Roundup of My Favorite Tips for Caregivers to Simplify Life
Caregivers have long to do lists. Whether you live with your caree or manage two households, there is a lot to get done. Once you add in work, tasks for your own family and the emotional challenges of caregiving, it can become overwhelming. One of the best ways to reduce caregiver stress and overwhelm is by taking time up front to simplify. Investing the time now will save you loads of time in the future.
If you are struggling to keep everything afloat, the thought of investing time up front can feel overwhelming. That being said, the time you ultimately save will be far more than time you put in to simplify your life. And even better, when you start saving time on general home maintenance tasks, you’ll have more time to spend on caregiver self-care.
Shortcuts and Tips to Simplify Life
Here are some of the best shortcuts and tips for caregivers. You don’t have to do everything at once. Pick one thing to simplify and get your system moving, then start on the next item. Hopefully some of these will help you simplify your life.
*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. Your purchase helps me provide free caregiving advice.
- Get a handle on incoming mail:
One of my biggest annoyances is dealing with the huge pile of mail at the end of the week. To make mail more manageable, try these tips: recycle junk mail before even bringing it into your house, sign up for electronic billing and get off direct mail lists by opting out. This site has tips on opting out of junk mail.
- Shop online:
If you struggle with getting your errands done, consider shopping online. You can do it during your lunch break or from the comfort of your couch. Sometimes, online shopping ends up being cheaper than in-store shopping. If you don’t know what you can buy online, take a look at Amazon. You can purchase groceries through Amazon Prime Now or order things like birthday presents for long-distance family through Amazon Prime. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you don’t have to pay for shipping and you save time by eliminating the need to go to different stores.
- Schedule downtime:
If you have a hard time relaxing at home when it is in disarray or you see all the things that need to be done, try scheduling downtime outside the home. Consider spending an hour at the local park with a book or taking a walk in a new neighborhood. Being away from your home takes you away from your stress, particularly if you live with your caree.
- Get organized:
Again, it sounds counter-intuitive to spend time organizing yourself when you want to simplify life. However, if you have all your ducks in a row, life is just a bit less chaotic.
You won’t forget a medical appointment or to refill a prescription if you have it written in your calendar (provided you check you calendar). Taking time now to get organized will pay off in the long run.
- Have a place for everything:
One of the hardest things to do when you are a busy caregiver is take time to get organized. I don’t mean calendar organized, I mean home organized. When we’re busy, we fall into the trap of just leaving something on a counter to deal with later. The problem is, when we are busy for a long time – like most caregivers – the piles tend to grow and it takes more time to find things or put things away.
Create homes for frequently-used items so that you and others in your home put things away immediately. That way, you don’t have to waste time finding things later. Having clutter free spaces is good for your mental health too so if you can’t clear the clutter all at once, find a way to create a few relaxing spaces.
Do you live with other people? Pass the torch of cooking to one of your loved ones. Do you have other family members who might be able to help with caregiving tasks? Rope them in. They may not have offered to help because they either don’t know what you need or it didn’t occur to them that you need help. Be clear about what needs to get done and help others step up. If you haven’t set up your caregiver network, take time to do that now.
If you are struggling to get everything done, taking time to simplify tasks now can save you a lot of time later. It may take time to set up your system, but I promise, once you do, things will run so much more smoothly.
What are your favorite shortcuts to simplify life?