9 Shortcuts to Embrace Without the Guilt

9 Shortcuts to Embrace Without the Guilt

Stop feeling bad for taking advantage of these sanity-saving solutions.

By Leah Maxwell

The old saying tells us that necessity is the mother of invention, and but for modern women it’s more like, “Being crazy busy is the mother of awesome shortcuts.” Whether you’re forgoing dishes for paper plates or showing up to the bake sale with store-bought brownies, this list will make you feel better about taking the easy way out to save your sanity.

1. Offsite birthday parties. There’s something sweet and classic about throwing a birthday party in your home, but there’s also something wonderful about cutting your stress in half (and maybe actually enjoying yourself!) by hosting it somewhere that has its own cleaning staff. And hear this: The kids don’t want your homemade, organic, gourmet tiramisu cake; get the grocery store sheet cake with the blue frosting and call it a day.

2. Vacuum robots. Feeling guilty about not vacuuming by hand is like feeling guilty about using a dishwasher instead of hand washing everything. Technology is here to help you! Let us all welcome our new electronic overlords!

3. Driving to work. Once upon a time, maybe you had a spare 90 minutes a day to spend languishing on public transportation. These days, that time is more precious and better spent not wedged between strangers’ armpits.

4. Disposable diapers. We’ve all heard cloth diaper evangelists swear their way is better, but let’s face it, we don’t all have the time or energy or desire to wash and dry diapers for years on end. Do what works for you, no shame allowed.

5. Direct flights. Solo air travel is no picnic, and air travel with a group can be a nightmare. Paying extra to avoid the possibility of missed connections, lost bags, and wasted time is almost always worth it.

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6. Store-bought Valentines. Unless you enjoy the process of crafting your own Valentines, cut to the chase and just pick up a box at the store. Real talk: The kids are only in it for the candy.


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7. Foil lining and disposable plastic bags. There’s no award for the person who scrubs the most baked-on food gunk, so go crazy and put foil on pans, use crockpot liners, and mix marinade in disposable plastic bags instead of bowls.

8. Single-serving lunch food. The gooier something is (think yogurt, salad dressing, applesauce, hummus), the better off you are buying the individually packaged version if you’re sending it for lunch. Yes, you’re throwing away more plastic, but consider how much water you’re saving by not having to wash extra dishes plus whatever got leaked on because this stuff always, always, always leaks.

9. Pre-cut butternut squash. If you don’t think a gourd can kill you, you’ve never tried to cut a butternut squash. Buy the cubed version that comes in a plastic container or bag; the life you save could be your own!

What sanity-saving shortcuts would you add to our list?

Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/LL28

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