Routines can be what hold our life together. Many of us might resist the idea of routine because it seems boring to do the same thing day in and day out, however routine can add stability and predictability to our life.


Female worker wearing a toolbelt work apron for tools

Through this series of blog posts I am going to help you to continue to assemble your “Life Tool Box.” The toolbox will be filled with lots of simple living skills. When you are having a rough time in your life, just look in the Life Tool Box and find the best skill to help you that day.

Each week I’ll continue to choose one common home improvement tool to represent one of these life skills. By the end of each blog post, you’ll understand exactly why you need that tool and how you can use it to improve your daily life.


When you have stressful days, it’s possible that some of that emotional pain is avoidable. Routines can make all the difference between a smooth day and a bumpy one. What they do is provide us an anchoring point from which to view the rest of the day.

This is where today’s tool comes in: Masking Tape.

Think of how daily organizational routines hold your whole day together from beginning to end – it is almost like an “auto-pilot” along side of you. Each habit takes a short amount of time and has a big payoff. When you stick to these good habits, you’ll avoid a lot of unnecessary stress.

  • Getting Ready for Your Day

Your “morning” routine actually starts the night before. Sticking to a solid bedtime routine will make your mornings much simpler. You’ll have fewer decisions to make and you’ll have time for unexpected setbacks. Here are a few easy ideas to start with – these may seem obvious to you but in our busy daily schedules they can often become derailed.

  • Get your clothes ready. If you need anything steamed, freshened up, or realize something needs repair, you’ve saved yourself a lot of panic and indecision when the morning minutes tick by.
  • Get your food ready. Think of any snacks you take to work, lunches to prepare for your family, or a lunch date you have planned. Remembering this in advance keeps the kitchen chaos to a minimum when you’re trying to get out the door.
  • Get ready for sleep. Make sure your morning is smooth by getting enough shut-eye the night before. Set your mind at ease by preparing for the next day and shutting everything down at a decent hour. You’ll wake up more easily and will feel much more prepared for the new day.
  • Keeping Clutter at Bay

Do you have a cluttered-up “pile of doom” in your basement or spare bedroom? Have a closet you just can’t seem to manage? First, it’s important to recognize that it didn’t get that way in just one day. Just take it one small bite one day at a time and you’ll prevent burnout. Small regular decluttering habits can help you manage the messes you have and prevent the ones you don’t want to get.

Chances are, you have a counter top or a room corner that collects clutter in a hurry. Bills, papers from school, magazines, shoes and before you can blink you have a tiny disaster. Spend a couple of minutes every day to take care of those things. File that paper, put the new magazine where it goes, or get the shoes back in the closet. Don’t let those items grow roots in the wrong place.

Yes – this can be hard unless you get the whole family involved. Making a game of it can add an element of fun as you make great strides. Adding a 10 minute declutter race to the family routine can have positive results in keeping your life held together.


  • Pull Away, Recenter and Declutter your mind

One important routine to solidify in your life is one of self-care.  As busy and crazy as your life gets it is critical that you take a few minutes a day to check-in with yourself and take stock.  We are great at tending to everyone else’s needs and often neglect our own.

We will often ask people “How are you?” But ….do you ever take time to ask yourself that question?

As part of your daily routine, build in 15 minutes to slow down and give yourself permission to spend the time in quiet reflection. Incorporate the routine of connecting with your inner self each day.

Ask yourself and then listen to your answers:

How are you?

Listen for what you need and then find ways to meet those needs. Remember, your needs as as important as everyone else’s.


These daily routines are like masking tape – when you stick to them, they’ll help you keep your life together each day. Tell me and the other readers. What are your most helpful routines? What habits do you stick with to make life more manageable?


Project111-150x150Dr. Ines K. Roe has been helping women in transition rediscover themselves for over 20 years. If you’ve been feeling unfulfilled, are frustrated with your sense of accomplishment in midlife, or simply need guidance on your path to holistic well being, consider her ecourses.