Life

Small Ways To Improve Life

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I recently read this NY Times article about 5 Cheap(ish) Things You Can Do To Improve Your Life and was inspired to list out some of my own goodies and habits that have improved my life. Some of these are things, some of these are habits…writing these out, I realized how helpful each of these have been and was greedy to learn more. So please share yours as well!

A small sampling of my pouch collection!

Clear storage boxes. I have a ton of these Sterlites, in a bunch of different sizes. Yes I believe in Marie Kondo but even after seeking joy in each of my rooms I still have a lot of stuff in storage. Clear boxes make stuff SO much easier to find, are overall neater, and its so much better for my mental health to have things sorted. Whenever I go to Target, I used to never leave without some cosmetics goodie…now I am proud to say, I usually leave with some kind of storage.

I put a large glass of water by my bed each night. I’m always super thirsty in the morning, and even when I’m not, I always find I’m happy to down an entire glass in the AM (thus bringing me closer to my eight glasses per day water goal). Even my husband, who isn’t really a water drinker, has adapted this habit.

Speaking of water, we largely use these Duralex glass tumblers in our home and love them.

I get Munchery for dinner for the family at least once a week (shameless referral link here). Replace with DoorDash, Seamless, etc as you see fit. Also for those with kids: pay for a sitter to stay through the dinner/bedtime rush once a week on a weekday. We either go to a restaurant with our son while she watches the baby, or she helps out while we eat dinner at home.

I have a bunch of little pouches (mine range from Target to Hermes, and this Madewell is a nice and affordable option) and stick at least a $40 bill inside and have them in all of my bags. Anyone with kids knows that you have a zillion different bags and totes and backpacks (or is this only me)? and I started doing this after realizing that I had left my wallet in another bag when already out and having ordered a coffee. On that topic…

Packing cubes. I know I already wrote about these in an earlier post but I have to reiterate my love. I have three sets of these. I use them not only for travel (I have a favorite travel tips post coming up) but for packing diaper bags, etc.

I take a daily walk. A lot of the times it’s with one of the kids, but forcing myself to walk everyday has been so great for my daily sanity. It forces me to get some fresh air, to get what (I believe, at least) is a modicum of exercise, and often after the walk I realize some problem or open question I’ve been pondering has been solved by my subconscious.

What are some of the cheap/small things you do to improve your everyday life?

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Mandy
    February 5, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Love this post! Could you provide details about the black pouch in the photo? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Katherine
      February 6, 2018 at 8:22 pm

      Thanks Mandy! It’s old Sophie Hulme 🙂

  • Reply
    Anna
    February 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Kat – thanks for this thread. Love it! I keep two big bottles of warm water by the bed at night, an absolute necessity for a breastfeeding mother :p And totally agree with the habit of taking a walk every day! I take hubby and baby with me – quality family time! Just wishing the weather here in nova is as nice as in Bay Area! Another thing I do is taking at least one photo/video per day of the kid every day. Now looking back I am so happy I did! One other thing I do is 20 minutes of Pilates before bed. It helps me sleep so much better even with nighttime feedings. And it does miracles to back pain!

    • Reply
      Katherine
      February 6, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Love the photo idea and the Pilates. You’ve got this mama thing down! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jess
    February 5, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Great suggestions! I’m going to try the bedside water, it’s a great idea.
    One little thing I’ve done is set up a nightlight on a timer. That way, no stumbling around in the dark in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom, or on the way to get (more) water 🙂
    Another thing is getting a bluetooth adaptor for my car, so that my phone connects to the car speaker. Handsfree is the way to go! Making phone calls / listening to podcasts is the best way to use driving time more efficiently.

    • Reply
      Katherine
      February 6, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Yes on the bluetooth! I get all befuddled when it sometimes unpairs. Such a convenience.

  • Reply
    sbrnyc752
    February 6, 2018 at 7:05 am

    I keep a pair of gloves in every single coat pocket. It was the first big *splurge* I made when I took a promotion a few years ago and it’s been life changing. I never have cold hands! I also created a permanently stocked travel toiletry bag. It never gets unpacked and items get refilled/sharpened/replaced etc as soon as I get home from a list made in the hotel the night before I leave. I never have to think about packing toiletries, totally worth the investment of buying a set of makeup/skincare doubles.

  • Reply
    A
    February 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Great post – my fav are the wireless headphones I got as a gift. Never thought I needed them but use them everyday for music and podcasts.

  • Reply
    Wendy/www.wannabeliz.com
    February 6, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    I try to be organized and wake up and get up early so I can accomplish household tasks before I go to work. If I do what I have to do (w/ out whining Hopefully!), the morning goes smoothly. And I’m not stressing!
    Stress is a killer! Not stressing improves my quality of life!

  • Reply
    bisbee
    February 7, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Love the suggestions, even though I am far beyond the young children stage of life (even my grandchildren are older already)! But…I think you meant a $20 bill! 😜

  • Reply
    J.
    February 7, 2018 at 8:07 am

    I love these suggestions, especially keeping water by the bed and extra pairs of gloves! I have two suggestions that have made a big difference for me. First, I always have tried to have help around the house. It was the only marriage advice that my mother gave me. Her advice as that no one likes to clean, so always have a cleaning lady if you can. And she was right! Now, I have help with cleaning, laundry and organzing a few times a week. The second suggestion is to try to set time aside (a few minutes a day) to organize your daily/weekly/monthly calendar. I also use my written journal it to keep track of ideas, plans, spending, shopping, information about the kids. I go through it with a cup of tea and it helps decrease stress.

  • Reply
    NSB
    February 7, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    As a new mom, I switched my wallet to a cle pochette by Louis Vuitton. It’s roomy enough to hold all my cards, has a zip to hold coins, and has, of course, the keychain. That and my cellphone, and I’m out the door.

  • Reply
    Linda
    February 13, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    I love this post! I try to have a place for everything– a hook for my purse and keys, my sunglasses in the car, but I switch my purses too and travel a lot, so…A keychain that lets me clip my keys to my purse (or water bottle at the gym) has been super helpful. As well as Tiles which are blue tooth enabled so you can use your phone to find things. I have them in my wallet, on my keys, in my agenda. And if I can’t find my phone…my Apple Watch can ping it!
    I’m going to keep water by my bedside tonight, but I’ll put it in a water bottle!

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