5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day — Even When Life is Stressful

5 Things You Should Do Every Day -- Even When Life is Really Stressful

Are you in a period of life where it just feels like everything is overwhelming and out of control? Like you just have too much to do and too little time? But you try as hard as you can to cut some things from your life and schedule and you just can’t come up with anything to cut?

Maybe you have a newborn and a toddler. Maybe you’re in the midst of a personal crisis. Maybe things are really stressful at your job. Maybe you’re caring for a special needs child or an aging relative. Maybe it’s a thousand other things…

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 4.13.59 PM

I get it. I really do.

Some days, some months, and some years, life is just very exhausting and stretching. Sometimes, you just wish you could find a way to run away to a very quiet, clean place where you don’t have to worry about bills or work problems or kid’s struggles or health issues or any other things that can weigh us down in life.

If you’re in a season of life where you are feeling overwhelmed or if you would just love to find a way to have a little more order and structure in your life, I encourage you to develop the habit of doing these five things every single day.

They might seem so simple — and they are! — but if you’re not doing these on a daily basis, commit to making them non-negotiables for 3-4 weeks and see if it makes a difference for you.

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 4.16.42 PM

 1. Write a Short To-Do List

If you don’t have a plan, there’s a good chance you’ll live life just spinning your wheels and putting out fires.

Pre-determine a few top priorities for each day and write these down on your to-do list. I suggest no more than 5-7 items on your to-do list each day, otherwise, you’re probably setting yourself up for defeat and frustration.

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

2. Make Your Bed

Truth be told, this is something I’m still working on myself. However, I’ve been much more committed to making this a priority after watching this video. (Yes, go watch it. I’ll wait for you!)

Isn’t it amazing how such a simple thing can make such a big difference?

5 Things to Do Every Single Day -- Even When You're Overwhelmed With Life

3. Get Dressed in Something That Makes You Feel Great

Anne Bogel and Dear Abby Leigh have both written on the importance of “dressing for the life you want to have” and I think there is a lot of truth in this.

When you put a little effort into how you dress, it can impact your entire day. I want to write more in-depth on this topic soon as making dressing nicer a priority in my life in the past six months has actually made a huge difference in my productivity and overall outlook on life.

I’ve found that I get more done, I feel more energetic, and I just feel happier. It might almost sound weird, but I dare you to try it.

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

4. Do One Load of Laundry From Start to Finish

So, this is also something I’m still really working on. And I need about five more years of success before I should be preaching about anything laundry-related. :)

But what I can tell you is that by watching the Simple Homemaking Video Course that came as part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and then by following the advice to follow through and finish all the parts of laundry every single day I’ve experienced incredible freedom this past week. I honestly had no idea how much being 3-5 loads behind on laundry all the time was dragging me down.

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

5. Keep Your Kitchen Clean

When my kitchen is clean, it feels like my whole house is pretty much clean. When my kitchen is messy, the rest of my house can be clean, but it will feel like the whole thing is a wreck.

Maybe I’m the only person who is this way, but I can’t encourage you enough to develop a system for keeping your kitchen clean. Just at least try it and see how you like it!

What works for us is to make sure the kitchen is completely clean twice a day. At night before bed, I load and start the dishwasher, wash/dry/put away any larger items that won’t fit in the dishwasher, and wipe down all the countertops and table. In the mornings around breakfast time, I unload the dishwasher, re-load it with breakfast dishes, and wipe down/clean up anything that needs to be cleaned.

Throughout the day, as we use plates/cups, we rinse and stick them in the dishwasher — which means that, for the most part, our kitchen always looks pretty clean. And a clean kitchen makes me so happy!

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

Bonus: Take 5 to 15 Minutes to Do Something for YOU

Carve out a little time each day, if possible, to do something that fills you up. Whether that’s reading or napping or chatting with a friend or journaling or texting a friend or gardening… whatever it is, take time to refuel and refresh yourself so that your tank is not depleted.

But Wait! Is This Really Realistic?

Now, you might have read through all of those above and thought, that’s great, but I just don’t have time to implement any of that right now. Well, I wanted to show you a practical example of how you could accomplish all of it with minimal time and work each day.

So here’s an example of a morning and evening routine that wouldn’t require much extra time and effort but would allow you to accomplish all five of these things every day, plus more:

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

Example Morning Routine

  • Get up, make your bed immediately, and make coffee (unload the dishwasher while the coffee is brewing).
  • Spend 10 minutes journaling/praying/reading while your sipping coffee.
  • Start a load of laundry.
  • Do 10 minutes of quick exercise (maybe a YouTube video workout or a walk or run around the block).
  • Shower, get dressed in something you love, do your hair and makeup.
  • Switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer.

