Last year was an act of learning to juggle a toddler and a newborn as a working/commuting mom, and our schedule was hectic and seemingly unforgiving. I wouldn’t trade my kids’ ages for the world, but I am slowly trying to make large and small decisions that will best impact our family, fine-tuning our routines in an attempt to simplify and gain minutes.
JOB | One of the biggest changes I made this year was switching my job (not my career) to a new location, cutting my commute in half. I also don’t have to be at work quite as early anymore, so that also allows me more time at home in the mornings and evenings.
SCALE | I bought a small digital postage scale and now save dozens of trips to the post office when I need to ship things I’ve sold online, which is about 3-4 times per week. I just use PayPal, which is cheaper than USPS anyway. Game-changer!
CLUTTER | I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and have spent a good chunk of time lately de-cluttering. Marie Kondo teaches how to evaluate every item in your home to determine whether to keep it or discard it. Just read it, I promise. I am the most sentimental person and I threw away things I never would have before!
I used to hate cleaning and now I actually look forward to it because I know I’m only surrounded by the items that I love and will use. My husband and I have a large master bedroom that was a constant source of stress for me with all its clutter and heavy, tired furniture. After reading Kondo’s tried-and-true, step-by-step method of “tidying,” I was able to get rid of at least 5 truckloads of stuff from my bedroom and one closet alone – some donated, most tossed, some in a yardsale pile. Once I de-cluttered, I realized we no longer had a need for 4 – FOUR! – of the large pieces of furniture in our bedroom, which were just there hiding junk! As a treat for our reclaimed space, I scored an oversized mirror at HomeGoods to hang against one newly-bare wall. (This wall used to have a changing table piled high with mountains of baby laundry all over it. We never even changed the baby on it!)
Where a once-overflowing computer desk was, I staged a chair, ottoman, side table, throw blanket, and lamp to create a relaxing reading nook. It’s actually where I’m blogging right now!
This freed up a lot of the furniture that had been crowding our living room. We also removed the footboard from our king-sized bed, which made a world of difference in opening up the room – who would have guessed that such a simple change would have such a big impact? I found new lamps at TJ Maxx that are brighter and more whimsical.
Eventually we want to change out basically everything – the paint, flooring, bedding, and curtains (and paint the furniture and add new hardware), but right now we have other priorities. Still, it has been fun making lots of trips to HomeGoods and TJ Maxx this week for inspiration!
CRIB | We finally transitioned our 11-month-old out of the Pack-n-Play in our room into a crib in his own room for the first time, which we meant to do when he turned 6 months. Of course I loved having him right there with us, especially with nursing, but it’s also nice not to have to tiptoe around or worry about turning lights on anymore.
With these changes, I’ve been able to devote more time in the mornings to getting my kids dressed, and we all eat breakfast together now. And I can sleep in 15 minutes later than I did last year! I now have the option of swinging by the house after work on my way to daycare to unload my car and get a few chores started/done so that I can be more present with my family once we are all home. Otherwise, I’m running around trying to get things washed and repacked for the next day during my precious family time. Our things all have a place now, so nothing is left just lying around creating more visual clutter. It’s SUCH a breath of fresh air!
I hope that you all are able to make the most of your time this holiday weekend! I’m so excited that fall will be here soon!