ANOTHER
MOTHER RUNNER

Hump Day Giveaway: Icebreaker Top & Socks

Turn right or left: just one of the countless decisions we face.
Turn right or left: just one of the countless decisions we face.

Last fall, in a profile in Vanity Fair magazine, it was reported President Obama tries to minimize the number of insignificant decisions he makes in a day. Some examples given: He has only blue and grey suits and mostly red or blue ties so he doesn't have to expend brain power debating what to don each morning.

While I haven't worn a suit since I was a desk-jockey in the 1990s--and I am not a world leader--I also simplify my "work wardrobe" decisions. My running attire, that is. My rationale? At 5:30 a.m., I don't have the mental bandwidth to grab the smartest options. (E.g. Nearly ran in inside-out bottoms the other morning.) So I keep it simple. In the winter months, for this Portlander, it means a midweight wool, long-sleeve top with a nylon vest over it and a pair of capris. I've paired down my capris so I have three or four trust pairs that I know will stay up and provide support; I'm not picky about which pair I grab.

The color of this Icebreaker half-zip is Gulf, to remind you of exotic, beachy locales, I  suspect.
The color of this Icebreaker half-zip is Gulf, to remind you of exotic, beachy locales, I suspect.

But my favorite wool tee is by the New Zealand company Icebreaker: It's light enough so this sweat hog doesn't burn up, yet warm enough to have kept me comfy even when temps hovered below freezing the last week or so. And on rainy mornings (we've been known to have a few of those in the PacNW...), the non-itchy wool helps me regulate my micro-climate no matter how drenched I get. Bonus: Because wool naturally fights odor, I don't have to wash it after every run. (So far my BRFs Molly, Ellison, and Sheila haven't complained...or switched sides to run upwind from me.)

To help one mother runner make one less decision inΒ herΒ life, we're giving away an Icebreaker Quest Long Sleeve Half Zip. (Did I mention the half-zip is an ideal temperature regulator? Reason #37 this tee is a fail-safe decision every a.m.) While we're at it, let's alleviate one more, "what should I wear?" debate, and toss in a pair of Run Ultralite Micro socks. I've been known to leave a pair of these lovelies on all day--and through the night--to keep my feet snug and warm.

To enter to win, share with us one thing you do to simplify you life. It could be writing out a week's worth of meals rather than planning on the fly; getting rid of all your blouses that need to be dry cleaned; carpooling; or getting rid of all your houseplants. Click on the orange Comments ribbon below this post on our site, and tell us how you streamline your life's decisions.

These Icebreaker socks might be the kick in the rear you need to run in any weather.
These Icebreaker socks might be the kick in the rear you need to run in any weather.

[Some fine print for this fine prize.] This sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of the United States and Canada. It begins on 1/23/13 and ends on 1/29/13; the winner will be announced on 2/2/12. One entry per person. The value of the prize is $137. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.

1,203 responses to “Hump Day Giveaway: Icebreaker Top & Socks

  1. I do a load of laundry every day after work, so I never have to spend my weekends doing laudry. We try to cook so that we will have leftovers to cover adleast one more meal during the week.

  2. The one thing that I do every night at dinner we review what activities the children have the next day so that we are all on the same page and can plan dinner for the next night.

  3. The one thing I do to simplify my life is use a planner. I know it’s old school and I have a phone that could do it for me, but writing things down keeps me organized and on track…thus simplifying my life πŸ™‚

  4. The biggest thing I do to simplify is to create the meal plan for the week and do all the shopping. Less trips to the store and when I get home after a long day I don’t have to think about what I am going to eat…especially helpful since my willpower is just about nil at that point!

  5. I’ve been making these oatmeal bars that have been so convenient. I have them in the car, the office, at the house, everywhere!

  6. When chopping or mincing vegetables, or grating ginger or citrus peel, I always go ahead and do extra and store it in the freezer flattened in ziploc bags. I can then make simple meals with mix-ins for flavor and nutrition.

  7. I like to try and make large meals on the weekends. Because come Monday evenings they are a rush. Starting with getting home from work at 6:15/6:30 and rushing to get things done. Doing chores (feed/water cattle & horses), homework, supper, and kids in bed for 8:00. Monday is known as leftover Monday. No time for making a meal just microwave and eat.

  8. Anything I can! A super streamlined chore chart helps a ton, as well as one big giant calendar for everyone’s activities. I keep it on the side of the fridge and refer to it as my brain. If it’s not there, it isn’t happening! I also decided this week that I’m going to play a little cleaning game called “if we were moving would we take it with us?”, because even though we aren’t moving, we need a big clean out and I figured this might be a good way to determine what we really need/want to keep and what can go. πŸ™‚

  9. To simplify our lives – I must do everything at least 12-hours in advance! I have come to the realization that putting on my running gear when I get a change (either sleeping in it or changing into it regardless of what I must accomplish before I hit the street- GETS ME OUT THE DOOR & gives me some time to myself).

  10. I need to find more ways to simplify my life so that I can spend more time doing the things I love the most with the people I love the most! One thing I’ve done recently is to sign up for a home delivery service of fresh, local, and mostly organic produce every other week. It means fewer trips to the grocery store and we always have fresh, healthy food and snacks on hand at home.

  11. To simplify our lives, our family cut out cable tv. We spend more time reading and playing with our children. Plus, the money we save from not having a monthly cable bill, can help me, a stay-at-home mom, have the extra money to enter races and buy new running shoes.

  12. To simplify my life, I’ve tried to give up on trying to have the house be perfect… tried. Most of the time, the house is cleanish, but not “clean”… chores are almost done but not “done”. With 2 working parents, 2 kids, a dog, and busy schedules, it takes off some of the pressure.

  13. I surround myself with positive thinking people! Its amazing how much more I accomplish when thinking positive thoughts! πŸ™‚

  14. I try to not build up expectations of myself to myself. I don’t browse Pinterest, I don’t do fancy this and that. I try to keep things simple, I run, I like to make dinner for my family, my house isn’t perfect, but I’ve let go of that.

  15. My family and I have an after school/work routine that involves completion of homework and lunch prep for the next day. There are six of us and, when all hands are helping, the jobs get done quickly every time.

  16. I have simplified my life by going BETH SUI. Thats my idea of fung sui. I keep a flow of running paths from bedroom, to kitchen, to workout room, to living room ,to office ,to extra facilities to laundry room and back. IT WORKS FOR ME!!! AND DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING OR MOVE ANYTHING. (not unless you are cleaning!)

  17. I make breakfast eggs and cheese etc ahead of time and freeze them. They just have to be reheated for breakfast for me on the way out the door to work.

    I also have my son pick out all school snacks the night before. Limits stress in the morning.

    ANd I lay out both my and my sons cloths the night before.

    And I have worn workout capris to the gym inside out before…..5am workouts i wake up about 5:20

  18. I make lunches the night before. With all of the morning drama with a family full of anti-morning people, one less thing to worry about makes it manageable.

  19. If I am buying new clothes for whatever season it make sure everything coordinates; boots, shirts, jewelry, sweaters….I want to be able to wear any piece with everything else, and change the look by interchanging pieces. It works for me!

  20. I simplified my life by not cleaning my house anymore. Just kidding (sort of). With a 5-year-old and a 4-month-old and working full time, I have pretty much stopped sweating the small stuff, and just focus on spending as much time playing together as we can.

  21. I plan meals on Sunday for the week and go shopping that day. That way I am set for the week. It doesn’t always happen that way but most of the time it does.

  22. I load my teacher bag with everything for the week. With 21 3 to 5 yr olds in my room it is a life saver. Then I load my gear bag up with fuel, G2, and my water bottle. Double check my Family Calendar. It is streamlined with all activites for the 4 of us. Simple Format even the husband said soo.

  23. I plan out my weekly dinner menus on the week-end and hit the grocery store so I have everything we need. Most times either b/c I’m working late or on a run my husband starts dinner, all he does is looks at menu and knows what to do. Now that is a Win-Win!

  24. I just started for 2013–I planned dinner for the month. I also hit the liquor store (here in Oklahoma the “hard”/good stuff isn’t available in the grocery store) and stocked up for two months. That took away an extra stop when shopping.

  25. I do at least one load of laundry a day. With 4 kids plus my husband and myself there is a lot of laundry. Doing a load a day saves spending a whole day washing, folding and putting away.

  26. I pay a wonderful woman to clean my house. $25 every other week to do my mopping and scrubbing! Money well spent and one less thing to worry about.

  27. With three boys at three different schools and all involved in at least 1 sport plus another extra-curricular each season, I had get something to simplify our scheduling. I have a rotating weekly wipe off board on the side of the fridge. Each person in family (and pets) has a color. Family time has a color as well. I can plan out a month at a time, and even my youngest can track what’s coming up!

  28. I gave up cooking myself breakfast on work days and instead eat Greek yogurt. I end up with as much protein as my previous two eggs, and it doesn’t take any time.

  29. I am a substitute teacher, so often I don’t know if I’m working until 6:00 a.m. – my streamline decision is that all my work clothes go together. I can’t make a wrong decision – any top, any pants, any shoes… All washable. Easy!

  30. I simiplify my life by planning my week out every Sunday night. Write out all the meals for the week. Plan after school activities. Organize and iron clothes for the week. Organize workout schedule and outfits, since the workouts have to be done at 4:30am.

  31. I simplified life by getting my boys all the same exact white socks…now I dont have to sort socks! just toss them in a pile and grab a pair without looking and since theyre all the same its always a match! whew!

  32. Before I go to pick up my gang of kiddo’s up at school each day. ( 7,8,9 ) with 3 yr old in tow. I always make sure everyone’s clothes are placed out for the next day. Even mom ( running duds) & dad. Before I go to bed each kid has their backpack lined up with shoes, coat, hat whatnot all in a row ready to go in the am. All lunch boxes are lined up on the counter before bed so I can quickly pack them in the am to toss in their backpacks.

  33. I simiplify my life by having my running and workout scheduled for the week ahead. Then I don’t have to think about it — I just work the plan!

  34. Working 12 hours shifts means that my morning and evening routines must be super efficient. I hang my work outfits up complete with top, bottom, and sweater/jacket to ensure that in my morning fog I can at least get my clothes on. My lunch on workdays is always the same. Baby carrots, apple or orange, and a tupperware of quinoa, chickpeas, and broccoli. Knowing that my outfit and lunch are taken care of means I shave my morning routine down to a minimum, often allowing for a run!

  35. I make my own smoothie packs! Put yogurt in ice cube trays & freeze. Place 2 yogurt cubes in ziplock bag with 1 cup fruit of choice. Freeze until ready to blend! Quick, easy & delish!

  36. I buy individual portions sizes of my go-to snacks like hummus, cheese and yogurt. I know the big bulk size is cheaper, but I won’t take it with me if I have to take extra time to portion it out.

  37. My biggest simplification trick is to find an item of clothing that I love and buy it in three different colors. For example, I have three pairs of the same jeans, three different colors of the same shirt. I can feel like I’m mixing it up even though I’ve already decided that this style of pants works best.

    Of course, this system goes all to heck when companies stop making the style that of pants/shirts/underwear that I love….

  38. Always have the lunches for the kids and their backpacks loaded and ready the night before – makes for a much simpler, smoother morning!

  39. I say “no” when I have to. With two very social kids, two small business, tons of family and friends to enjoy, I sometimes just say, “No” when it gets too much. No to the new dance class for now. No to the playdate. No to the meeting that can be held over the phone. Sometimes we need to stop giving into the overworked and overstressed lifestyle that is idolized by America and just say, “no.”

  40. After the kids go to bed, I make lunches, lay out clothes and make sure everything is in its place. This enables me to sleep with a clear mind and out the door for my 5am run.

  41. I work 2 jobs. I don’t have a family or kids, but I AM busy. I try my best to simplify by cooking ahead. Slowcookers and leftovers are my saviour! And without fail i always have my run gear and next day outfits lying our and ready to go….need any extra zz’s (or time for a run before work) i can get!!

  42. The craziest part of each day is getting the kids ready for school in the morning, so I pick out their clothes for the whole week on Sundays. Both kids have a tub for each school day, which makes it easy for them to grab their clothes and get dressed by themselves (with lots of prodding, of course!).

  43. I try and meal plan and do my shopping for the week on Sat. Cook a few things on Sunday so we have healthy food on the busy nights! I also have just a few things I actually like to run in an I keep them all together so I can grab and go.

  44. Kind of nerdy, but I pick out all of my work outfits for the week and hang them up on some hooks I had my husband install on the bedroom door. Sometimes i even get the accessories and hang them up too. Makes getting ready for work a no-brainer!

  45. I set my work clothes and anything else I will need out the night before, I truly don’t like waking up. Having everything ready gets me a couple more snoozes! And even though I run right after work,I set those clothes the day before as well. So once I get in,change clothes and back out before I have enough time to change my mind. Read an above comment, didn’t realize it, but I have gum and chapstick/lip gloss everywhere!!

  46. I use my crockpot to prep dinner–a lot, I pack my bag the night before (and recheck it several times), and then go straight from work to run. I find it overall takes much less time than if I go home first!

