30 ways to Start Making Life Easier and Stop Feeling like a Hot Mess

Life sometimes feels like a never-ending cycle of responsibilities and stressors.  It can make us feel overwhelmed and like we are always behind.  But what if I told you there are ways that you can start making life easier?  What if I told you that you don’t have to feel like your life is one big hot mess a lot of the time?

overwhelmed and stressed woman sitting on the couch

As a work-at-home mom who homeschools my children, I can tell you that life can feel quite overwhelming at times.  Juggling household chores, childcare, work, school, and/or personal hobbies (you know, when there’s a free moment which is rare) can leave you feeling like you’re constantly in a state of chaos.

But I’ve got great news. With a few simple strategies and a touch of organization, you can start making life easier and regain your sanity. In this blog post, we’ll explore 30 practical ways to help you stop being a hot mess and create a smoother, more enjoyable daily routine.  Because it’s no fun when you just aren’t enjoying life.

I know in recent years it’s almost become kind of trendy to admit we are a hot mess – but let’s be straight up honest – it doesn’t feel good to be feeling that way.  When we feel like our lives our out of control, and like we just can’t get a handle on things, our confidence plummets, and we just don’t feel at our best. 

30 Ways to Start Making Life Easier and Stop Feeling like a Hot Mess

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1. Embrace a Morning Routine

Starting your day with a structured morning routine can set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Dedicate a few minutes to yourself for some journaling, praying, exercise, or simply savoring a cup of coffee in peace.  

Remember though, while getting up at a decent time can set the tone for your whole day, don’t feel like you have to get up at 5 a.m.  There are some people who can do that and they thrive at it, but it doesn’t work for everyone’s schedule.  I have teenagers who are up late at night and often I’m up with them discussing things, so a 5 a.m. start time would kill me.

Decide what time works best for you and your life, and commit to starting the day then.

2. Create a Family Calendar

Use a shared calendar to keep track of everyone’s schedules, appointments, and important dates. This will help prevent double bookings and ensure everyone is on the same page.  This also prevents your kids from asking you a million times what you are doing that day.  They can just go look at the calendar.  I love this calendar that is nice and big, but you can also use an app that syncs all your cell phones like Cozi.

3. Meal Planning

Planning your meals in advance can save you time and reduce the stress of deciding what to cook each day. Create a weekly meal plan and make a shopping list accordingly.  I find just knowing what I am making for dinner when I wake up that day takes so much stress off my plate. 

When I meal plan I also make sure to plan quicker meals on days I know we are busier or not at home till right before dinner.  Meals that take longer are for slower days.

batch cooking pasta

4. Prep Meals in Batches

Consider batch cooking and freezing meals. This way, you’ll have homemade dinners ready to go on hectic days.  Or, buy convenience meals for busy days.  I know that is the opposite of what’s cool to say these days, but as someone who cooks most of her family’s food from scratch, I fully admit that I often buy pre-made chicken burgers to eat on days when we are out of town and come home right at dinner time.

5. Delegate Chores

Don’t hesitate to delegate age-appropriate tasks to your children. It teaches them responsibility and lightens your load.  Kids can do more than we realize as well.  It may take longer at first to teach them how to do something like clean a bathroom or do their own laundry, but before you know it they won’t need help and it’ll make your day less chaotic as well.

My theory is that everyone in the house helps because I’m not the only one who lives here!  

6. Stay Organized with To-Do Lists

Create daily to-do lists to prioritize tasks and stay organized. Cross off completed tasks to feel a sense of accomplishment.  Use brightly colored pens for added fun.  I’m serious, choosing a pen you love makes you want to write to-do lists.

Be realistic as well.  Make sure your list has a reasonable amount of tasks you can get done in the day.

to-do list

7. Declutter Regularly

Keep your home clutter-free by periodically going through your belongings and donating or discarding items you no longer need.  When we have too much stuff it adds to the chaos and stress we are feeling.  Try and make a point to go through your things every now and again, especially when it feels like you can’t keep up with the mess.

8. Embrace Minimalism

Simplify your life by embracing minimalism. Fewer possessions mean less to clean and manage.  Now, when I say minimalism I don’t mean limiting yourself to 100 or so items.  Minimalism looks differently for different people.  I have three kids and we are active in the outdoors, as well as at home with hobbies.  We have stuff.  We wouldn’t be classified as minimalists. 

