10 Ways to Simplify Your Life THIS WEEK!

10 Ways To Simplify Your Life

Ready to simplify your life?  Simplifying has changed my life in so many ways. You can read about that change here. By taking small, simple steps, I was on my way to living a simpler, more joy-filled life.

The goal of living simple is to make room for what matters. We want to get rid of the clutter – whether it be in your home, your schedule or your finances. Less clutter = less stress. And as mamas, we need more coffee, not stress. I’m going to go through 10 quick and easy ways you can simplify your life, and they can all be done this week. Here we go! simplifylife.jpg

1. Meal Plan – I used to look at this as a very daunting task with a lot of pressure. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you have a routine in place, it makes meal time so much easier. Just pick a day of the week to do your meal planning, and be consistent. I currently plan our meals (using Plan to Eat) for the week on Sunday, and do our grocery shopping on Monday. This is where Walmart Pickup comes in (side note: Walmart is really stepping up in their organic game). Plan your meals Sunday afternoon, order the groceries online Sunday evening, pick them up on Monday. BOOM! Groceries and meal planning done. Go get yourself a donut or seven. Just make sure you reserve your pickup time at least a day in advance.

2. Automate finances – Anything that can be automated, automate it! Simplifying your finances can go a very long way. I can’t talk about finances without talking about budgeting. Please don’t cringe! Budgets can be tough at times. But y’all, it is so necessary. I’ve probably gone a little overboard in this category (#nerdalert), but if you’re not doing this already, it can be very overwhelming. Luckily, the internet has given us some tools to make it simple. In comes YNAB (You Need A Budget). It’s been our favorite budgeting tool yet. Did you know that on average, new budgeters save $600 by month two and $6,000 their first year? Go get your budget on, friend! Read more about starting a budget here: 5 Steps To Creating A Budget



3. Declutter! – This can also be overwhelming. Let’s focus on what we can do this week. But do not be surprised when this becomes part of your every day. When I jumped on the declutter train, I stayed on it. Some simple things you can declutter inlclude piles of paper, kitchen drawers, or a toy box. Think about what area you normally avoid because it overwhelms you. Go tackle it. You will feel so much better afterwards, and you’ll become a decluttering master in no time. Here are some things you can quickly throw away or donate:

  • old makeup
  • expired medicine
  • unused purses
  • expired food
  • unused craft supplies
  • broken toys
  • toys with lost pieces
  • unused toys
  • books

4. Create a cleaning schedule – Something that has really changed my laundry game is doing one load a day, or every other day. It’s not so overwhelming when it’s only one load you have to fold. The mountains of laundry I’ve climbed in the past still haunt me. Running the dishwasher at night, and unloading it in the morning has also helped simplify my cleaning routine. Another thing to remember is to clean as you go. Make sure everything has a home, and put that item in it’s home, all nice and cozy. I’ve created a daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedule. Fill out the form below and it’ll be e-mailed to you immediately!

[convertkit form=5132542]

5. Get a planner – I finally did it this year, I bought myself the prettiest and most practical planner I could find (thank you Emily Ley). It may sound silly, but I look forward to creating our schedule because of that planner. I’ve used my phone calendar for so long, but writing everything in a paper planner just felt good. I loved being able to see a full view of the month ahead. It’s also important to prepare for the next day each evening. Work on getting a strong, consistent bedtime routine so you can have time to do this once the littles are in bed. Or, include them in the routine. It’s a great teaching opportunity and they will love being involved in picking out their clothes and packing snacks/lunch for the next day.

Another tip is to periodically re-evaluate your calendar. Look at what is filling your day. Fill your schedule with things that are life-giving. There will always be to-do lists, but look at what is optional – is anything there that shouldn’t be? Another thing I like to do is make a list of what I need to do the next day – mostly because it feels so good to mark things off a list. This list usually includes phone calls I need to make, tasks that need to get done for work, and what I need to do for meals for the next day.

Simplified Planner, Emily Ley, Daily Planner

6. Say “no” – I’ve been hearing this one a lot lately. And with good reason. As women, especially us people pleasers, we find it so hard to say no. I’ve realized that it’s not only ok to say no, but it’s necessary for us to be the best version of ourselves. We tend to feel bad about this, but there are very nice ways you can say no. I’ve found that being honest is the best way to go here. Instead of giving an immediate answer, you could say “Let me get back to you on that,” or “I’ll think about it and let you know!” Don’t feel pressured to answer right away. Here are some situations when it is ok to so say no:

  • When it involves spending money that you don’t have
  • You simply don’t want to and feel burdened by it
  • When it will steal your joy
  • When it is not life-giving

There will be times when you will be needed, and you can be there. But for the times when you aren’t needed and don’t want to be there, give yourself some grace and say no, nicely 🙂

