In today’s world, it seems like we are constantly bombarded with things to do. Life seems more complicated, more expensive, and stressful. Yet, we love to pile it on and take on more than we can handle.
We work, care for our families, and try to find time for ourselves. It can be hard to find ways to simplify our lives and make them more enjoyable. But it is worth it! It’s time to find small ways to make life easier, more convenient, simplified, and, in turn, more time and happiness.
This doesn’t make you a lazy person, it makes you efficient so you can do more things you love and spend time with family and friends.
Make Life Easier
This is one of the easiest ways to make life easier, yet implementing it can be the most difficult is meal planning.
Meal planning is something I struggle with, but my bank account and stress level are improved if I take ten minutes on a Sunday and plan my meals and order my groceries.
Let’s start with the meals. I gather all my kids to the table on a Friday or Saturday night. I let my kids pick one dinner and brainstorm breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. We make a list. For each meal, I write out exactly what ingredients are needed.
Then I head to my fridge and pantry and take an inventory of meals I could whip up from what I have. This saves me so much money. If I look to see what I have on hand, I end up making a meal or two.
Then I mark off what ingredients I may not need to purchase on this grocery trip or order. It is surprising how many items you actually do not need to purchase.
By planning out what you are going to eat for each meal, you will know exactly how much food needs to be cooked and purchased ahead of time. You can also make sure that all ingredients are available before starting any cooking process or meal preparation task in order.
Grocery Delivery or Pickup
After I meal plan for the week, I head to my online apps and add everything from my written list to my cart for Sunday pickup. I like different items from different stores, so I tend to make a loop of pickups.
Grocery pickups are always less busy in the first time slot. You can do this any day of the week.
People say they don’t get great produce or what they want exactly. I have only had an issue maybe twice with produce or wrong items out of probably three hundred grocery pickups. Don’t be afraid to try it, at least.
By having my groceries delivered or online pickups, it saves me taking kids to the store, which 1) I spend way more money because they “want” through the whole store 2) the stress of shopping with them 3) saves me probably three hours a week.
If you have the option to have your groceries delivered by Amazon or Walmart+ all the power to you. Having a delivery service is convenient and makes your life easier and you’ll have more free time with your family and friends.
Meal Delivery Subscriptions
If you want the ultimate way to make your life easier, find a meal delivery subscription that you love. You can get meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even meals for kids (which I actually like for myself)
- Freshly. Fully prepared, chef-made meals delivered. I order these for my grandma for a couple of hot meals already made for her to pop in the microwave a couple of times a week.
- Home Chef. All ingredients are sent to your home in a perfectly portioned box, and you make the meals.
- Yumble Kids. Premade meals for toddlers and kids. Nutritious and delicious. These meals I happen to love too.
Declutter Your Home
Decluttering your home can help make it more enjoyable to live in and care for. It also makes life easier by eliminating unnecessary clutter, “things,” and junk from around the house so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by your space.
When I have “stuff” everywhere, I feel overwhelmed and almost out of control, even angry.
I hate things lying around, accumulating. These are my rules for decluttering:
- Get rid of items, clothes, or toys you do not see yourself using in six months or have not used in six months to a year. No, those skinny jeans you have been saving for when you are “skinny” again are only a reminder it’s not happening. Toss them. Sell items that are barely used and have value.
- Everything has a “home.” Everything in your house should have a home. The toys, paperwork, books, clothes, and shoes. You name it; everything needs a home and a place where it goes. Teach your kids this too.
- Start decluttering one drawer, one closet at a time. Get rid of anything you KNOW you will not need or use. Be honest with yourself; you know when you’re not. Do a home edit.
- You don’t need every small kitchen appliance on top of your counters; clear that space and your kitchen will automatically look cleaner and larger.
- Switch all your bills to paperless billing. Not only do you get a discount, but paper piles also won’t pile up. Shred any paperwork you do not need to have the year 2014 power bill. If you feel you need records of everything, invest in a paper scanner to scan documents into your computer. All your essential paperwork gets an accordion file for each year.
Do you have the habit of taking the entire household on by yourself? Stresses to the max because you are not delegating the workload necessary to maintain a household? You can have an easier life if you stop taking on the grunt of the entire home.
If other humans live in your home and are old enough to pour a bowl of cereal on their own, give them tasks and responsibility.
Let them know exactly what their specific job is, so you don’t have to repeat it over and over; it is especially helpful to write it down on a notecard with little boxes to check off, then you can hand it over and not say a word.
- I have everyone in my house do a “12-minute clean-up.” Every single day. For twelve straight minutes, everyone finds homes for items, picks up floors, loads dishwashers, takes the trash out, cleans counters, vacuums, etc. This is in addition to their regular chore lists like cleaning their rooms and bathrooms.
