Making My Life a Little Easier…

It has been a challenging month at our home. From a bout with insomnia to multiple sick bugs. I am always thankful for the little ideas that the Lord graciously puts in my head for making my life a bit easier as I strive to faithfully manage my home and care for my children. When you are feeling stressed…don’t forget to simply pray for wisdom in how you might simplify your life. Our God cares even about the little mundane things in life. He is able to guide you and direct you to simple solutions for your every day needs. He is always gracious to give me little ideas and every little idea helps towards fulfilling the bigger picture of pursuing intentionality in every area of life. Here are just two little ways He guided me in making my life a bit easier this week…

Bring the dishes down to the kids level. I have an awkwardly designed kitchen that leaves me with very little lower cupboard space, so I finally determined to move my pantry stuff around a bit in order to give me a portion of the cupboard that I could move all my dishware and cups for storage. In this manner, the kids can now upload the dishwasher and put all the dishes away because it is all within their reach. This makes the unloading more of a manageable task for them. They can also set the table independently. So my 4 year old and 2 year old can fully participate in our kitchen management now.

Train the kiddos to wash their hands independently with a good step stool. We have had a tiny step stool for awhile now but it was nearly impossible for my littlest guy to wash his own hands independently. I would have to pick him up every time and often would be lazy and not do it at all. ;( Not a recommended practice. This week I found a tall step stool at IKEA for only $15. This stool enables the littlest child to wash their own hands. It also is tall enough for my daughter to help wash the dishes with me.

I love being able to equip my children to work independently and be little helpers at the same time. One less thing for this Mommy to do…;)

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

29 Responses to Making My Life a Little Easier…

  1. Judy McGhee February 14, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    If you live in a two story home, it is a real time-suck to run things upstairs to put them away. I suggest to clients they keep an attractive basket at the top and bottom of the stairs. Then, when tidying up, family members can toss the item in the basket to go up or down stairs. It helps keep things from laying around on counters and end tables. Once a day everyone grabs their own basket items and puts them away. You can find my other house cleaning tips if you’d like as well.

  2. lynn February 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Oh I love the idea of putting your dishes down low so your little ones can help with getting them out and putting them away. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can make life easier :)

  3. Angie M February 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi Lindsay,
    I just found your website about 2 weeks ago and have been tremendously blessed by it. I am also a stay at home mom with 3 children under 5 and it is comforting to see I am not the only one who struggles with the things I struggle with. I wanted to inform you of a tree called moringa. It is also known as the tree of Life because of the amazing nutrient load that it carries. I myself have only been taking it about a week but I have already seen amazing health improvements and I wanted to tell you about it so you could check it out for your own health as well. You can find more info on it at http://www.leavesforhealing222.com. Once again, thank you so much, and many blessings to you. Angie

  4. Lexie February 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Love the stool! I am going to get my dad to make me one. We have so many stools around the house, but none are tall enough for my oldest to reach the faucets. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  5. Amy February 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    Your post, and a friend’s timely suggestion helped me to be bold/courageous in teaching my 19 month how to help. She is so good at it and LOVES to be my helper!! at the end of this month, my husband and I are hoping to get to Ikea to pick up the step stool you have pictured, because I think it will help to let her be up higher while I am doing simple prep and at least watch. Thank you for encouraging us with this suggestion!!

  6. Sweetpeas February 7, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    We have that same step stool! Have had it since my almost-nine-year-olds were toddlers! But we use it in the kitchen so they can reach the dishes in the upper cabinets, hee hee. We also discovered it makes a good place to eat a snack, if they sit on the bottom step facing the top step, it’s a good table height :)

    We also moved our silverware to a lower drawer so the 2 yr old can put silverware away and get it out to set the table.

  7. Jocelyn February 6, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    I LOVE that stepstool. I am so guilty of a lack of handwashing, especially when we are just at home, because I am lazy.

  8. Devi February 6, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Lindsay, I really appreciate your blog and have been reading it for a while now. It’s a source of great info for me as a first-time mom. I only have a baby, but I like making mental notes for when we have more.

    A question for you – are your dishes glass (meaning, breakable) and how did you teach your kids to handle them if they are breakable? Do you have accidents? How does that all work? Thanks again for these great ideas…

    • Lindsay February 6, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

      Yes, our dishes are breakable…but it is amazing how careful a little two year old can be as you instruct them to hold it with both hands carefully and walk slowly. Children have a real desire to be responsible and help when you start them young. We have not had any accidents, as far as I can remember. In fact, every dish that we have lost has been at my hand! ;)

      • Lexie February 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

        My 3 year old also uses glass plates and cups now. She hasn’t dropped one at all. I’m always the one dropping them! I find she spills less using glass than plastic. She is more careful and loves being like mommy and daddy!

  9. Amy McCready February 6, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Thank you for sharing this! Tweaking the physical environment to allow kids to be more independent is so important! In addition to making life a little easier for mom and dad – these simple changes give young kids a giant boost of POSITIVE POWER!!

    When they can contribute in meaningful ways and have a sense of “control” over their world – they’re SO much happier and believe it or not – are less likely to act out with negative “power” behaviors. Thanks for sharing your experience and your wisdom! Keep up the wonderful work!

