5 Indispensable Items That Make My Life Easier & Less Frustrating

Last Updated on November 7, 2019 by Jody Halsted

Updated July 7, 2019.
As I was doing a little blog maintenance I realized that a few of my indispensable items have changed, and a few have stayed. So I thought it would be fun to update. Strikethrough denotes the changes. 
It’s actually kind of surprising how little has changed in nearly 4 years…

I almost titled this “I’m lazy and here’s how I stay that way”.

But that’s not true- I’m not lazy… far from it. I don’t think you can be a self-employed/ wife/ mom and be lazy.

What I am is annoyed when I have to work harder than I really should at an activity I dislike.

When I first became a mom, that was my full-time job. And I cherished every bit that went with it. Yes, even the cleaning and cooking. I loved caring for my family.

And though I still love caring for my family, my role has shifted. The kids are mostly self-sufficient, my freelance blogging business has grown to a nearly more than full-time job, and I am re-discovering how to be a couple with my husband, beyond being parents.

And yet, I struggled to let go of the ‘job’ I did as a full-time mom.

For far too long I held an idea that I could ‘do it all’ in exactly the same way I had been.

And that made me a raging bitch. (It still does.)

Though it took me longer than it should have (because I’m stubborn beyond rationality), I found 5 ‘short cuts’ that make my life easier.

True- they aren’t perfect, but I’ve found that perfection doesn’t = happiness.

My Life: 5 Indispensable Items

A Cleaning Service Our house is home to 2 teenagers and 3 pets. It’s… lived in. And, to be quite honest, I hate cleaning. So the minute my business began to make consistent profit I hired a house cleaner.

They come once a month and do the deep cleaning. And they don’t touch my kids’ rooms or bathroom. I still make them handle that.

Formerly: Schedule I have found that I work best when I have a plan. Without a cleaning schedule I am too easily distracted and will flit from one thing to another without truly accomplishing anything. Though I don’t follow this as meticulously as I should, this is what I try to stick to:

  • Sunday – Clean bedrooms & bathrooms
  • Monday – None (because, seriously, isn’t Monday tough enough?)
  • Tuesday – Main level dusting, vacuuming & clutter control
  • Wednesday – None (girls activities keep me on the go)
  • Thursday – Basement vacuuming, dusting & clutter control
  • Friday – Kitchen & wood floors (wear heavy socks and ‘skate’ around to dust the floors)
  • Saturday – None (it’s a day off from everything work related if at all possible!)
  • Laundry – I do one load a day, if needed.

My Roomba We have 2 dogs and a cat. And they all shed all. the. time. I am not going to pull out the vacuum every day – but I will press a button. Once a day I run my Roomba 650 for Pets and let it handle the never-ending fur.

I am still hoping the cat will learn to ride it…

Organized Rooms I’m one of ‘those’ people. The kind that has a place for everything.

I have bins, cubes, and shelves labeled and organized. Breakfast foods have their space, as do snack foods. Cleaning products are organized by task or room. I hate having to ‘hunt something down’ because it wasn’t put away properly -what a waste of time & energy!

Cooking Light Diet I truly enjoy cooking. And I love finding recipes in magazines or online. I have dozens of Pinterest boards (organized by food types, celebrations, events…) dedicated to food.

But I hate, hate, hate the time it takes to plan a menu each week. And then to put together a shopping list. Ugh. And, let’s be honest, the recipes that look so incredible often take a long time to make. I started using the Cooking Light Diet a few months years ago and have really enjoyed it. 

I love that the menu can be set to my specifications and my preferences in meals influences the recipes that come my way. Added bonus- it’s not ‘diet food’. It’s real food, good food, healthy food. And most recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes. 

Paying the Kids to Work I know that some people balk at this, but for us it works. Don’t get me wrong- my kids do plenty around the house because they are part of the family, but we also have ‘paid opportunities’ for them to earn a commission. I outline what we do fully in this article, but to sum it up, I pay them to do the things I truly dislike- like picking up dog poo. Because that’s a benefit to having kids.

Are you struggling with letting go of perfection & the need to ‘do it all’? Or have you overcome that and have a great trick to share?

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