Living simply is important to me. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t do it. I have four kids, two in school, two in sports, two who are two, my husband and I both work from home, we have busy schedules and we are never, ever still. Simplicity isn’t always present in our lives, but we have found some ways to simplify our crazy lives and make them easier to manage. I’ll be quite honest; since my husband began working from home at the beginning of the month, we’ve had to make some adjustments. Fortunately for us, we all had to adjust to a new schedule being that he began working from home at the same time the two big girls went back to school.
Since we were all adjusting to a new schedule, it went quite well. By week two, we had it down pat. Now we are almost finished with our second week of our new schedule and working seamlessly with our new schedule, we are learning how to make the details a little bit simpler. What works for us is anything that makes the day easier, faster and less stressful. It’s not always easy with 2-year-old twins at home, but we have it down pretty well.
It’s not always easy for people to simplify their lives, but we have some tips that might make it a bit easier for you to make it a more present part of your life. When the day starts off on a good note, a simpler note, everyone is a little bit happier.
Prep the night before
Simple to me is getting up in the morning and finding that everything is ready for me, prepared and all I have to do is make it/put it on/do it, it’s so much simpler. Life is so simple when you take five minutes the night before you go to bed to pick out clothes, steam them, get your bag ready, prep your coffee items in the morning and do anything that makes the morning simpler. I promise you, it’s so much nicer.
Keep your car clean
It might not be something that you consider simple, but it’s going to make your life simpler. I make it a habit to spend 2 minutes when I get home every afternoon running the handheld vacuum over the floors in the back seat to clean up any crumbs that our kids might leave behind. It’s less than two minutes of my life, but getting into a clean car every single time I have to leave makes me feel good – messiness makes me crazy.
Straighten up before you leave
I make it a habit to straighten up my house every morning before we leave for school so I can come home to a clean house. I can’t leave a mess behind or I feel overly anxious and crazed. When you live in a neat environment, it simplifies life by giving you less to stress about, worry about and think about throughout the day.
I don’t meal plan. I can’t; I never know what I want or when I want it. Instead, we choose to have simple meals throughout the week that are made mostly of all the same things (Boneless chicken, vegetables, spices, whatever) and we make them differently each time. Everything is healthy. We don’t really do sides other than veggies – one cooked and one salad – and we make sure that cleanup and prep takes less than 45 minutes total with cook time. It makes life so much simpler.
I have an obsession with immediately wondering how functional something is in our lives. I love designer handbags, but I want them to go with every single thing that I own. I love designer shoes, but I want them to go with every single thing that I own. To me, life is so much simpler when your choices are functional and classic. For instance, I prefer all my shoes to be either camel/cognac or black. Neutrals are functional to me, and it makes my mornings so much more enjoyable.
Get rid of clutter
Today I realized that my 5-year-old daughter’s bathroom is a mess. I mean, it’s always a mess until I clean it up after she’s gone in the morning and again before bed. It’s not that there are clothes on the floor or anything like that; she just manages to get soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and body wash on pretty much every single thing. The hand towels, the mirror, the floor, her stool, the toilet, the shower, the floor, the rug; if it’s there, it’s not safe from her when she’s getting ready.
This morning I realized that each of the six deep drawers she has in her vanity is each filled with toys, and there was toothpaste spilled in one of the shallow drawers. I was running late getting the girls to school and I couldn’t stop thinking about the clutter I’d just found. I came home ready to tackle it and get it off my mind because it was stressing me out only to find out my husband did it for me – because he knows I’m crazy – and I felt instantly better.
Being orderly and lacking clutter has this amazing way of clearing your mind and brain and causing you to feel more relaxed. I like the idea of simplifying life by taking away the clutter and the mess; and I recommend you do the same.
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