However, there’s no need to have three kettles, or 25 sweaters.  That stuff just ways you down and stresses you out.  Consider moving towards minimalism on whatever level is comfortable for you and your family.  It’ll help you feel like you have a little more control in your life.

9. Set Realistic Expectations

Accept that not everything will go as planned. Setting realistic expectations for yourself and your family can reduce stress.  Plans change.  People get sick.  Vehicles break down.  Days at work or school don’t go well.  It happens. 

Accept that life happens and we move on from those unplanned moments which sometimes turn out to be just what we needed, anyways.

10. Utilize Technology 

There are countless apps and tools designed to make your life easier, from grocery shopping apps to smart home devices. Explore what works for you. 

I like to use a calorie counter app to help me keep track of what I eat because when I eat too much or too poorly I don’t feel well, and when I don’t feel well I can’t get done what I need to do, and my life feels hard and like one big hot mess. 

So that’s one app that helps me.  I also use a flyer app for when I go shopping for groceries.

11. Develop a Self-Care Routine

Prioritize self-care to recharge your batteries. Whether it’s a bubble bath, a good book, or a hobby you love, make time for yourself.  But, if you are a mom like I am, sometimes those self-care routines are very small.  Don’t feel like it has to be an hour long bubble bath for you to take care of yourself.  

Self-care in an extremely busy stage may just mean enjoying your favorite coffee mid-afternoon.  Or reading a single page of your favorite book.  Or watching a 10 minute clip of your favorite, most inspiring Youtuber.  Don’t put the pressure on yourself to make hours available each week for self-care.  Self-care in different seasons are sometimes just tiny moments.

coffee and a candle and a blanket

12. Learn to say No

Learn to say no to additional commitments that can overwhelm you. Protect your time and energy.  I know it’s hard, and sometimes we do need to say yes to things.  But more than likely if you say no to something you don’t have the time for, everyone and everything will still be okay.  Life will go on and it won’t cause any detrimental result.  

Decide what your schedule has time and room for and say no to the rest.  And can I just say that you don’t have to be busy during whatever said activity event you have been asked to do is going on?  You can just say no and go home and rest during that time.  Sometimes we say no because we are busy resting.

13. Simplify Your Wardrobe

Having a capsule wardrobe with mix-and-match pieces can simplify your daily clothing choices.  If you are stressing out over what to wear everyday, consider this option.  And wear clothes that you feel good in.  If you’ve gained or lost weight and your clothes are making you feel worse, go buy a few tops and bottoms that you feel comfortable in.  It’s amazing how much better we can feel when we feel like we look our best.

14.Develop routines

Establishing routines for daily tasks like cleaning, laundry, and bedtime can create a sense of predictability and ease.  It helps you avoid coming to the end of the week with no clean clothes because you didn’t get to the laundry.  Make a schedule, write it down, and follow those routines.  Add in things like exercise, cleaning, work, homeschooling, and reading or something you enjoy doing.

15. Do your Grocery Shopping Online

Take advantage of online grocery shopping services. They save you time and prevent impulse buys.  Online grocery shopping is a lifesaver for me when I’m feeling too busy and overwhelmed.  All I have to do is put my order online and drive to pick it up and they load it in the back of my vehicle. 

However, you might live in an area that has grocery delivery as well which is a total plus!

grocery shopping online

16. Focus on “Doing the Next Thing”

When life gets overwhelming looking at everything you have to do can feel stressful.  It might even feel paralyzing and you can’t really focus on what you need to do because it all feels impossible. 

Don’t look at everything as a whole.  Just do “the next thing.”  Focus on what you have to do next.  Break down the big task into small chunks.  When you are done the next task, focus on the one after that. Before you know it you will have done half your list.

17.  Stop Procrastinating

I don’t know about you, but I can tell you that when my life doesn’t feel easy I can often look at what I’m doing or, should I say, not doing and understand that this is a contributing factor.  I’m talking about procrastination. 

While I’m not a serial procrastinator, I think most of us all procrastinate at times.  Especially when we feel stressed and overwhelmed.  Make a decision to stop procrastinating and just do what you are avoiding or putting off.  You’ll feel much better once you do.

18. Set Boundaries

Establish boundaries with your family to ensure you have dedicated work or relaxation time.  If you work from home like I do, it’s important that your family knows there are times you have to have uninterrupted space to finish what you need to do. 