- My kids have standard chores like cleaning their rooms and walking the dog daily. Additionally, as I said above, I like to take a notecard and write the chores down. Then I can hand it to them or leave it on the counter without much flack back. It eliminates lots of arguments and eye-rolls. It works with husbands too. Just hand them a notecard.
- I also LOVE Greenlight Debit Cards for kids. Why? In the app, I can add the chores or responsibilities to the app, and they get an allowance for completing each task. It can be as much as you feel is fair for the task. It incentives them to do some work without me sounding like a “mom” all the time. Not only is Greenlight great for teaching them money management, and they get a cool debit card of their own, but it also makes my life easier and saves me from repeating all the time.
Delegating doesn’t mean just family members. If you need to hire some assistance and can financially do so to take something off your plate, do it. Need an extra hand with the weeds in the garden, find a high school kid that wants to earn some cash. Hire a once-a-month housekeeping service if you feel like you are drowning. Sometimes taking the edge off helps with your physical and mental health and may be worth the splurge.
Keep Your Home Tidy
Elaborating on the above, I am a big believer your home should be your favorite place in the world. Your sanctuary, where you want to be more than anywhere. You need to be at peace when you are home.
Yes, houses get dirty. If you have small children, they get even messier. Yes, it’s ok not to be perfect every day. Your house doesn’t have to be immaculate. Just so your soul is at peace being in it.
This may seem daunting, but if you dedicate the “12-minute clean-up” as stated above, your home will be in much better shape, and you won’t be overwhelmed trying to clean it all in one day or on your day off.
Some other tips include:
- I always clean my kitchen before going to bed. It’s a habit I established. Teaching myself this habit was like pulling teeth, but now I MUST have a clean kitchen before bed. It sets your morning up and your mood for the day, walking into a nice clean kitchen with freshly brewed coffee.
- Make your bed every day (this one helps!) My mother-in-law once told me, and it stuck, “if you make your bed, everything else looks clean, too.” Making your bed won’t make you more successful or wildly wealthy, as some self-help dohickey claims, but it feels great to climb in bed without it all jumbled for a great night of sleep. Not only that, it feels great walking into the room without seeing your bed disheveled.
- Putting away laundry as soon as it’s done instead of letting it pile up (I know, easier said than done, but you’ll feel accomplished)
- Wiping down counters and surfaces after cooking or using the kitchen/bathroom, so they don’t get dirty over time.
- For my glass shower, I mix one part Dawn Soap with two parts white vinegar and match both with warm water. I spray this on my glass shower every other and wipe it down after it sits for five minutes. There is no hard water buildup or mildew. Saves a heck of an amount of elbow grease.
- Vacuuming and sweeping the floors at least once a week. Think about investing in a robotic vacuum, and they even have robotic mops now too!
- Taking out the trash/recycling every day
Get a Smaller Living Space
As I went through a divorce, my sister-in-law kept reminding me that this was a time to make my life easier and it was time to simplify for my own well-being.
Did I listen? No.
Did I listen later after I learned a hard lesson?
Yes, and I apologized to her for not taking her wise advice.
I am here to pass on m,y wise advice because I have screwed up many times. Here is what I learned.
Smaller is better when it comes to homes. Nobody gives two you-know-whats about what kind of fancy car you own or the size of your house.
I am not saying to run out and purchase a tiny home on wheels. I am saying consider the amount of money, time, and work that goes into a larger home or apartment. Simplifying helps. If you love your home, this is merely a suggestion to make your life easier.
I went and bought a big house after my divorce. Dumb. More house, more work, more yard, more bills, more taxes, more of my hair falling out.
I now live in a maintainable, 2200-square-foot house (yes, that is a good size, but I have four kids). It’s brand new, it’s easy to clean, and my bills are small. My kids all have their own room. There is no need for “extra” space like game rooms or playrooms. Guaranteed your kids will make your living room a playroom and be in your space and kitchen.
Simplifying my home and buying a car cash has allowed me to do more with my life, like travel, explore, and do more fun things. It makes life easier with less maintenance, fewer taxes, and do-able power bills. My home feels cozy, and we gather more as a family.
To be honest, I would get an even smaller home, and I will as my four kids start to leave the nest.
If you have too much “stuff” to move into a smaller space, you may need to address that situation and reevaluate.
Simplifying your living space is worth considering if you want to make your life easier and more attainable. It is something to think about.
Get Off Social Media
How to make life easier? Get the heck off social media. Yes, that would be you.
First, I’ll use Instagram as an example. Head to Instagram, go to “Your Activity,” and click “Time Spent.” Yep, those hours watching strangers or getting FOMO (fear of missing out) or getting jealous because Janet is in Aruba could be spent actually making YOUR life better.