    Warmly,
    Amy McCready, Positive Parenting Solutions

  10. Dev February 6, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    I kid you not, my kids and i went in search of a stepstool this weekend. The have a little one in the bathroom but they need a little higher one so they can help me “cook”. I work close to IKEA so i am definately visiting them after work today. I recently moved all their dishes to the lowest drawer in the kitchen to help them with unloading the dishwasher and i unload my breakables to the top cupboards. I have also lowered their snacks, cereal and lunch/snack containers to the bottom shelf in the pantry. I totally believe God is concerned with every aspect of our lives as we strive to be good stewards of our time, talents and resources. I was “talking” to God in my head last week about wanting to use more natural products on our skin and lips and happened upon some really simple, healthy products at the farmers’ market this weekend. (yes, winter farmers’ market)I think God answered my prayer. Your blog is such a belssing and inspiration.

  11. Jennifer February 6, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    Good ideas! I have been thinking about making the dishes easier for my kids to get to as well. I may have to finally apply my thoughts.
    Good reminder of praying for wisdom of simplicity. I know I make thinks more complicated than they need to be MANY times.

  12. Rachel February 4, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    So relevant Lindsay! I’m six weeks away from my due date with #4, and making my life easier in the days ahead (and now too, for that matter) is high on my priority list!

    Those little things can make such a difference.

    I’m also trying to focus on training the children to do as many chores as they can, and to do them CHEERFULLY. Line upon line . . . :)

  13. renee February 4, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    Thank you for your wonderful post. I am currently struggling with simplifying– what a time to start-with 5 children, 3 of whom are school age–homeschooled. But no time like now, right?
    A gentle nudge, I think you mean “bout” not “bought”, and one “unloads” the disher, and doesn’t “upload” it to a computer. :)
    I really enjoy your writing, and hope you won’t take it the wrong way. I’m sure we can blame the insomnia!

  14. Amy Walker February 4, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    I’ve been reveling in the glory of similar graces this week…that have abounded…yes He does care…glory to God!!!

  15. Lanai February 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    As a young mommy of one and the heart for as many children as God provides, I am blessed each day with the posts on your blog Lindsay! God bless you! As someone mentioned earlier, your transparency is genuinely refreshing!! I think about Paul saying how he was happy to go through trials bc God is glorified. Know that you having the normal overwhelming emotions each day have a purpose! Sincerely! If not for those emotions & trials you wouldn’t be able to connect with so many on here. God is being glorified through you.
    I’m soaking all this wonderful mommy advice up for our little one(s) :-D
    Thank you!

  16. MaryEllen@TheImperfectHomemaker February 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Oh, no! I’ve NEVER skipped washing my little one’s hands! :) (Sarcasm, of course.) I do wish we could fit a stepstool in our teeny bathroom. Hmm…brainstorming to do.

    • Molly February 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

      We don’t have room for a step stool, either – but I’ve just discovered this week that my little guy LOVES to take the soap to the bathtub faucet and wash his hands there. He does and excellent job, is thrilled to be able complete the task independently, and does it well! I only wish I had thought of letting his older brother wash his hands this way!

      • Melanie February 8, 2012 at 9:24 am #

        We have a small bathroom too. I like your solution–but I’m pretty sure at my house that would result in several small kids in the tub splashing around! I have a hard time keeping my 3 and 2 year old from playing in there as it is. :)

  17. Jocelyn Skelly February 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    Wow, so simple…going to Ikea tomorrow to buy a bigger stool! I’m seriuosly excited at the idea of her washing her own hands…is that crazy?

  18. Jessica February 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Great ideas! And don’t feel too bad about not always washing your little boys hands, I’ve done that many times too..;)

  19. Katie February 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Great ideas Lindsay!

  20. Shannon Hazleton February 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    Two great ideas. ;) Be sure to share if the Lord gives you any more… I am anticipating simplifying homeschool as the Lord kept bringing a certain curriculum to mind to help simplify things and make it easier to have the kids doing their work more independently… As it turns out, at least 4 other families in our church use the same curriculum (I had no idea) and all of them gave me lots of advice and great reviews… I’m glad I followed the idea the Lord planted in my mind.
    Blessings!

    • Kelly February 4, 2012 at 5:07 am #

      Shannon, Out of curiosity and a desire to simplify our homeschool, what curriculum are you considering? I’d love to check it out myself, thanks!
      Lindsay, thanks for this post. I am always seeking ways to simplify and this encouraged me to tackle my Saturday with projects of this kind. Oh how I wish we lived near an Ikea store……!

  21. Shana February 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    The things that keeps me coming back to your blog is the transparency you have here. I appreciate your real life application in the situations God has given you. Thank you for the encouragement. Know that you are in my prayers as you transition with your third little one. They are such a blessings, but blessings don’t come easy :)

  22. Erika February 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Thank you for the great reminder to focus on the little helps! I actually have that same stool, and my 21mo loves to climb up and wash her hands by herself. It is easy to forget the small things that are going well :)
    We are moving next month, and I can’t wait to see how my kitchen can be arranged to facilitate independent child help!

  23. Kristin February 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Some wise mama told me about this idea too. My glasses aren’t down low, though, for some reason! Not sure why. :) Maybe I’ll have to remedy that!

  24. Joy Y. February 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Wonderful ideas, Lindsay. I love how you started with mentioning bringing all of our concerns to the Lord. Little and big. I posted about how the Lord guided me with my 4 yr. old daughter this week….http://vimandvigor.typepad.com/vim-and-vigor/2012/02/my-entry.html .

    God is so faithful, and cares so much for even the smallest of details in our lives. What a wonderful God we serve!

    Thank you for your words today! These are things I mean to implement here, too.

    Blessings in your coming week,

    Joy~