  47. I make our evening meal mid-morning (when I have the most time, kids at school, baby having nap)and put it in the fridge to be warmed up at supper time. it makes life SO much simpler as the usual time to cook dinner – 5-6 pm coincides with fractious babies, hungry toddlers, grumpy grade schoolers finishing their homework – my “suicide hour” just got a little more bearable!

  48. I lay out my scrubs the night before and I have the tops/bottoms already paired up right out of the dryer. All I need is to grab a long sleeved shirt, socks, underwear, and bra and after my shower, I’m ready to go in the morning.

  49. I have simplified one part of life by buying a separate laundry bin for each of us. The GOAL is to teach each of our 4 sons to do their own laundry. We’ll get there, eventually πŸ™‚

  50. I like to make a whole bunch of meals in advance (especially breakfasts) so there is no “what to eat?” musing taking up time and mental energy.

  51. My simplify my life thing is to eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast and lunch everyday during the week. I work outside of the home and it’s just one less thing I have to think about. I always have what I need and I just make it on autopilot!

  52. Keep items like chapstick and nuun in lots of places so I have them when I need them. (Ex. home, work, gym bag, on my bike)

  53. I put books on hold at the library so all I have to do is run in and grab them off the reserved shelf. Don’t have to wander down the isles looking for them!

  54. I use an online mealplanner: The Scramble. Your examples reminded me of other stuff: I never wear anything that requires ironing, my husband set up Amazon to send toilet paper and tissues to our house on a regular basis, and we get some basic produce and groceries delivered weekly.

  55. I do typically plan my meals a week out but the thing that has helped so much now is using an app called “Buy Me a Pie” where I keep my grocery lists (I can keep multiple lists on there for different stores). My husband has the app too and we use the same login so he can see the list and pick up the groceries on the way home. Has made life so much easier!

  56. I lay out everything possible the night before — my clothes, kids’ clothes, work laptop bag, etc. And I make the kids lunches the night before. I guess I’m really just shifting the “morning work” to the night before, but it does simplify our crazy mornings!

  57. I commit myself to running every other day – done deal. This way, I don’t have to make up excuses, worry about the weather, re-arrange my schedule or be indecisive about working out. If today is a “running day,” I’m going to run. Simple as that!

  58. On Sundays I plan our meals for the week, and the grocery list that covers all the recipes. So 1 weekly shop is usually enough. We also keep a list on the fridge that we can add to if we run out of something so nothing gets forgotten at the store.

    I agree that making fewer choices per day makes for a happier life! I keep my running wardrobe small and simple…but I’m still lacking some warm clothes for Maine winters…love this top. πŸ™‚

  59. The crock pot makes my life so much easier. We are all happier when we can relax when we get home, versus my fussing at the kids while trying to rush a dinner on the table!

  60. I allow my house to be tidy and do not worry anymore about whether it is immaculate. I let go of some of those expectations and realized to juggle it all I had to accept some imperfections.

  61. I lay out my clothes (running & work), plus my daughter’s clothes the night before. This saves so much time in the morning, so I am not searching for a random sock and stressing before 8 AM.

  62. I try to follow the same routines so I know where stuff is when I need it. Keys go in a certain pocket when I get to work, lunchbox goes on the microwave when I get home, etc. I do the same for my running gear, Motoactv on the buffet, knuckle lights on the table with ear buds, etc. Plus I am often getting ready in thedark and need to know where everything is!

  63. I’ve quit procrastinating! Ends up wasting time not doing things that need to get done. So I just get it done, and it is usually something I really dislike doing!

  64. I live alone so I cook a big batch of food that I really like and eat it for lunch and dinner every day till its gone! Easy for me and I never whine or complain, Also: Online billpay

  65. If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t get done or I’m not there! With 4 kids and 3 houses between us, and my boyfriend living in another city an hour away, I have to keep everything on my calendar which syncs between work and my calendar on my cell phone.

  66. Everyday before I pick up my gang from school I make sure everyone’s clothes are laid out for the next day. This way I can focus on kids needs, homework, meltdowns & dinner. Before we go to bed all kids backpacks, shoes, coats & lunch boxes are all lined up for the morning. 4 kids to juggle.

  67. I’ve simplified my life by reducing the amount of advertising I see. If I don’t know something exists, I can’t want it. And I definitely don’t own any clothes that need dry cleaning… *shudder*!

  68. I have learned to simplify by simply saying NO. And sometimes this means saying no to my own tendencies to just do too many things at one time. I have learned the hard way to tackle one task at a time (instead of 6 because multitasking really is counterproductive).

  69. My crockpot is my big streamliner (love this blog: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/) for recipe ideas. We also try to cook just 3 nights a week and eat leftovers the other nights. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work out so well, and then we end up with either cereal, or going out.

  70. To simplify my life I don’t overplan as much. I used to have workouts figured out weeks in advance and would scour and fret over them. Now I just go a week at a time and pay much more attention to how I am feeling as I go, rather than just slogging along to hit paces or to get to race day. It’s much more enjoyable, far less stressful (for me), and my training has never gone better.

  71. Instead of assuming that my husband knew where he needed to be to help with the kids. I create a weekly chart and give him a copy every Sunday so he knows where he needs to help. It also helped me to remember where I was supposed to be so I don’t forget any of the kids anywhere. By creating it, I can also meal plan and figure out where to-do lists for the free time I have. I also love the crock pot!

  72. I get dinner ready in the afternoons when kids are napping/resting. Then I use the Delay Cook Time feature on my oven to set it to start cooking when I know I’m headed home from library/karate class/gym etc… That way it’s already cooking when I get home.

    I also happened to see someone post this link on Facebook after I read this blog yesterday and it has some awesome tips: http://twistedsifter.com/2013/01/50-life-hacks-to-simplify-your-world/

  73. I have a meal routine: one new meal per week (usually Sunday or Wednesday), Friday is always fish or pizza, and the rest is planned and written out and shopped for prior to the beginning of a work week.

  74. Two words: Night before! Whether it’s setting out clothes, prepping lunches, or setting a stack of library returnables by the front door, it makes the morning (where I ALWAYS think I’ll have time, but NEVER do!) so much smoother!

  75. I work late nights, so to simplify our morning routine, my kids (9, 10 and 15) have their own alarm clocks and make their own breakfasts and lunches. I get up in time to check that they have everything and then I get them to school. Cuts down on the “I ddidn’t like my lunch” complaints too πŸ˜‰

  76. I do big freezer cooking days (or evenings!!) when my husband is there to entertain my boys (3 boys under 4!) so that I can just pull something out of the freezer most days for dinner! It bakes while I run!

  77. I’ve been using Evernote (www.evernote.com)for my grocery lists, to-do lists, daughter list (great for spelling words), son list, list. It’s a great web-based tool that I can access anywhere on my iphone with a handy app or on my computer! I know it could be even more useful once I find the time to use it to its full potential!

    I’m loving all the ideas from other runner mothers!

  78. Whenever possible, I make a meal that we can have for two nights and sometimes I’ll take leftovers after the second night and try to get 3 nights out of a meal by making a stew. It’s a great way to get rid of all the leftover veggies! I like to cook, but after working all day and rushing to pick up kids, it’s nice to have some part of my day feel easy.

  79. Smoothies. They simplify so many aspects of life – quick breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up snack, accompaniment to our pizza nights (so I don’t feel quite so guilty that there’s not a vegetable on the plate.) Love some smoothies.

  80. I make my boys pick out their outfit for the next day! The next day, since the clothing is out, they put it on right away without stalling. You wouldn’t think such a small thing would make the morning before school better, but it does!! I also plan out meals, have to or I wouldn’t know what to cook everyday

  81. I juice a lot and so every Sunday I chop up veggies and fruits and fill ziplock bags with everything I need for one juice each. That way the rest of the week all I need to do is grab and juice and run.

  82. I homeschool my kids, so I’m in charge of making all three meals for them EVERY DAY. To simplify, I have hard-and-fast breakfast and lunch menus–each day of the week has its specific breakfast, so I always know that on Tuesdays I make oatmeal, on Friday I make pancakes, etc.

    Lunches are on a two week rotation. On Wednesdays we have quesadillas or grilled cheese sandwiches; on Thursdays we have ramen vegetable soup or chicken noodle soup, depending on whether the date is odd or even. (It can get a little repetitive at the beginning of a new month when there’s some odd/even sameness two weeks in a row, but I’m OK with it because it makes things so much easier during the rest of the month.) I change the menus every three months to account for seasonal changes in food availability.

  83. I plan our weekly menu on Saturday mornings, make my grocery shopping list accordingly and SEND MY HUSBAND to the grocery store πŸ™‚
    I also use my crockpot as often as I can, make big batches and we alternate leftovers for a few days.
    I clean the bathroom when my daughter is in the bath or shower.

  84. I don’t sweat the small stuff as much anymore. You would be surprised at how much easier your life becomes when you don’t waste your energy perseverating on the tiny things that happen throughout the day. Had a particularly bad year last year, so it really puts things in perspective.

  85. I signed up for relish.com – a meal planning website that gives you recipes to choose from and then prints out your shopping list! Makes life a wee bit easier!

  86. Oh! I loooooove my icebreaker but I don’t have any for running yet! I plan a menu and shopping list, and refuse to go to the store more than once a week. If it wasn’t on the list and we don’t have any left then too bad!

  87. Planning meals and running times for the week simplifies life for this full-time working mom…so does making lunches and getting clothes (work, school, running) out the night before. Oh, and my house is messy…

  88. We plan all our meals for the week. I always have a couple extra quick and options for when the unexpected happens. I also make huge pots of soups and other freezable meals and divide them into individual servings for emergencies. Not only saves time but also money. No temptation to go out when time is short.

  89. Meal planning is key. I don’t always accomplish it, but when I do, life is so much easier. Plan, shop (and buy fewer unnecessary things) & forget about it until it’s time to cook.
    Getting the kids to pick out their clothes the night before is a big help too.

  90. Trying to get out the door with two kids under 4 in the morning is turing out to be quite a challenge. To help minimize the tantrums we get our oldest to pick out his clothes the night before. Saves a few minutes…

  91. I am trying a new fridge calendar for the family and including planned workouts and meals. So far OK, trying to stick to it….

  92. We’ve taught our kids (11, 9, and 6) to be more independent – they are responsible for all of the clean-up after meals (dishes, putting food away, table, floor), they take care of themselves on those rare mornings we have the chance to sleep in, and they get themselves ready for school in the mornings (I do still wake them up to make sure they’ve at least opened their eyes!). These few things have taken a remarkable amount of pressure off of me and definitely make my mornings and evenings less complicated!

  93. Laughing at things. Doesn’t sound like simplifying, but you’d be surprised how much easier it makes life when you laugh when things go awry instead of get angry or stressed.

  94. I always plan my meals for the entire week and do all my grocery shopping once a week. I also plan to make one or two larger meals so I can freeze some leftovers. I hardly ever buy any frozen meals. I usually plan to have one or two nights a week for a frozen meal when I know my evening will be busy. The meal planning has been my biggest life simplifier. I find when I plan ahead, I have more time to fit my workouts in and know that I’m still getting the proper nutrition without trying to figure that all out every single day on the fly.

  95. I’m working on simplifying my life…but I do generally only buy clothing pieces that are “classic” and that I can wear with most everything. That cuts down on the decision time in the morning πŸ™‚

  96. I make lunches, put clothes out, help get backpacks ready and then get myself ready for the next morning. It makes getting out the door at 7am with everyone a lot easier!

  97. One thing I do that simplifies my life is having a “theme” for each day in regards to the meal. Monday’s are pasta day; Tues, chicken; Wed left overs, Thur, beef; Fri, soup (in winter, burgers in summer); Sat, pizza; and Sunday is a random day.

    This really helps me in menu planning.

  98. The best way I’ve found to simplify in terms of training is to sneak in some of my workouts when my son has other activities going on.

  99. My kids are 4 and 7. We wanted them to stay active and be part of group activities. I found that it was a struggle most evenings to get them to the activities I had enrolled them in because they didn’t want to go. We talked about what they liked and wanted to do. My oldest still wanted to stay in CUB Scouts but both agreed that they would rather spend time as a family. They have a long time to find an activity that they enjoy but are only young once. I gladly dropped the extra stuff and enjoy our simple family time.

  100. We have invested, and continue to invest, in a well-stocked home gym. With 2 young kids, it just makes things worlds easier to be able to get workouts in at home on our own schedule without having to worry about if childcare is available, if it’s o’dark thirty and freezing, etc. No excuses. Sure we prefer to run and ride outdoors, but it sure is nice to have indoor options available if and when we need them. Oh, and the gym overlooks the playroom for a reason!

  101. Meal planning is a big simplifier for me. I plan the week’s meals, post them on the calender, and follow the plan for the week. It’s so nice to come home from work and have dinner plans already laid out.

    I would love, love, love those socks! My feet get blisters so easily, and wool seems to be a little easier on my poor sweaty feet.

  102. This year, the way that I simplified was by being extravagant. After nearly 6 years of intentionally being a one car family, riding our bikes to work, getting rides to book club with friends, setting up elaborate carpools, and spending LOTS of time working on the logistics of who needs to the car to take the kids to this appointment or that practice (or ourselves to the YMCA) we crunched numbers and bought a second car. Having two cars and two parents available to transporting our kids and ourselves has made my life SOOOO much easier. We still ride our bikes to work / school lot, and we still share rides, but it’s nice to know that we have a second car when we need it.

