These 15 home management tips to simplify your life will help you to organize your mental space. Who doesn’t want to simplify their life? We all do, but sometimes, we just need a little nudge in the right direction.
Just in case you are new here, I want to preface this article with a bit of information about myself. I am a forty-something wife and mother to ten…yes, ten children. We homestead (milk cow and all) and homeschool and I run this blog and an Etsy shop. Does all of that sound crazy? We do limit our out-of-home activities, but we aren’t hermits. We just prioritize what is important to our family and what isn’t.
One of the most common comments I get is “I don’t know how you do it!” Sometimes I wonder too, but the truth is, my life does not feel crazy! I have lots of free time to do the things that I’m interested in. I get to sew, crochet, build things and just have fun with my husband and kiddos. Prioritizing the most important things and establishing routines is key. In this post, I will share with you 15 home management tips to simplify your life!
1. Establish a Routine or Structure for Your Day.
Our home life is not extremely ordered, however, we do have a structure to our day that we stick to and allows us to get the most important things done. Start with writing down the things that are vital to your life. For us, there are a few very key things that must be done every day. Here is my list:
- Breakfast- a no-brainer right? But with children, this is an event and it makes a mess, and it requires effort. I plan this into my day. Even if we are just having cereal.
- Milk the Cow- While the kids eat, I go milk, usually with one other person.
- Chores- This takes up a good bit of time. This includes inside and outside work. Cleaning up from breakfast, unloading and loading the dishwasher, sweeping the floors, collecting eggs, and feeding the animals.
- Reading History- I try to read aloud to my kids every single day, all the way up to the 13-year-old.
- Bible Time- My older boys go to the Jr. College in the morning, so we wait until they get home around 11:00 to have our Bible time together. This is important to us, so we make it happen.
- Table Work- We do some sort of table work every day. Math, writing, art etc..
- Lunch- Here we are, wanting food again
- Outside Free Time
- Naptime for little ones/ a little one on one for struggling readers or those who need extra help in some area.
- I work on my blog until it’s time to make dinner.
These things are not done at the exact same time every day, but they are the important things that we try to do. Everyone knows the order because we have had the same routine for years and years. Your routine will probably look different, your life is different and your priorities are different.
In between and during these times, people are doing their laundry, we are having discussions and I am cleaning up messes and accidents and changing diapers.
If you need more structure, this hourly daily planner is free in my resource library. My subscribers have access to the library and all that’s in it!
2. A Place For Everything
This might sound like unneccesary advice, but I have needed to remind myself of this many many times! When I have an area that has become a drop zone, and it is getting out of control, I have to stop and evaluate.
Is this stuff accumulating here because everyone in my house is lazy…maybe, but more likely those items don’t have a specific home. Without a specific home, junk just accumulates.
Evaluate, and then get what you need. Maybe you need a few baskets for random items to go in. Maybe you need a mail sorter, or a filing cabinet.
3. Put Like Things Together where You Use Them.
When establishing a place for everything, group like things together. Is your mail piling up? Establish a place for your mail to go before you have time to read it.
In this same area, keep pens, stamps envelopes. Everything you need to pay bills and write letters.
Set up areas near your doors. Our back door has a cabinet with sunscreen, insect repellant and work gloves. Below the cabinet are hooks for hats.
Give your husband a drop zone for his wallet, pocket change and sunglasses
4. Set up a Cleaning Routine
A clean home where everything is in its place simplifies life. We all know this. There is nothing more frustrating than wasting 30 minutes looking for something. There is also nothing more embarrassing than a surprise guest and a filthy bathroom.
5. Sort Your Mail Immediately
Don’t let the junk mail pile up. When the mail is brought in, sort it right over the trash can or your burn basket. Then it never gets to the point of being a huge job. Most of the junk doesn’t even need to be opened. I made a mail sorter out of leftover hardwood flooring, you can see that here.
Set up a Filing System
If you don’t have a file cabinet or filing box, you will never get a handle on all of the paperwork. There are things like bank statements, birth certificates and marriage liceneses that need to be kept. You will need these items at some point.
Years ago I followed someones blog post on how to set up a filing system. I’ll give you the cliff notes version. Essentially you have a main hanging folder with a main topic or section. For example, Vehicles, Personal Documents, Banking, and Warranties.
Next, inside the main category, you have regular file folders with sub-categories. So, inside the Personal categories, you have a folder for each person in the family, or you have a folder for birth certs and one for report cards or whatever else you have to keep.
6. Hang a Master Calendar on the Wall or Fridge
I am a big fan of planners and purse size calendars. It’s great to be able to jot things down and carry your schedule with you. However, the family needs a master calendar where all of the appointments, practices and events are displayed for everyone to see. Mine is almost identical to this one.
I keep a personal calendar in my bag, I use this planner from my shop. I really like it!
7. Do Laundry Daily
This may not be a must for everyone. However, if you have a family with more than one child, you probably need to do laundry every single day. This way it never becomes an unbearable task, and you never have a mountain of smelly laundry staring at you!
My very best tip for laundry is to teach your children to do their own. I mean even your five-year-old. This may sound crazy, but it has made laundry so much more manageable in our home. Here is my laundry system all laid out.
8. Establish a Budget
Yuck right? I need help in this area. However, when you establish a budget, for the sake of larger goals, self-denial is a bit easier.
We are wanting to add on to our home. That is not going to happen if we chase after all of the shiny things. When you are working toward a goal, it is easy to see that buying that amazing $500 patio set for a porch that isn’t built yet is a bit ridiculous.
I have a Home planner in my shop, it covers budgeting and pages for the category below, keeping track of maintenance.
