over the last several years of living in new york city with our three kids, josh and i have tried to find ways to simplify our crazy life and schedules so we can get the most out of our experience here. we’ve also worked hard to find efficient ways to stay on top of living in a 2 bedroom city apartment for our family. i’ve shared a few tips in this area before when i shared our apartment tour in this post, but it’s a challenge we’ve accepted and honestly have found great joy in tackling (for the most part).
we are always looking for new and improved ways to make life easier. we are both still too fond of urban living to give it up just yet, and honestly there are so many genius problem solvers out there who are working hard to make urban living easier, it’s amazing to think how far we’ve come in just the last couple of years with all of this.
amazon prime pantry recently reached out to see if we’d like to give their service a try. while we are amazon prime members and use the service consistently, pretty much every week throughout the year (if not multiple times each week!), this was the first time we had tried the amazon prime pantry service, and we were excited about discovering a new way to help our experience as city dwellers feel easier and more convenient.
for those who might not know, amazon prime pantry is an exclusive feature of amazon prime, where prime members can shop for groceries and household items and now can also receive free delivery by including “five qualifying items” (there’s hundreds to choose from) in your cart. then your order will ship for free all in one box up to 45 pounds.
what i especially loved about using it for the first time this past month is that i can buy every day sizes and items at a great price, as opposed to bulk sizes, since i don’t have space in our apartment to store many items bought in bulk.
in celebration of finding a new way to simplify life over here, i thought i’d share a few other things josh and i have found helpful to simplify our life and get the most out of our everyday when it comes to routines and apartment living.
1- KEEP AND SHARE A FAMILY CALENDAR:
ever since we started working full time together from home, we’ve had to find a way to really stay on top of our schedule, our work, and our kids, since it’s just the two of us and we don’t have any employees and also try to only have a sitter for a little bit of time each week. i think we do a pretty great job of tag-teaming it, where one of us works while the other is with the kids, throughout the day. what has helped us the most here, is sharing a synced calendar where we literally write down everything. from our calls, work deadlines, to do list reminders, dates, and workouts to the kids’ playdates, outings, school and lesson schedules. everything is color coded based on if it’s for work or the kids or just our family. it has saved us and helped us get the most out of our days the past few years.
2- MAKE SHOPPING LISTS WHERE EVERYONE CAN USE THEM:
since we do a pretty good job of tag-teaming it when it comes to all things the kids, the kitchen, our work, you name it, we keep an on-going list of things we’re running low on right by the kitchen on the top of the kids chalk board wall (where they can’t really reach to color!) is it just me, or do you also think of things you need at completely random times all throughout the day?! josh and i make a point to jot it down on the wall as soon as we think of it. since we make several smaller orders through the week for household items and groceries in the name of having a small space and refrigerator. this way, whoever has a minute and is about to place an order can then check the chalkboard wall to save time. this step has really helped us stay on top of our apartment and also a fully stocked kitchen while being in a smaller space.
3- FEWER ERRANDS = MORE TIME FOR YOU:
we have found getting as much delivered as possible is really helpful. so finding services like amazon prime pantry has also been huge. for me, it makes life so much more convenient to not have to travel to a store, roam the aisles trying to find something specific and then haul it all home. i can still find the specific products i want at a great value all from my iphone or computer at home and have it delivered.
AND, this last photo is hilariously silly, but when you can simplify your life, you can add in ten minutes here or twenty minutes there back into your day and for me, i’ve been making a goal to use that time to finish all the books i have started this year (and in past years) and only gotten a few chapters into. (is it so embarrassing that i have started all of these books and have not finished them?!) having ten or twenty minutes for a hobby each day is huge for me as a busy mom who has a lot going on. we figure even if it is 5 or 10 minutes each way to the store a few times each week, that can quickly add up to an extra hour at the end of each week to do something much more fulfilling and meaningful!