  103. My family and I make a big (okay, maybe not big, but noticeable, at least) financial sacrifice so that I can stay home with my boys. I’d say that simplifies things significantly.

  104. we started a magnetic meal planner on our fridge so we could plan meals for the week also if my hubby changed his mind about something he could easily switch the meal to something he preferred. We used simple sticky backed magnets from the dollar store and the whole project cost under $10.

  105. I’m working at simplifying my life. One way is to commit only when I really want to. No more saying yes because I should or its best for someone else.

  106. I use an online card company for sending all birthday, anniversary, etc cards. The prices are the same, you can personalize, do them in advance and they remember to send them throughout the year. πŸ™‚

  107. I do a clean sweep three times a day in order to keep the house tidy. I tell myself that with each clean sweep I must throw away ten things away and that all surfaces must be free of clutter. Throw away items tend to be things such as random papers, take out coffee cups or wrappers of sorts. With two toddlers and a baby moving about, this tasks creates a much more peaceful, stable and enjoyable environment for a stay at home mom like myself.

  108. I try to appropriately delegate tasks around the house and not take on the attitude that “I can do it better, so I’ll do it myself”. It instills a sense of responsibility and ownership for a job well done and teachable moments for jobs not so well done. It saves me some time when everyone contributes a little, so no one person is “put out”. I will even ask other family members and friends help out with things like errands or cooking for classroom parties and later make sure to reciprocate. It’s a very efficient way to go and knits us together as a community πŸ™‚

  109. To simplify my life I buy all the same color sock for each family member. There’s no more aggravation matching socks….. Because they all match πŸ™‚

  110. I have learned to prioritize and simply let certain things go. So what if there are dishes in the sink, laundry that still needs to be folded and put away, or crumbs on the floor? My family, my workouts, my sleep and my sanity are far more important than a spotless house.

  111. I organize my kids as much as possible. They each have a bucket that their homework goes in, a peg for their backpack, and I have even helped them organize their hats, mittens, coats, and boots. Our days begin much more simply when they are ale to easily gather everything they need for the day and get it packed and ready. It saves me time, and it allows us to leave the house with smiles instead of scrambling.

  112. Good Morning,
    Last Fall, I ran the Fox Valley 1/2 Marathon with my BRFs Jocelyn,who is also my daughter-in-law,and Charlotte. As we qued up for the race, I was my usual nervous self,checking to make sure I had just the right play list for our run. The race started and we were off. I reached to turn my iPod on and something very unexpected happened. I realized that I was enjoying the atmosphere so much that I would wait until further into the race to turn it on. I had never run without my tunes before so I was a bit astounded at the thought. As the run progressed, It began to dawn on me that I COULD run w/out music! This was very liberating for me as I thought I NEEDED music to run. I also realized that I was running much better than I anticipated. Since then, I have run less and less with my music clipped to my waist. I feel less dependent on something other than my own get up and go. It a small thing, well, not really. For me it was a huge thing but it has simplified my running life, no more searching for my ipod 5 seconds before my run only to see it needs charging and have to wait an extra 15 minutes. Its been very liberating AND, I run better without it because I can hear myself breathe.
    Its just one thing, but it has made running more personal for me.

  113. I get everything ready the night before for my job the next day including tools needed clothes even making a sandwich for lunch

  114. To simplify the chaos that is homework time after school, I have my boys sit at opposite ends of the kitchen table and do their homework. This way, I can get dinner and help them at the same time (along with getting them a snack when the inevitable “I’m hungry” statement pops up). Prior to doing this, I had one in each room. I was running around like a loon from the kitchen to each of their rooms trying to help them. MUCH more simple these days.

  115. I am an early morning runner, so I set out both my workout gear and work clothes the night before, so that I can be on autopilot at 4am!

  116. I load the dishwasher such that when it comes time to unload, things are placed together for quicker access…and I have four kids, so this happens at least twice a day!

  117. I run to simplify my life. It’s my time to clear my mind, put things in perspective and strengthen my tolerance for the remainder of the day’s stresses.

  118. I keep every event we have scheduled on my phone calendar with Outlook, so both my husband and I can connect with it. It has been SO helpful for keeping our lives straight! πŸ™‚

  119. I am taking a day off work with the kids in school and daycare. My life is simplified when I am sane. A whole day! Luxury.

  120. When I look at the clock I see it in increments! That way I don’t feel so rushed-it’s a silly mind game, but it works!!!

  121. I am learning the art of saying ‘No’ in order it keep myself from ending up in a nice padded room one day. I have to remind myself that I don’t need do it all at the risk of loosing myself (& driving my family crazy) in the process.

  122. Always tell the brutally honest truth. Eliminates extra thought required to keep up with little white lies (I love that outfit!) or carefully misleading statements ( that color really just does something special on you.)

  123. Make sandwiches ahead of time for kids’ lunches–or at least bag up some lunch-sized snack bags for easy assembly.

  124. I’ve recently started to limit my personal email habit to evenings after everyone has gone to bed. It’s been a bit of a struggle to not check my email throughout the day but I’ve found it’s a huge time saver and I also spend less time reading junk ail.

  125. While in the kitchen cooking dinner there is always moments that I need to wait. I make sure during this time I make the kids lunches. This way I’m not scrambling in the morning and dragging my butt at night to do it and hating it.

  126. Learning to say, “No, thank you” is hard, but simplifies my life in many ways. Along with setting out work/exercise clothing for the next day, making to-do lists for days off and getting rid of unneccessary stuff, eg, credit cards, magazines, clothes, etc., all are “freeing”. I’m happier and have more time to do the things I really want to do. Thank you for this opportunity!

  127. I try to always leave my keys in the same spot so that I’m not frantically searching for them as I run out the door. I also try to sort the mail as soon as I bring it in the house, throwing away what is junk immediately, putting bills in the spot where I pay them, and leaving anything else I want to go through when I have time by the same comfy chair.

  128. Definitely meal plan for the week down to how we will use the leftovers! We also subscribe to a CSA (community supported aggriculture) during the summer/warm months so I know we’ll always have fresh, local produce which cuts down on time needed at the grocery store and saves me a trip to the farmer’s market.

    I just let myself throw on whatever is clean to workout which means sometimes I’m less fashionable or matching then I would like, but as long as I get a good run/workout in, I don’t care!

  129. I do as much as possible the night before – pack lunches, pick out clothes, showers, and get ready for breakfast the next day. This way I don’t have to start my morning feeling rushed.

  130. On Sunday night, I lay out my kid’s clothes for the week. That way when they get up in the morning, they can get dressed right away.

  131. I stopped folding the clean clothes. I just put it in the drawer. It’s not like its going to stay folded for long anyway.

  132. I purchased a meal planning system about 6 months ago for dinners only. It has a shopping list and prep tips! It has saved me so much time πŸ™‚

  133. I also do some of the things mentioned here — lay out my workout clothes the night before, make lunches the night before. But the biggest thing I try to do to simplify my life is to fight the urge to overthink things. Once when my son was little, I tried to keep him busy while I was getting ready for work by asking him to help me make decisions “these shoes or these? these earrings or these?” and finally he said “I always choose the ones on the left, Mommy.” Well, duh. So easy. When it doesn’t really matter, just make a decision & move on, and life is simpler.

  134. One thing I do to simplify my life is plan meals in advance. By planning one week in advance, I am able to save time, money and extra calories because I am not tempted to throw unnecessary things into the shopping cart that might be devoid of nutritional value or use. It takes just a few minutes on a Sunday afternoon to write down a plan of attack and I save oodles of time when I get to the store!I’m not a big coupon clipper, but will take advantage of a few deals here and there. Sunday afternoon, I may get a few things chopped up and ready for the rest of the week which takes the guesswork out of what to have for lunch or dinner.

  135. I simplify my life by choosing to make time to relax. Sure that means laundry and dishes aren’t always squared away, as I spend 20mins or so reading a book, or doing an at home spa day. This valuable, relaxing time makes me happy and healthy. As a busy mom, I can live with that!

  136. I make lunches the night before, pack up backpacks with homework and library books, lay out clothes for the next day (mine included), and do any dinner prep for the next night. Sometimes it’s a lot to do at night, but it makes my next morning much easier!

  137. I pack lunches for the kids, the night before. Seems like a no brainier but for some reason I was a little slow to catch on!

  138. If I can get it ready the night before, I do. I may be organized a bit too much at times, at least if you ask my husband, but it helps the kids and I get out the door every morning on time, while he is still usually in bed when we leave!

  139. When all else fails what I do to simplify and Improve my outlook and my life is SMILE. I smile as I run( maybe that is sometimes a grimace!). I smile as I drive. I smile as the boys argue in the back seat of the car. I smile as I argue , defend ,and convince colleagues at work. I strive not to be a simpleton. I strive to be timely but not too early and all along the way I smile. Thanks!

  140. I’ve been keeping items that I use frequently in a small basket that I can carry with me from room to room. This is especially useful when holding my baby in the other hand – I can get a lot more done when everything I need is portable and at my fingertips.

  141. I lay everything out the night before, make my to-do lists for the next day before leaving work. The less I have to think early in the morning the better for everyone involved!

  142. Everything school related goes back in the backpack as soon as it’s done. All homework, lunch money, library books are tucked back inside the backpacks before bed so there is not panic over where is what folder in the chaos of the morning.

  143. At the beginning of January I turned the email alert sound on my phone off. Every time I heard it ding I would have the urge to pause whatever I was doing to read (or at least glance at the sender of) the new email that came in – completely unnecessary, addictive and actually pretty sad. I cannot say that I am still not a slave to my phone sometimes, but hopefully I will be better in 2013.

  144. I keep a basket at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top of the stairs, that way, everything that needs traveling up or down goes in there and I make the trip once a day and so on, and trade the baskets when it’s done. Easy peasy πŸ™‚

  145. Hmm, I’m pretty good at making this complicated rather than simplifying… I do try to use a “system” for most household issues (i.e. paying bills) and have a place for everything in the house, so a quick clean up is easy!

  146. Laying out workout clothes the night before. More like throwing them on the closet floor but at least I can find them at 5:45am. Also packing lunches the night before is key!

  147. Simplify but having less. Buy something new, then get rid of the old by giving it away and making someone else’s day. The less I have the more time I seem to have- which I love.

  148. I have assigned most of the daily chores around the house to the kids to do each night, including things like picking up little brother’s toys. It really helps to have it all done when they go to bed so I don’t spend those precious quiet hours cleaning.

  149. I make more use of the library – I can put books/CDs/movies on hold online, and just pick them up. As long as I check online to see what’s due once a week, I stay in their good graces.

  150. I don’t buy clothes that need to be ironed anymore. Well, if it is something really cute, I might make an exception . . .

  151. I set my work and running clothes out the night before so I can get up, throw them on and go! Also I say “no” more than I used to. Politely of course but I weigh the cost in time and energy against the benefit or reward of the birthday party, play date, volunteer opportunity, class. I find that when I have fewer obligations (as the person doing or the person schlepping the person doing), I am more relaxed and more SANE.

  152. I buy the same groceries every week. I also make packets of breakfasts, snacks and lunches to last through the whole week, so I don’t have to think about what to grab and go.

  153. finally went with the recycling pickup service vs taking all my recyclables to the recycling center; kinda weird I know!! (we have to pay for recycling)

  154. I make a stack of almond butter and jelly sandwiches, freeze them, and take them out one at time to put in lunches. I also have a dry-erase weekly calendar that I keep up to date for the child who doesn’t like surprises, as well as for the rest of us!

  155. I make all my dinners for the week on Sunday afternoon. It has made my life so much calmer and healthier! No more dinner time frenzy!

  156. I teach Zumba classes 4 days a week at 7pm. So instead of running around town in traffic after my real job, I pack my gym bag and bring it with me in the mornings. I get to spend a few extra hours at work while getting to my class early with time to mentally prepare before class.

  157. I try to plan meals ahead of time, I follow a simple routine every day, and I never hit the snooze button. Just getting up on time every morning makes the entire day run a little smoother.

  158. I have all my soaps delivered. Laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, hand soap, shampoo, toothpaste (also toothbrushes!), body wash, etc. I figured out how frequently I go through each type of soap, then signed up for automatic delivery from amazon, and now I never run out of soap and never run in to Target to pick up soap and wind up buying $80 worth of crap I don’t need.

  159. I got this idea from a blog and it’s worked pretty well for me. I created 4 weeks of meals that my family likes and then entered it as a “meal plan” in Google calendar. Each meal reoccurs every 4 weeks. (I do occasionally switch out a day if I need a change of pace or for a special event, but it’s nice to have most of the week’s meals already there.)

  160. I try and cook big meals on the weekend so we can have leftover or crockpot dinner during the week so I don’t spend a lot of time cooking in the evening.

  161. I’m completely unorganized. Luckily I don’t have a lot of stuff, so there’s not too much to get lost in! I have a shelf in my closet for my running gear, and I only keep current season stuff out, so it’s relatively easy to get out the door. I guess that’s my organizational secret – summer stuff & winter stuff stay separate, and I don’t have much to sort thru!

