Resources for Parents to Simplify Their Lives

Sep 13, 2017

When I meet with parents, a common theme is they would do anything for an easier and less chaotic life. I'm pleased to say this is exactly what organizing is all about – simplification. The top five areas parents are looking to simplify are:

  • Overwhelmed and Mismanaged Time
  • Cleaning & Chores
  • Projects
  • Paperwork and Information
  • Tech Time Out

Simplify the Overwhelmed & Mismanaged Time

It's time to check your anxiety level to see if you need to solicit help to simplify your feelings of being overwhelmed. Asking for help can provide you with a greater degree of confidence and helps move us into action.

So, where do we begin? What is our current support system and what is it made up of?

In addition to family and friends, our support may come from our religious affiliations, neighbors, other moms at our kids' school, our work environment, a life coach, or hired help. Once we identify our support system, it is worthwhile to evaluate it and see if it's working to our satisfaction. And for the areas in our life that we don't feel we have adequate support, we need to explore how to enhance it.

If you are looking for an app to help you manage your time better check out NeverLate. It's not just a navigation app; NeverLate helps you 24/7 by telling you when to leave home, work or any other place in order to get to your destination on time.

Simplify the Cleaning and Chores

Cleaning and chores can actually be divided into two parts: the planning/scheduling and the doing. One is a mental task – the other a physical task. Take a quick inventory of your style to see which area needs more attention.

If it's the physical completion of the chores you want to simplify, then you may want to use my mantra, "Avoid Perfection at All Costs." Which basically means getting most of the chores done in a quick fashion (and yes, I encourage you to use a timer) and avoid the detailed cleaning (otherwise known as distractions).

The weekends are meant to be spent with the special people in your life and to have amazing experiences – not be a slave to housekeeping. Save the big detailed cleaning for a scheduled time.

Now if scheduling and figuring out when to fit in your chores is where the breakdown occurs, you might want to use Todyapp. After naming your task, in Tody you can choose how often it should be performed in days, weeks, or months, what the task's current condition is like (clean, between, due, or overdue) and when you should do them again.

Simplify the Projects

Parents seem to have an unending list of projects – most are looking for a way to prioritize or simplify. Here are my five steps to help you do just that.

  1. Make a list of all the projects you have loaded in your head, on to do list, lying on the desk in your office or tempting you in your craft room.
  2. Rate the list of projects from most important to least important.
  3. Bring out and organize ONLY the supplies you will use for the first project. Keep these supplies front and center and let the other supplies take a back seat.
  4. Keep one table clear for just that priority project and be sure to clean up after each and every session.
  5. While you are working on your priority project, do not buy other supplies or get distracted by other older projects. Make a promise to see this priority project through all the way to the end.

Simplify the Paperwork and Information

If you‘re like most people, your important information is scattered everywhere - in the cloud, in filing cabinets, on your desk or desktop, in your wallet, and in any number of unsecured locations online.

Step one is to make a decision on what to keep or purge, I suggest you use my "Decision Indicator Technique" called "TAPP". Best of all there is not even a shipping charge to get started! I created TAPP (Toss, Act, Pile or file, Pass it on) to manage all of paper decisions. Let's say I can't make a decision about a birthday party invitation that's come in the mail. I simply visualize TAPP and run through my choices, as follows:

T (Toss) I could toss the invitation. I don't plan on attending the birthday party

A (Act on it) I'll do something with the invitation. I want to go to the birthday party. I RSVP and put the party date in my family calendar to attend

P (Pile it) I don't plan to attend, but I love the invitation. I think I'll keep it in my idea pile (or file) and use something similar for my daughter's party next year!

P (Pass it on) You know, pass it on to someone else. Get it out of my space! I don't plan to attend since I have plans that day, but my husband and son know him through the basketball team and they may want to go. I'll give it to them to handle.

Simplify Tech Time Out

Many families struggle with setting screen time limits for family members-that includes parents too! Let's face it we all spend too much time attached to our digital devices.

Some families have tech free zones where electronic devices are actually put in a basket away from sight during dinner and sleep time. Other family use parental control solutions like Net Nanny that offer remote solutions to pause the Internet on family member's electronic devices during designated hours.

So, the decision is yours – are you ready to simplify?