tips for a simple life

 

Simple food. Simple things. Simple play.

Is your day filled with work, errands, chores and schedules? Do you feel like life is passing you by? Are you waiting to enjoy your life after the kids are bigger or when the mortgage is paid off?

How about when you have more time?

If this sounds like you, you’re kidding yourself. Time is elusive. If you don’t grab onto it, you’ll always be waiting…

Take a deep breath. Or two. Or three.

Take a breath…of Simplicity.

Seriously. The following simple life tips will help you to slow down, simplify and enjoy life, TODAY.

How to Live a More Simple Life

Make your bed when you wake up.

Set your alarm at least 15 minutes before the kids wake up.

Don’t let the kids be your wake-up call.

Hang up/put away clothes when you take them off. Don’t leave them on the floor, or drape them over chairs.

Empty the trash daily.

Do a 15 minute clean up every night. If they’re old enough, include the kids.

Before bed, have the kids walk around the house and pick up/put away anything that belongs to them.

Don’t let dishes sit in the sink overnight. You’ll be glad in the morning!

Get in the habit of putting things away when you get home. Don’t just dump everything on the nearest surface.

Teach the kids to do the same.

Go through the toy collection and purge, purge, purge (best to do this when the kids are out, or in bed!) Invest in a few solid toys that you know will last.

Go through your closet and donate anything you haven’t worn in the past year (in 2 weeks, you’ll forget it was ever there).

When purchasing clothes, buy solid colors that you can mix and match.

Eliminate white sugar, white bread, white pasta from your pantry.

Replace table salt with sea salt or Himalayan salt.

Eliminate trans-fats from your diet.

Keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand.

If you like to snack on chips, try munching on nuts instead or make popcorn and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

Go for a walk.

Read a good book.

Start a gratitude journal.

Go through each room in your house and de-clutter, one room at a time.

De-clutter one closet at a time.

De-clutter one drawer at a time.

Clear surfaces of clutter.

Get rid of knick-knacks. They’re visually distracting. Instead, decorate tastefully with one or two unique items in each room.

Find a home for everything (preferably out of sight).

Get into the habit of putting things away right after you’re done using them.

Take a good luck at the furniture in each room. If there’s too much for the space, move it or get rid of it.

Each week, allocate 15-30 minutes to go through the mail: Pay the bills and deal with the paperwork. Don’t let it pile up.

Start a basic filing system.

Allocate a special spot for school forms and let the kids know where it is.

Clear your kitchen counter tops. Leave out only one or two small appliances that you use daily. Give everything else a home inside a drawer or cabinet.

Do you really need the waffle-maker that you pull-out and dust off, once a year?

If you’re working on the computer take frequent breaks. Stretch. Get a drink of water.

When you feel overwhelmed or stressed, take 10 deep breaths. It will do you wonders!

Blast the radio while you tackle the housework. You’ll get more done.

Read inspirational quotes.

Limit checking your e-mail to once or twice a day.

Watch one less show on TV.

Exercise daily. You can start with a 15 minute walk around the block.

Don’t obsess over little things. Let it go. Breathe.

When you’re schedule is crazy and you have a million things to do, don’t get mad when your kid chooses that moment to have a melt-down. Stop what you’re doing. Cuddle up for 10 minutes and read a story, or sing some nursery rhymes. The distraction will do you both good!

Take a break.

Call your best-friend.

Touch base with your spouse during work days (call, e-mail or text).

Start a new family tradition.

Let the kids make a mess.

Create a weekly menu plan.

Teach your kids to do their own laundry.

Delegate house chores. Kids as young as five can handle simple chores like sorting socks.

Turn your cell phone off in the car.

Turn your cell phone off when you are out with friends and family (if you have small kids at home, put your phone on vibrate).

Make eye contact and pay attention when someone is talking to you.

Leave your credit card at home.

Pay your credit card off every month.

If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. Save up for it.

Teach older kids to pitch in. They can load/unload the dishwasher, take out the garbage, help younger siblings with homework, etc.

Do you really need 2 different blenders in the kitchen? (I had 3, before I de-cluttered)

Use bins for toys and teach your kids to pack up when they’re done playing.

Place an empty basket/bin (something nice looking) beside the stairs. Every time you come across something that doesn’t belong downstairs (toys, sweaters, books, etc), dump it in the basket. Make a habit of emptying this basket before heading up for bed. The kids should put away anything they find of theirs in it before they go to bed.

Eliminate sugary cereals for breakfast and replace with healthier ones. We enjoy Kashi cereals.

Make a double batch of pancakes or crepes and freeze them between wax paper. They’re a great way to spice up breakfast when you’re pressed for time in the mornings.

Make sure school bags are packed and ready the night before.

Prep lunches and snacks the night before.

If mornings are a mad rush, wake up 15 minutes earlier.

Get enough sleep (7-8 hours).

Enforce bed-times for kids, even older kids (my 13 yr old’s bed-time is 9:30pm).

Set times for snack (e.g. after-school). Say no to snacks at other times, especially before meals.

Don’t schedule after-school activities everyday. Kids need time to relax and just be.

Let your kids be bored. It’s okay to be bored.

Don’t allow computers or TV’s in the bedrooms (including yours)!

Limit screen time for kids (TV, computer, electronic games, etc).

Go screen free for a week. Or longer.

Go on a date with your spouse (aim for once a week).

Get rid of or donate 50 household items (dishes, gadgets, tools, blankets, small appliances).

Get rid of or donate 100 personal items (clothing, books, shoes, trinkets, etc).

Cut down your beauty products by half.

Be present. Stop and Pause. Look around you. Take note of all the wonderful things that surround you: Nature, people, your wonderful home.

Spend 10 minutes a day, doing nothing.

Breathe.

What can you add to this list?