9. Keep Track of Maintenance for Home and Vehicles
Keeping track of maintenance can be a huge time saver and life simplifier. Would you believe that my husband has gone to change the brakes on a car only to realize that he had already done it? When life gets busy and when you have maintenance for multiple vehicles it can be a bit difficult to keep up with it all!
Having a place to quickly jot down when you did maintenance like oil changes, replaced tires or a thermostat can be so helpful.
How about jotting down when the refrigerator filter was replaced or maybe an ignitor in your oven.
My home management planner has a place to write down all of those things!
10. Meal Plan
Look, I reject this just as much as the next person! However, if you can commit to doing this during busy seasons, you will thank yourself later. I make myself menu plan when we are in the middle of basketball season or play season. I am always so thankful that I have done it.
Really you can make it a fun exercise for Sunday evenings. Write down some ideas for the week….even if you just do three days a week, you will be better off! It doesn’t even have to be super specific…how about Mexican on Tuesday, Soup on Wednesday and Spaghetti on Thursday. Some sort of plan will make your week easier.
I have a meal planner that you may find helpful.
11. Online Shopping for Groceries
The one thing that we have done this year that has simplified our life has been Misfits Market. (That link will get you $10 off your first box). We get a produce box delivered to our home once a week. This has nearly eliminated our need to go to the grocery store every week. If that isn’t a tip to simplify your life, I don’t know what is!
For other things like bulk items (flour, sugar, oats) I shop once a month. I buy bread and stock the freezer with that. Produce was always the thing that we ran out of, not anymore!
Walmart now has grocery pickup. This is the stuff that young mom dreams are made of. When I was a young mom with just two or three little ones, the grocery store was the most difficult task. I absolutely dreaded going, especially in the winter time. Back then, it was like $25 extra to have pickup or home delivery! Now, it’s the norm and free at many places!
12. Take Care of Your Body
I know this is kind of a no-brainer. But it can be one of the most important tips to simplify your life. However, it can be so easy to neglect this. The best way to avoid illness and disease is the proper care of your body. This means good nutrition, sleep, and exercise. We want to complicate this and make excuses. We want to make it feel impossible. However, it just isn’t.
Taking the time everyday for a walk, bike ride or a run will pay dividends in the long run. Giving your body the best food rather than the easiest food is also a great way to build your immune system and overall health.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean a complicated exercise regiment. It can mean chasing your kids around for a game of tag. Riding bikes with your kids, running up and down the stairs 10-15 times, doing squats while you brush your teeth. I could go on and on. Just move!
13. Make Goals Manageable
I am going to mention two things that you may not like, but I am going to tell you how I trick myself into doing these two things. The second one may not seem like it fits in with tips to simplify your life, but I will explain.
1. Get up 1-2 hours early
Uggh….I used to hate reading this type of advice. I have been pregnant or nursing babies for the last 19 years! Believe me when I say, I cannot remember the last time I slept all the way through the night. If I sleep until 4:00 a.m. without interruption, it seems like a small miracle.
I have often thought that the advice to get up early was dangerous for young moms. It can become an unneccessary burden on an already tired and worn out person. However, the trick to what I am suggesting is that you commit to it only 2-3 days a week. Set the days and then get up before your kids on those days. Look at it as a luxury you are providing for yourself.
I started doing this at the end of 2020. I was able to get so much accomplished in those extra 6 hours a week! It was remarkable! Give it a try and also give yourself grace if you have had a rough night of sleep. This isn’t supposed to be more pressure on you!
***Another note, just this morning when I was trying to get up early, my baby kept waking up too. I would sneak out of bed and make it to the door only to have the door creak and him wake up. Then I spent five minutes patting his back so he would go back to sleep. This happened twice. I understand this is frustrating and it can feel like you are being ruled by a tyrant (I mean an adorable, lovable tyrant). Try not to get too frustrated. Being a mom often means laying aside our self, it’s not the end of the world.
Don’t let an experience like this dissuade you from trying, it won’t be like this everyday, even though in your mind you can convince yourself that it will be!
2. Eliminate Sugar
I know! I hate the idea of that as much as the next person. However, most of us are very likely addicted to sugar. About 3 years ago I realized that I definitely was! I read a book that had been sitting on my shelf called Lick the Sugar Habit. I realized that my sluggish digestive system was probably a result of too much sugar.
When I eliminated daily sugar in my diet, I began to have more energy and my digestive issues got way better! Believe me when I say a good digestive system really does go with tips to simplify your life…feeling sluggish never helps with productivity.
Now, nobody likes to deny themself. I am with you on that. It is hard, however, I didn’t commit to never eating sugar again. Once again I tricked myself by only committing to not eating sugar 5-6 days a week. Then it didn’t feel like absolute denial. (My rebellious heart hates that). This included boxed cereal, sweetened yogurt, and granola bars. Even hidden sugars. One thing I do allow myself is sweetener in my coffee, I set the rules!
Guess what…it is doable! I have been living this way for 3 years now, and my sugar cravings are much much better. I used to crave sugar after every meal, I was always wanting something sweet. Now I know that I can have a treat on Sunday and that’s it. Setting boundaries is really quite freeing when you look at it the right way!
How you ask does this fit with simplifying your life? Well, my kids now know that they don’t get granola bars and sweet treats during the week. So guess what they aren’t constantly asking me for? Junk snacks! It has simplified my life!
*Bonus Tip* Set Up a Home Management Binder
A bonus to the tips to simplify your life. Get 20% off any of the Botanical Planners in my shop with code MERSCIESEVERYDAY. A home management binder might be just the tool you need to help you keep track of all the things that you need to run your life. I have nearly everything you need to set one up in my shop. I have set one up for myself and I use this leather binder which is beautiful and durable.
Having a place to write everything down is so helpful! I hope you liked these tips to simplify your life, and I hope you find a few of them helpful! Thanks as always for reading!