Like so many others, we tend to make life…complicated. We stuff our schedules, we strive for perfection, we try to please everyone and we lose sight of the simple things in life. This way of life can get very tiring very quickly.
In 2020, life gave us a chance to slow down. As we move into 2021, let’s take advantage of that new speed and take a look at some other ways we can make life a little simpler and get back to focusing on the important things.
Here are 5 ways to start simplifying your life in the new year.
Invest in a Crockpot or an Alternative
Mealtimes can be some of the most stressful times for a family. You rush to get in dinner between activities and before bed, and no one wants to do a ton of dishes. While this tip is not new or innovative, investing in a crockpot can be a great way to simplify mealtimes and clean up!
There are so many recipe possibilities with a crockpot and who doesn’t love the idea of removing dinner from the list of things you need to worry about during the day? Crockpots aren’t a huge investment and it just takes a quick Google search to find TONS of recipes that can cook while you work (or play).
Meal Prep for the Week
Meal prepping can save a lot of time and worry throughout the week. Whether you use a crockpot to cook a huge batch of chicken for the week or mix up some rice and beans that can be added to any protein, meal prepping can save you a ton of time during the week. Meal prepping is also a great way to save money and eat healthily. If your meals are prepped and ready to go, there is much less temptation to eat out if you’re just too tired to cook. There are many meal planning websites to inspire you, but be careful not to get trapped in analysis paralysis. Just start small and plan to expand your meal planning.
Too tired? Just grab your prepped meal and warm it up! Meal prepping helps you control portions, control what you spend, know exactly what you’ll be eating every night, and save some mental power for more important things each evening! You’ll be glad you did.
Make Lunches the Night Before
Don’t forget lunches. When you’re meal prepping for the week, get some lunches ready at the same time. Whether you’re working at home or in an office, you’re much more likely to run out and grab something expensive or unhealthy if you don’t have something quick and easy to reach for.
This also makes life with kids much easier and saves time during the already hectic morning routine. Don’t spend you’re time struggling to find something to throw in a bag and worrying because it’s not healthy, just grab the container you prepped the night before and stick it in their backpack!
Get rid of STUFF
Clutter is not good for our brains or our overall health. We won’t get into all the details now but if you’re looking to simplify your life and feel better in the new year, start with clutter.
The idea of getting rid of our things is often scary and overwhelming, which is why so many just hold onto their things until things are holding power over them. If this sounds like you, here are a few ways to start the decluttering process. Whatever you do, be sure to appreciate those involved. Give plenty of praise, try to have fun, and keep it light.
Start Room by Room
Or even start with a closet. Don’t think about your whole house, think about the front closet. Then the laundry room. Then a bathroom. Then a bedroom. Going step by step and starting with smaller rooms will help make the project less daunting.
Sell, Give, Trash
As you’re cleaning, you should only have three options for the things you don’t need; throw away, sell, give away. This helps prevent decision fatigue which can lead to leaving the thing in the same spot you found it. Pick up an item that is no longer serving its purpose and decide if you’re going to throw it away, give it away (donate it) or sell it.
Declutter as a Family
Plan regular decluttering events as a family to keep the mess at bay. Once you’ve gone through every room, pick a day once a month to go back through the whole house as a family, and make sure no useless junk has crept back in.
Use Bins and Storage Units
Everything should have a home and bins and storage units are a great way to make sure you have a spot for everything (that does not include a counter or the kitchen table). If everything has a home, it’s much easier for kids to put stuff away when they’re done with it. When kids are involved, make sure to remember that it doesn’t have to be a perfect system. If they throw some cars in the box meant for Legos, it’s ok…as long as you don’t end up stepping on either!
Don’t forget your shoes. Shoes can be hard to organize and can stink up closets or bedrooms. To make sure stinky shoes have a safe place, grab a few ShoeSlings® and assign them their own hooks. Tell your kids this is where their sports shoes live and hang them up every day after practices or games. The ShoeSling will keep your shoes out of the way and keep odors contained!
Plan a Commitment-Free Day
It can be tempting to over-plan and over-commit. Yes, that birthday party sounds great, and that committee sounds interesting, and we definitely need a playdate! But an overbooked schedule does not simplify your life. These events are all important but make sure to set aside some time (or a specific day) that you keep completely clear. Take that day to bond as a family. Read. Binge your favorite show. Play games. Whatever you do, keep it simple and recharge for whatever you have planned for the next day!
Don’t let life overwhelm you in 2021. Stay focused and keep things simple.