Moms are busy. We hear this over and over, and we’re continually reading magazine articles, blog posts, and watching TV makeover shows highlighting this issue. I just did a segment at Global Regina this week sharing my tips for busy moms. When you think about it, there’s a whole industry built on busy people, with a focus on busy moms.
I know I’m not alone with the discovery that cutting away the clutter (physical and mental) can help to bring a little bit of calm to our busy lives. When we get overwhelmed, it’s easy to feel out of control and at our wits end, and no one is a super-mom when that happens. We know, simplicity is better and it’s OK to admit that we have to actually work to make that happen.
According to recent research by Schick Intuition, the happiest mothers in Canada take active steps to simplify their lives. And, it seems to be paying off – the responses from 750 moms across Canada were used to create the Schick Intuition Simplicity Curve which shows a direct correlation between happiness and simplicity. The curve clearly illustrates that happiness spikes when mothers take deliberate steps to make life more manageable, and embrace a philosophy of “voluntary simplicity.” In fact, the more moms say they embrace the “voluntary simplicity” lifestyle, the happier they are.
So what exactly is voluntary simplicity? This video from Schick helps explain:
Happiness levels vary among Canadian mothers. The research showed that 29% of moms are happy, 38% are neutral and 33% are unhappy – but moms agree that simplifying improves happiness, with 92% saying that simplifying aspects of their life would make them happier.
In addition, of the moms who described themselves as happy, 65% said they live a “voluntary simplicity” lifestyle compared to 30% of moms living that lifestyle who identified as unhappy.
Simplifying your life can happen from the moment your feet hit the floor to the moment you pack it in for the night, it just takes a bit of planning and a lot of saying “no”, I’ve noticed. Here are some easy ways I create voluntary simplicity in my household every night before bed:
- The kids know to put their lunch kits on the kitchen island in the evenings. While making lunch the night before definitely helps, I make them in the mornings. It helps trememndously not to have to hunt down the lunch kits.
- Check the calendar to see tomorrow’s events. Have a toonie ready if it’s canteen day for one of the kids, and have all notes signed and on the island for backpacks in the morning. My rule is, if it’s not on the island in the evening, don’t ask me about it in the morning – you’re waiting another day kiddo!
- Lay out clothes for younger kids the night before. While my 11-year-old is past this help, having the girls know what they’re wearing, along with socks (oh my, the hunt for socks in the morning can be stressful!) is a great help.
- Always, always take laundry out of the dryer and fold before bed. Even if the kids are already sleeping and I can’t put it away, having it folded in the basket is a great start to the next day’s task.
- Give the kids specific morning chores that they complete each day. My oldest unloads the dishwasher every morning and my youngest feeds the dog.
Of course, the products we use in our household daily can help us multitask and cut away a lot of unnecessary clutter and time wasted.
The most popular step to simplifying life is decluttering the house and getting rid of extra stuff: 86% of moms purge the things they don’t need. Other regular actions that moms take to simplify are managing email (77%), using a calendar system (71%) and ordering in dinners occasionally (68%).
“More than eight in ten moms seek out products and services that would help them simplify aspects of life as they clearly understand that even small daily tasks contribute to a simpler lifestyle,” says Jew. “For example, if you use a three-in-one razor so that you don’t need to prep, shave and moisturize, that’s simplifying life. It’s a compound effect – simplifying every part of your routine makes your overall life simpler, and that ultimately helps you feel happier.”
I barely have time to shower, never mind shave in the shower, never mind use a shave gel + moisturizer in the shower. Nope, nope, nope. So this? This works for me.
Bonus points, my husband likes it too. 😉