  162. I wish I knew more about making things simple! So far the best I can do is making freezer packets for my morning smoothie. And geting the coffee and kids luch ready for the next day. Id love one less thing to think about! πŸ™‚

  163. I work outside of the home and leave everything else up to my husband! Seriously. He fixes my coffee in the morning, pays the bills, does most of the cooking. I’m blessed! He even starts my car to warm it up when it’s cold.

  164. I pour out snack sized portions of things like cereals and goldfish crackers, so that my daughter can pack her own school snack and grab her breakfast to-go in the morning. It’s made a huge difference along with pouring three or four days worth of juice containers and tossing rinsed grapes in a few small Tupperware containers and my morning is free to dress myself and run behind her with a hair brush!

  165. We have a weekly family meeting (late sunday/after dinner) to coordinate the activites, carpooling, who is going/doing what… write it all out!

  166. I work at variations of this all the time. All morning workout clothes are set the night before and for the gym all bags packed and lined up b the door (especially useful today when heading to the pool in 6degrees this morning. I refuse to buy pants or skirts that need to be dry cleaned, with a few executive meeting exceptions. And no-iron shirts are a requirement as I hate to iron and timing the sales right makes it a cost acceptable trade off!

  167. I get as much organized at night for the next morning – lunchboxes put out, water bottles filled, snacks chosen, running clothes laid out, etc. Then, when I get back from my run in the morning I can get the kids out the door fairly quickly for school!

  168. Night before a school day, I lay out all the clothes that the kids and I will be wearing, prep as much of the lunch boxes as I can, set up boots/shoes right at the door, and leave the infant carseat right beside them. Oh, and keys on top of purse by the door too!

  169. I streamline my life with sticky notes and lots of them! The more organized I am, the more prepared I am, and the less time I spend having to remember what I need and where I need to be. I rarely forget things and that means quick exits out the door to activities and with 4 kids that is pretty important.

  170. What have I done to simplify? I bought three stacking drawers – one for running accessories (gloves, hats, etc); one for running pants and sports bras and one for boot camp cross-training clothes. I know which drawer to get dressed from, and it has made getting ready for my 5am boot camp so much easier!

  171. I make lists so I don’t forget things. I also make lunches for my husband and kids the night before. I try to plan meals in advance also.

  172. I have 5 children ages 3-10 yrs., and socks became an issue. Whose were whose (“She’s wearing my socks!”), missing socks, and who was pairing all of these GD socks. Our basket of unpaired socks was so big that I actually used to use “pairing the socks” as a threat of punishment. Now each of us (hubster & I included) have small mesh bags hanging on the backs of our bedroom doors. Dirty socks go in the bags. Everyone is responsible for their own. Throw the bag down the clothes chute, the bag of socks go into the washer & dryer and then is returned to it’s rightful owner. They have to put the clean socks into their drawers and hang the bag back on the door. No more scrambling through the sock basket before school, no more missing socks, and no more PAIRING!

  173. I buy all of one type of socks for my kids, husband & for my running so there is less worry about matching. Just find another sock–not that *one* other sock.

  174. We work hard to limit what we buy – the less we bring into our home, the less we have to accommodate, with time, with space, with thoughts. Just say no to “stuff.”

  175. Since mornings can be hectic, i prepare as much as i can the night before! I always check the weaather and set out the right clothes for thenext day, including my running gear!

  176. I use my go tasks iPhone app to keep track of what I need to do each day, and can even put them in the order I want to do them. So if I get distracted or off task, I just have to look at my list to see what I need to do next.

  177. I try to multi-task and group like tasks together. My to- do list is divided into categories: phone calls to make, errands to run, chores and things around the house, etc. That way, when I have time for one particularly area, I can focus and get a bunch of things done for that category. I also try to write out my grocery list based on the layout of the grocery store, so I’m not running back and forth among the aisles.

  178. I eat breakfast in the car on the way to work! Yes, there have been a couple of peanut butter mishaps and one huge, messy, difficult-to-clean up smoothie debacle, but overall it is a timesaver!

  179. I do things the same way so they become habit and I don’t have to think about it. Get me out of my routine and I forget to brush my teeth, though!

  180. I grocery shop every 2 weeks- with occasional in-between stops for fruits/vegies. Plus I try to keep up with laundry so I don’t end up doing 10 loads in a day πŸ™‚

  181. I do things the same way so they become habit and I don’t have to think about it. Get me out of my routine and I will forget to brush my teeth though!

  182. I plan my workouts – including running of course – a month in advance. This way I have preset goals (races etc.) and the times are blocked off so I schedule other appointments around my workouts. After all, when this mom runs and workouts, the whole family is happier for it.

  183. I set out breakfast for the kids (quite the process around here) and set coffeemaker to brew the night before. Saves a ton of time, and heaps of ugly morning stress. πŸ™‚

  184. Get lunches made the evening before, plan out dinner the night before and put out clothes for am the night before so when my family and I get up in the morning we can just grab and go. No time is spent running around trying to get everything together.

  185. I simplify life by just keeping life simple… I have two young kids and both me and hubby work full time.I know I can’t do everything and I can’t be everywhere.

  186. To keep it simple, I set up a system of hooks for each member of the family for a backpack already packed with workout clothes or school books and lunches, so we just have to grab the bag and go. Oh, and it is negative 2 degrees outside, so wool running clothes are a must!

  187. I try to get most of my morning routine done the night before. Make lunches, prep dinner etc. I also tend to do my workouts at night, so I shower and do my hair the at night so mornings are even quicker.

  188. I hang a lot of our clothes up to dry – usually right in the closet on a hanger (away from the dry ones of course) so they dry without using a dryer and are already hanging in place so less folding!

  189. Salad for dinner… like 5 nights a week. no cooking! And when its not salad for dinner, its rice and veggies in the rice cooker. I figure my kids get plenty of hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza at school, so its pretty much all veggies at home..

  190. Take things out of the dryer right away to avoid wrinkling, wash clothes as the week goes vs. all at once, and get everything ready to go at night (lunches, outfits, workout gear, etc.)

  191. So….one thing I do to simplify my life?

    I have 4 medium washer/lingerie zippered bags. The kind that look like white fish-net…to see in them.
    Each one contains a complete set of work out clothes: sports-bra, t-shirt, running capris, and 2 pairs of socks. I add 1 gu just in case I am supposed to run long. I only have to refill them 1x/wk!

    I keep These at the door (in a tub) next to my running shoes. No excuses!

    PS – layers are added to the bag as the season gets colder…dollar store is great for cheap tooks (hat) and gloves!

  192. I pack everything the night before. I pack the daycare bags, breakfast and lunch for work, and everything else we need. Getting it done at night means no running looking for things last minute in the morning, and honestly how is able to find all that stuff in the morning!

  193. I pack the kids’ backpacks, dance bags, soccer bags etc the night before. That seems to help with the morning craziness. Oh and I lay out matching shoes too after not one, but three occasions of being late because of a missing shoe!

  194. Being a full-time working mom, and in graduate school, I am trying desperately to use my time as wisely as I can. I try to incorporate my kids into my own daily activities so it increases the quality time that I spend with them, too. That might mean a 1:1 trip to Costco, or the post office, or the grocery store, but I try to make it a meaningful experience so that the necessary chores that I have to do don’t get in the way of my time spent with my kids.

  195. I’m a big one for lists too. Probably the best simplifying trick is having created a Word document that lists all the groceries we buy with any regularity. I print copies & clip to the side of the fridge, so I can mark things that are running low. When I’m ready to go to the store, looking over the full list reminds of things we might need. And every so often, I update the original doc to reflect changing tastes in the family.

  196. In order to avoid the “I forgot to pack my lunch today, I’ll just grab some fast food” excuse…..I pack my entire week’s worth of lunch on Sunday night. I keep a dorm size fridge in my office full of fruits, yogurt and water!

  197. I sort dirty laundry as soon as it’s in the laundry room into the appropriate bin and then when a bin gets full, it gets washed. This way I’m never overwhelmed by laundry.

  198. My biggest thing I’ve learned to simplify my life is learning to say NO. With a hubby and three active boys I simply can not do it all. I used to think I had to say yes to everything much to my demise…I have learned that saying NO to some things is NOT a bad thing.

  199. There is no end to the things that I do to simplify…I lay out the kids clothes for the next day, pack backpacks the night before, meal plan and food prep for the entire week, one load of laundry every night to avoid a pileup…

  200. consolidated lessons (swim/guitar/piano) for my three girls on the same day…that I also take body pump class AND pool run at the gym. I spend all day in the car (so it seems) but it’s all done on Tuesdays and the rest of the week is a cakewalk……

  201. I plan out a menu for the week and shop for groceries accordingly. That way I don’t have to think about dinner or hope I have something to cook. It takes about 15 minutes to plan and it saves me hours!!

  202. Three things – work from home so no more commuting (heavenly!), fold laundry and put away as soon as it comes out of the dryer (no more mountains of laundry taking over the dining room table!), and set up a calendar online that my husband and I can access from anywhere (it is amazing how many things I have planned in advance and don’t have to worry about forgetting any more. Peace!)

  203. I plan all my meals for the week and then write a grocery list and buy everything I need. That way it’s.only one trip to the store and we eat out way less by having a plan.

  204. I organize our things the night before so getting out the door is easier in the morning. I was also having a hard time keeping up with all my running gear, so I found a drawstring bag I can keep it in and just grab on the go ( i.e. iPod, earphones, watch, safety bracelet, gloves, headband, chapstick, belt).

  205. One word: crockpot. Or is it two? crock pot. Nevertheless…since joining a new running group at night it has been super helpful with supper!

  206. I’ve simplified by making sure everything is always ready every night for the next day. No more scrambling around for things in the morning!

  207. I keep an extra bag packed, with running clothes/extra shoes in the car, so i can get a run in, when opportunity presents itself

  208. I pack the kids lunch the night before so I can go on my runs in the morning and have one less thing to do when I get back. Makes my run much more enjoyable.

  209. Once a month cooking has changed our lives for the better…saves time, money, stress, and we waste so much less now.

  210. The kids have started writing mommy’s run, cycle and body pump days on THEIR calendars so they know that they have to be up and ready for school earlier so everyone can get out the door on time!

  211. Each family member has different color socks, so we separate by color but don’t match. Also my kids have to walk to school, no more choice of bike or scooter (which for 4 and 5 year olds takes forever) It has made things a little smoother!

  212. We started using a program called The Fresh 20 which sends us recipes and shopping list for dinner Mon-Fri each week based on 20 fresh ingredients. All are ready in under 30 minutes. We have always done our grocery shopping in one big batch on the weekends, but this saves us the time picking out menus and making our list – plus every recipe has been delicious.

  213. Set my alarm clock and get up at the same time every morning. It would make getting the kids out the door every morning so much easier.

  214. Go to bed every night at 9pm. This way I can start waking up at 5am to get my day started off with a run or a good workout.

  215. I fill sippy cups for my kids before I go to bed. It makes for one less step in the morning and gives me an extra minute or two when I’m rushing in from a run.

  216. I order online for almost everything – Marketday.com for food, soap.com and walgreens.com for drugstore and household items, target.com, and tons of other sites with free shipping and returns like zappos.com and Nordstrom.com. My life is busy with 50+hour work weeks the norm and a busy family, so this keeps me sane- no or little running around stores!! πŸ™‚

  217. Stop procrastinating!!! When I’m thinking of it, I do it….takes the stress/worry out of later and gives me time to do what I want!

  218. I try to meal plan! The weeks I actually do my meal plans not only is life easier, my grocery bill is lower! And also, stay on top of the laundry…wash, fold, & put away a load a day to keep it from piling up!

  219. I need to simplify my life more – I feel like I’m going in 100 different directions most times. I decided 2013 is the year I say no and pare down the amount of volunteering opportunities everyone tries to rope me into doing. I’m assessing what is most important and politely declining the rest.

  220. No ironing clothes! Even for dress clothes, I look for things that do not need to be ironed. I use my iron maybe twice a year, usually for dress shirts for husband and son. Saves SO much time! SOMEDAY (soon hopefully) I am going to plan my meals ahead for the week, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

  221. The kids have three pairs of shoes each – one for dress, one for everyday wear, and one pair of boots. Now…if only I could narrow myself down to three!

  222. We made a family schedule! I simply could not handle the chaos that erupted the minute we walked in the door in the evenings, so we (as a family) designed a schedule. It’s more of an outline really, because we’re not strict about the timetable, but the BEST item is the first one…unless you are bleeding, you do not ask mama or daddy for anything for 20 minutes after getting home!

  223. I learned to say “no.” I reduced my obligations across several organizations and even cut back my work hours so that I could concentrate on the important things (read: people) in my life. (I’m self-employed, so I can do that as long as I’m willing to accept the reduced income!)

  224. I make my kid’s school lunches while they are at school. They are all done for the next day when the kids get home. We also have baked potatoes for dinner one night/ week. Put Them slow cooker and dinner is done!

  225. I recently discovered salads in a jar. All prep done on the weekend. The salads last all week, you grab your jar/salad for the day and I actually eat more greens when I do this. It works great, because it completely eliminates the daily veggie chopping (or discovering you are out of something). Even my teenager, who pretty much lives on mac n cheese and pizza, will pre make his own salads with me. You can find lots of ideas for this on Pinterest.