Example Evening Routine

  • Load the dishwasher, start it, and wipe down all the countertops.
  • Fold and put away the load of laundry you washed and dried in the morning.
  • Lay out your clothes for the next day.
  • Take 5-15 minutes to do something you love.

See? It doesn’t have to take hours of time!

Just being a little more intentional with your morning and evening routines to make sure you accomplish these important daily tasks can not only help you feel more organized, it will keep your house cleaner, and probably help you feel a lot less stressed.

What items would be on YOUR Daily Top 5 List? I’d love to hear!

Feeling Overwhelmed With Managing Your Life & Home?

I’ve talked some about The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle this week and I hope you’ve had a chance to check it out. It’s an AMAZING collection of resources — many that I’ve already read and benefited so much from and many more that I cannot WAIT to read myself!

There are so many great resources in this bundle, including:

You get all of these + many, many more ebooks, printables, ecourses, and free bonuses for just $29.97 total! That’s a steal!

Grab your copy of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle here. Or, learn more about why I’m wholeheartedly endorsing this Bundle here.

It’s only available until Monday so you’ll want to get it while you can!

Click here for more info or to buy now.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
Share This:

How I Paid $550 for $3,700 Worth of Braces

braces

Guest post from Marie

At nearly 14, my son’s last baby tooth had finally fallen — I was filled with elation but also dread. We always knew he would need braces (we’re talking major orthodontic help) as he was born with a snaggle of slow-growing teeth and was missing an adult canine tooth.

It’s a genetic trait several family members share, and they have all ended up with partial dentures as adults.

Fortunately for my son, dental implants are now the norm, but they start at about $3,000 per tooth. How was I, a divorced mom, going to pay to straighten out what was there, and plan for what will come?

Saving Up

I started putting away $10 a week since my boy was 10, giving me more than $1500 so far. Working for a coupon company, I cut every corner I could and put any excess into braces and college funds. My work insurance also paid a portion of orthodontics.

By January of this year I’d saved up $2,000; but braces tend to run $3,500 and up in my area, and he’d need more than the norm. He’s a good-looking kid but refused to smile and it broke my heart. It would only get worse as he entered his teen years. I had to do something.

Seizing a Deal

The answer came unexpectedly a few weeks ago when I attended a fund-raiser for a new magnet middle school. I went as a favor to a friend who was selling her jewelry in a booth. I was surprised by the number of handicrafts and silent auction items.

I promised myself I’d steer clear of beauty products and artisan clothing – wants instead of needs – and then I came upon the most unusual “deal” I’d ever seen: $3,700 worth of metal braces from an orthodontist whose son attended the fledgling school.

Doing My Research

A deal like this would not be worth it if the orthodontist had a bad reputation. A quick survey of attendees who knew him and a Google search on my phone showed he was a respected professional with no complaints filed against him. I had to do this. The opening bid was $500. I held my breath and bid the next allowable amount: $550 — and I won!

A Deal Waiting for Me

Sometimes you have to spend money to save money, whether it’s grocery stockpiling or buying in bulk or a pre-sale price. This fell into the latter category for me. Even if the $3,700 didn’t cover all the work he needed, it would lighten the load.

When the initial appointment time came around, I was nervous. What if my son needed so much work my $3,700 and insurance would be just a drop in the bucket? I did not want to use credit with a high interest rate to pay it off.

A Pleasant Surprise

It turned out the orthodontist, a kind man, works with families with small budgets and even works on a sliding scale with families receiving public assistance. I didn’t fall into that category but he agreed to honor the auction deal. My son gets a full set of braces next month and all adjustments until the work it done.

Planning Ahead

Yes, he will need a retainer with a false tooth until he is old enough to get the implant, and that step of the journey will run at least $5,000. Insurance will pay part of that, if I have the same coverage in five years. To be safe, I will continue to save and should be able to afford it, and my son will be able to afford to smile again.

Marie Hickman is a TV journalist turned savings writer. She and her son live a fun, frugal life in Palm Harbor, Florida. Follow her on Twitter at @MrsHickman777.

photo source

Share This:

5 Principles We Follow That Simplify Our Home

5 Principles We Follow That Simplify Our Home

My husband and I have been married for over 12 years and in those years, I’ve learned and grown a lot.

The first seven years of our marriage were especially hard. We survived the last semester of undergrad, infertility, law school, then three babies in five years, multiple job changes, job loss, starting multiple businesses, moving multiple times, financial struggles, marriage struggles, postpartum depression… and more.

