The first week in August is known as National Simplify Your Life Week. This week is meant to make us look a little bit closer at our lifestyle and eliminate the things that keep us from enjoying life. When I learned this, it got me thinking about ways I've streamlined my own life and day-to-day functioning and I thought I'd share them with you.
1. I eat the same thing for breakfast each day.
In the warmer months it's plain Cheerios with almond milk and in the colder months, it's homemade oatmeal. Having one less decision to make at the start of my day saves on brain power and cuts down on decision-making fatigue. I need all the brain power I can get managing a 4-year-old each day who asks over 4,000 questions!
2. I only grocery shop once a month.
I know this may be extreme for some, but it works for me. The less time I have to spend in a store with my toddler, the better! I do a big shop at our local warehouse club for all our staples and stand-bys. And I do a smaller shop at my local grocery store because I don't always need the 3-gallon vat of mayonnaise. I feel like this is such a timesaver for me not having to do food shopping every week.
3. I have assigned laundry days.
On Mondays, I do my son's wash and on Wednesdays, I do my and my husband's laundry along with the household linens. Having a set schedule means I don't have to think about when I'll fit in laundry and it's become an automatic routine in my week.
4. I take very few photos.
I've read that you don't remember an experience if you are participating in it behind a screen. When we go somewhere I like to get a shot of the venue, one or two of my son and a selfie of my husband and me. Once these are out of the way, I'm able to be in the moment and enjoy our time together. On the way home from the outing, while my husband is driving, I go through my phone and delete any duds so I'm just left with the good shots.
5. I keep my kitchen counters clear.
I've had many a friend joke with me that it doesn't look like anyone uses my kitchen because I have so few items on my countertops. We all have that one thing that gets in our craw and cluttered counters is it for me. I do a sweep of my countertops nightly and aside from the toaster and coffee maker, which we use daily, all other kitchen appliances are stowed away. Waking up to clean counters gives me a clean slate to start my day.
6. I sort through my mail daily.
Mail can be a thorn in one's side for many people. Our mailbox is attached to our house so I literally don't even have to step foot outside to grab it. Once retrieved, during the five steps, it takes me to get to the kitchen I've immediately pulled out the junk mail and I pop it into the recycling box. Anything to be acted on is pinned to our command center bulletin board, things addressed to my husband go in his valet box and my bills are placed in the designated office drawer. Done! Our mail doesn't take over any horizontal surfaces or weigh on my mind.
7. I have very few cleaning supplies.
About two years ago a friend invited me to a Norwex party. I learned that they're an environmentally friendly cleaning company and the bulk of their products are these amazing microfiber cloths. These cloths can clean anything in your home with just water. I've been able to nearly eliminate the cleansers and chemicals in my home and they've cut my cleaning routine in half. I'd rather be doing anything else than cleaning and Norwex helps me do that!
8. I keep a donation box handy.
I have a square tote I keep in our upstairs guest bedroom and the rule is when it's filled it gets taken to our town's Goodwill store. Having a designated spot to put donatables is so helpful. I'm a big proponent of the one in / one out rule and this box helps keep the system in check. Less clutter in my house means less clutter in my head!
9. I remain connected to the simple living community.
I'm a member of the Hartford Minimalists Facebook group, I listen to Slow Your Home podcasts and I subscribe to the Becoming Minimalist Newsletter. Having a steady influx of resources and information helps me stay focused and inspired to continue living simply.
How do you keep your life simple?