  226. I always pick out my all my clothes the night before. It sounds lame, but at 5:30am, not having to decide what to wear on a run means I am out of bed and out the door in under 5 minutes (I grab a banana on the way out now thanks to your podcast on nutrition). Then when I get back in I can stretch, shower and jump into the clothes, jewelry and shoes I picked out already. This may seem like anal retentive behavior, but it means I get to spend an extra 10 minutes or so at the breakfast table with my boys before I dash out the door. Totally worth it!

  227. These comments are making me feel completely inept. I don’t do any of these things. Making meals ahead of time, separating meat before freezing, etc…. that’s like a foreign language to me. Simplifying ot me is stopping at the grocery store and getting prepared foods or running through a drive-through. I know it isn’t the healthiest, but its the best I can do right now. I’m lucky if I remember to feed the baby. πŸ˜‰

  228. Meal planning. With five kiddos, numerous activities and commitments for all seven of us, it is what makes family mealtime happen around here. That, and a big family calendar. πŸ™‚

  229. With 4 kids it can be hectic in the morning…always make sure they are prepared …..the night before with clothes, lunches, forms that need to be signed. The routine seems to keep them moving along on most days!

  230. I email myself reminders and meeting invites so they get plunked on my calendar. I also make sure to set my reminders for events 24 hours in advance so the reminder doesn’t pop up with only 15 minutes before I am suppose to be somewhere!

  231. I try to take 10-30 minutes a day to mediate, read something inspirational, & reflect on my life/day/week or what ever is going on at the moment. Trying to keep on top of things & keep stuff in perspective…what’s most important in my life…what can I purge? That simple thing (I have found) keeps me grounded & my days run much smoother & less stressful than when I skip it….also planning meals more that 5 minutes before it’s time to eat! πŸ™‚

  232. I always plan out a week of meals at a time – and also have at least a few frozen, homemade options in the freezer (pasta sauce, meatballs to toss in the sauce, taco meat).

  233. I bought a daily calendar book for all my exercising & running & I also track what I eat all day & the temperature for running outside & distance.

  234. I have learned the power of the word “no”. As a people pleaser, I have often taken on too many things to keep track of and do well. Now, I have set my priorities and do my best to focus mainly on those things that are most important to me.

  235. My husband, daughters and I each have Google calendars shared with each other. All appointments, activities, workouts, etc. go on it. It’s the only thing that’s worked for me so that my husband “gets it.” I’ve recently started adding the menu for the week on there too…and he cooks it! πŸ™‚

  236. I carpool with a friend for preschool and have my weekly menu planned so we don’t end off spending extra $$ on takeout. And I love my crockpot! I need to introduce a few more simplicity measures in my house.

  237. I make a weekly menu (including kids’ lunches and weekend lunches) and shopping list on Sunday and shop on Monday mornings after the kids head to school. I also buy fresh ground beef and chicken breasts when they are on special at the local specialty market. Before freezing, I pat out and wrap individual burger patties and prepare chicken cutlets for quick/easy-to-defrost meals.

  238. We plan our dinner menus for a month at a time and stock up on needed groceries on the monthly 10% off day. Also I set out my dog-walking/running clothes for the next morning before I go to bed – the less thinking, the better at 5:30 am!

  239. On Sunday night, I email our family plans – lessons, appointments, run schedule, etc. – to my husband. That way he has it on his phone and computer and can’t use the “I forgot” line. Then, if he needs to do anything, he can plug it into his schedule too.

  240. One way I streamline is I keep a basket in my closet for clothes i don’t like or no longer fit properly – as I put them on and reject them, i toss them in the basket and take it to charity when it’s full. I try to be relatively ruthless about the decisions so that I can always find the things I love and feel good about wearing. I also toss in other things as I come across them – I find it’s less painful to make small runs to the charity shop, then to let things accumulate into big piles.

  241. I complicate my life in so many ways, but once I’ve found something I like well enough, I stick with it (indecision is one of my weak suits), so I have three pairs of capris and about eight shirts for running, all from the same brand. Bras come from another brand, and most of my socks are from another.

    This is a timely post for me b/c where I live (N. Cali), the challenge to winter running is the occasional rain (not much of a challenge, to be honest). I’ll be checking out this shirt even if I don’t win.

  242. I have learned to say “no” and to do so without guilt. I am finally in a place where I feel balanced – enough time with my family, enough time at work, and enough time for me. And it has made ALL the difference. So when I am asked to take on more than I can, more than I want to, or more than I should I politely say, “no”. Learn to do it too and you’ll see what I mean πŸ˜‰

  243. I always prepare the night before, whether it’s getting my daughters stuff ready, my lunch or my running clothes. Saves a lot of time when things get crazy.

  244. same breakfast, same lunch everyday. boring? yes but it sort of calms me that I don’t have to deal with any decision making

  245. I only buy 1 type of running sneaker. Same brand, same style for years. Same thing with my running socks and cold weather gear. It’s almost like a uniform at this point.

  246. Less is definitely more. We recently switched to a school that has uniforms and it results in less laundry, fewer decisions, and more money saved! We also try to have 1 night a week where dinner is simply tuna sandwiches with green salad. So easy and we all love it–quick cleanup with no pots or pans, and no recipe to follow. I agree that at times in this modern world we are faced with too many decisions.

  247. I’ve simplified my life by doing small and easy things on a regular basis, like getting the coffee maker and school lunches ready the night before right after dinner cleanup, having my running clothes always in the same place, using a notepad in the kitchen to write down items I run out of and need on my next grocery trip, knowing what I’m wearing to work the night before, and the biggest one of all…communication with the hubby on who’s picking up which kid from where the next day as well as what activities they’re engaged in.

  248. I plan two weeks of dinner recipes (mostly for the crock pot because I work evenings) and always have a shopping list before I head to the grocery store. πŸ™‚

  249. I traded my gym membership for a once-a-month housecleaner. I’ve found I actually get a better and more consistent workout – I run the challenging hills in my hood instead of hitting the treadmill, and I don’t have any excuses for skipping my stregth training routine when my weights and bands (easily purchased with less than a month of gym dues) are in my bedroom. A monthly housecleaning certainly doesn’t take care of it all, but it frees up my weekends to spend with my family (and run long, of course).

  250. I do laundry once a week. When my washer broke a few years ago, I got a replacement that is big enough to hold all of the laundry for each type in one load
    so I have less loads to do.

  251. My daughters (5&8) and I get their outfits ready for the next day right before bed. It has become part of their nighttime routine and makes things much smoother in the mornings. No more trying to match outfits or find that one sneaker or earring when it’s time to head out the door in the AM.
    They enjoy using my phone to check the next day’s weather to make sure their choices are appropriate for the temperature.

  252. Crock pot! I chop everything up the night before and get it cooking in the morning. We come home to a delicious smelling house and a warm, healthy dinner!

  253. I go through the weekly grocery ad and write down everything that is on sale that I usually buy. Then, when I go to the store, I only get the basics (like bananas, bread, milk and eggs) plus the extras that are on sale (like good beer and seasonal produce.) We still have a freezer and pantry full of ingredients, but this makes shopping easier.

  254. I practice the “15 minute” approach to de-cluttering, tackling whatever daily chore I can accomplish in 15 minutes!

  255. I wish I could simplify housework. There is always something to do and when I get the house clean it doesn’t stay clean for long.

  256. How do I simplify life? I get my workout in during my lunchbreak. It forces me to take a break where otherwise I’d probably forget, gets me an hour run and doesn’t take time away from my 4 year old and 20 month old! Win-win-win!

  257. To simplify and make those mundane errands more exciting my neighbor (and BFF) and I plan our trips together. When she needs to do a feed store run we go together and at the same time we plan our grocery shopping trips and then celebrate after by going out to lunch (one week she pays and the next week I pay). We both get the boring errands done and we both had fun and full tummies !!! Saves on gas and wear and tear on the vehicles too !!!

  258. I cook extra food to freeze or freeze small portions of left-overs so that we always have some “fast food” to eat on nights we don’t have much time.

  259. I keep all my workout socks & underwear the same kind and put them in a separate drawer. That way they are easy to separate from the rest of the laundry and easy to find when I’m hunting in the dark (because I always SOMETHING while laying out my clothes for way too early morning runs).

  260. I stand in front of the dryer and fold the laundry as it comes out, putting it is separate baskets for each family member. I have been doing laundry this way for at least 20 years and it has been the best timesaver, no getting behind, no baskets of unfolded laundry taunting me.

  261. Once every 3 months (Jan-March-June) I make the Costco run & stock the pantry/freezer with all the proteins my family of 5 will need for meals – 5lb block of cheese, canned tuna, wild salmon, frozen chicken breasts, ground turkey, ground beef, top round steaks, meatballs, pork roasts, whole chicken, bake-fresh tortillas, granola, roasted peanuts, almonds, pistachios. Then my husband pulls out the slicer and the vacuum sealer to package up our portions.

    Then, twice a month I do a ‘grocery stock-up’ run to buy all the other foods we’ll need – milk, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, fruits, veggies, boxed organic veggie & chicken broth, boxed organic tomato soup, pausta sauce, canned whole beans (black, pinto, cannelini), pasta or rice (depending on what we’ve been using up, loaves of whole wheat bread, popcorn kernels, etc.

    Voila! I can have a completely ‘whole foods’ dinner on the table in 30 minutes every night.

  262. I make healthy lunches for all 3 of us after I clean up dinner while still in the kitchen. Saves SO much time in the morning!

  263. I get everything ready for the morning the night before. Clothes, backpacks packed, so that the mornings run smoothly. This creates less stress and more time.

  264. I figure out my outfits for the week on Sundays – work & run gear. I may still tweak or change an outfit if the weather or my mood changes. But having an idea saves me lots of time in the morning.

  265. I hate doing it but I make a menu for the next two weeks for dinner. Then I write out a grocery list with all the things I need for those dinners (plus all the other stuff for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks). It has saved me a lot of money.

  266. Every Sunday, I create a weekly dinner menu and make the grocery list at the exact same time. I have three kids, 6 and under. Going grocery shopping will happen only happen once a week. If we run out of anything before the next shopping trip, oh well! I figure it’s simultaneously alleviating my seemingly constant trips to the grocery store and it’s making my kids resourceful (exactly how many different ways CAN a paper towel be used?). Win-win. πŸ˜‰

  267. I plan out meals for the week which makes grocery shopping quicker and dinner-making during the week easier. I also take out my workout clothes the night before so I’m not looking for stuff in the dark.

  268. to simplify my life, I keep all of my running necessities (headbands, garmin watch, yaktrax, reflective vest, etc in a large rectangle tote in my bedroom….right before going to bed, I grab what I need, along with my clothes and set them out in the hallway right outside my bedroom. This allows me to get up and get going for my 4:30am runs without waking my husband!

  269. I have stopped stressing out about stuff — a lot of stuff. If it detracts from a positive experience for myself or my family, then I stop stressing out about it and let it go. Case in point: I am a full-time student, and mama to two preschoolers. Last semester I took 15 credits, it was insane. Instead of being a crazed perfectionist, which I did in the spring semester – I let it go. I got everything done in the last possible minute. I got a 4.0.

  270. omg! i wish i knew how to simplify anything! i guess my running outfits are simplified because i don’t have the extra cash to spend on my gear right now!! LOL so i have 1 pair of winter running pants…that makes that pretty simple πŸ˜› other than that….my life is always chaotic….i think that’s the way it’s always going to be and has been….maybe i make it that way because that’s the way i find it easier! πŸ˜› did that make any sense??

  271. To simplify my life, I order all of my household paper products on Amazon. I have set-up “subscriptions” for paper towels, Kleenex, and toliet paper so that these necessities are delivered to my home every 3 months. This way, I don’t have to remember to buy more at Target, and I don’t get sucked into extra trips to Target (my favorite and least favorite place to spend/waste my money πŸ™‚ ).

  272. Laundry:
    We have a large shelving unit in the laundry room. Bin for each family member for socks and undies, get sorted as they come out of the dryer, and that’s where they stay. (hint – leaves an extra drawer for running duds!)
    Folded clothes get folded right away, and onto each person’s shelf.
    Hanging clothes hung.
    More often than not, that’s where everything stays… Why spend the time putting it all away if it just gets worn again! Also helps to see what’s not being worn – it’s what is always in the closets and drawers… πŸ™‚

  273. Every night, when I tuck my 3 boys in to bed, I choose their clothing for the next day as well as their pajamas for the next night. In the morning when they wake up, they dress themselves before I even come in their rooms and at night after baths, I send them to their rooms to put on their PJ’s and prepare for stories. I only have to open their dresser drawers once a day and I never have to argue about what they are wearing.

  274. I simplify my life through my runs. A clear head and alone time gives me the insight to tackle all the awaits me when I return home.

  275. I plan with sticky notes, so if something doesn’t get done- I just move the sticky note and don’t have to erase or rewrite.

  276. I tend to follow a weekly schedule: shopping one day, laundry another, playdates another. It’s flexible enough we can swap one day for another, but lets me get everything done during the week without running to the store multiple times, or spending all week in the car.

