A Simple Start Tips

We're asking you the question "What simplifies your life?" Share your tips and tricks on making life a little more simple. Tim and Pam will select 10 tips and the submitter will receive one of 10 great prizes! Share your tip here or view the others below.

Here are the tips we've received:

Smooth Mornings

Category: Parenting

My son is not a morning person so before he goes to bed he has to to pick out his clothes, what he wants for breakfast and we make his lunch the night before. The allows him more time to sleep in the morning. Also, then we are not having to wait for him to "pick" everything. We know it is ready to go in the morning. Also, I am trying to get myself ready for work the next day so I pick out my clothes as well so I am not standing in the closet trying to figure out what to wear. It just makes the mornings run so much smoother.

Starting the Day with Prayer

Category: Faith

Very simply, I start my day with "Lord, I place myself in your hands this day, please guide my words, deeds, and actions to best serve you" Then I let God "do his thing". When I do this, my day just seems to go by so smoothly. Then at the end of the day I thank the Lord for the blessings of this day and again say "I place myself in your hands this night"

Coffee Ice Cubes

Category: Other

This might not make life EASIER, per-say, but it sure helps make it more tolerable. I'm a fan of iced coffee drinks. However, iced drinks never fail to also make them watery ones. I also have the knack of making too much coffee and just having a small amount left over. The solution? Pour the rest into an ice cube tray. Then, when you need ice for your coffee- whether it's an iced drink or a quick cool down- you can use the coffee ice and not risk the integrity of your drink.

Ice on Windshield

Category: Other

When there is a threat of ice or snow and I know my car will be outside during that time, I put my windshield cover on right away. It's a fabric cover that gets closed into the doors to hold it in place. I got it at Wal-Mart for about $7 and it is WELL WORTH the money and couple of seconds it takes to put it on! When all others are hacking away at 1/4" thick ice on their windshields, I just start my car, scrape the side windows and "shoosh" it off of the cover and I'm good to go!

Less Fighting

Category: Parenting

When my kids were little they would constantly fight over who got to sit in the back seat of the van. Tired of trying to remember who sat where last and how many times, etc., I devised a simple rule: If today's date was an odd number, my oldest got to have the back seat, and if it was an even number, my youngest did. They never had a conflict about this again. I applied this rule to other things as well- mixing it up since there are more odd than even days. I know this only works with two kids, but hope the principle will inspire other ideas. Less fighting = happy mom!

Google Calendar

Category: Organization

My husband and I are organized almost to a fault sometimes! We utilize Google Calendar. Each family member (there are 5 of us in all) has their own calendar, plus a calendar for the entire family, menus, holidays and anything extra that we need to keep track of. For instance, we are the middle school youth leaders and we have a specific calendar for that. Each calendar is color coded. We have these calendars set up so that Google will text us reminders on our phone of upcoming events. You can set how many minutes before the event you would like to be reminded!

Chores Each Day

Category: Housekeeping

I'm a single mom with one teenaged son. I work 2 jobs, and often feel like it's 3 when I come home and cook, clean and do laundry. My son helps out some, but not as much as I wish. Our home is never spic-n-span clean, but he and I choose a room a day to attend to, but dishes done everyday. Chores get done and quality time with my 16year old.

Purge

Category: Organization

My goal is to get rid of the things I do need such as clothes I have not worn in a year and drawers full of papers and junk that I do not use. This is my year to purge. I want to lose weight by purging the junk food and simplify my home by purging the junk drawers!

Pre-made Snacks

Category: Meals

When I go grocery shopping instead of buying the pre-packaged snack stuff for lunch I will buy say a bag/box of cookies and when I get home I put a set number of cookies into snack bags. It also helps to cut down on the partial box/bags of things open...this works for larger bags of chips, gold fish crackers and such. I then have two larger totes one for healthy snacks and one for cookies and such. I put all of those pre-made snack bags into the larger totes and then tell the kids to pick two snacks from each of the totes for their lunch. Makes mornings go smoother.

Lights Off

Category: Parenting

This is something which made life easier in the long run, but may not see instant results. When I was growing up we had a period of time where we had to put 25 cents in a jar if we left a room and forgot to turn the light off. For every time the parents caught us turning a light off we would get 5 cents back. It works with smaller amounts as well like 5 or 10 cents if you forget and a penny if you remember. That money usually piled up and went towards things which us kids would use or play with. So, there was a positive reward for forgetting the lights in the end, but it taught us always to think about the light switch before leaving a room. Now it is so second nature that lights get turned out while people are still in the room!