There are only 24 hours in every day no matter how we wish for more hours to squeeze in everything that needs to be accomplished. We can’t make more hours, but we can make the most of those hours. When life gets busy, I desperately look for more ways to simplify. What can we streamline? What can we let go of for a season? What can we put on auto-pilot?
Currently I am in a busy season of life, so I have been searching for more household tasks that we can automate to simplify our life a bit more. These things are normal duties that have to get done in order for our home to run smoothly, but instead of spending a lot of time on them, I’ve automated them, so they continue to happen without me putting in the work to make them happen. Sweet, right?
6 Tasks to Automate to simplify life
For a while now I’ve been using Green Bean Delivery (referral link), which delivers my groceries to me every Friday. You can choose your groceries every week online and they get delivered in green insulated crates on your doorstep. No more driving to the store, spending an hour to shop, wrangling small children, or impulse purchases. You can make your meal plan and shop online all in about 20-30 minutes. It does cost a bit more than what I was spending, but I have still been able to spend less than $100/week and find the convenience worth it. If you don’t have a delivery service like this available in your area, check with your local grocery stores. Many are offering these services, where you can shop online and pick up your groceries curbside. The time saved is pretty amazing.
So we’ve automated food, but what about our household supplies like toilet paper, dish detergent, and trash bags? Amazon subscribe and save is such a great option for this. You can subscribe to as many items on their approved list and get them delivered however often you would like to receive them. So if you want dish detergent every month, you would simply change the appropriate settings and would find dish detergent on your doorstep every single month. The great thing about this option, besides the convenience, is that there is usually a significant cost savings to this. It’s called “Subscribe and Save” for a reason.
Yes I’ve even automated my clothes shopping. I am just not a shopper. I would rather spend my weekends participating in a fun activity with my family rather than hours in a mall. It’s just not my thing. For over a year now, I have been a member of Stitch Fix.(referral link) It’s an online personal stylist company, that sends you a fun box of five articles of clothing. You can keep what you wish and send the rest back. If you like all five pieces, you receive a discount. So far I have had very good luck with Stitch Fix. I have kept several pairs of pants, several tops, a scarf, a cute dress, a necklace, and a white jacket. I know others have not had such a great experience, but Stitch Fix is not the only clothing subscription service on the market. Golden Tote, Le Tote, Trunk Club, Thread Up(Consignment/Thrift clothing) are just a few more options that are available if you don’t dig Stitch Fix.
This is not a new idea, but it is one that I really like. Instead of having to manually pay all of your bills every single month, see if many of them can be automated through your bank so that they get automatically withdrawn from your account when they are due. You can not be completely hands off though with this option, since computers sometimes glitch. You want to keep an eye out for double withdraws, incorrect amount, etc. Also if you are on a tight budget and in danger of overdraft, this would not be an option you would want to explore since you would be faced with extra fees if you accidentally overdraw.
Cleaning can’t be put on complete autopilot, but you can put it on semi-autopilot. First, I recommend everyone sticking to daily routines that you do every single day to keep the home running efficiently. My daily quick run of chores are making the bed, unloading and loading the dishwasher, one load of laundry, quick sweep, and 15 minute tidy.
Secondly, if you want to be more hands-off, consider hiring someone to clean your home for you. It’s not in everyone’s budget, but it can be a huge sanity saver for those that can afford it. You have to keep a tidy home on your own, but a housekeeper can come in to do the more in depth cleaning, such as bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, etc.
If you don’t want to hire a professional cleaner, you can purchase automatic floor cleaners to keep those floors clean, like the roomba. They are not cheap products, but they are so handy for keeping the floors free of pet hair, dirt and crumbs. You might need to get a special vacuum if you do have pets, as the mess they make can be particularly stubborn and takes something a bit more powerful to clean it. Take a look at some of the reviews on https://allgreatvacuums.com for some ideas of models that would do the trick.
If meal planning seems too daunting to you and is just taking you way too long to do, consider automating that as well. This is one that I do not automate because writing them is part of my job, but I thought I would still throw this one in here to help others. There are many meal plan subscriptions out there that will send weekly meal plans directly to your inbox for a fee. Some can be pricey, but they can be very convenient to have everything already done for you.
I write frugal meal plans every month for those that want to eat well while still staying within a reasonable budget. You can use the free meal plan that I post monthly, or you can purchase the recipes, meal plans, prep notes, calendar, and grocery list already made for you for $3.99. I have two already available for you: September and October frugal meal plans.