The shortcuts and hacks I use to make life easier as a parent

Let's talk about WHY we want to get organised!

For me, being organised is not about being perfect. It's about making life easier, so I can spend more time doing things that make me happy.

You might have noticed my organising programs and workshops focus on making things easier rather than achieving perfection too!

Life shouldn't be a struggle, parenting shouldn't be a contest, and homemaking shouldn't be an art form.

You don't get extra points for working harder than everyone else around the house.

You don't get extra credit for doing things perfectly. People barely notice when things get done, let alone get done exactly right, they're too focused on their own stuff. And whose definition of "exactly right" is correct anyway?

I think life should be as easy and enjoyable as possible, and while we're all going to face hurdles from time to time, that shouldn't be the norm. We shouldn't be stressed every day, trying to keep up with others, feeling like we need to improve ourselves.

I say this because I get lots of emails from mums who, from what I see, are wonderful women. They care for their families, they work hard (paid and unpaid work), they're kind, they treat people well, and they're amazing role models to their kids.

But they're not happy.

Most of these emails include sentences like "I wish I was as good as.." or "I wish I was better at.." or "I wish I could do it all perfectly.. like other Mums".

I think that's a lot of pressure to put on yourself.

I haven't met anyone yet who is perfect. I know I'm not!

I don't mean that in a bad way. I think it's about perspective. I think there's no perfect way to keep house, no perfect way to parent, no perfect way to do anything - because all of us are in different situations. We have different lives, different influences, different backgrounds.. different everything.

I don't think we should aim to do something perfectly - or even "as good as..." others. I think we should focus on doing what's right for us.

My goal in life is to be happy. For me, that means finding easier ways to do everyday responsibilities in order to free up my time for the things I love - reading, going to the movies, playing cards and chess, doing a puzzle, binge-watching Netflix, taking a long bath, going to bed early. It also means using little hacks & tips to reduce the mental load. 

I want to feel like I'm on holiday at some point of every day, even if that's a moment here and there. I want the sense of peace and calm I feel when there is plenty of time and there's nothing urgent that needs to be done. I want to potter about the house and through my life doing the everyday stuff almost effortlessly. I want that lazy, happy feeling you get in the week between Christmas and New Year. I know life isn't like that all the time, but the majority of it, that's what I'm aiming for. 

So I keep a series of tips, hacks, shortcuts and tricks in my back pocket to make life easier. Little things that I do myself or recommend to my clients that save time and effort and give you a chance to relax and let go. 

Some of them I do all the time, some just when life feels busier than usual. You might like them too and give them a try, or you might think they're weird, but in the spirit of not being perfect, I'm happy to share them with you:

  • When I hang the washing I put pegs on my clothes and pop 6 items on my shoulder at a time so I don't have to keep going back and forth between the washing basket and the clothesline.
  • I shower at night so I have one less thing to do in the morning. It's so much more relaxing and I get to really enjoy it.
  • When my kids were babies I had a post-it note in the nappy bag with a list of everything I would normally take out with me, so it was easy to pack and check the bag each day.
  • When the kids were young, I'd put them in the next day's clothes to sleep in after their evening bath so I didn't have to dress them in the morning.
  • I've eaten the exact same breakfast every day for the last year. It's healthy, tastes great and is one less decision I have to make each morning.
  • I switched out our family washing basket for 4 small baskets so everyone has their own and can do their own washing once a week. The baskets are small and light enough for the kids to handle on their own, and I put a step stool at the washing machine so my youngest can reach it easily.
  • I don't cook dinner for my family anymore. I eat plant-based, so I batch cook and freeze two veggie-based soups each week to have with rice, noodles, or pasta for my lunch and dinner. My husband cooks for himself and the kids, and he's a better cook than I am so the kids love it ;)
  • We have a 31-day revolving meal plan with all of our family favourites on it, so each week the kids choose a couple of meals each and my husband chooses the rest from that list, and no extra thought is required.
  • If you hate meal planning and making a grocery list each week, I highly recommend outsourcing* it. 
  • I wear my clothes more than once so I don't have to do as much washing. They don't get very dirty, and it saves water and energy too.
  • I wash my hair once a week, have done so for years and not once has anyone had anything bad to say about it.

Those are my favourite shortcuts, I'd love to know yours too! Come chat with us at the Beautifully Organised Mums Facebook page.

x Marissa

* This post contains an affiliate link - if you outsource your meal planning using my link, I receive a commission.