Let’s take a moment to calm the mind…
Just kidding! You probably don’t have a moment to spare, because sometimes life is just TOO crazy. Since it’s pretty much inevitable, many of us have our own tips and tricks to stay on top of the madness.
Between being busy moms, busy wives, or just overall busy women (or men!), we at Hip2Save find it’s almost necessary to have processes in place for when the day-to-day grind becomes stress overload. Here are some of the ways we keep ourselves sane while making sure our to-do lists get done.
Create a Command Center.
This is the centralized location of all the things. Events, notes, lists, schedules… you name it! This area keeps everyone in the household in the know at all times.
“We have a 4’x6′ whiteboard that my husband found in a dumpster (free!) years ago. All notes, messages, phone numbers, lists, and schedules go on that board. Without it, we’d be crazy disorganized. It’s magnetized so we can hang coupons and other important things there for safekeeping. And because my kids always draw silly pictures on it, it doubles as an entertainment center.” — Jamie
“We also have a small command center in our house where we keep a bigger calendar and lists, etc.” — Amber
Stop hoarding and start organizing.
Bills, junk mail, receipts, notes… all that paper piles up and makes for a load of clutter if unattended. Try going paperless for bills, throwing away junk mail before it’s even placed on the counter, and digitizing receipts. You can also stash paper receipts in an envelope in case of returns — just make sure to toss any out-of-date ones at the end of the month.
“Stay on top of the paperwork! Don’t be afraid to throw away your kids’ papers and just keep the few pieces that you’ll really cherish one day. Pay your bills right when they come in the mail. Keep your counters clear from clutter. Organize things in baskets in closets or under cabinets like the millions of charging cables that somehow keep ending up on my counter 😳 – I throw them in a basket under the counter when they’re not being used!” — Mary
“I’m not a paper hoarder, either, so things get sorted and tossed right away and nothing piles up.” — Cass
Create a strategy for bill paying.
Gather your monthly bill statements and make a list of everything that needs to be paid and by when. You can organize it in a spreadsheet or on a money management website like Mint.com!
“I have a bill sheet that lists every single bill that I have every month – and then adds in the random ones in the months they apply to, like when the car registration needs to be renewed. I always write in the amount of the bill once I pay it so that I know it’s paid. This also helps because I’m the one who does the bills but if I have to go out of town or am unable to, my husband can quickly look at the sheet and see what still needs to be paid. This also helps me track my heating and water bills to make sure they aren’t super high for some reason. Because of this system, I realized I had a toilet that kept running and I couldn’t tell until I noticed the bill was higher than usual.” — Chelsey
“I keep track of bills on a spreadsheet and schedule everything to be paid at the beginning of the month. It takes me an hour and then I really don’t have to think about it until close to the next month.” — Amber
Make the most of Sundays.
Yes, I know Sundays are meant for relaxing, but who’s to say that taking an hour to get yourself and your schedule prepped for the week ahead isn’t a form of future relaxing since you won’t be scrambling to get organized during the week. Use this time to check your calendar for upcoming events/appointments, figure out meals for the week, and make a plan of action.
“I am just a BIT OCD and, therefore, I am organized. I am old-fashioned and use a paper planner to keep track of everything in the bigger picture (I also use my digital calendar, too). I also take my Sundays seriously! I look ahead at the week for whats coming up, I “meal plan”, prep food, clear the house clutter, etc. It really helps the rest of the week run smoothly because I feel prepped!” — Amber
Do a little at a time… or delegate!
My favorite trick is the 30-second rule — if you pass something in your house that needs your attention and will only take 30 seconds or less, do it now, whether it’s a dirty dish in the sink, some shirts that need to be hung, or toys out of place. You’ll find yourself tackling mini tasks that only take a fraction of your time but will contribute to bigger tasks done in the long run.
“I find that just doing a little each day keeps me from doing a ton of chores on my days off. I keep antibacterial wipes in each bathroom so the counters and toilet can be wiped down every other day. I’ll do a load of laundry every couple of days so I’m not doing 5 on the weekend. I make meals ahead so they can just be reheated during the week. I make sure the kitchen is cleaned and everything is put away before I go to bed so that I start every day w/ a clean kitchen. Just taking a little time each day to do a few things saves tons of my free time! Also, if my kids say they’re bored I stick a Swiffer duster or broom in their hands — that helps 😉.” — Cass
“Clean one or two areas of the house every day so it doesn’t pile up on the weekend.” — Mary
Written by Emily for Hip2Save. Emily lives in Buffalo, NY where she spends her time drinking lots of coffee, scouring the internet for deals, and tackling DIY projects. She’s a big believer in self-care and living the fullest life possible, all while saving money of course.