I recently read an article on a fellow blog site about 5 ways she keeps her life simple. I loved it so much I felt compelled to share it to Facebook You can read it at countrylifeexperiment.com. It really got me thinking. I do lots of little things that make my life much less stressful and laid back. I also weed out things I deem unnecessary which frees up more time to spend with my family and less time running around doing “necessities”. I wanted to share some of them.
Here are 10 things I don’t do that make my life simpler:
- Sort my laundry
This drives my mother crazy. But I stopped sorting my laundry years ago. If I get a new piece of clothing that I think will run. I will occasionally wash it with like colors the first few times, But after that. Forget it. I do big loads of laundry. It conserves time, energy and water. Contrary to popular belief you cannot tell by looking at my clothes that I don’t sort them to wash them. So why bother taking the time to do?
First of all, I do not have a job that I need to wear a suit. I sit on the floor all day with autistic preschoolers, I work on my farm, and my kids are kids, there clothes get wrinkled in 5 minutes anyways. My husband irons his uniforms for work, but that is about it. The iron in our house is mainly for crafts.
- Worry about matching socks
I had an epiphany a few years ago while walking through downtown Disney! There was a shop there that sold all single socks, so you can mix and match. Seriously…. Why am I spending time trying to match up a pile of socks from the dryer when they sell them miss matched? Plus one always gets lost along the laundry way! So I just stopped doing it. All the socks in the laundry basket get sorted into piles by who they belong to. They get put away in each persons to drawer that way. Then If my kids want matching socks they can find a match, but mostly they don’t care. White socks go with white socks and in Michaela’s case she tries to mismatch fun socks to go with her outfits. I wear jeans or pants most f the tie so you can’t see my socks anyways.
- Buying lots of clothes
I love it when my kids wore uniforms to school. It made life a lot easier. But this past year they changed schools and no more uniforms. We went out and bought a bunch of new school clothes. Guess what they still pick out the same outfits over and over again. They have their favorites and that is it. I too have my favorite jeans and shirts that I wear the most often. So I have cut back on the amount of clothing I buy the kids. They have enough to make it through about two weeks if I can’t get laundry done each week and that is it. It saves money and cuts down on cluttering up their closets and drawers with things they never wear. Same with shoes. I love finding shoes on clearance for the kids. At one point Sean has like 5 pairs of sneakers. But he only ever wore one of them, So why buy shoes they don’t wear. They each have a pair of sneakers and a pair of boots. In the summer they have a pair of sandals. Again cuts down on cost and on clutter around the house.Now if I could just get my husband to cut back on his she collection I would be happy!
- Buying lots of toys
My kids might be weird, but they just don’t play with toys. I keep slowly getting rid of stuff they never use and guess what they have not a whole lot left. So what do my kids do instead of toys? They play, with each other. They love to play make believe games, they ride their bikes, they play board games, they build forts in the woods. They read books and draw pictures. Both of them love to paint and to help us with projects on the farm or help us bake or cook. So I I just stopped buying them toys. It helps that we don’t have cable because they a are not brain washed by commercials. They don’t know what they are missing and they are happy. So why waste money on toys that just sit on the shelf.
- Having more than one TV (or even cable)
We don’t watch a lot of TV. But at night after dinner is our family TV time. By only having one TV it turns TV veg time into family time. We snuggle. We laugh. We talk about the shows we are watching. If we had multiple TV we could easily all sit in separate rooms and zone out. Another perk is learning to compromise. We have to all agree on what to watch. It has been a great learning experience. We can monitor what the kids are watching and since we do Netflix, not cable or Dish TV, there are no commercials for toys or inappropriate things like erectile dysfunction. Try explaining that one to your eight-year-old.
- Entertaining my kids
I don’t spend a lot of time planning activities for my kids. I surround them with things to explore and let them find their own interests. We have tons of books, crafts, we have a whole farm and eighty acres of land and pond. My kids are great at finding things to keep them busy. They love to “help” with cooking and projects. It’s a great way to spend time together and help them learn at the same time.
- Tons of extracurricular activities
I see some any families that are running around every night to dance, piano, sports, art lessons, etc. Dinners are rushed, home work is rushed and everyone is tired. Plus it really cuts into time spend just hanging out as a family. I don’t discourage my kids from activities but I try to limit it to one or two nights a week. It is a good balance between enrichment and family time.
- Fundraisers for school
This sounds Bad, but those commercial fundraiser flyers go right in the trash. I refuse to spend time trying to sell cheap stuff to all my friend and relatives, who are trying to sell their own kids cheap stuff. The schools get no a whole lot from the product sales and I hate doing it. So I just don’t. I support the school in other ways. I bake for bake sales, I donate to basket raffles, I volunteer for family fun nights. I donate prize box items to the kids teachers. I send in tissues, hand sanitizer and other items for the classrooms. I just don’t sell stuff. Sorry!
- Book too much stuff on the weekends
After running around crazy all week, with both of us working and the kids in school. The last thing I want to do is run around all weekend. I love just spending time together. Sometimes we will go on hikes, or plan a family meal to cook together. We love yard sale shopping, and crafts. I do plan occasional playdates for the kids. But not every weekend. They see a lot more of their friends during the week than they see our family. So I make sure to leave plenty of family time to just chill out and decompress from the busy week.
Here are 5 things that I Do to make my life simpler:
- Installed a laundry shoot
Ok. So I didn’t actually have to install it. It came with the new house, but we have wanted to install one in every house we have ever lived in. It’s fabulous! The kids and ourselves can just throw the dirty clothes down the hole in the bathroom closet and it lands in a big bin right next to the washer in the basement. Fantastic! Cuts down on hamper space, hauling laundry and dirty laundry piling up in the kid’s rooms.
- Teach kids independence
From an early age my son never slept much. He got up at 4 am and wanted breakfast. Now I am usually up at 6 am but 4 is a little early. We would leave cheerios and a juice box on the coffee table and the TV on the cartoon channel. All he had to do was turn it on. At two Sean would eat his own breakfast and wait for us to get up. This has graduated to the kids getting their own breakfast in the morning. They are 8 and 11. The make toast, microwave pancakes, oatmeal and even scrambled eggs. This means I can be feeding the animals, making lunches and getting ready for work while they get themselves breakfast.
- Plan meals ahead of time
Mike and I alternate nights to cook dinner. This means he has nights to work out or do things while I make dinner and vice versa. We plan for the week and I do one shopping on Sunday for dinners, breakfasts, lunches and snacks. That way I am not running into the store three times during a busy week.
- Yumbox lunch box
I am all about saving money but sometimes things are worth the price. The Yumbox lunch box is one of these items. I have tried many different lunch container options. I hate plastic bags and individual chip bags. I want to pack it in reusable containers. But then I am dealing with washing all of the containers and lids each night. The yumbox is one, bento style box, that holds it all. It is a little pricey but I waited and found it half off on amazon. Sometimes groupon has special coupons for them too. Here’s what it is:
I love it because it is easy to pack and easy to wash. I also want to start having the kids pack their own lunches. That way each gets what they want and will eat. I am tired food coming home uneaten and trying to guess what they want. This way here they can just fill each section with a healthy option of their choice and BAM! Done.
- Eat our dinners together as a family every night
This sounds so old fashion. But it is really a multi-tasking tool. We all need to eat and I need to hear about the kid days and what’s going on in everyone’s world. We all sit down the kids tell me about their days and event coming up. It really makes it easy to keep up with a busy family lives and communicate things to each other.