Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Five Areas I Am Simplifying In My Life

I am craving simplicity in my life right now. Having five children eight and under will do that. It seems life is all about moving from one season to the next and finding a "new normal" and finding a new normal is always easier if your life is simpler. Here are the top five areas I am seeking to simplify.

#1 Wardrobe: Have you heard of the "10 rule"? It's where you have only 10 shirts/blouses, 10 bottoms (skirts and/or jeans) and 10 winter tops. May still seem like a lot to some of you... but not to this "clothes hoarder"! :) The other issue with clothes for me is the season of childbearing years. My weight fluctuates within a 50 lb range so it's hard for me to get rid of clothes knowing that I might need them some day. Either way, I am seeking to implement the "10 rule". 

#2 Schedule/Commitments: When Scott and I first moved to WA I wanted to be involved in and head up everything! Now I am barely involved in anything. My only consistent commitment, outside the home, is to be the nursery coordinator for church. I also plan a ladies' conference once a year and that's pretty much it. I am not in a season right now that enables me to be involved in many things and that's okay. My main objective in life is to serve Christ and I serve Him best right now by serving my husband and children. Here is a simple sample of our average daily schedule.  Another way to simplify my life/schedule is to make as few trips "into town" as possible. I do much of my shopping online through amazon.com and safeway.com (you can get free delivery and better prices by shopping online!... I am thinking of doing a separate post just on how to safe the most possible on safeway.com and get your groceries delivered to your door AND get a big gas discount!)

#3 Meal Planning: One friend of mine recommended that I ask my husband which two areas in my stay at home endeavors were most important to him. He said: house cleaning and homeschooling. Meal planning came in last. So our meals are very simple. Cereal, toast or oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch is almost always "homemade lunchables" (just grab a variety of crackers, lunch meats and cheese and put on fun tray) or sandwiches with a choice of fruit. And dinner is either: tacos, homemade pizza, homemade almond flour pancakes, pasta with veggies, quesadillas, or soup/chili with homemade bread. (I also throw in a "ninja smoothie" with at least one meal a day which consists of frozen fruit, mixed greens and water). Simple but yummy and pretty healthy. If your husband just wants his favorites made consistently and on time consider writing down his favorites and then picking a day of the week that corresponds with each meal: "Taco Tuesday", "Lasagna Wednesday", "Chili Thursday" etc. 

#4 Homeschooling: I have chosen ACE. It was tempting to keep looking and looking at all of the bajillion choices out there but we are happy with ACE and I love that we just set the workbooks out for each child in the morning and they get to work. So much easier than making all those lesson plans for all sorts of curriculum! The kids do about four pages a day and I supplement with extra reading and geography workbooks. They are each on time or ahead of their grade level. We usually do our homeschooling in the morning right after breakfast and finish by noon. 

#5 Stuff: De-cluttering your life is the quickest and most efficient way to simplify your life! Click here to read a post I did a while back on decluttering our toys (often one of the main culprits in messiness in homes with lots of littles). I think that I throw away between 5-10 things DAILY. Clutter makes messes and complicates our lives and if you're anything like me, stress us out! So grab a few garbage bags and run around your home right now and grab whatever is not useful or beautiful and toss it or bring it to salvation army and let it clutter someone else's home :)

How about you? What are some ways you are seeking to simplify your life? Share in the comments below.