7. Create a morning routine – Oh man. I never thought I would be a fan of mornings. I always wanted to be a morning person, but that is not one of my gifts. However, waking up before my kids is changing the game. There is something to be said about waking up for your kids, instead of to them. Even if it’s just for a few minutes. Choosing to get out of bed to start your day can totally set the tone for how your day will go. Set the coffee maker the night before so it’ll be ready when you wake up. I’m much more likely to get out of bed when I know coffee is waiting on me. Here are some things you can do during your morning routine:

  • Pray
  • Read
  • Journal
  • Drink water
  • Exercise
  • Get some work done
  • Eat breakfast
  • Listen to music
  • Get ready for the day

8. Read more – Some of my biggest growth as a believer has come through what Christ has revealed to me through the Bible, and various other books. I have read books on prayer, family, raising your children, and how to be a better spouse. I find that when I’m consistently reading the Word along with another book, my thoughts and actions reflect more of who Christ is. Reading a Christ-centered book is setting yourself up to be better. You’ll have these little reminders throughout the day because of what you read that morning. Here are some books that I absolutely love and highly recommend:

10 Books That Transformed Our Marriage

My Favorite Books for Moms



9. Turn off notifications – Turn them all off. They stop you from being intentional with whatever you are doing. I want to be present with my kids, and as a business owner, I do not have the strength to stop thinking about the ding that just went off. It was time to set boundaries. I make myself unplug for a certain amount of time and be present with your family. Instead of eating with screens, focus on the relationships at your table. Making dinner time a sacred time to spend together will set the tone for dinners when they are older. Keep the conversation open so everyone feels comfortable sharing about their day.

You could also consider having a screen free day, or starting off with even a few hours. Think about what you can do during this time instead. Be prepared to spend more time with your kids, and to also see their imaginations run wild. Another quick simplifying tip it to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. Unroll.me makes this super easy.

 10. Take some time for yourself – You deserve it, mama! I won’t go into great detail on this one because I did another post on self-care. Basically, we need a break sometimes. Whether we feel like we do or not, we need to do something that we love to do so that we can in turn be a better parent, spouse and friend.

That’s it! I hope these tips help you to simplify your life this week! Thanks so much for being here.

Love + Donuts, 

jenny

What does the Bible say about Self-Care?

“As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer.” Luke 5:16 (MSG) 

How many times have you wanted to go to a lonely place to pray? Sometimes I go to my prayer closet, also known as my bathroom. The problem is that a toddler usually needs something every 0.5 seconds when I’m in the bathroom. What is that?

I have been hearing about this “self-care” concept for a while now. It’s all over the internets and especially in the blog world. I tend to breeze through these articles and think that one day, when the kids are older, I will do this again. But not now, not with two toddlers. They need me too much and I will set myself aside. But something I had to teach myself is that self-care is NOT selfish. It is necessary. How can we pour into our family if we are not filling ourselves up?

I don’t think self-care is something we can put on the back burner. I think as moms, it should be one of our highest priorities. The stresses that come from parenting fluctuate like the seasons, but one thing we can be consistent in is how we take care of ourselves.  I’ve missed those pedicure days, but what I’ve missed most is my “me time.” The time that left you feeling refreshed and like a better version of yourself. I wasn’t sure how to incorporate that into motherhood. But mamas, there is a way. There is a way to still have “me time” and do self-care even when you are parenting toddlers.

We’ve heard it over and over again. We cannot continue to pour into others if we are not filling ourselves up. But what does that really mean? How do we fill ourselves up? I think this looks different for everyone. The truth is that God wants us to rest. He talks about it all throughout scripture.

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“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) 

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2 (NIV) 

Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. Mark 6:31 (MSG)

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from hisLet us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:9-11 (NIV) 

I am constantly asking the Lord to teach me to be more like Him, that my thoughts and actions would reflect His. God leads us in example by showing us how to rest, just as He did. Mamas, this is so important. We are commanded to rest.  I feel like we often miss it in the busy and sometimes chaotic seasons of parenting. But it’s a necessity. How and when we rest will be up to us. But here are a few quick examples that can help you get started:
  • Go to bed early
  • Read a new book (currently reading Whispers of Rest – a 40 day devotional)
  • Take a walk
  • Take an epson salt bath
  • Journal
  • Do yoga
  • Treat yourself to a cup of coffee… maybe even a donut 🙂
  • Turn off your phone for a few hours
  • Pray
  • Say no to something
  • Declutter (so refreshing!) Check out this post to see how it’s changed my life.
  • Watch a movie or your favorite show
  • Workout
  • Take a nap
  • Call someone you love

These are all easy things that can be added into your everyday. Of course a spa day would be nice, but let’s be honest. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So for now we can focus on what we can do. Let’s get more rest and fill up our cups. We are called to give of ourselves, but we are also responsible for being the best version of ourselves.

Let me know how your self-care journey is going. Are you filling yourself up so you can pour out?