Mom Homehacks: 5 Tips for Creating Tranquility in a Busy Home

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Do you ever sit down at the end of the day and more than your body, your brain is just tired? Long, busy days, filled with commutes, activities, meals, laundry, work, and so on can make us just want to, to quote Pretty Woman, “Veg. Lay like broccoli.”

fengshuiIf you’re anything like me, sitting and doing nothing, while a little bit reviving, induces guilt. The bread I could be baking! The dirty socks that could use whitening! The state of my eyebrows!

There’s a direct correlation between feeling sapped at the end of (or in the middle, or upon waking) each day and organization. Yeah, yeah, I know, personal organization has recently gained a cult-like following. But there’s a good reason: how you do things, and see the world around you, directly translates into how much energy your activities and environment take.

It’s easy to make little changes, to help you hang onto a little more zing each day.

1. Declutter

I’m not talking about the great toss-out of 2010. Start small, finding a place for the things that usually clog common areas that your gaze tends to fall upon when you finally get a moment to sit down. Do you pile your mail on the kitchen counter, with keys, phones, notes from school and other important stuff? Little messes add up to a big mess, which leads to feeling overwhelmed, so avoid creating them in the first place.

2. Find a system that works for you, for housework

If cleaning your entire home each Sunday works for you, by all means, keep up the good work. Personally, I like to break up tasks into daily chores – bite-sized bits of cleaning, like making Monday a bathroom cleaning day, Tuesday for the living room, and Wednesday for laundry. I find the concept of meeting my maker under a pile of laundry a scary one.

3. Stock up on what you need, don’t own what you don’t

It’s a major concept in minimalist living, but it’s useful for everyone. Buying food and household supplies in bulk can seem like a useful practice – unless you’re buying things you really won’t need or use that will just take up space and add to the clutter you need to tidy. Remember, it’s only a good deal if it’s something you would buy anyway.

4. Add little touches of zen

You don’t need to study feng-shui. A cluster of scented candles on the mantelpiece (or else-where, away from little fingers), that you light up just for the zen of it, or some hardy green plants can add tranquility to your space. On nights when I’m feverishly fighting deadlines, I light a lavender or French vanilla candle nearby. The scent and gentle flicker can really soothe!

5. Use tools that work for you

Whether it’s a calendar big enough to fit each family member’s commitments, an electronic organizer, or www.dontforgetthemilk.com, finding a way to keep track of appointments, commitments and projects is invaluable to satiating the voice that tells us we have too much going on.

So tell me, does a list on the fridge help you grocery shop better? How many iPhone apps help you get through your week more efficiently? What are your tips for creating tranquility in your uber-busy life?

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