Make a sign for your office or front door if you need to so that everyone knows when you need to be left alone to work, or even get in a quick nap to refresh yourself!

19. Simplify Kid’s Activities

Limit extracurricular activities for your children to prevent an overpacked schedule.  As parents we feel the pressure to sign our kids up for anything and everything.  Especially if they want to do it.  But it can be healthy for kids to hear the word no, and let’s face it, we can’t do everything.  Your kids will be okay if you limit their activities.

20. Create a Family Command Center

Designate a central area in your home where you can organize family schedules, important papers, and reminders.  I created one of these for the first time last year and it’s been a lifesaver!  This is where I put schedules for chores, school, youth group, and more.  

21. Embrace a Routine (for Kids)

Children thrive on routines, so create consistent daily schedules for them too.  Keeping them busy helps you get more done as well.  Create a schedule for when they need to do chores, school work, music lesson practice, and more.  Post it in the command center so they know exactly what they should be doing and when.

22. Stay Connected

Maintain connections with friends and family, even if it’s just through a quick phone call or text. When you are feeling like your life is all over the map and it’s just a hot mess, text or call a friend for encouragement.  Sometimes that’s more than enough to help us jump back into the grind with the feeling that we can conquer anything.

23. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Writing down daily blessings can shift your focus towards positivity.  It’s hard, maybe even impossible, to feel upset with our lives and be grateful at the same time.  When we think about even the smallest thing to be thankful for in the day it can shift our whole mindset.


24. Take a day Off

If you are able to, consider taking a day off.  Even if your to-do list is long.  Every now and then I close up my work, I close up the kids’ schoolwork, and we head to a trail for a walk, or the beach for the afternoon.  Sometimes I can tell we need it.  It can refresh us just enough to help us finish out the week.

This also goes for responding to messages.  You don’t ALWAYS have to be available.  Let the text messages or emails go unanswered for a time.  Turn your ringer off.  The world won’t stop, I promise.

25. Outsource Tasks

Consider outsourcing tasks like house cleaning or lawn maintenance if it’s within your budget.  I recently just outsourced some work for this blog and it was the smartest thing I’ve done all year!  It has taken a load of stress off of me. 

It’s okay to hire someone to come clean your house from time to time.  It’s okay to not do EVERYTHING yourself.

26. Set Up a Home Office

If you work from home, create a dedicated workspace to increase productivity and separate work from family life.  This allows you to get uninterrupted time in a quiet space which will increase your productivity.

27.  Don’t compare Yourself to Others

So you didn’t get done what you wanted.  So your living room looks like a tornado went through it.  Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for this.  Life isn’t always easy, and while you see many people on social media who seem to have it all together at all times, that just isn’t true.  What you see is their highlight reel.  You don’t see behind the scenes and I can tell you that most people have times when they feel like a hot mess.

Sure, some feel that way more than others, but most people feel that way at some point in their lives.  So, don’t compare your life to what you see on social media.  More than likely you aren’t seeing the whole picture.  

28. Remove yourself from Drama

Dealing with conflict is important, but sometimes people like to cause drama where there isn’t any.  If you find yourself constantly dealing with people in your life who bring drama, it might be time to put some space between you and them. 

It’s too hard to get a handle on our own lives if we feel like we are surrounded by constant conflict or drama.  It’s hard to focus on the task on hand if painful events with others keep playing out in the back of our mind.  It’s okay to take a breather from people who are making life harder.

29. Plan Regular Family Time

Make quality time with your family a priority, whether it’s a weekly game night or a weekend outing.  While it’s good to work hard and get as much done as possible, all work and no play makes for a hard, stressful life.  We were made to enjoy our families!  So be sure to schedule in some family time.

family holding hands

30. Celebrate Small Wins

Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. It can be as small as being excited that you got all the laundry done one day.  I know I have a tendency to look at what I didn’t do, but often when I look back at my day and all that I got done I’m amazed at how long that list is.  Celebrate what you DID get done.

How to Make Life Easier

Sometimes life can be hard and challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can create a more organized and enjoyable life for yourself and your family. Remember, you don’t have to do it all, and it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. By implementing these 30 practical tips, you can start making life easier, stop being a hot mess, and savor the precious moments of motherhood.

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