During these challenging times, we explore seven easy ways you can reinvent your daily routine to make it less stressful and more convenient.
1. Easy Weeknight Meals
Sometimes the last thing you want to do after work—or just a long day—is to figure out what to cook. Well, luckily there are a plethora of meal subscription services out there to help. You can choose between plans that ship you pre-portioned ingredients, which you just have to cook, or ones that deliver pre-made meals that you reheat. Most plans accommodate a variety of dietary needs—vegan, Kosher, gluten-free, etc.—and can be customized to how often you need deliveries and for the number of people in your household.
2. Grab-and-Go Bags
Everyone has experienced a time when you are desperate for a bandage or a phone charger or a quick pick-me-up. Never be without these necessities again. Create quick grab-and-go bags that you can leave in your car or stash at another convenient place. Make a first-aid kit, including bandages, gauze, antiseptic, flashlight, tweezers, gloves, and a cold pack. Gather a tech bag that includes a charger, earbuds, cord organizers, microfiber cloth, etc. Collect a workout kit complete with face wipes, a few Theory of Kombucha Energy packets, a stainless-steel water bottle, cold pack, and a small towel. A little preparation goes a long way.
3. Connected Calendars
The amount of things on all of our daily schedules can make us feel like we are teetering on the brink of chaos. Family calendar apps can help you get organized and reduce day-to-day stress, keeping everyone in the family in the know when they are on-the-go. There are a variety of apps from which to choose so the best thing to do is to first decide your pain points. Do you need a to-do list that everyone can access? Is it hard for you to keep track of meetings, after-school activities, etc.? Maybe daily reminders are important? Once you understand what you need, finding an app is easy. Here, a list of seven of the top apps with a breakdown of some of the best features of each.
4. Smart home devices
Let’s face it. It would be really hard to live without our smart gadgets—from smartwatches and phones to thermostats and lighting controls. There is so much great technology out there that can save us time and simplify our lives. For example, don’t have time to sweep the floors after breakfast? There are always robot vacuums that can do it for you. Forgot to leave the sitter a key? Never fear. There are smart locks that you can control from your phone. And, of course, there are smart home hubs (Amazon’s Alexa, for instance) that let you control your home with just voice commands. Making breakfast and realize that you need to stock up on more Theory of Kombucha? Not a problem. Ask Alexa to add it to your shopping list. Really, the possibilities are endless.
5. Straighten It Out
There is such a sense of satisfaction when you organize even a small space in your home. Try going through a junk drawer and throwing out any superfluous items and then evaluate what you are left with. Shop online for drawer organizers…they really go a long way. Then, when time permits, tackle bigger projects like your closet! Take a look at each item and decide if you REALLY need it. The usual rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it within the last year, get rid of it. Look online for charities in your area that accept clothing donations; many will even pick up.
6. Declutter and De-Stress
Probably the next thing you should tackle on your list is the kitchen. The main thing is to declutter because everyone knows the more stuff, the more stress. Start with your pantry and take out every last item, check expiration dates, discard open packages, etc. And similarly to your closet, decide if you are ever really going to use it. Are you ever really going to have a hankering for that Toblerone your uncle brought you back from his European vacation? Haven’t eaten creamed corn in years but somehow you have multiple cans of it? Consider donating your non-perishable food to your local food pantry. Find one here.
Oh, and here’s a fun fact. Did you know that spices lose their potency after a year? So don’t forget to check those expiration dates as well. And finally, check your daily glassware—if it’s mismatched buy new ones—and servingware, cracked? Throw it out.
When it’s all said and done, it’s going to feel great, and less stressful, to open any cabinet and be able to see what you have—oh, and not having to risk losing a toe from a falling can of soup!
7. Edit, Edit, Edit
I bet you can’t remember the last time you went through your 16,000 photos that you keep on your phone. It may seem daunting, but carve out small chunks of time to start to organize—and DELETE—blurry and duplicate photos. Going for a walk on your treadmill? Take 10 minutes to peruse this year’s photos. Waiting for your child to finish their piano lesson? You know what to do. Once you have deleted the ones you can live without, make sure your remaining ones are in the cloud. You don’t want to lose those. Consider making a small photo book (gone are the days of spending hours on a site uploading photos, arranging them in chronological order, and adding memorable captions). There are now apps that will cull your photos from social media, your favorites on your photo reel, etc. and auto-fill a small book for you—so easy!