Week 11

1 // Avoid “Grumpy Mommy” Clothes

Consider what might be ‘grumpy mommy clothes’ in your closet. What I mean by this is: I know a story of someone who would always work a particular outfit into her rotation but it was uncomfortable and it would just put her in a more irritable mood that day…and that actually became something her children could predict! So, in terms of choosing clothing: you likely know the outfit that doesn’t make you feel your best: you know which shirt is a bit too tight in the armpits, or which sweater is a bit too itchy for your liking, or which pants tend to get baggy and ride down, thereby making you even subconsciously grumpy. Part of dressing for success is not wearing grumpy mommy clothes!

2 // “Look at Mama!”

Train your children to “look at Mama” – I work with my kids on this even from around age 1 on (when they are smiling and crawling away from you to get into something, ha)! That way we can give them instructions more easily. Eventually you shouldn’t need to say more than their name. It’s also a great idea to train your children to say “Yes, Mama” or “Okay, Mama” after directions or a correction.

3 // Laundry Management

Laundry’s one of those behind-the-scenes things that keeps our household running smoothly! In this video I’m sharing my approach to this (never-ending) task!

**Another quick note: My best strategy for making sure I actually fold that clean laundry, instead of keeping it in baskets all week, is to dump it out on top of our bed! That way, I’m forcing myself to deal with it before I can climb into bed at night! (It’s funny that I have to “annoy” myself with the laundry in order to get it all put away, but it’s totally worth it and it always takes less time than I anticipate.)

4 // Keeping Dishes From Piling Up

This might seem like a basic tip, but it is hugely effective if you commit to it! Decide that you’re going to do the dishes after every meal. We didn’t have a dishwasher in our home for over 8 years, so all of our dishes had to be done by hand. With four people in our family, we’re constantly dirtying new dishes throughout the day! I’ve found that the best way to stay on top of them is to quickly do the dishes after every meal. Doing dishes right away is ideal, anyway, because that’s when they’re typically easiest to scrub clean.

By now, doing the dishes is a predictable, easy next step of our lunch or suppertime routine. While I often find it relaxing and I don’t mind it all that much, the dishes can REALLY add up if I don’t stay on top of them. And we all know how fun it is to be scrubbing a pan or scraping a plate that has dried food on it from the night before. It’s hardly ever worth it! I make sure that every dish is washed and in the drying rack by the time I slow down to relax for the evening. (If we do have water glasses that emerge from other rooms of the house later on that night, I don’t worry as much about those…but dishes with anything but water on them, I like to get done.) Plus, I’m convinced there’s nothing as calming as a sparkly clean kitchen at the end of a long day. That way, it’s all set for the next morning! I’m all about clean slates!

**Update: We have a dishwasher where we live now, but these principles that helped me for the 8 years we didn’t have a dishwasher have continued to support good habits with dishes now. I do a lot of cooking by scratch and I don’t like allowing dirty dishes to sit in the sink all day, so I have two main times per day when I get all of the dishes done and the sink empty again: after lunch, and after dinner! Again, it is so worth it!

5 // Don’t Catastrophize

Don’t catastrophize! This is so important, especially since there seem to be so many things to worry about as a mother. Catastrophizing refers to mulling over the worst possible scenarios that could happen, and entertaining them as viable situations that could occur. One of the biggest things I tend to do is play the “What if?” game. “What if that actually happens tomorrow? Then what will I do? And then what will happen next?” It can become a mess of circular thinking very rapidly if we don’t stay in control of our imagination. While it IS good to be prepared, there is a difference between being wisely prepared and then having your imagination try to “prepare you” for every possible emotionally-loaded or scary situation that could happen. So, I want to encourage you to avoid catastrophizing whenever you can!

6 // Efficient Bathroom Cleaning System (+ Checklist!)

I know this topic isn’t all that glamorous…but it sure is important! Today I’m sharing my tips for conquering your bathroom in just 10 minutes! I’ve worked it out so that it’s a specific order of tasks that allows you to be most efficient. These are the exact steps I follow. I am also including a printable bathroom cleaning checklist for you! I hope it helps you as you work out your own cleaning routines! Stick with me for today’s video and then feel free to print out the bathroom cleaning checklist below!

** Does the idea of cleaning the bathroom seem too boring? Consider blasting some of your favorite upbeat music while you clean (it works wonders!). Or, maybe turn on a podcast. I find if I distract myself a bit, the actual “drudgery” feel of cleaning melts away. It helps to combine a job you maybe don’t look forward to with something you do look forward to!

Printable Bathroom Cleaning Checklist:

BONUS! How I Streamline My Hair Routine!

I started using the Sway at least 2 years ago and boy, do I wish I’d had it 10 years ago!! In college I would wash, blow dry, and then curl my hair using a curling iron, but thankfully I don’t have that routine anymore! (And, dare I say, I might even love my hair more now days!) Once I became a mom, I learned that I preferred to prioritize other things in my day rather than standing in the bathroom with a curling iron.

The Sway is wonderful, because you just wrap your hair up in it at night (it takes only a couple minutes), and then voila – it’s curled so nicely when you take it out in the morning! I’ve found that it works best for me on hair that is not recently washed, too! I love the look of curled hair, but I don’t like dedicating the time and effort to doing it with a curling iron. I’m just so pleased to have found the Sway, so I knew I had to share it with you! I wish I had known about it back when I was a first time mom – or even back in college! So here’s hoping this gives you a fun idea of something you could try too!

I do have a discount code for you – HANNAHBEEOLSON10 will get you 10% off!

BONUS! A Smoothly-Running Gift System!

If you feel you can’t get ahead on life in general, I love thinking, “at least be ahead on Christmas!” 🙂 For years now I have kept an ongoing list of potential birthday and Christmas gift ideas on my phone. In this video, I’m talking about my entire gift buying system – I hope these tips help you to streamline birthday and Christmas gifts, too!