I’m a mom to a 7-year-old and even though I only have one child, I sometimes get really stressed out trying to juggle the whole work-home balance. So these tips are as much reminders for me as anything. I hope you will find them useful too:
1. Embrace home organization as the money-saver, peace-of-mind creator that it is. When you are organized, you spend less time looking for missing things. You spend less money replacing those missing things. You show up to appointments on time. You don’t spend as must time picking up your house. Getting organized can be the best investment you make to de-stress your life.
2. Get rid of excess stuff in your house so you can spend less time cleaning around it, putting it away, repairing it and storing it. It’s a rule of the universe that houses with very few things in them are much less stressful to maintain than houses with lots of things in them.
3. Make sure everyone in the family is pitching in to clean house and put things away. If they are old enough to make the mess, they are old enough to start learning how to clean up the mess. When everyone starts helping with the housework, you will spend less time cleaning and more time relaxing.
4. Remember how good it felt to burn your school papers at the end of the school year or the old love letters from the boyfriend who cheated on you? Sometimes a good purge is just what you need to de-stress. The key is to make sure you are decluttering with intention rather than impulsively.
5. Let go of your quest for the magazine-perfect house. No house is picked up and clean every minute of every day, so release yourself from that expectation.
6. Get a planner, appointment book or calendar to keep track of all your appointments so you never have the stress of realizing that you only have two hours to bake all the cupcakes for the soccer team. Being able to plan a week in advance will save you the stress of the last-minute dash.
7. Insist that all family members write their events and appointments down on the calendar. Make it a rule that if it’s not on the calendar, then it’s not going to happen. You can’t be blamed for missing the holiday band concert if your teenage son never wrote it down.
8. Don’t cram your schedule so full of work functions, volunteer activities and tasks that there is no time left for your “Me Time.” Aim to have at least one hour to yourself a day. Schedule this time just as you would an appointment, and honor your commitment to yourself.
9. Embrace smaller holidays and celebrations. Smaller holidays means less time spent buying gifts, decorating, cooking and baking. Smaller celebrations means having fewer guests at your child’s birthday party, less time spent planning games and more time to truly relish the special occasion instead of being stressed out by it.
10. Know when to do it yourself and when to ask for help. If you are have tried and tried to get organized, but every system you have implemented has failed, then it’s time to admit defeat and call in an expert or even just an organized friend to help you. The same can be said for cleaning your house, doing household improvement projects and sewing your kids’ Halloween costumes. It’s impossible to be an expert at everything, so know when you have reached your limit and need to ask for help.
Are you a stressed-out parent? Is your home a major source of your stress? What works for you to de-stress?