  277. to simplify my life I found a great calendar app that my husband and I can update as soon as we make plans. This way we don’t actually have to talk to each other, we can just look at the calendar and see what the other one is up to and where the kid needs to be πŸ™‚

  278. I cook at least one leftover/pre ade meal for the week. Gotta have one thing that we can run in and just heat up. Also, at least one freezer dinner in the freezer…fish and chips or spaghetti, something that can be made with no planning or thought. HUNGRY PEOPLE HERE!

  279. I just set up my online bank account to pay some of my bills automatically. I know many people have been doing this for years, but for some reason I never took the time. I know that will reduce part of the stress of bill paying.

  280. Already baked chicken from the local grocery – so many possibilities!!!! AND no one can dispute the ease and beauty of the french braid.

  281. for sure put clothes out, especially for early morning workouts but also for the workday ahead. the mornings are rough enough already without trying to figure out what to wear. at times, I will have piles of different outfits laid out in my home office, the office that also serves as a closet πŸ™‚

  282. Having problems posting, so sorry if this is a duplicate. I put my exercise clothes out the night before so that I have to either work out or walk over the clothes. Harder to skip that way!

  283. Every night before bed my kids pack their backpacks, lay out their boots or shoes, jackets, hats, mittens – everything they need for the next day. I set the table for breakfast, set the dishwasher to run overnight, and check the calendar for upcoming events. Makes mornings doable at our house.

  284. We use the Cozi family calendar app, so we always know when we’re busy. I’m sure to schedule time for all my long runs πŸ™‚

  285. Pack my gym bag the night before along with my lunch and have everything ready to go by 5am! No excuses I wasn’t ready!

  286. In the evening I lay out my daughters clothes, my running clothes (including ipod, garmin, etc), and my day clothes so that everything is ready to go and I have no excuses to miss a run.

  287. I recently made chore charts for my 2 and 4 year old, they are excited to get smiley faces and do not complain about doing daily routines anymore πŸ™‚

  288. Very minor hut I had been writing lunch notes on paper for my twins. A few weeks ago, I switched to writing notes on their aluminum foil wrapped sandwich. It’s easier than getting out a notepad every morning plus it limits my message to the size of bread. My twins love this new note version:)

  289. I’m teaching my kids how to be independent. It eases the burden on me…and will make their lives easier for them when they are older. In fact, Monday before I left for the grocery store, I asked them to empty the dishwasher. When I returned home, not only was the dishwasher emptied, but they had also put away all of their clothes and put fresh sheets on their bed (without anyone telling them to do it!) They are 6 and 8 years old!

  290. On the days I’m going to go for a run, I put on my running clothes first thing in the morning. That way, whenever I can fit it into my day, I’m ready to go!

  291. I learned from Oprah to turn my clothes inside out once every 6 months. Then as you wear them, turn them right side out again. In 6 months you’ll know what you have not been wearing. Then either wear it or donate it!

  292. I recently started buying meals from a local woman who is an amazing cook. On busy weeks I will buy one, two or sometimes even three meals that my family can then heat up when we need them – it is so much healthier, cheaper, and faster than take-out or other quick things like frozen pizza.

  293. I hate the what’s for supper question (but I love to cook) so the family is now involved! We all take turns picking the meal. They are in charge of checking the freezer and side dish options and getting everything o for me. All I have to do is cook! I love that they are leathing menu options, food choices and grocery shopping!

  294. Clean laundry goes from the dryer to the nearest couch where the family is directed to scavenge for clothes until I get around to folding it. Not sure I’m brave enough to admit how long that can sometimes take πŸ™‚

  295. We’ve simplified life by keeping all of our clothes in our bedroom. The kids clothes never got put away when they were in their rooms! Now I know where everything is!!

  296. Master Calendar – a week long dry erase board hanging in the kitchen for all to see. Each family member has their own color. All events, homework, and workouts are written on the calendar. This way no one, i.e. my husband, can say I didn’t know that was happening!

  297. Every week I take $20 out of either my husbands or my paycheck. I stash it in an envelope and its hidden in the house. The next time we have a major expense (car, washer/dryer, a dog that needed surgery) we have an emergency stash to help ease the burdensome cost.
    I also plan a weekly menu (off of pinterest, cuz i’m kinda a junkie) and I incorporate meals that always make leftovers do we don’t eat out for lunch very often.

  298. I simplify my life by 1) going to the gym and doing classes so I don’t have to think up workouts and 2) I run, because it is simple, I don’t have to think about it and I can do it anywhere….I LOVE SIMPLE!

  299. To simplify my life. I put everything on my calendar. I plan my workouts weekly and just started following a meal plan that has a weekly shopping list.

  300. We’ve simplified dinner time by dishing up all our plates in the kitchen and freeing my husband and me from having to keep the wee little hands from grabbing at every condiment, serving spoon, and hot pan. Instead we eat less and talk more. Delightful.

  301. I get all my clothes and supplies ready the night before, so in the morning I don’t have to rush to get ready for work. When I shop on the weekend, I clean, cut and bag all the veggies and fruit, so they are ready to eat/use during the workweek.

  302. Limit kid activities. If they’re game, it’s fine but we don’t push them to get involved. Also, we limit all social activities as well. Which is due to the fact were poor right now but that might change one day :-).

  303. I have four kids so that means lots of laundry. I was tired of them taking new towels every time they take a shower because they can’t remember whose towel is whose. One day, I decided to buy two sets of four different colored towels and assigned them each a color. Those colors are now carried over into other parts of our daily life – their toothbrushes, water glasses, and most importantly, our schedule. I keep a Google calendar on my iPhone and when scheduling something, I color code it to match which kid it is so that I can look at my calendar and know by color who has lacrosse, who has soccer, etc.

  304. I simplified this week by scheduling 2 things one after another so I didn’t have to make extra trips or drag my 3 and 2 year old along and I planned 2 weeks of menus so I can stay out of the grocery store an extra time πŸ™‚

  305. I plan our family dinners for a month at a time. That way I can do one shopping trip for the month and never have to worry about what to make for dinner. πŸ™‚

  306. I have organized my running gear into three drawers…one for tops and bottoms….one for socks, hats, gloves, etc….and last one in the bathroom with garman, lights, hydration belt, bottles, gels, etc. Keep it simple by keeping it organized!

  307. I select and iron all of my work outfits for the week on Sunday and lay out my workout clothes the night before an early AM run. I have been known to sleep in my workout clothes in order to make sure I’m not late for that 5:30 AM spin class. I also keep a gym bag of clothes in my trunk for those days I don’t have time to go home between work and kettle bell class.

  308. I buy the same type of sock for each of my three kids (ex: my son has only Underarmour low cut socks) so I don’t spend time matching socks after laundry. One big stack for each drawer.

  309. I buy the kids basically only two kinds of socks the boys, all the same black and all the same white. No matching issues. Just wash, throw in the drawer and just pick two…good to go! My daughter loves the fun patterns, so she is “Queen Little MissMatch.” They all go in the drawer as singles, and she purposely picks out two different for her own unique pair.

  310. I’ve enlisted the help of my other friend who is passionate about health & fitness to teach our group class once a week. It frees me up a little more to relax about doing the class.

  311. My goal this year was to keep the house picked by performing 15 fly zones and to get stuff laid out the night before so that my morning runs smoother. So far, the house crashed this past week but I’ve been able to get myself and the kids out the door on time. Well, mostly anyway. Now I’ve got to get back in the groove of my fly zone!!!!
    Ps And put all my running/Zumba/workout gear in some sort of order and all in one place!
    #alwayslearning

  312. I have started to iron my pants for the week on Sunday to help with what to wear during the week. Plus I pack my lunch and my son’s the night before.

  313. I put all my smallish running gear in bins in the bathroom where I get dressed. I lay out my shirt and pants the night before then all I have to do is get whichever socks, hat/headband, fuel and gloves I need from the storage boxes and off I go. It has helped get me out the door and get out faster :).

  314. I prep my coffee pot so it will brew while I am out for my run – just thinking about it gets me to run faster ! I also have been known to sleep in my running clothes so there is no changing my minx in the morning…

  315. I pick a week’s worth of outfits for my kids on Sunday night. Three kids…fifteen outfits. Saves a lot of hassle in the mornings πŸ™‚

  316. I simplify life by cooking most of the week’s meals on one or two of my days off. Meals already made= fewer poor food choices for this family.

  317. I keep all my running gear in one location. I set them out the night before a morning run, so I don’t need to think, I just go. πŸ™‚

  318. I meal plan on Sunday night and go shopping on Monday. I also make a huge salad on Monday and eat it for lunches all week.

  319. I Pre-pack as much of my lunches as I can. Portion out all the little things so I just throw them in the lunchbox each morning.

  320. I make healthy meals in bulk then freeze in individual portions so I have no excuse but to have something healthy ready to eat!

  321. Streamline life in so many ways…doing what HAS to get done that day while allowing a little “ME time” so I can give back to those I love:)

  322. I don’t clean my house until I can actually see the dust/dirt. Sometimes, when I am “running” low on time, I won’t wear my glasses. This saves me time as I not only can’t see the dust, but I don’t need to stress about it either.

  323. I’m trying to only buy black socks–(Except running ones)so that I’m not worry about matching…Black goes with everything!
    Also, I am getting rid of most of my pullover sweaters. I find that I get overheated, take them off, get too cold, put them back on–I love Cardigans (Some I’ve even knit for myself), zip up fleece and zip up sweatshirts πŸ™‚

  324. I group all my clothes in my closet by color and sleeve length. That way if I am looking for a specific color I know exactly where to look. I do the same thing in my 4 year old’s closet.

  325. I prep my kiddos’ bento style lunches and my own the NIGHT before . . . additionally, I lay out my clothes for running the night before based on the 11pm weather forcast.
    i also promised myself that I would write TY notes the same day I receive a gift or package.

  326. All family members pick out their next-day clothes at bedtime. I go to bed with an empty dishwasher, lunches packed, & backpacks ready to go.

  327. I go grocery shopping in the morning before I take my son to daycare. I avoid crowds, the shelves are always stocked, it takes me about 20 minutes less than when the store is busy and I keep my sanity. πŸ™‚

  328. I plan my meals up to 2 weeks in advance and I try to shower on nights where I am not running the next morning. Less prep time in the morning…

  329. To simplify my life, I combine my exercise with the dog’s exercise! I also have to put everything in my phone so I can get the reminders. If I don’t do that, I’m toast!

  330. I make healthy meals in bulk and then freeze in smaller portions so I have no excuse but to have something healthy to take out for dinner.

  331. I put EVERYTHING on our master calendar in outlook, plan meals over the weekend and put them on the calendar too, and print it out to put on the fridge.

  332. I use a calendar that has everyone’s info on, each person has a different color to help keep things in order. I also meal plan for a week at a time to ensure we don’t have very many “whats for dinner” nights. πŸ™‚

  333. I make a weekly intentions list, rather than a to do list which I feel like a failure if I don’t get to all the things. What I intend to get done may or may not happen, so it takes less pressure off me.

  334. To simplify my life I write out a weekly meal plan. It helps when I am buying groceries and reduces decision-making during the week since I know what we are eating!

    To otherwise, improve things for myself, I would say I need to set things out the night before work for myself and for my kiddos.

  335. Same breakfast every single morning, always looking for something to purge from my closet, commitment to STAYING AT HOME EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT so it’s easy to turn down invitations, and lastly and sadly, giving up trying to maintain polished nails.

  336. When I get my weekly CSA, I immediately clean all of the veggies and fruit, put them into stay fresh containers, and then immediatly fold up the plastic crate and put it right into my trunk. Otherwise, there’s a good chance I will forget the crate the following week!

  337. 2 things I’m doing to streamline that actually work are:

    1. Put EVERYTHING on the to do list or the calendar–if it’s not on there, it will be forgotten.
    2. Have calendaring meetings; with my teenagers, if we don’t talk about what’s on the calendar, they won’t do it.

  338. I try to do most of my cooking on the weekends so I can just reheat/finish for dinner during the week. I also have a four bin laundry sorter so we can pre-sort the laundry.

  339. On days I’m going to go for a run, I put on my running clothes first thing in the morning. That way, whenever I can fit it into my day, I’m already ready to go.

  340. I always plan my errands/grocery shopping for evenings or weekends when the hubby is home to watch the kids because taking my two littles along & expecting to get anything accomplished is just. not. happening. πŸ™‚

  341. I grocery shop only once every two weeks, stocking up on all that we need saves me from making trips every other day. So nice to come home from work to a list of meals that I can make!

  342. I can’t seem to make myself get up to run before the baby gets up and I have to get ready for work. So, I put running/workout time on my calendar at work, and that way I have dedicated time to go to the gym or go out for a run during the work day.

  343. I keep a list of what’s in the fridge on the refrigerator door, so I remember what leftovers need to be eaten. If there are enough leftovers, then I don’t have to cook that night, and everyone gets to choose their own meal.

  344. I don’t have a smartphone, and I only look at my computer once a day. It’s old school I know, but I find the more I can compartmentalize my tasks throughout the day, I can get through them more efficiently.

