5 Ways to Simplify Mom Life This Year
In many ways, the craziness of 2020 brought a certain level of simplicity to our lives: trips were cancelled, activities postponed, and we learned to make do with a little less. In other ways, it brought complexity. Along with the headlines of the year, many families faced tough decisions about how to navigate school closures, jobs, childcare, and parenting in general. If you're looking for ways to simplify a bit this year, here are some ideas.
- Declutter. You don't have to do a full Marie Kondo to make your home (and therefore, your life) feel a little lighter. We spend so much time trying to pick up and organize our stuff, only to feel like we failed when it continues to get messy. The problem might not be your system - it might be your stuff! Post-holiday gifting, chances are your kids have toys they no longer use, clothes that aren't suitable for the season, or duplicate items. Get real about what's actually serving your family, then donate, sell, or find a Buy Nothing Group to purge the rest. You can also check out our posts How to Organize Baby Clothes, 5 Things to do with Old Baby Clothes, and How to Organize Baby Shoes for more tips.
- Try a capsule wardrobe for your kids (or you)! If you're looking to simplify even further, maximize your budget, and take the guesswork out of dressing your little ones, try a capsule wardrobe using simple, mix and match baby clothes. Get all the details here.
- Work ahead. You don't have to be a meal prepping, calendar-color-coding fanatic to work ahead. Just ask yourself author Kendra Adachi's "Magic Question": What one thing can I do now to make my life easier later? That might be cutting up some extra fruit in the morning to have it ready for an afternoon snack to avoid cranky kiddos. Maybe it's emptying the dishwasher to first thing every morning so you can load it throughout the day and avoid the frustration of making dinner without sink space. Identify a few things that typically lead the other dominoes to fall and see if you can find a simple solution.
- Create new routines. You might have been in a really good groove with the kiddos leading up to this year, and it's tempting to try getting back to that. But if you're navigating virtual school, working from home, and trying to replace activities that have now been cancelled, consider whether it might be time for a new routine. Schedule a daily time for everyone to get outside or get some movement to burn off energy, schedule in quiet time for older kids during nap times so that you can get some quiet time yourself, or even just release your own expectations around what days are "supposed to" look like.
- Get it delivered. And by "it," we mean anything you can that will make life easier. Order grocery pickup or delivery. Try out a meal kit service if you're not into meal planning. More stores are offering some form of shipping, delivery, or curbside pickup than ever before, so you can still support local and small businesses when shopping for books, clothing, or household essentials. Sometimes the littlest things can make life feel much more simple, and sometimes that little thing is not needing to haul kids in and out of car seats in the snow.