Wednesday, May 10, 2017

four ways to feel less like we're drowning at home

There's so much taking up my brain lately! Work, health, fitness, taking care of babies, trying to allocate my time, cleaning, organizing, selling things on eBay... I feel pulled in all the directions, sometimes with my head above water and sometimes not so much.

One thing that over time has really helped with anxiety and overwhelmed-ness is having a tidy home. I had one precious full day of childcare yesterday (a client canceled on me, but mom was still watching the girls) and half of it was spent tidying and reorganizing the nursery/office. I had put a lot of work into it before AnnaCate was born, but then all the parties we threw / other rooms we tackled / closets we scoured made the nursery a holding area for 100% clutter. 

It's extremely nice to come in here now and see clean floors, a made bed, a less cluttered desk. (It's still not really perfect...) Same goes for the other spaces in our home -- a cleared-off dining room table, a less chaotic living room with toys in their proper homes, a kitchen with less gadgets on the counters. Less is truly more!!

Here are some of the tips & tricks I've learned over time to help manage the household so it's less madness and more calm!

1. Baskets are our friends! Mom knew what she was doing when she started her obsession with baskets -- my sister and I tease her for her extensive collection (she can't go to an antique store without picking one up!), but these are instrumental in keeping things at bay. Baskets, bins, and boxes help give "homes" to all the things we accumulate -- especially baby toys. We have a huge basket in our bedroom, one in the living room, and a handful of large canvas bins to house toys galore, as well as accumulate laundry. The girls have a cute swan laundry hamper and ours has a heavy-duty handle and a cute crab print - anything to motivate us to actually do laundry!
2. Big metal shelving units have been WAY helpful for organizing the garage / our storage. Vertical space is a major thing to utilize storage areas! We got a bunch of the extra-wide ones at Target and they house everything from outside toys to party supplies to china/glassware and exercise equipment.
3. One goal we had for a long time was to create a "command center" in our house for sorting the beaucoups of paper clutter we accumulate. It took a lot of hunting, a lot of patience, and a good deal of Drew's maniacal measuring, but we found some file sorters, a dry-erase calendar, and a bulletin board for keeping our household on track. I write down appointments, family to-do's, display Lilly's preschool artwork, and have a working system in place for sorting mail (coupons / expirable mail to use, bills & mail that need action, and anything that needs to be filed at a convenient later date). We're only in our second month of utilizing it so there are some growing pains, but it's helping.
4. Kroger Clicklist. Why has it taken us so long to use this!? We're still working out the kinks (eating healthier means we're making more runs to Aldi & Trader Joe's) but this seems to be such a money saver, time saver, and majorly convenience-provider for trying to shop with kids. Plus sometimes we save money because they upgrade our items if they don't have stock of the smaller quantities we order!
5. Good old eBay! Maybe it's just me, but I was always intimidated by selling anything over eBay up until this year. However, with the "Buy it Now / Best Offer" options to sell things, I don't have to fool with auctions, I can set my own prices, and they make it SO easy to ship out and mail anything you sell. I've been getting rid of bridesmaid dresses, maternity clothes, and expensive clothes that didn't fit right that were too late to return. Hallelujah, save me space please! 

What are ways you've found to majorly simplify your life and keep your head above water? I'm all ears!!!

Big Projects Upcoming:
Complete the Daniel Fast with Drew
Update website and galleries
Finish hanging artwork and complete the nursery
Start waking earlier + working out consistently
Plan blog posts + write consistently
Sell more things on eBay / declutter & purge!
Get health sorted out -- schedule appointments, etc

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