  345. I get all kids’ backpacks, sports bags and lunches packed (with their help) right after dinner so it is ready and waiting in the morning. I also workout/run very early in the morning before anyone is awake so I actually sleep in my workout clothes – sounds weird, I know, but no putting on cold clothes at 5:00am or trying to get dressed in the dark.

  346. I figured out the logistics necessary to run to or from work regularly…combining the commute with the exercise is awesome!

  347. I pack all school lunches at night after dinner and lay out all clothes before bed. I’m also a laundry nut! I do a load every day so it never piles up.

  348. Each kid has their own basket in the organizer bench by the door that contains their shoes and coats and hats. Nobody has to look for items, just grab and go.

  349. To simplify our busy family life …. Four kiddos with lots of activities and a mom who just recently got the running bug….I plan meals a week in advance… The plan always includes breakfast for dinner one night and a “pick your own night” on another night…always on the busiest days. The kiddos are happy…. And I am thrilled to not have to make a regular meal!!

  350. One thing I have been doing to simplify my life is to delegate more tasks at home. Balancing the needs of my husband, children, career, and running made me aware that I can’t be super mom. The kiddos are getting old enough they can help keep the house clean and prepare simple meals. My husband is happy to help out by keeping up with the laundary. Happy, happy, happy!

  351. Laundry is neverending around here and so I finally just decided that all the kids clothes just get washed at the same time – no sorting. So far I haven’t noticed a difference.:)

  352. I try really hard to plan ahead when it comes to cooking. If I don’t, I end up stopping at the grocery store way too often. I try to figure out 4 or 5 meals for the next several days and make one big run to the grocery store.

  353. I am always on a quest to simplify life, so I hope I win! πŸ™‚ Probably the best thing that I do that simplifies my week-day life is planning a week’s worth of meals on the weekend. This way, I know that I can come home from the office and just get to making dinner without trying to see what we have in the pantry, flip through recipes etc.

  354. Streamline… Life? What a novel idea! I have been on a quest to simplify life for about four years. S L O W L Y it is happening. When it comes to running I have minimal gear so there are few choices to make. I also lay everything out the night before so I don’t have to think at all at 4:30 or 5 am when I get up to run.

  355. I will always pack kids lunchs and put out clothes the night before. This seems to simplify my life of any unnecessary battles over clothing in the morning rush of school.

  356. I throw things away. I have stopped saving every single piece of art work my children bring home. I know that sounds bad but I’ve ran out of room to store it all! So what I’ve done is save one good one for the week and then replace it with another the following week. That way my child knows that after one week, it gets thrown away and replaced with something else. Of course I still save the extra special ones with their handprints etc. πŸ™‚

  357. I like to plan out my menu and prep/cook as much as possible in advanced so that I don’t have to stress everyday and so that I make better food decisions

  358. I plan 4-8 weeks’ worth of dinners at one sitting. I no longer fold kids’ underwear (how my mother did this my entire life I will never know). I put clean (hanging) clothes in the closet to the right and take from the left so that I rotate my stuff.

  359. I’ve learned to say ‘no’. I say it nicely and can do it several different ways AND without having to explain WHY I’m saying ‘no’. Example: A friend will ask if my husband and I want to go to dinner on Sunday (and I’d rather not add another scheduled event to that weekend) I just say ‘We would love to but can’t, thanks for thinking of us’. No hurt feelings, no explanation. You’d be surprised how many things you can say ‘no’ to if you remove your feeling of obligation to explain why you’re declining the invitation.

  360. I have schedules – I only do laundry on certain days, grocery shop on others. Of course I’m flexible but having set schedules really helps me moderate my time and that of my busy family

  361. I plan my outfit for the next day in my head and then check to see if its clean!! if not it gets washed!! It used to drive me mad that my youngest daughter did the same until I realized that she gets it from me!!

  362. I have three daughters, 11, 8 and 6 years old. We spend time every night packing lunches, picking out clothes & packing school backpacks (mine included- I am a kindergarten teacher) for the next day. I really helps alleviate some of the chaos that can take place in the morning as we all try to get out of the house.

  363. This is a great question with great answers given above. My goal is to make more dinners ahead of time. It makes such a difference in the day to just defrost. I’d also like to find more dinners that can be made in the slow cooker.

  364. I plan dinners for the week and shop once. I hate doing it every weekend, but during the busy week it’s worth it! I also sleep in the socks I’m going to wear to run in the next AM. My BRF thinks it’s gross, I told her I don’t care =}

  365. One thing I do to simplify is alternate who showers at night and who showers in the morning so that we are not all trying to shower at 6am and get out the door by 7am.

  366. On Sunday each week I cook up several different protein options and chop veggies. That way during the week when I am in a hurry and can’t think of anything to make, I just have to toss it all into a pan, and in minutes we have a “hot-plate” meal. Different seasoning change it up (Mexican, Italian, Indian, etc.), so it doesn’t get too boring! This also makes my lunches much less hassle to think about.

  367. I try to throw away/donate/give away most anything that isn’t tied down. Less superfluous stuff makes life feel more streamlined, even if it isn’t.

  368. I subscribe to eMeals for weekly, easy to prepare meals with a shopping list. I also bake a motherlode of healthy muffins every few weeks that I freeze and we eat for a quick breakfast on the go.

  369. I am a busy mom to a five and three year old and am a full time second grade teacher, I set everything out the night before…..pack my lunch, kids backpacks, set out my kids clothes as well as my running clothes and work clothes, I’ll set all of the non-perishables out on the counter so they are ready to go in the crockpot or in the meal that I will be cooking when I get home from work. All of this makes my mornings simple! Now if I could just get my husband to do this!

  370. I almost always put out my clothes the night before….and for the most part I quit cooking and grocery shopping a long time ago and assigned those chores to my husband, who is much, much better at both! I also try to stay on top of dishes and laundry so there is never a whole pile to deal with….I try anyway.

  371. I write out everyones schedule on a board every week so we know who is supposed to be where and when they are supposed to be there. Keeps us a lot less confused.

  372. I always lay out my outfits for the week on Sundays. I pack my workout bag the night before a workout so there are no excuses. I also make my breakfast smoothies the night before so I am not rushing in the morning.

  373. I plan school lunches and dinners on the weekend so I have my supplies available and I don’t have to scramble before my coffee in the mornings! I also check the weather and out out my runni clothes the night before so I don’t disturb the household :-).

  374. I try to not overthink things. If I think about things to much, i get indecisive or think of other things I should do first. Then I inevitably forget about the original task.

  375. I don’t over commit. I make sure that we all have plenty of time to do what needs to be done and still relax and enjoy life.

  376. I pick out my outfit for the next day, whether it be for a work day, weekend day, or running, the night before, which really helps save time in the morning. If I’m planning to go the indoor track, then I make sure to pack everything I’ll need (including a pre-run snack) the night before, as well.

  377. I think planning meals for the week ahead is a huge time saver for me – I try to plan for quick meals vs ones we can linger over if there’s time, according to the schedule for the week. Knowing what to make and shop for definitely simplifies my life! But I think the biggest simiplifier of late is “my list of 7!” A friend shared this with me a few years ago as we are both really long list makers. My problem however was finding that I could never completely check off the list – I mean never ever – I think I have things on my list from a couple of years ago! She suggested making a daily list of 7 – anything goes on the list that’s important for that day! Knowing that tomorrow or the next day will also have 7 things to accomplish allows me to not load the list with 7 impossible and difficult tasks. I try to always have at least one fun and easy task on there too! And I get to give myself the credit for things I’m doing anyways sometimes – like running or making dinner. Plus it’s so gratifying to check off and COMPLETE a list each day! Woohoo!

  378. For things I must get done, I write a to-do list. I love crossing off what gets done and feeling like I accomplished something! As a stay at home mom, it sometimes feels like I am a hamster in a wheel.

  379. I pack school lunches the night before… really saves on time in the morning when it all just seems to fly as everyone is running around preparing for the day!

  380. I love school uniforms!!! I realize this is not a reason to choose a school, but wow does it help with 2 girls!! Also, getting coffee ready the night before, and making the beds as soon as I can extract little people and hubby out of them helps immensely! Trying to do one big grocery shopping trip ( and usually one little one) during the week helps with meal planning (and $$ as well!). We usually eat breakfast in the car on the way to school ( pass over the Mother of the Year Trophy!) so having breakfast organized into Tupperware and travel cups with napkins and silverware helps everyone!!

  381. I simplified my life by making myself trust the kids to take care of chores around the house without micro-managing them; that took me years. I used to clean up after their “clean up” whatever it was. Now I’ll let my son wear a day-old pair of jeans as a consequence of not putting his dirty clothes into the laundry. He learns a lesson, and it’s one less thing I worry about. πŸ™‚

  382. I got this new app for my phone/ipad for the grocery list. I can add an item to the ipad on the counter and then it goes to my phone so when I’m at the store, I have the list. No more leaving the paper list at home!! And the kids love adding items to the list–we had to make a list just for them and then there’s the real list that they can add to if we are truly out of something.

  383. I try to do all my morning chores the night before like putting out clothes, packing lunches even getting my coffee ready. I am sooo not a morning person and get up at the last possible minute, it really helps to get all the everyday stuff done the night before so we don’t have to rush :).

  384. I am really good at sticking to a schedule and I find that it helps me keep my life simple. No guessing as to what to do next!

  385. I am a home daycare provider, so I pretty much only buy sports wear to simplify things. I have a couple of outfits to wear to church or *gasp* “out”, but winter is yoga pants and long sleeved tech shirts, summer is all about run gear!

  386. Scrubs….to bad some days I really need to look professional. Sigh. Well, some days in scrubs are better than no days at all.

  387. I simplify by putting my clothes out the night before. That way I don’t have to use the light and wake everyone up.

  388. I’ve simplified my gym routine by preparing a separate toiletry kit that can live in my gym bag – no more transfering of shampoo and lotion from bathroom shower to bag in the morning when I’m trying to get out the door!

  389. While thinking of an answer to your question, I am realizing that I don’t have too many tips on how to simplify my life! I am pretty sure I do everything in the most complicated way possible!! I think I will read some of these tips…

  390. I plan a week’s worth of meals, and then I streamline grocery shopping by having an Excel template of the store layout that lists which products are in which aisle. I print it out, and then write in my shopping list by aisle. Saves a ton of time and makes shopping from a big list really easy. I started this 14 years ago when my kids were tiny (and I had to deal with bringing them with me), and I still do it every week.

  391. my biggest time saver is meal planning. I find when I plan my meals a week in advance I feel less stressed, and things just flow better. I also double at least one or two meals each week so i can freeze it for those ‘uh oh’ days.

  392. First you have to know that as a new and totally consumed runner (started April 23, 2012 and cannot fathom how I survived 4 kids, job, then quitting job, moving from beloved hometown, girlfriends, etc. etc. etc. without it), one of my biggest struggles is INDECISION! Even on my runs I fret– which way should I go? I have been trying to decide ahead of time and then force myself not to change my mind mid-run without good reason. Wow this is really trying to be a whole blog worth of rambling when what I planned to say is something entirely different from what I’m rambling about.
    What has helped me simplify is to have my headstrong, oh so headstrong, thank God the other 3 weren’t like this headstrong, 3 year old daughter sleep in her next-day outfit. Now this requires me to trick her into thinking it’s all her idea, but when I can accomplish it, and also accomplish tricking her into thinking it’s a great idea not to change her mind (INDECISION!) and try on 3 more outfits the next morning, this really helps us get out the door to preschool so that two mornings a week for 2.5 glorious hours, I can plan my route and dress for my run and RUN and SWEAT and scrub all the frustrations out of my brain so I can be a better me.

  393. I have decided to not fight the “clean your room” battle. The downstairs is where visitors spend time so that is picked up. The bedrooms can be last on the clean up list. Not going to spend energy on that fight.

  394. I am in desparate need of making things more efficient and simple. Two kids and two working parents necessitates that. I will be reading through all the comments to get some good ideas πŸ™‚ Doing as much of the morning prep work done the night before helps a TON in the morning and not being so stressed out.

  395. Meal planning as well as a master to-do list. Each day I pick tasks from my overall list to help focus what little free time I have!

  396. I do “morning” errands the night before which greatly simplifies my mornings. Making lunches, prepping bottles, laying out clothes for the little people, etc. If I don’t, those little tasks add up and make for a stressful morning.

  397. I recently cleaned out my most used cooking utensil drawer and kept only my five favorite spoons and spatulas. I can now quickly find what I’m looking for without digging around. Everytime I open that drawer now it just makes me happy.

  398. I set up outlook appointments with my husband to keep us on the same page for training times. His morning bike rides versus my mornings for running.

  399. To simplify my life I have avoided being sucked into the drama that some people seem to create for themselves to have something interesting to talk about. I let my voicemail be my call screener. If it’s a conversation that I chose to have then great but if it’s a energy sucking complaint session then I’ll pass.

  400. I make a big batch of oatmeal on Sunday for quicker breakfast prep during the week. I also layout my running and work clothes the night before (and the kids’ too!). Anything to streamline crazy mornings!

