Thursday, January 1, 2015

Simplifying my Wardrobe, Grocery Shopping, and Getting a Toddler Ready in the Morning

For the past couple of months, I have been focused on making some changes because there were a few things that were bugging me. Getting out of the house in the morning with a four year old was painful. Picking out my own clothes wasn't fun. I didn't like that I was feeling run ragged by the end of the day. Or feeling like my mind was constantly somewhere else, not in the present moment, not able to focus on whatever was in front of me because of the constant, running to do list.



And so I embarked on looking for answers, or looking for ideas on new ways of doing things. I'm already seeing some positive changes. Just the other night, I had this very sweet moment when I was playing a memory card game with my son. I realized I was just playing, enjoying time with him, and that I wasn't feeling torn or distracted, or like I should go fold the laundry.

I'm surprised that this moment happened four days before Christmas because that's usually when things feel the craziest.

So what have I started doing differently?

1. I started a capsule wardrobe. I picked out 9 pairs of pants, 15 tops, 2 dresses, 2 jackets, and 9ish pairs of shoes. It's all I'm wearing until March.

Why this simplifies things:
I know what I have to wear, and I know that it fits. I picked each thing because I like the way it looked on me. (you can see my trial runs on Instagram). I know that if I do my laundry every week and hang up my clothes, I have enough to last through the work week and I don't have to think about it. I don't really think about shopping for clothes because I've already agreed with myself that I'm not buying anything until February. And, it no longer means that I do that thing where I try on 20 things in the morning and feel defeated and crazy because I "haven't got a stitch to wear."

2. We changed how we approach grocery shopping and meal planning. We've started having our groceries delivered, and I now am exploring a new slow cooker meal each week. (you can follow my choices on my "Adventures of Gluten Free Slow Cooking" Board on Pinterest).

Why this simplifies things:
We spent A LOT of time running to the store each week because we didn't plan out meals and shopped day to day. Now my husband and I talk about our menu for the week, load up our cart on Safeway.com, and we place an order to be delivered on Monday evening. It means we don't spend the time in the stores, and we don't spend extra money during those daily trips. It also means we can stand in the kitchen, check if we have something, and if we don't, we just add it to the cart. This also results in fewer trips.

My one slow cooker meal a week trial has had great results. It means we spend less time making the meal that night, and we have left overs to cover us for another meal that week (and sometimes enough to freeze for a following week!). We free up time we can spend with the family.

3. I created a morning routine for my son and I. I'm trying to wake up earlier, but we now have a set routine that we follow every morning.

Why this simplifies things:
My son is 4. He doesn't listen, he has ideas, and he likes to do his own thing. This meant that he often derailed our morning because he was honestly just doing what toddlers do. That's when I put this checklist on our refrigerator, with little magnets for him to use to check each thing off. Now that he can see what needs to happen, he's actually doing the steps by himself. Instead of me yelling, or getting frustrated, I can say "let's go see what we have to do next" and then we move along naturally. It get us out the door faster and with a lot less frustration.

So, what have you been working on to simplify your days?

4 comments:

Laura Lane said...

I'm so glad you're finding things that work for you. I love how January brings out the get life in order attitude in so many of us.

Your talk of your capsule wardrobe made me smile. I don't even own that many clothes. Maybe someday....

Blessings,
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Paula said...

Hi Laura, it definitely is a process of trying a lot of things until I land on something that works for us.

I have to admit, I don't have 9 pairs of pants. That's really just a place to start, but part of the fun of the capsule wardrobe is that you can make it work for you, with however many clothes you already own :)

Thank you for stopping by!

Heidi's Wanderings said...

It's so good to hear that things are working better for you. Life is so much better when we aren't rushing around all the time.

Paula said...

It's true. I'm learning to accept that I need a little breathing room in my schedule, too. It's ok to be happy with having downtime :)