How to simplify in 2015: A Mom's Guide

New year, new you. I hear that phrase everywhere at the turn of the year. And I get it: January is usually about resolution and reinvention. But this year, why not make it about simplifying our lives? As moms we have so much coming at us - ways to parent, ways to be a better parent, how to manage a household, how to balance a family and career. In 2015 though, one of my 'resolutions' is to find ways to simplify my busy life and schedule, even if the upfront work is hearty. So I turned to my momma tribe theCityMoms for answers on how this new year can help shape my new you. What were their tips? Well read for yourself:

Identify what stresses you, then take a leap to change it. 
  • Lizz: "In 2014 I ended a toxic friendship that made me feel horrible and guilty about myself and my life. . . I realized I can't change them, I can only change how I am affected."
  • Marcie: "I quit my crazy busy job. Took a large pay decrease but it has been so worth it to be able to spend this time with kids and reinvesting in my family. Best decision I've made as an adult." 
  • Melissa: "I'm done with drama in my personal and professional life. Instead of looking for what is next, I want to invest in what is going on now and make that the best situation possible." 
  • J: "It drove me mad that between work, daycare pickup, dinners and late nights, I didn't have time to exercise. I gained 10 pounds last winter and was so unhappy. Finally one night I mentioned it to my husband and discovered HE had been worrying about his own weight. We made a pact to alternate days at the gym after work and together one day on the weekend. While it cut into our time as a family, it drastically improved our mood at home and with each other." 

Downsize where you feel comfortable.
  • Ashley: "We made the decision to move to a much smaller {and cheaper} house. I had always had the mindset that a big house was something to work toward and be proud of, but having 2400+ square feet came at the price of me having to stress more about money, spend more hours away from home working and unintentionally made us focus more on acquiring more to fill the space. It was so freeing making the biggest donate pile I've ever made, getting rid of things I thought I needed until we downgraded to 950+ sq. ft. I thought it might be difficult, but really I just feel free and more organized."
  • Lauren: "We got rid of cable. Such a money saver. We got Roku to stream Netflix on our TV and are loving it."
  • Sarah: "We found new ways to entertain ourselves for free or with less money." 
  • Jess: "When giving gifts, we do pictures for everyone and ask for nothing in return {not everyone follows this but at least we know we're not pressuring anyone to spend money they shouldn't."

Purge around the house. Or take time to organize what you have.
  • Kathleen: "I am setting out to rid our house of STUFF and focus more on experiences. I plan to do a massive housecleaning/stuff detox and donate useable things we don't need to a local charity (like thrifty threads)." 
  • Jeanine {that's me!}: "Every January I set aside a weekend to really audit the things we've accumulated over the past year. Haven't used it in 12 months? Gone.  Saving something for the once-in-a-lifetime occasion where I might need it? Not necessary. This mentality also helps me think twice when purchasing items and if it isn't going to be used frequently, I won't buy it."
  • Enny: "{My daughter's} been getting a lot of toys composed of a million pieces. I finally bought one of those toy organizers with detachable buckets and started putting them away in tupperware."
  • Enny again: "The Wreck Room... a playroom is what everyone calls it but I really need a room where my toddler can bash, drop , throw, scream etc without me trying to control her every move. We have nice laminate floors that have gotten a couple of nicks from rough play. We've set up a recreational room in 2 carpeted (open floor plan) rooms for her and her friends to play. It also contains my elliptical and a spot fot for her own tv so I can start watching my own stuff again."
  • Christy: "I keep a list of which organizations around the city take which things - art supplies for my daughter's preschool, diapers for our church's food pantry, etc - and then keep bins in the basement marked and ready. So it's as easy as dropping the things in throughout the course of the year, and loading them up in my car to donate."

Simplify your schedule.
  • Damie: "I simplified socially. I can't make as many events, and I don't feel bad about it anymore. There's only so much time in a week, and my family has to come first. Plus I know my true friends understand." 
  • Kaitlyn: "I've made one day a week where we just stay home All day. No trips to the park, errands, dr appointments or friends. It's been a blessing to just be home and my kids have really benefitted from it."  

Identify the little things that can help make things easier.
  • Michelle: "I am using a simple to-do list to help me keep the house tidy. Each day there is a task that we should not spend more than 20 minutes on. ie. vacuum and dust the living on room Monday, tidy master bath on Tuesday etc…"
  • Megha: "I started cooking on Sunday during nap time, so I can spend the evening with the kids, and hubby. This also allows me to spend 10-15 min on me everyday as well."
  • Michele: "My in laws have begged to take my kids for a couple hours each week since we moved to Indianapolis. Last fall I finally took them up on it and found I had time to do all those little things I never had time for before: Iron, sweep under couches, NAP."
  • Jamie: "I get up an hour earlier than my family every morning. It gives me the time I need to write out my to-dos for the day, and feel organized enough to take the day on." 

And lastly, just unplug.
  • Melanie: "I have a 2-3 hour period each day where I hide my phone. It's usually between 5pm and whenever the kids got to bed. I focus on togetherness and cooking/eating dinner at the table. It's made big difference, since that's the time of day the kids are usually wound up anyways." 
  • Lauren"I started plugging my phone in to charge in the kitchen overnight rather than on my nightstand. It's nice to go to sleep and wake up 'unplugged.'" 
Founding Member
A Michigan native and die-hard Wolverines fan, Jeanine is an Indy transplant. After time spent in the marketing business she is now living the dream with a fabulous job that allows her to spend time with her two adorable kids. In her free time Jeanine feeds a small Anthropologie addiction, strikes a pose like a true yogi and is the Digital Editor of Indy's Child Parenting Magazine. Follow Jeanine on Twitter @themomista.

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