of added sugar.
- Veggies: just cut them up into portable slices on the weekend.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs. My teenager takes these for lunch
- Pretzels, popcorn, rice cakes and other healthy snacks.
I must admit, I occasionally splurge on a pre-made bottled smoothies. Grabbing something cold and sweet is refreshing when I am running around on a busy day. Quite often, I end up drinking it while waiting in the carpool lane. Make sure you bring the empty home to recycle or find a recycle bin on your journey to toss the empty bottle into!
Keep dinner simple on the nights you are busy.
You do not need to have a 4 course meal every night. There are a lot of meals you can make ahead of time that are healthy, filling, and fast. Make friends with your crock pot so that your dinner is waiting when you walk in the door (or choose your favorite crock pot scents and make your home smell like fall year round!) (or choose your favorite crock pot scents and make your home smell like fall year round!). Cook bulk meals on the weekends and reheat as needed.
Make Life Easier With Simple, Healthy Dinner Recipes
- How to Make Homemade Soup for a Healthy Family Dinner
- Chicken and Potato Skillet Dinner Recipe
- Cajun Style Dirty Rice Recipe Your Family Will Love
If you are throwing burgers on the grill, throw on a couple extra chicken breasts (make silver turtles with the kids!) and use those as a top your own salad one night. Offer your family breakfast for dinner. Eggs, fruit, milk, and whole wheat toast is a wonderfully balanced meal that is fast and easy to prepare. It may not be fancy or fit into the preconceived notion of what ‘dinner’ should be but it works!
Making Your Life Easier Requires Down Time!
Overall, our lives are probably a little bit too hectic…that goes for mine, too! Don’t forget to keep some time open for doing NOTHING. Kids are so over scheduled these days and don’t often have time to just veg out and relax. That goes for the grownups too! Find a little bit of time each day that is just for YOU. You will be a happier and healthier person if you take a little bit of time each to to recharge your mental battery! Check out The Muse for more simple ways to make life easier.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.