I struggled to figure out how to do this wife thing, this mom thing, this home business thing, and this homemaking thing. There were many rocky seasons and rough patches.

There were many days when I never made it out of my PJs (well, truth be told, I still have a few days like that here and there!), I always felt incredibly behind, I rarely ever got enough sleep, and the house was often near disaster.

In the past five years, I’ve made huge strides in my organizational skills, my personal self-discipline, and in setting up more structure and routine for our days. There are 5 principles we follow that have helped us to find our groove, simplify our lives, and have better order in our days:

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 4.06.12 PM

#1: Touch It Once

As I talked about yesterday, instead of moving papers and piles and clutter and stuff around from place to place, I’m a firm believer in touching things once.

If you pick it up, use it and put it away. If you get it out, put it away. If it’s trash, throw it out. If it’s a dirty plate, don’t just set it in the sink, rinse it out and put it in the dishwasher.

By dealing with dishes and trash and junk mail and papers immediately, you save yourself so much time in the long run. {If you missed my post on this principle yesterday, read it here.}

Now if I could just implement a Touch It Once system for my laundry, we’d be all set! The good news? I’ve stayed almost completely caught up on laundry for a WEEK. That’s massively huge for me — especially because we went on vacation and came back during that week!

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 4.04.30 PM

#2: Everyone Pitch In

If you are a member of our family, you are required to be an asset to our family. We want to raise our kids to be responsible adults, so that means we are working on training them to pitch in and carry their own weight as part of our family.

One way we do this is by having Non-Paid Chores and Daily Lists. Our kids know that this is what is expected of them and that there are consequences when they don’t do what is expected of them.

By all pitching in and working together, it makes our home run much more smoothly and it means that no one person is having to tackle the majority of the work involved in keeping our home clean and orderly. “Many hands make light work!”

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 4.07.32 PM

#3: Pick Up Twice A Day

This simple principle has made a world of difference in our home. I’m not exactly sure when it started, but I don’t plan to ever discontinue it!

Basically, in a nut shell, we aim to have our whole house picked up and company ready twice a day — this means all the main rooms all picked up, the kitchen cleaned up, the laundry started, the bathrooms clean, etc.

We usually have a household clean-up time right after breakfast when everyone does their morning chores, I work on the kitchen and laundry and oversee/inspect the kids’ work. Then, after dinner, we all work together to clean up again — this time with Jesse either overseeing the kids’ chores or helping with cleaning up the kitchen.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 4.04.23 PM

#4: Stick With a Budget

From the beginning of our marriage, we’ve lived on a strict, written budget. This has simplified our lives, made decision-making so much easier, helped us in our communication as a couple, given us greater financial traction than we could have ever dreamed, and allowed us to be able to fulfill our heart passions to be givers.

If you’ve never had a written budget before, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Some people think that it would make life miserable. On the contrary, we’ve found that it simplifies life so much — we don’t have to worry that spending money in one area is going to hurt our ability to spend in another area because we’ve already pre-determined and designated money for all of our budget categories. In addition, it cuts down significantly on impulse purchases!

Screen-Shot-2015-04-07-at-10.00.15-PM

#5: Shop Less

The less you own, the less there is to clean, dust, and pick up. We don’t do much shopping — except mostly for groceries and some online shopping for necessities like clothes and household items.

Before heading out to shop, I encourage you to really ask yourself why you’re shopping. Do you have the money to buy the item? Can you make do with what you already have? Is there a better use for that money?

It’s long been said, “If you’re not content where you are, there’s a good chance you’re not going to be content where you think you want to be.” So instead of focusing on what we don’t have, for years we’ve made it our practice to focus on what we do have and to bloom right where we’re planted.

It’s amazing how this goes such a long way in curbing the “I wants” and the need to run out and buy something just to to buy something. Plus, the more we stay out of the stores, the less we are tempted to think we need to buy things we didn’t know we needed or didn’t know even existed!

5 Principles We Follow That Simplify Our Home

What principles help YOU simplify YOUR home? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Need Some Help Simplifying Your Life?

I’ve talked some about The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle this week and I hope you’ve had a chance to check it out. It’s an AMAZING collection of resources — many that I’ve already read and benefited so much from and many more that I cannot WAIT to read myself!

There are so many great resources in this bundle, including:

You get all of these + many, many more ebooks, printables, ecourses, and free bonuses for just $29.97 total! That’s a steal!

Grab your copy of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle here. It’s only available until Monday so you’ll want to get it while you can!

Best of all, these are all ebooks — so they won’t bring any extra paper clutter into your home! :)

Screen-Shot-2015-03-16-at-5.02.24-PM

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
Share This: