How to simplify your life when you have young children

When the kids are young, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of everyday life - juggling work, household tasks, kids activities, etc.

There’s not much time left for rest and recharging, but if you can find a way to slow down a little, you’ll find yourself feeling less stressed, more connected with your family, and happier with your life.

Let’s look at a few ways you can simplify your day to day life with young children and enjoy a calmer, more peaceful experience as a parent:

Declutter your home (the easy way).

When your house is full of clutter it feels like your life and mind are full of clutter too. Make small decluttering steps part of your regular day to day life and you’ll feel more organised and less stressed.

My favourite way to declutter is to always have a donation bag set out in one specific part of the house, and as I go through my week, whenever I see or pick up something I know we don’t need anymore, I pop it into that bag. When the bag is full, it goes into the back of the car, ready for drop off when I’m next out and about.

Create gentle routines (rhythms).

Routines aren’t helpful if they’re rigid, but a gentle rhythm to your day can work wonders. Think of it like a flow or a pattern you follow each day and focus less on an hourly schedule and more on time blocks (morning, afternoon, evening) or tasks (getting ready for school, after dinner bath & bed time).

A pattern / rhythm / flow to your day helps it become more predictable for both you and the kids, which makes it much less chaotic and helps you feel more in control of your day.

One example:

Morning: Breakfast, get ready for the day, load of laundry, errands

Afternoon: Homework, cook dinner, washing dishes as you cook

Evening: Bath & bedtime for the kids, an hour or two to relax, then take a warm, relaxing shower before bed (you can also give the bathroom counters a wipe and the toilet a swish before you get into the shower)

Prioritise Self Care.

It’s easy to slip into the habit of serving everyone else and putting your needs last, but taking care of yourself is crucial to being able to take care of others. Plan self-care activities like a walk, meditation, long bubble bath, or a hobby you like into your week just like you would a doctor’s appointment for the kids, you’re more likely to do it that way.

If you’re really short on time for self care, build it into your evening shower time. Once the kids go to bed, take a book or magazine, lock yourself in the bathroom, run the bath, and relax for an hour. Bring your manicure kit in with you and give yourself a hand treatment after you get out, or pop a face mask on.

Treat yourself to a set of beautiful towels & facecloths and a fluffy robe just for you for this purpose, and create your own little spa to escape to so you can unwind after a busy day.

Simplify household tasks.

Delegate tasks to family members, starting with the ones that don’t have to be done a certain way so you don’t have to micro manage them. Outsource your oven clean, systemise your meal planning, and create a simple cleaning routine.

I focus on one room each day and do 4 steps - rubbish out, put things away, dust or spray & wipe surfaces, then sweep, vacuum or mop the floor.

If the kids are little, do these tasks separately through out the day, each one only takes a few minutes. You can take the rubbish out in the morning, put things away after lunch, dust or spray & wipe in the afternoon, and do the floor after dinner.

With the laundry, set theme days. Try towels on Mondays, Dish Cloths / aprons / tea towels on Tuesdays, parents' clothes on Wednesday, kids' clothes on Thursday, parents' bedding on Friday, kids' bedding on Saturday, and take Sunday off.

Tech boundaries.

Keep your technology boundaries really simple to make the easier to stick to.

A few examples - devices away at 8pm, no devices at the dinner table, and for parents no work messages or emails after 5pm.

Your boundaries will change over time as your kids get older, so don’t pressure yourself to set “the perfect technology boundary”, just with what feels easiest to remember and manage right now.

I hope you found these ideas helpful! If you’re ready for next steps in organising your home & life, you might want to check out my popular House & Family Binder. It’s a simple set of prints to help you get organised and run your household without stress or overwhelm.