Top Ten Ways to Make the School Year Smooth

  1. Easy dinners – I love making fresh, healthy meals. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that a homemade meal–even if it’s quick and easy–is much healthier than ordering pizza every night. I try to follow the rule that I can only make one “complex” dish per night. For example, if we’re having burgers (easy), I can make frozen green beans (easy) and couscous and black bean salad (more time consuming).
  2. Pizza once a week – I’m going to budget to order pizza once a week. We have church plans on two weeknights, and I tutor after school one of those days. I don’t have time to cook and clean up afterwards. In the past, I would have cooked at home anyways and been depressed about how messy my kitchen was for 80% of the week. No more! Besides, I am very popular around here when I order pizza.
  3. Date Night – We used to cram date night into a week night, and then I’d want to eat out again on Friday because I was so exhausted after a long work week. We’ve moved date night to Friday night, and now I have something to look forward to all week!
  4. Delegating – With pizza night and date night out of the way, I’ll only cook on three week nights. We’ve made an arrangement that Dexter and Luke (our renter) will each do all the dishes once a week, so I’ll only do dishes one night a week! Luke and our future second renter will also clean the upstairs bathroom–so all I have to clean is a half bath.
  5. Decluttering – We’ve worked hard this summer to get rid of a lot of stuff. We’ve even give away the now-empty plastic totes we stored our junk in so we’re not tempted to re-fill the empty spaces. Having fewer possessions means I have fewer responsibilities. We’re not finished yet, but I can already feel the weight lifted from my shoulders!
  6. Waking up on time – Even though we’re almost 26 and have been married for 5 years, Dexter and I are awful about waking up on time. No amount of morning misery has been able to convince us to just get out of bed when the alarm goes off. We’ve instituted an extrinsic reward system to pry us off our buns in the morning: our Friday night date budget hinges on our waking up on time. For every week day we wake up at the designated time, $5 goes in the date night fund. Needless to say, I had a very productive morning today!
  7. Prep the night before – I am notorious for saying, “I’ll do it in the morning.” This is a dangerous thing for a person who can’t wake up to say. (See #6) From now on, I’m making lunches, getting my bag ready, and even picking out my clothes the night before. No more stressful mornings for me!
  8. Family calendar – Dexter and I will have two friends renting rooms in our house this fall. With four adults sharing our home, and three adults eating together, it’s important to know who is going to be where, when. Instead of making an ever-effective “mental note,” we got a big family calendar with plenty of room to write. I think I use it the most, and even if no one else touches it all year, it’s taking away my burden to remember everything all the time.
  9. Saying no – I’m trying to realize that there are some things I won’t be able to do as much as I’d like, and some things I won’t be able to do at all. I haven’t run for a couple of weeks because of school activities (and I didn’t run for a couple of weeks before that). I’d like to keep running, but it may not be four times a week like it was in the past. And I’m deciding to be okay with that.
  10. Having ONE priority – We often talk about our “priorities,” but only one priority can be at the top of the list. I’m making an extra effort to keep my relationship with God at the top of my list at the expense of a clean house, of time to run, and of time to blog.

I’m linking up with OhAmanda’s Top Ten Tuesday.

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