20 ways to set up your home & life so it runs smoothly

Need a few home and life hacks to help your days run a little smoother?

Here are 20 of my favourites!

Keep things close to where you use them.

For example, keep your toaster in the cupboard under the counter you place it on when you use it.

Make things easy to get out and put away.

I love tiered shelving in my pantry so I can see all of my canned goods with one glance and grab what I need quickly instead of having to move them around. Keep your vacuum cleaner in a spot where it's easy to grab it and pop it back. Declutter your towels if you have to cram them into your linen cupboard.

Set themes for days.

This works great for dinners (pasta on Mondays, slow cooker meals on Tuesdays, meat and veg on Wednesday, etc). It also works well with the kids (wash hair on Sundays, friends can come over on Wednesday afternoons) and with cleaning (wash towels on Saturdays, sheets on Sundays, clean the bathroom on Fridays, the kitchen on Mondays).

Put a dirty washing basket in bedrooms and bathrooms.

Hopefully, this will help stop clothes from getting dumped on the floor from now on.

Use waiting time wisely.

Wash the dishes while dinner is in the oven, return calls and make appointments while you wait in the car at school pickup, delete old photos from your phone while you're sitting in the waiting room at the doctor.

Add a “put away box” to every room.

Easy to tidy fast, first place to look when someone can’t find something. Empty before bedtime each night (or tell the kids to).

Make your mail collection/sorting point right next to your bin.

This way you can recycle mail rubbish as you open it.

Use a family calendar.

It’s a cliche because it works ;)

Store things neatly where people naturally dump them.

If your partner tosses keys, wallet and sunglasses on the counter when they come home, put a pretty basket or dish there to collect them neatly. If school bags get dumped on the floor at the front door, add a bench for them to be dropped onto.

If clothes have been worn but aren’t dirty, put them back in the wardrobe.

Don’t create another spot for clothing to collect while you wait to wear it again.

Wash and cut salad veggies ready for eating.

Have cucumber, carrot, and capsicum sticks ready to snack on at witching hour so you can hand them out to starving kids and cook in peace.

Keep kids plates and cups at kid level.

Then they can get snacks and drinks themselves.

Have more phone chargers than you need.

Keep multiple phone chargers so you don’t have to keep looking for one or moving it from one place to another. I got this tip from my friend Denise and it was a game changer. Keep a couple in the bedroom, a couple in the lounge room, one in the kitchen and one in the car as a minimum.

Use a cyclical meal plan.

Save thinking about what you’ll be having for dinner and just keep this one rotating. It even has links to recipes!

Decide on 3 charities you’ll support / 3 school volunteer activities you’ll help with each year.

Make those your “signature” things so you don’t feel bad about saying no to others.

Keep a donation bag in the same spot of the house all the time.

Pop unwanted things in as you come across them, instead of having a big declutter session.

Pick a type of gift to give to everyone.

Books, movie tickets, wine, art supplies - choose one and make it the “signature” gift you are known for every Christmas.

Take shortcuts if you want to.

Use your slow cooker. Get a robot vacuum. Outsource your meal planning and grocery list (affiliate link). Pay a local teen to walk the dog. Tell Google or Alexa to turn off your lights and tv for you.

Use your library app.

Use your library app to reserve books with your phone whenever you see someone recommend one online. The library will email you when it’s ready for pick up and you can pop in quickly to grab it rather than stay and search for your book or buy it and create more clutter. This is a great money saver for magazines too - just add them to your library list.

Bulk Buy birthday cards.

Tired of buying the present on the way to the party? Buy 20 gender-neutral $1 birthday cards at the start of each school year and stash them in your filing cabinet ready to pop money into on your way to your kids friend’s birthday parties. Enjoy never having to shop for a party present ever again! Bonus points if you stash the money in them at the start of the year ;)

I hope you found these ideas helpful! If you’re ready for next steps in making life easier as a parent, you might to check out my popular House & Family Binder. It’s a simple set of prints to help you reduce the mental load and streamline the running of your household, and I’m adding digital versions of each planning print too to make it even easier to use! Check it out here anytime.

x Marissa