Small Steps to Sanity: Changes at Home for a More Manageable Life

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My husband and I moved back to Indy after completing our medical training in 2018 when our daughter was around 18 months old. I remember the feeling: “We did it! The hard part is over. Life will be so easy now. Right?” Boy was I wrong. Whether it is has been starting our new, “big kid” jobs, adding a second kid, or just maybe parenting in general – the road has not been easy. For two years we felt like we were continuously fighting drowning, keeping our heads just above the surface. We were into our 30s and somehow still drowning in piles of mail, dirty dishes, and dirty clothes (or clean clothes that have just been cycled in the dryer for the seventh, and certainly final, time).

2020 has been extra hard and weird for everyone, but the initial slow down at work brought some positives to our lives. We had spent our entire adult lives just trying to survive. We never stopped to think about what we were (or weren’t) doing. Now, finally, a moment to breathe (amidst the obvious COVID-related anxieties) and figure out a few small habits that have helped make life a little more manageable.

Get the coffee pot ready the night before.

If you don’t drink coffee, sorry. But also, seriously, how do you do it?! If you do, this is a super small thing that has made our mornings just a little easier and happier. All we have to do in the morning is go push a button, and by the time I’m dressed my joy in a cup is ready to go!

(Side note: my super new routine is trying to get out of bed slightly earlier so I have 5 minutes to myself with my coffee before anyone needs me – peaceful, happy way to start the day!)

Do laundry more often.

This may seem like more work but it makes the task of laundry much less daunting. In the past, we saved our laundry for the weekend and it felt like we had to spend a whole day up and down switching over and folding multiple loads of laundry. Blah. Now we do laundry about 3 days a week which makes the folding and putting away much less annoying. (Decreased from 2 to 1 hampers in our master bedroom to help facilitate this!)

Order groceries.

Okay, so we’ve actually been doing this one since 2018. There is (almost) nothing that brings me more joy than seeing how much time someone else spends at the grocery store instead of me. More time playing with my kids, and less time trying to keep track of/fighting with them in the store. Also, much fewer impulse buys because I can’t see the shelves! Super win!

Prep food for the week

Nothing crazy here, but again, little things. We love taking salads for lunch, but rarely did because after we got the kids to bed, cleaned the kitchen, and made their lunches/bottles who wants to do anything more than throw in a quick turkey sandwich and a bag of carrots?? Or screw it all and just order Grub Hub for lunch! We ordered meal prep containers. On Sunday we chop lettuce and tons of yummy veggies for lunches and portion it out (now my 3 year old is even eating bell peppers! HUGE win for us). Also started making casseroles or crockpot meals on Sunday so that when we get home from work during the week we can spend that precious hour with our kids instead of cooking. And again, much less ordering out!

Baskets. Everywhere.

Easy. Can’t believe it took me so long to figure this out. Want to clean up and organize your house quickly and easily? Baskets. For. Everything.

Exercise at home

Also not a new thing for us, but something that has improved our lives greatly. After my daughter was born in 2016 we kept our gym membership for about a year, then finally canceled since we could never make it there. Over time we’ve gotten pretty good at exercising at home. So many great options to help facilitate this – Peloton (so much more than just cycling on here!), Les Mills on Demand, and Down Dog are some of my favorite subscriptions. But there is so much FREE stuff out there as well! Save time driving to and walking into the gym. More time with my kids and (ideally) more sleep.

I’m sure many of you figured this stuff out a long time ago, but I hope you can find at least one little tip to help make your life a bit more manageable too.

What tips do you have to help maintain some sanity in your life? Share in the comments below!

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