I recently spent 8 days serving on a jury. I was not prepared for this, as most cases in Denver last 2-3 days. As I sat in the jury box during jury selection, after the judge had said the case could take 8 days and I realized I was likely to be selected, I started thinking of what I would need to reschedule, who would watch my kids, and how my life was going to be impacted. I’m not going to say that I came home that day and magically got my life prepared for the next 2 weeks. We had take out for dinner as I was too tired to cook. And I’m sure we didn’t have the kids put their toys away before bed (which we try to do each night). I did do a load of laundry, gave my kids a few extra hugs, and figured out who was going to watch the kids the next few days.
What I learned through this experience is how important it is to be organized and have some simple maintenance routines. We usually have our meals planned for the week. We prep much of our food on Sundays or early in the week. Our fridge has a drawer marked ‘raw meat only’ so we can defrost several days of meat/fish at once. This makes for easy dinners because food just needs to be put in the oven. I did a load of laundry and cleaned the kitchen each night. And I spent a few minutes after the kids went to bed cleaning out emails, packing lunches, stocking the diaper bag, and identifying priorities for the next day.
There are many simple organizing tasks that can be done each day to keep on top of the clutter. This great article outlines a few of those. If everything in your house has a home, it’s easy to put stuff away, see what needs to be replaced, or what you can get rid of. There are also plenty of things you can delegate. Can you hire a house cleaner? Someone to mow the lawn? Can your kids start doing more chores (put away their clean laundry, take out the trash, feed the pets). Do you need to reevaluate who does what tasks with your partner?
What are some tasks that you can start doing every day to make life a little simpler?