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

10 Ways Simplifying has Changed my Life

10 Ways Simplifying has Changed my Life

Simplifying has changed my life is so many ways. In the past year, I have intentionally simplified our family life, our home, our schedules and my motherhood. We still have a long way to go, but I just have to share how simplifying has benefited our family.

I have listened to podcasts, read books, and “Pinterested” way too many articles on simplifying and minimalism. I first started implementing strategies after listening to Allie Casazza’s podcast. Game changer. It wasn’t a new concept to me, but it really gave me the practical advice I needed. You’ll want to follow Allie. Her knowledge and wisdom has been instrumental in my motherhood and marriage. Emily Ley has also been a great wealth of knowledge. She is raising three kids and rockin’ being a business owner and a mom. Her book, A Simplified Life, has some of the most practical advice I’ve ever read! It was a great addition to our simplifying process. Keep reading to see 10 ways simplifying has changed my life!

I always thought that because we didn’t have a lot of stuff, we were living simple. We have a small home and live frugally.  But here’s the deal. We did have a lot of stuff! I just didn’t realize it because it was usually tucked away. If you were to come by to visit about a year ago, there would be a 50/50 chance that you were about to walk into a toddler tornado, or a mostly tidy and clean home. I cleaned when I could, and when our schedule allowed. If I had a few days of just staying home, I would clean consistently. If our calendar was full for a few days, the house was let go. It wasn’t terrible, but I always found myself wishing I could get a system down that would simplify our home and cleaning process.

Turns out, there is a way. I’ve learned a lot from my research, but also from practicing these things in my own life. One things I try my best to live by is something that Emily Ley talks about in her Book, A Simplified Life: only keep the best, the necessary and your favorite. This was the foundation for my simplifying and decluttering process.

Here are a few ways simplifying has changed my life:

  1. I spend less time cleaning. It’s incredible. I thought to have a clean home I would literally have to be cleaning all the time. That or hire someone. Not the case at all. Since we have gotten rid of the things we don’t need, there is not as much laundry, dirty dishes or overflow of stuff lying around. Things can’t pile up like they used to because we only have what we need. Which means there is not as much laundry or dishes to wash. I’ll go into this more on the practical post I’ll be making soon!
  2. It gave my kids the opportunity to give. My girls are only 3.5 and 2 years old. But those girls LOVE to give. They love helping and I want to foster that as they grow. My two year old can’t quite understand, but I’ll explain to them that there are other kids in need that don’t have a lot to play with, and since we have extra, we can share our toys with them. It’s hard to explain, but when my three year old understands the why behind this process, she is so excited to be a part of it.
  3. It simplified my cleaning process. Emily Ley recommends doing a load of laundry a day. We don’t have quite enough for that, but we have implemented doing a load every other day. I try to throw in a load in the washer in the morning and fold it as soon as it’s done so it’s not weighing me down. Incorporating this into our schedule is key. I am not perfect at it, but I try if at all possible to be consistent. When I have to do the more time consuming tasks like mopping and vacuuming, I include the girls when I can. Sometimes they have to find ways to keep themselves busy, but when they are included they feel such a sense of accomplishment. They just can’t wait to tell Daddy about it!
  4. Our home is more peaceful. My goal from day one of starting a family has been to cultivate a peaceful home. I am in better spirits when things are clean. My husband and myself both feel less stressed when the house is in order. We slowly added things like picking up after ourself every time into our everyday. It may take more time at the moment, but it saves SO much time at the end of the day.
  5. It is consistent. Most of the time. There are definitely times when life happens and things are thrown off. But it makes it so much easier to play catch up when you’re just picking up from a few days of busy, rather than weeks of things piling up. Being as consistent as possible is key to keeping things simple.
  6. I am a happier Mom. When I first became a mom, I kept hearing “It’s ok, the dishes can wait. Enjoy the moment.” And I 100% agree with this. I cherish moments with my babes everyday. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t ever clean. I realized that I am happier and I am a better mom when things around me are in order. And that’s ok. The dishes can wait, but not forever.
  7. Simplifying gives us room to enjoy our everyday. It allows for the things that matter. If we want to spontaneously go somewhere, it doesn’t stress me out anymore because we are not drowning in mess.
  8. Routines and structure work best for kids. It’s a chance for me to teach them how to keep a home. They know that before we move on to our next activity, we have to pick up the one we just finished. When I first implemented these things, there was a lot of push back. After a lot of repetition, they have finally caught on and most of the time it is not a fight. They know that this is how we do things in our home.
  9. It became easier to say “no.” I’ve never been much of a shopper, but after we decluttered, it made me realize that I only need to purchase something if I absolutely love it. I want to surround myself with things that are life-giving and make my home better. The same goes for toys and clothes. A few questions I ask myself: Do we need it? Do I love it? Is there room for it? Before I purchase it, I have to answer yes to all of these.
  10. Everything has it’s place. No more “junk piles.” Raise your hand if you have a junk pile by your back door. We still struggle with this, but are definitely getting better. If I notice a pile starting, I try to jump on it as soon as I can so it doesn’t get out of control.

I try to use the decluttering and simplifying process to glorify God. God has given me a family and I want to take care of them as best as I can. I look at cleaning and organizing as a way of giving to my family.

These may seems like little things, and by themselves they are! But if you can start to slowly implement them in your home, they will really make a difference! I am very passionate about how this has changed our life, so if you have any questions at all please let me know through the Contact tab! Thanks so much for reading. Good luck simplifying!

I’ll be doing a practical post soon on how I simplified and decluttered. Be on the look out! In the mean time, read this book!!!

Update! Here is the practical post: 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life This Week