Imagine that. You could read, learn something, cook something good or make a memory with your kids.
Just try to unload the app for a week and take a break. See what you get done without watching the same reel or meme remade for the millionth time. Social media has become so repetitive, negative, and nasty.
You could get a perspective on your own life instead of comparing it to others. I could go on and on about the benefits of getting off social media. Unless you are making real money off of it, get off.
Just do this for me. Notice how you feel every time you scroll through social media.
Do you feel better or worse about your own life?
Get your Money Right
Want to know what will really make life easier? Get your money situation straight. It will likely improve your life more than you can believe, make life easier, less stressful, and downright make your life better.
I know it, you know it.
Now money does not make your life happier, but having a grip on your money will make your life easier.
Who wants to be in massive debt? Waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety due to having $36 in the bank. No one.
I am not an expert in this field, I can tell you I have had money issues, and my life was HARD. I had to make a significant change and a real honest look at my financial situation. It was time to be real.
I went on the “debt diet” and read a few books on financial freedom. It was one of the hardest parts of my life to get on track, but as I did, my life became better. I could do things I wanted to do, and I felt free of that burden and weight as I went to bed at night.
Here is how to make life easier by getting your money situation on the right track:
Get some motivation and help from experts. There are many resources out there to help and keep you motivated. These are the top books that helped:
- Unf*ck Yourself. This is not a financial book, but if you really want to make a change (any change in your life), this book will make you be honest with yourself, with no sugar coating. Tough love goes a long way. This book quite literally changed my life in more areas than one. I actually listen to it every couple of months to stay on track.
- The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. Get the tools, motivation, and a plan to take control of your money and your life.
Money is a huge part of our lives. It can make us happy or it can stress us out. Most people would agree that having more money would make their lives easier. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to get their money right. Here are a few basic tips:
- I am going to say the B-word. Budget. I am sorry but you have to. You need a budget. You need to know where your money is going. Make sure to account for all of your expenses, including things like entertainment, food, and transportation. To make this easier, consider an app that does it for you, like TrueBill. This app will show you what you are spending, things you can cut out, and services you need to cancel.
- Start building an emergency fund or nest egg. I use this app to invest my spare change plus $20 a month. Without even thinking about it, I have made little savings I am proud of. Getting your money right doesn’t mean just debt. You need money set aside, and do not touch it unless it’s a real emergency.
- Live below your means: This tip goes hand-in-hand with the first one. Just because you have a certain amount of money coming in doesn’t mean you need to spend it all. Try to live off of less than what you make so that you can save money each month.
- Living below your means does not mean stopping living. You can find so many free or budget-friendly activities to do until you reach a point you feel financially safe. Once you feel financial freedom, you won’t want to go back. But that does not mean it’s permanent living frugal or splurging later. Sacrifices have to be made temporarily.
- Invest in yourself: One of the best ways to improve your financial situation is to invest in yourself. This can mean taking courses, learning new skills, listening or reading more books, or even starting your own business. When you invest in yourself, you are increasing your earning potential and setting yourself up for success.
- Make a plan: This tip is similar to the first two, but it’s important enough to merit its own spot on the list. Having a budget and living below your means are both great, but you also need to have a plan for your money. What do you want to achieve financially? Do you want to save up for a down payment on a house? Do you want to retire early? Once you know your goals, you can start working towards them.
- Automate your finances: This tip is a great way to make sure you are always on track with your finances. Automating your finances means setting up automatic payments for things like your mortgage, car payment, and student loans. It also means having money automatically deposited into your savings account each month. This takes the guesswork out of budgeting and can help you stay on track.
Have a Morning Routine
I know- this is an old, worn-out, self-help cliche. It can be.
BUT, a morning routine can help to set the tone for your day and make it run more smoothly. I actually think a night routine is more beneficial to the setup to your next day, that’s next.
By having a routine, you will know what tasks need to be completed each morning and you can plan ahead accordingly. This can include things such as waking up at a certain time, eating breakfast, working out, showering, getting dressed, etc.
That’s all fine and dandy.
It’s the morning routine that you do to make your life easier, more efficient, and smooth.
I am a big believer in the biggest, most cliche, self-help item ever. The journal. I stay off social media or my phone during my first cup of coffee. I five-minute journal. This is relatively new to me. And it improved my day-to-day mood for the better.
I’m not as snarky, I put my life into perspective each morning or I write about my previous day and how I can improve today.
After I do that, I write my three must-be-done-first lists. I am diagnosed with ADHD and am a chronic procrastinator. I make myself accomplish the things I don’t want to do first. If I don’t write them down, my brain goes into overdrive with fourteen million reasons and excuses why I don’t need to do them and why those thousands of other things are more important.
