This is a post that I have been waiting to write since I first started my journey to simplified living. It’s one that I hoped I could tell you about and all of the magical ways that getting rid of the “stuff” and overall simplifying all aspects of our lives has changed us. I am so happy to report that there is something to be said about living with less and taking a more intentional approach to living life. It’s freeing, relaxing and fun and really lets you focus on all of the wonderful things around you. It puts life into perspective and makes you think about things differently, from everyday purchases to how you spend your time. What the entire process has done for myself is ultimately what I want to share with you today and what simplified living and intentional motherhood can do for you.
What Simplifying Has Done For Me As A Mom
I am not always stepping over toys and picking up after my kids – This was a big one for us and where I would recommend anyone starting off in the simplified living journey because once you get the toys under control then everything else naturally follows behind. Kids don’t need a lot of toys. They truly don’t. The fewer toys they have and the more open-ended toys that are available, actually allow them to play better and for longer periods of time. These are actual facts. Drastically decreasing the toys we have has been the biggest game changer and the most important one that has truly lightened my load as a parent. Gone are the evenings of spending hours cleaning up after my kids have gone to bed and present are the moments of relaxing with my husband and getting other important things done.
I don’t spend hours on laundry – I truly don’t. I used to buy clothes just to buy clothes. For my kids too. After going through everyone’s closets, I was able to donate more than half of everyone’s clothing. Why do I need 10 pairs of pants, most of which don’t fit me anymore and why does my daughter need a dozen dresses when there are only 2 she ever really wears? I had to really start challenging myself to simplify our clothing and come up with key pieces for everyone’s wardrobes. It has worked and for me in particular, everything in my closet I love and fits well which is key after you have kids. I know longer spend 10 minutes trying to figure out what to wear because I have limited my choices. I know longer have dirty piles of clothes everywhere because it forces me to wash a small pile of clothing every other day, allowing me to keep up with the laundry and not spend hours sorting, folding and hanging when I should be using my time and energy for other things.
I Don’t Spend All Day Doing The Dishes – Do you ever feel like all you do is wash and rinse? I did for the longest time until I got rid of all of the extra dishes and started cleaning up after every meal. Instead of having 8 table settings for everyone, I cut it all in half and stored the extras for when we have people over. Now, we all have our place settings and when we are done with them, they get washed and put back for the next use. Not having all of the extra dishes allows for regular cleanup instead of always having the sink full of stuff because you know you have extras in your cupboards. My husband thought I was crazy when I wanted to try this but it has seriously lightened our loads in the kitchen.
I Don’t Overthink Mealtime – My husband is a Red Seal Certified Chef, meaning he is a dang good cook. I, on the other hand, am not. The problem is, my husband works a lot of nights so I am usually the one at home doing dinner time. For the longest time I was trying to make elaborate dinners but I finally realized that this is not me. I dislike doing it so why put myself through that for what would ultimately end up as a burnt and under seasoned meal that took far to long to prepare. I have learned to keep it simple and cater to my own strengths in the kitchen. The couple of nights that my husband is home, he can make whatever feast he wants for us, but the other days of the week, I need it to be easy and fast. So, I finally started a meal plan which involves easy things that my kids love, as do I. Think grilled cheese and roasted vegetables, crockpot meals and some pretty delicious sheet pan dinners if I do say so myself. When I stopped trying to be something that I’m not in the kitchen, things got easier. As long as their bellies are full with healthy food, that’s all I can ask for.
I Am Able To Spend More Time With My Kids – This is the goal of simplifying. Ultimately as moms, we want to be able to slow down, feel joyful and be in the moment with our kids. Simplifying helps me do that. Gone are the days where I feel frazzled looking around my house at all the things I should be doing and back are the moments of quick cleanups and time spent with my family. It’s all a win-win in my books.
Do you simplify? Are you looking to learn more about it? Stayed tuned because in the coming weeks I will be launching a
Simplified Challenge to help get you started on the road to living with less and focusing your time and energy on the things that mean the most to you.