I’m not organized or methodical by default. I’m creative and make a lot of my decisions based off of my feelings. But I’ve learned, through the years, that if I set up some systems for myself I will follow them. It usually takes a great effort to set those systems up, but once they are implemented, I’m so happy to have some efficiency that assists me during the day!
This list of tools is random but they are all things (big or small) that can help with various aspects of a busy life!
- Amazon Dash buttons. I’m always surprised that these don’t get as much love as I think they deserve. They are little buttons that connect (via WIFI) to your amazon account and are paired up with a particular item you tend to reorder. So, for example, I have a Dash button by my cats’ litter boxes so when I see I’m running low, all I do is hit the button and it automatically orders the cat litter that I have programed onto the button. Setting up the buttons couldn’t be easier, and it helps me ensure that I don’t run out of the essentials. I wrote a longer post about it here, and you can explore the Dash buttons here!
- Stamps.com. I’ve heard about stamps.com for YEARS via podcast ads but I finally took the plunge last year and it’s such a time saver. I don’t have to ship many items but with an increase in shopping online, I’m probably shipping more than I ever have. From simple letters to larger packages, Stamps.com is extremely easy to use and print postage at home. So now, instead of returns sitting on my dining room table for months, I can quickly ship them back without going to the post office. I realize this sounds exactly like an ad, but I assure you Stamps.com has no idea who I am. I just genuinely love the service. Use this code to sign up, C-5CVQ-P9V, and you will get a $100 offer which includes a digital scale and $45 in printing credits.
- Grocery delivery with Shipt. During the busyness of the fall I signed up for a year subscription to Shipt. It was a desperate act to help take something off my plate, and to be completely honest I had a little regret immediately after I signed up and paid. Was I actually going to use this service or did I just sign up for something on a particularly hard day? As it turns out, I’m completely reliant on it now and cannot say enough good things about it. I’ve had a variety of shoppers and they are all attentive and fast. On occasion I’ll receive the wrong item, but that is very rare. If the grocery store is out of something, your shopper will text or call you so you can direct them to find something else. This is one of the greatest gifts I gave myself in this season. I don’t miss shopping for groceries, and love that it forces me to think through the food we actually need, versus impulsively buying something I see on the shelf.
I also use the Echo Show from Amazon quite regularly. I’ve had the device for a few months and recently did a campaign with Amazon to showcase how we use it so if you are curious about that, you can read more about it here!
Below are few other things that I do to be more efficient in my daily life that don’t cost a penny!
- Keep my kids’ socks downstairs near their shoes. I swear I’ve wasted hours of my life running upstairs to grab socks for my kids when we are trying to run out the door. I got this idea from the Young House Love Has a Podcast Podcast. Now the kids know exactly what basket their socks are in so they can get ready to run out the door on their own.
- Place a small laundry basket at the bottom of the stairs for kids clothes. Between changing from pajamas into day clothes or a quick outfit change for another reason, there always seems to be a random shirt or pants strewn around on the first floor. I bought a pretty white basket that blends into our living room decor for the kids to throw their clothes in. When it’s full (or when I remember!!) I carry it upstairs and dump it into their bedroom hampers.
- I only plan 3 days of meals at a time. Meal planning always overwhelmed me and I never took time to do it. And to be honest, there are some months that I’m on a good routine, and others when I can barely scrounge together a lunch option. The goal, though, was to plan meals for a few days instead of ALL 7 of them. It made the task much more doable for me and I enjoyed it!
Are you trying to be more organized and efficient in 2019? I know I am, but to be honest I feel like that is something I’m always working towards! I hope some of these tips or tools help you as much as they have helped me.