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Do you ever feel like life gets busier year after year? Us too. The digital age was supposed to make things easier for us, but it’s just made us have to do more in less time. Fortunately, there are some things we can do to regain our sanity. We polled our Freshome team to find out what life hacks they think busy people need to simplify their lives. Here are our top five life hacks.
A calendar or planner
There’s nothing quite as terrible as realizing you’ve forgotten something important. That’s why our top life hack is to create a system that works for you and to stick with it. Using a calendar or planner to keep your life organized is a game changer.
If you want to start with personal life organization, here’s a pretty Watercolors Monthly Planner from Target to get you started. Or, if you want to go bigger, you can mount a large-scale master calendar somewhere everyone in your family will see it to keep everyone a little more on top of their game. Put this Yoobi Magnetic Notepad from Target right next to it and have your family add grocery needs so your next trip to the store can be that much more effective.
Even if you prefer to keep your master calendar digitally, a hard-copy calendar can still be a boon. Start using a birthday calendar, like this one from Etsy. Borrowed from the Dutch, these calendars are a perfect reminder of important dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Each page of the calendar lists the days in a numbered format but doesn’t list the days of the week, so it can be used year after year. Add to yours every time you learn a birthday, put it in a place you’ll see every day and you’ll never forget an important date again!
Kitchen, closet & bathroom organizers
This isn’t the first time you’ve heard that our Freshome team loves closet organizes (like this beautiful Luxury Closet Starter Kit from The Container Store), and it won’t be the last. Why are we so hooked? Keeping your closet organized is a snap when the organization is literally built in. And, sure, you could shell out big bucks for a closet renovation. But you could also turn to baskets, bins and other organizers to give yourself the structure you need to keep things tidy.
This principle extends well past the closet, too. Add bins to your pantry, kitchen cabinets and bathroom to keep your house in order. These are especially powerful if you live with people who are, ahem, less concerned about organization than you. If your family members have a tendency to just throw things down, try them with providing a basket or bin. Label your organizers clearly and you’ll be amazed how much easier it is to get your family on board with putting things back where they go.
A place for collecting mail and keys
Junk builds up. It’s an ongoing problem that every person has to manage. That’s why one of our top Freshome life hacks is putting a system in place for this exact issue. Specifically, add a small basket wherever your mail seems to accumulate and wherever you drop your keys. Just implementing organization for these two things – one that can be hard to keep under control and one that always seems to go missing – can make life simpler. No more missed bills, no more missing keys, just like that!
We love the Water Hyacinth Storage Baskets from The Container Store. They come in four sizes so you can find what you need. Keep your storage matching throughout your house by using the extra small for corraling the aforementioned mail and keys. Then, use the middle sizes for toys and remotes and turn to the large for bulkier items like blankets. Boom! Your home looks that much more organized in a snap.
Time and space to daydream, plan and de-stress
One of the best life hacks we can offer is to practice self-care. We know, easier said than done. But carving out space in your day and space in your home where you can relax and just be is critical. Pick a place in your home, any place, and fill it with things you love. Ideally, this will be an area where you can minimize distractions (hint: right next to the kids’ playroom might not be the best location) and easily find moments of calm. Then, add whatever is going to best serve you. That could be some pretty candles, a cozy throw, a yoga mat, a bookshelf – whatever is going to spark your creativity and help you find balance.
Seriously, in order to be your most productive self, you need to allow yourself to recharge. Creating space in your home dedicated to doing exactly that makes it much more likely that you’ll actually make yourself a priority when you’re feeling run down.
No, really. When we asked our Freshome team, which is full of busy people, for life hacks, most of us said one of the things we most need is a little help. Some of us find that help in the form of a meal delivery service (we love Blue Apron) or a housekeeper. Others turn to more digital supports, like the Google Home (available at Target), an automated coffee maker to make the mornings just a little bit easier or a keyless lock, like the Honeywell Electronic Lock from Target. Remember what we said earlier about keeping an eye on keys? Electronic locks can eliminate that issue for you.
Whatever help you need to manage your life and feel less stressed, don’t be afraid to ask for it. It can make all the difference in the world.
What are your favorite life hacks? We would love your tips and tricks to help us all manage our busy schedules.