  401. I’ve simplified my life (more my “headspace”) by really not sweating the small stuff. Like when the kids load the dishwasher. Although it may not be my way, at least its done. When I fold laundry I leave it in front of their bedroom doors so they can put it away themselves. And I don’t care how it gets put away. I also leave the dishwasher open when its ready to be unloaded. That way its in the way when they’re trying to get snacks and they’re forced to unload it!I leave a grocery list attached to the fridge for everyone to add to once they’ve used the last of an item…like milk. The list is divided into dairy, produce, shelf, meat, etc. so at a quick glance you know when you need to make a trip (or when your husband can make the trip!). Meals planned in weeks/months saved on the computer so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. And always make enough for the next day for lunches. Its amazing what you can toss into a wrap! I sometimes give the kids an incentive: we can order out but then they have to clean a bathroom as “payment” for a more expensive treat meal. Gets me what I need and what they want! Someone told me this one “only bitch when someone might die”. Its a good filter for when I start to focus on the wrong things!

  402. To simplify mornings, the kids know they have to pick out their school clothes the night before, as well as packed lunch choices and what they want for breakfast…this lets me get up early, and have everyone ready to go with no complaints – after all, THEY picked it all!

  403. I have created a budget to help me keep track of my spending. I’m also trying to declutter the house and get rid of everything we don’t use on a regular basis. Very freeing. πŸ™‚

  404. I don’t wear make-up. Yes, sometimes it’s scary (especially in the middle of winter) but my morning routine is minimal.

  405. I plan my weekly meals and have them listed on the refrigerator along with everyone’s schedule for the week. I also try and grocery shop once a week, no more. I try to simplify my life by scheduling my workouts to correspond with my children’s activities. If my daughter is at the YMCA for swim team, I workout there for an hour. I love not running back and forth!

  406. I always lay out my clothes for early morning runs the night before, that way I don’t have to go searching through my drawers in the dark,I can just pull ’em on and go!

  407. In a recent effort to read more, I started using my GoodReads account to keep track of books I would like to read at some point in the future. Now instead of trying to remember what in the world I want to get at the library, or heaven forbid – browsing aimlessly in the library trying to remember while I try & keep my boys under control – I open up 2 windows next to each other in my browser. One GoodReads, one the online library catalog. I do a couple quick searches based on my list, hit reserve, then when its convenient for me, I just go in to the front desk of the library and they have my books ready & waiting for me πŸ™‚ So much simpler, and now I am actually getting to read the books I want to read, however sporadic πŸ™‚

  408. Plan weekly meals ahead of time but also keep quick meal options stocked in case something comes up or just have one of those days when don’t feel like cooking.

  409. I pay for my teenage sons cell phone data plans in exchange for them doing their own laundry. They have a skill to take to college, & now plan for better for upcoming events (sports uniforms, favorite jeans, jersey day at school), and I have more time after work and on weekends to …run.

  410. I outsource the thing I hate the most: house cleaning. It’s expensive, yes, but I have to say: there is NO better way to spend that money, none. Every other week, I get at least four weekend hours back – to run or spend with my family – while TWO people come in and make our home shine. Definitely the best decision we made to make life easier!

  411. I wear tennis shoes and jeans everyday to work. I have two pairs of shoes and 5 pairs of jeans to choose from. They match with any shirt I want to wear.

  412. I love lists so I make 1 to-do list for the week and 1 monster one and whenever I think of something I put it on that big list. Then if I find myself with some time I look at the monster list and see what can be done.

  413. I pick my battles with my school-aged girls in the morning. As long as it is clean, and reasonably seasonal, they can wear it. If I don’t have to bug them to put it on, that usually buys me another 5-10 minutes to finish my coffee and *maybe* it will still be warm πŸ™‚

  414. I color code my closet so that I can easily grab coordinating items. It sounds overly anal, which I am not, but it helps me put an outfit together quickly rather than searching for a top to go with a certain pair of pants. On the weekends, I live in my studio pants from lulu lemon, but during the week, especially when I am trying to pack my bag for the gym in the morning, this helps me shave about 5-10 minutes off the clock when trying to determine what to wear. I no longer stand quite as long in front of my closet saying, I have nothing to wear…

  415. I make sure I don’t have any excuses not to run or go to the gym by laying out my clothes the night before so I am dressed when I take my kids to school and then go right after I drop them off. There’s no way I can say, I’m tired, I’ll do it tomorrow, etc.

  416. I write everything down!! I have a small notebook and pen in my purse as well as a white board on the fridge. We also have 2 white boards in our entryway. We use them for groceries, to do list and reminders of calls to make ect. I also schedule dentist and dr appointments for the whole family for the same day. That way we only have to take 1 day off for everyones appointments. πŸ™‚

  417. As I get older I get a little more forgetful. To simplify my life and not forget things I write a to do list
    of errands, chores, groceries and other things that need to be done each night for the next day.
    Sandi

  418. I keep track of errands I need to run and things I need to do on an app on my phone, so when I get a little chunk of time or we’re out and about I can check things off that list. It feels good to mark something as “done,” plus I know not to trust my memory too much anymore πŸ™‚

  419. I keep all my lists (grocery, to-dos, gift ideas…) electronically and can access these from anything with an Internet connection.

  420. I’m a technology girl. So I use google calendar to keep our schedule straight, including color coding for different members of the family. I also use Wunderlist which is a great to do list that syncs between all your devices so I can add things and check things off wherever I am. I would forget everything without my todo list!

  421. I simplify by feeding my kids the SAME EXACT thing for breakfast and lunch 5 days a week. They don’t care (and get upset when I deviate from the plan), and since both options are so easy, we always supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables!

  422. Within the LAUNDRY realm: I insist the kids (3,4,and 7 years old) and husband turn all clothing right-side-out before throwing it in the laundry basket. Seems minor, but it makes it SO MUCH FASTER when it’s time to fold and put away 4+ loads a week.

  423. To simplify my life I have a shower caddy in my van with my mascara, lipgloss, hair brush, breakfast bars etc. for all those days when I am running out the door with my kids. It makes my life easier and that way I can tweeze and floss while waiting in pick up line at school πŸ™‚

  424. I plan out a menu for the week, that way I’m only buying exactly what I need from the store (I shop once a week), and I don’t have to decide what to make every night.

  425. I carry around a notebook and make notes when I think of them. This could be groceries we are out of, things for the house, items that we would like to buy when it fits the budget or clothing we need. That way the “I need this, I need that” thoughts are not always going around in my head. I sit down, usually on Friday night with the flyers and go through what we will need for the week for meals. One day on the weekend we do shopping and meal prep for the week. This means week nights are family time.

  426. With both of my daughters now in school, we do everything we can to make sure our weekday afternoons are spent at home. It’s not always possible with doctor’s appointments and swim lessons, but we eat dinner at home. We save the errands for the weekends or try to do them before I pick the kids up from school. We also put a limit of 1 activity per kid at a time. Not overscheduling our lives has been a must for my sanity and theirs!

  427. I pack my work out clothes for the week on Sunday. Take them to work on Monday. Lunches get made with little or no variety. Been living in my Icebreaker shirt here in Gunny!

  428. I make my breakfast smoothies the night before — and make 2 days’ worth at once — and make my lunches for the week on the weekends, to make my mornings a little faster.

  429. To simplify my life – Once a month I deep clean and go thru everything minimizing all the junk that can build up over time. It helps tremendously. I strive to live a minimalist lifestyle but with 2 kids, its so hard, but I do what I can.

  430. Carpools are a big help, since we have to cross a toll bridge for the kids’ school and most of their activities. Every time we can carpool, it spreads the $5 charge between families instead of having to pay it each time. Also, a breakfast meal plan reduces arguments in the morning.

  431. Yogurt? Oatmeal? Smoothie? To simplify breakfast decision making, I’ve been making overnight oatmeal yogurt parfaits. So easy, delicious, and make ahead so you can grab and go. It’s one less decision to make in the harried morning rush.

  432. I have made it known to my kids that missing the school bus is not an option (unless they are carrying a model of the parthenon to school). This way I know that when they will leave and when they will get home everyday and do not need to worry about that.

  433. 1. I carpool to help minimize the school pickup. 2. I also try to exercise while my kids are doing their activities (swim, soccer, etc.). 3. I try to cook enough for leftovers the next day.

  434. I used to stand around for far too long trying to put together our weekly meal plan. Now, on Sunday afternoons the four of us make a quick list of lunches and dinners for the week (we have a seven day breakfast meal plan that almost never varies). The kids each get to choose one dinner each that only he/she has to love. I take the lists and drop each choice into a day that works and off we go. I can always substitute something along the way if I want/need to, but the pressure of making all the choices in the meal plan is no more. Less pressure = happy mom.

  435. To simplify I do my grocery shopping once per week while the kids are at Sundy school. That way we are all out of the house at the same time and I can still make it to church.

  436. I use a cozi calendar! This way my husband and I both no everything that is going on in the week and can update and know everything that is going on!

  437. After resisting for years, I finally jumped on the meal planning bandwagon. Now that my husband, kids and I plan and prep the week’s dinners on Sunday, weeknights go so much smoother. And we eat out less often.

  438. Life simplifiers for me: when cooking certain meals, make enough for two meals and freeze one; once a week, dice fresh fruits and veggies for smoothies & store in fridge in baggies. These are great time savers, leaving more time to run πŸ™‚

  439. Definitely a meal plan type of girl…makes it do much easier! Make a menu, then a grocery list…stick to it and life is much better at dinner!

  440. I’m getting ideas reading other people’s comments — thanks ladies! After 12 years of handling the family finances, I recently delegated. I opened a separate account, kept the bills that could be paid out of my income alone, and gave the rest to my husband to deal with. There have been so many upsides to this arrangement for me: fewer bills to remember, not having to remind my self-employed husband to make a deposit, letting him shop for better deals on the bills he is paying (cell phone, cable, etc). And I am even more grateful for him since he is helping me with my least favorite chore.

  441. My husband, kids, work and volunteering create so many “complications” in daily life that RUNNING is the one thing I have that is SIMPLE. Just get dressed and walk out the door when it works for me.

  442. I keep everything on one calendar…in the kitchen, on my phone and send out reminders of what needs to be done. I have one calendar on my phone that combines, work, personal and school in one place so I know where I’m supposed to be and when as well as where my child is πŸ˜‰

  443. To streamline my life I breakdown all of the week’s chores to do on specific days. I write them on sticky notes and put them in my planner on the days that they need to be done on. If something doesn’t get done on a specific sticky note it gets moved to the next day. If all of the things are done, the note gets moved to the next week.

  444. I plan 14 meals out and make sure I have the stuff for them on hand. That way I can choose, but I am prepared. I also shop while the kids are at school. Taking them with me is so not simple.

  445. Two things to simplify my life 1) Two years ago I cut my hair real short, no fussing with blow dryer, curling iron etc. 2) I plan what I wear to work for a week- I go swimming at the gym first thing in the morning, get dressed there and head to work. Makes life so much easier

  446. I try and plan meals in advance and cook some staples, beans, quinoa, farro up and have in the freezer as building blocks; clothes and lunches are done and set up when I leave in the morning based on schedules and are ready to be grabbed by the rest of the family on their way out the door and I try and keep things in specific spots in the house (try being the operative word). And my running stuff is in the same spot so I can grab what I need and head out the door.

  447. I’m a planner planner planner. I always have lists going to keep everything straight. I’ve also been getting rid of stuff. Clearing out the clutter and simplifying around the house. Thanks for a chance to win. My Boston-bound hubby is a HUGE Icebreaker fan. I’d love love love to win some of my own!!!

  448. Delegate! Multitask! One stop shopping! And don’t sweat the little things … in the end, it doesn’t really matter … friends/family do!

  449. I try to prep as much of the morning routine the night before. Lay out clothes, have my daughter pick her clothes so there is no fight in the AM, set the coffee maker, make lunches, etc etc. Really helps simplify my mornings!

  450. love the similarities here…I do many of these things, but meal planning is key in our house. It helps me to use up fresh produce, keeps healthy options in the plans, we can all see the weekly calendar on the fridge, etc. Tonight– broccoli cheddar soup, perfect on a single digit day!!

  451. I try very hard to do weekly menu planning most weeks, and it’s definitely a huge help. The weeks I don’t do it, I’m always cursing myself at dinnertime, when I’m scrambling to come up with dinner ideas, all while the kids are fighting and whining and asking for help with their homework.

  452. I cook a large batch of quinoa every Sunday so I have a base for quick lunches. Nissa, I love “making the persons!” I may have to use that! Thanks!

  453. My husband and I cook three times a week, and each meal is big enough for a night of leftovers. LOVE leftover nights; it’s so relaxing not to have to cook and yet have healthy, cost-efficient food.

  454. I make a big pot of vegetable soup and cornbread muffins on the weekends and take it to work on Monday so I don’t have to worry about packing lunches every morning when I’m trying to get out the door.

  455. Okay NO laughing but my wardrobe literally consists of a self made uniform. It only contains nice white t-shirts, jeans or leggings and my 3 favorite hoodies (a Lulu, a Lucy and a Moosejaw). I’m not kidding that’s all I own lol!

  456. I don’t do much to simplify but I’m not a high stress person either so life is pretty simple to begin with. I sometimes wish I would plan out more meals but I’m pretty decent at buying enough veggies and fruits and have