Then literally nothing gets done.
Additionally, as someone who loves excuses and as a previous gym owner, I always suggest adding your workouts to your morning routine and always having something healthy as your first meal. It sets your day up, and we all know getting to the gym later is not happening.
Have a Night Routine
I personally think a night routine is more important than a morning routine. It’s time to put the day behind you, prepare for a better tomorrow and relax.
My favorite night routine ideas to make your life easier are:
- Have a meal with your family. Talking about the day, listening to them without distractions
- Clean up your kitchen and space for tomorrow
- Prep your coffee. What is better than the coffee ready to pour when you wake up?
- Take a relaxing bath or shower and/or give your kids a pre-bedtime relaxing bath.
- Time to read or listen to audiobooks
- Turn off your electronics and move your phone at least six feet away so you are not tempted to get up in the middle of the night to mindlessly scroll.
A nighttime routine can be beneficial for those who have difficulty winding down at night. I definitely fall into this category, so having a nighttime routine is essential for me!
Remove Toxic People To Make Life Easier
This is a simple idea to make your life easier but can be difficult to implement. But for the love of God, necessary. This goes for family, friends, and relationships that have run their course.
You don’t need an emotional vampire sucking the life right out of you.
You have to ask yourself, for what?
Toxic people can drag you down and make living your life much more difficult than it needs to be. This is a fact. This is why you need to remove or limit toxic people to make your life easier and better:
- They don’t support your dreams and goals. Toxic people will try to discourage you from chasing your dreams and goals. They will tell you that you’re not good enough or will never achieve what you want. This kind of negativity can be very damaging, and you must surround yourself with people who believe in you.
- They’re always negative. Toxic people always find things to complain about or love to be miserable. They’re never happy, and they always bring others down with them. This kind of negativity is contagious, and it’s important to distance yourself from it.
- They’re never there for you. Toxic people are always too busy for you but expect you to be at their beck and call. They never have time to help you out or lend a listening ear. This can be very frustrating and it’s important to have people in your life who are supportive. People who are there to uplift and make life easier, not more difficult.
- They’re always trying to control you. Toxic people always want to control everything and have no boundaries. They’ll tell you what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. This can be very suffocating, and it’s essential to have your own space and freedom.
When you remove toxic people from your life, you suddenly have way more energy and headspace for the things that actually matter to you. You don’t have to deal with their constant drama and negative energy, and you can find and really focus on the things that make you happy. In addition, you’ll find that your relationships with other people improve when you cut out the toxicity.
The point is to make life easier, not be drained by soul-sucking toxicity. Life is too short of putting up with misery, limit, or get rid of it.
Learn to Say No
In today’s world, we are overwhelmed with to-do lists, activities for kids, work, home, and the unfortunate fuel to the fire; social media tells us we are not doing enough.
It’s important to know your limits. It is also ok not to explain yourself. Learn to you and your family in your home first. If it doesn’t interest you or is important to you, it’s okay to say no simply.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed with tasks or obligations, then say no
- If someone asks you to do something that isn’t in line with your values or beliefs, then say no.
- If the request is last minute and you don’t have the time/energy, then say no (this happens more often than not).
- If someone asks you to do something that isn’t in line with your values or beliefs, then say no.
- Learn what your priorities are and stick to them! If work comes first, put it before friends or family; if family comes first, make sure they know how much they mean to you by taking care of yourself so they can see an example being set daily through hard work ethic and balance.
Live Your Life Intentionally
You must find ways to be more efficient and productive and convenient so you can relax your soul and body. Here’s how:
- Cut out things that don’t serve your purpose. If something does not align with who you are or what makes you happy, it can be removed from your life for good. Things like people in our lives that aren’t supportive and helpful but bring us down instead add stress to our day.
- Declutter your mind. We do this by prioritizing your to-do list and making time for your favorite activities and hobbies.
- Take time for yourself each day. Whether you like to run, read a book or just have quiet time in prayer, take some time every single day to do only what YOU want! This may seem impossible at first, but it’s well worth the effort because when we can focus on our needs (not wants necessarily), then we tend not to feel so overwhelmed because everything else is taken care of
- Make time for yourself. The saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” is so true. Make sure you are taking care of yourself and your needs too. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night to wake up feeling refreshed instead of tired or drained all day long!
- Eat healthy foods: Eating healthy foods is a great way to simplify your life because it will help give you energy when needed most (during those hectic days at work). You’ll also find that eating well helps with focus, concentration, and memory retention.
- Simplify your relationships. This can be done by setting boundaries and communicating your needs with others.
- Do not overcommit yourself; Your life will be so much easier if you focus on what matters most first, like family members, then go from there.
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