06/14/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

5 Ways To Simplify Your Family Life

If there's one universal truth in becoming a parent -- and there may be only one universal truth in becoming a parent -- it's that life instantly becomes more complex. And stays that way.

The constancy of this battle against chaos struck me recently on the drive to school. From my first moments awake I had been struggling: urging the kids to eat and get dressed, making breakfasts and lunches, packing backpacks. I had decided to save time by not dressing myself, but we were late anyway. We missed the car-pool dropoff and I had to conduct the Walk of Shame: taking my kids to their classrooms in my jammies.

Driving home, I could sense the clock ticking down to the time when I would be late to pick them up. It was time for drastic measures. What if I, for once, followed all that "simplify your life" advice we hear? I decided to do a little experiment and try five techniques that are supposed to make life saner.

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