Thursday, September 13, 2012

Make Life Easier

Life is busy. Kids make it even busier. It seems the older they get, the busier it gets. Shuttling kids from school to music lessons to church can make my head spin some days. So while I try to save time and take shortcuts, I've realized there are some things just not worth the time. For example, I never buy dry-clean or hand wash only garments. It just equals more time in my mind. And I rarely make things from complete scratch. I cut corners where I can, while still maintaining quality, health and integrity of dishes and projects.
Here  are a few tips to make your life a little easier:

- Take full advantage of your slow cooker. Don't have one?? Invest in one. You can find a decent one around $20 and if it's not in the budget, keep your eyes peeled for sales on them or check out second-hand stores and yard sales. Plan to use it a couple nights a week and shop accordingly. A roast can be turned into a melt-in-your-mouth meal when veggies and potatoes are thrown in.
- Stock your freezer with healthy meals for when you're in a hurry and haven't thought about dinner. It saves money and avoids a trip to the drive-thru on rushed evenings.
- Buy clothing that is easy to wash and dry, no dry-cleaning or hand washing required. Also, choose fabrics that don't wrinkle to avoid having to iron. Who wants to take the time and spend the money on that stuff??
- Buy in  bulk when possible. Toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries...things that you find yourself running out of and running out for should be kept in an overstock area to save trips.
- Simplify your routine for getting out the door. Keep shoes, keys, backpacks, everything you need for  the day near the front door and set things out the night before so  you don't spend time looking for that lost shoe.
- Perfect a five-minute beauty routine that can be finished in a flash. I know that vanity is definitely something I've sacrificed since having kids. I just don't have the uninterrupted time anymore to take long showers, blow-dry my hair and put on a full face of make-up.
- If you find something flattering in your  budget, stock up! Sweaters, jeans, t-shirts...all the staples in your wardrobe should be streamlined to avoid "what to wear" dilemmas at the last minute!
- Lastly, another way to get more done?? Enlist your kids and make a chore-chart! Even the little guys of your family can put away toys, clear the dinner table and throw away their trash. The more they do while they're young, the easier it will be to get them to pitch in later.

And here's a list of things to take EXTRA time for...

- Take care of yourself! Get moving when you can and eat as healthy as possible!
- Don't neglect your annual check-ups! The best way to take care of your family is to take care of yourself first.
- Make time for your relationship with your hubby. You were a couple before kids and it's important to maintain your marriage and friendship.
- Find quiet moments during the day. Immerse yourself in a book, even if it's just a few pages at a time. Take time to meditate and pray. We all need a mental break. Be good to yourself!
How do you make your life easier??

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