This is one of my most favorite topics to talk about when it comes to simplifying life. Creating routines that work is vital to ensuring your life, home, and family run smoothly. And, as a mama to a now nearly seven-year-old (hold me) and nearly three-year-old twins (hold me x 2), I really see how my children benefit from the cadence of morning routines, bedtime routines, and weekend routines. Before we dive in, remember this: Routines MUST BE FLEXIBLE. Sometimes you’re going to want to throw rhythm to the wind and do something completely different. That’s okay! Sometimes someone is going to get sick (ahem, OR GRUMPY) or the car isn’t going to start or the oven isn’t going to turn on. That’s okay too! Create loose routines wrapped in grace and the rest will fall into place.
- Identify the pain points in your day. Is your morning always frazzled? Is getting dinner on the table always difficult? Wherever you feel your frustration rising and your anxiety bubbling up … those are the parts of your day that need to be addressed. For instance, for whatever reason, getting my kids out the door in the morning (the twins in particular) is like trying to move a mountain. I realized, though, that there were two pain points: 1) getting them dressed and 2) getting them from the kitchen to the car. Getting them dressed was hard because I’d bring them downstairs, put their clothes on them in the living room, put their shoes on them on the couch, and then we’d eat breakfast. I realized that ROOM was the problem—and that I was trying to dress two toddlers at the same time. They had so much space to run away from me, to play, and to be distracted.
- Find a way to make that part of your day run smoother. The solution is often super simple! Now, I take their shoes and socks upstairs (we keep them in baskets by the front door). I’ve laid their clothes out the night before, so that part’s easy. I go to Tyler’s room first and get him fully dressed. Clothes. Shoes. Hair done. Everything. Then, we go and wake Caroline (girlfriend loves her beauty sleep). And I get her dressed in her room while Tyler plays in there. Clothes. Shoes. Hair done. Everything. Then we go downstairs and have breakfast. If I’m feeling super organized, I’ve set their breakfast out before I’ve gone upstairs, but that’s a rare occurance. Next, to get them to the car—I realized it was their backpacks that were causing a fuss. They wanted to put them on, buckle the front strap, and mess with them before walking twenty feet to the car. So now, before I go upstairs, I walk the backpacks to the car and put them in the front seat. They don’t even miss them! And our mornings run SO much smoother with these little tweaks!
- Implement fun, simple traditions to give your week a cadence. Pizza on Fridays. Cinnamon rolls on Saturdays. Church and then football on Sundays. These are just a few things my family looks forward to. And, not to mention, they make my life a little easier (especially the pizza and cinnamon rolls part)! These are my absolute favorites (store bought and so delicious!)
When it comes to my own personal routines, one of the routines I really simplified this year was my own “getting ready” routine. In Chapter 2 of A Simplified Life—we talk about creating your own signature style and how much this helps the time it takes you to get dressed every morning. I edited my closet in a big way after doing this and ended up with more favorites and much less clutter distracting me from those pieces I already owned! So, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite wardrobe staples with you! Some are super affordable and some are investment pieces. But, quality over quantity is my new rule for my closet.
MY 10 FAVORITE WARDROBE STAPLES
- Soft skinny jeans (my faves have been discontinued, but these are great too!)
- V-neck, loose tees (size up so they’re not tight)
- T-shirt dresses
- Gold stud earrings
- Bombas socks (literally the best)
- Leggings for the gym (or every day)!
- Tank tops for chasing kiddos or working out
- My Apple Watch (version 2)– a gift a few Christmases ago that I wear everyday. I love using it to track my workouts and to be notified of calls or texts (that way I don’t have to have my phone on me at all times).
- Rothys shoes. I loved Tieks for a while, but these are super soft (and you can throw them in the washing machine)!
Check out Part 1 (Simplifying your Home) and Part 2 (Simplifying your Schedule) of our Simplifying 2018 series, and check back tomorrow for Part 4 (Simplifying your Heart) and lots of fun giveaways, discounts, tips and more as we head into the new year. And, if you haven’t picked up your Simplified Planner yet, now’s the time! Orders over $100 get FREE domestic shipping until January 2! Get yours before they’re gone! AND my new book, A Simplified Life, is available here! Looking for more inspiration this week? I had a blast on Jen Hatmaker’s podcast this week as well as Jesus Calling!
Also, check out our new FREE Community Group! This has been on my heart for a LONG time. The process of simplifying your life is a BIG one. It’s so freeing and exciting and it’s HARD WORK. But it’s best done in community. With friends who can cheer you on, hold you accountable, and give you ideas. Friends you can ooh and ahh over before and after pictures with! Friends who can remind you it’s worth it to keep going when the clutter seems like too much (both physically and mentally). I’m THRILLED to announce we’ve just opened a FREE Simplified Life Community Group on Facebook (I know, not everyone is on FB – but its the easiest, *simplest* place to host such a thing – so get on FB even if just to join us). I’ll be there too and just can’t wait to get to know you all better. Hop in before we start our Simplicity Challenge January 1 and introduce yourself! Join here.
Win one of 40 (!!!) prize packs, including special-edition “Joy + Simplicity” pencils and an EL notepad! Giveaway winners will be contacted on Monday, January 2. Open to U.S. Residents only (sorry, International friends!).