Two months until our family expands by one- and from what I remember from having my son 5 years ago- our time management will need to radically adjust. From late night feeding, to extra loads of laundry- and even time for simple luxuries like showering- all will now revolve around the needs of a little one who cannot articulate in a spoken language what she wants.
I am taking a step back and thinking about how I can survive those first few time crunched, penny-pinching, sleep deprived months- and my journey in Minimalism can help me.
Some small steps to sanity I am taking now:
- Pre-cooking meals: I like to have a hot breakfast for my son. It’s something I’ve done for him ever since he’s had solid foods; a Continental breakfast of sorts. But let’s face it, who has time for that? Today is Saturday- so I spent some time cooking waffles ahead that I can portion and freeze for the week ahead. Same thing for bacon (if you are the meat-eating kind). During the week I can then re-heat, add some fresh fruit, or quickly scramble an egg and he can have a warm breakfast to start his day. I could buy these things in the frozen food section; but I prefer to make my own and add his favorite touches to it (fresh blueberries or strawberries) and it does end up being a little less expensive for me.
- Refillable Foaming Soap Bottles: Something my Mother always did while growing up, before being frugal or Minimalist was trendy. I purchased empty foaming soap bottles- and from there you can fill with whatever variety soap meets your needs or budget. I currently use a bulk soap from an essential oil company (which I then also dilute with some water to stretch out the value of). But you can use any brand you choose. I figure besides saving $3-5 every time I need a hand-soap, I reduce some waste by reusing the soap bottles.
- Speaking of Bottles: My husband is the King of repurposing plastic containers. Sometimes too well, so some end up in recycling once I have done some cleaning. Some now hold small toys, others hardware or supplies in our tool area. The point is, we at least try to think of a use before we throw away empty containers- but I won’t allow hoarding of empty ones “just in case”.
- Furniture Polish: I was tired of commercial polish for our dining room table not cleaning and leaving behind a streaky mess. I found some different recipes online- my favorite at the moment is Olive Oil on a cloth with a drop or two of Orange Essential Oil. We had some minor surface scratches that this mixture sealed up quite nicely, and the shine has held for two weeks now. Wipe down with mixture, and then buff off excess with a microfiber, lint free cloth.
- Mirror Cleaner: My days working at a cosmetics counter at a department store taught me many things. My favorite tip was to use 93% rubbing alcohol to clean mirrors- it was less expensive than the blue stuff, and left a streak free shine behind.
Some of these are time-savers, some money-savers. All help me stay focused on what’s important these days- Spending the bulk of my time with my family and enjoying their company.