Saturday, May 7, 2011

Simplifying

I am reading a LOT about simplifying my life. I'm focusing and planning more, and as I read so many things that other women are accomplishing, I am motivated. Here are a few of the ways my life has been changing (for the better)
  • I've given up drinking soda at home. I've also given up buying drinks at the store, except apple juice and milk. I now make homemade iced tea for Joel and homemade lemonade for me, and I can adjust the sugar and lemon juice to taste. We are also heading into summer drinking a TON of filtered water. I feel amazing lately because of this switch. (and we are saving money!!)
  • I'm still waking up at 6am every morning to make Joel his coffee and lunch, but instead of crawling back into bed, I am staying awake, using the time before the kids are up to focus on my day, pray and read the Word, catch up on blogs (which helps to motivate me) and just waste a little time on the computer. So now by the time 9am rolls around, I feel like I've already accomplished so much (and had time to be lazy)
  • Joel and I have come up with a menu plan that repeats every week. We will pretty much be having the same meals on the same days every week, with a few variables. When I grocery shop, I buy whats on sale in quantities that will last me 2 weeks to a month so I can make meals ahead, save money and time.
  • I've incorporated a Family closet. I am blessed in this tiny apartment with a huge bedroom closet that was previously a disaster and used to store totes. I've since cleaned it out and put in a dresser for the kids clothes so I can put all their stuff away all at once. Our clothes get hung up and casual wear stays in a dresser in our room. This is going to be a time saver for me, and will hopefully keep the kids from pulling everything out of their drawers because they are bored!
  • I've gone back to making my own laundry soap. For us as a family, it works out to be about 8 bucks for enough laundry soap for about 3-4 months. It's passed the poopy PJ's test on Micahs clothes, so I know its working good, too!
  • I've made a simple daily and weekly cleaning list to follow, with the repeatable chores and what time of day is most practical to do them. I carve out specific time for myself, too, because I know I need to take breaks throughout my day or I will burn out.
  • I have made a list of the Few things I know Joel really needs me to do, so that he can feel loved, cared for and respected by me. Each husband is different, each appreciating different things. Joel in a nutshell: Coffee and Lunch made for him, the living room and bathroom picked up so he can walk into a mostly chaos free zone after work, the house kept in a reasonable clean and clutter free state so we can move around unhindered and not knock things over all the time, having me not complain about my entire day, and making sure his 'spots' in the house remain clutter free. He hates clutter, but expects that with children there will be clutter. I'm just aiming to keep it to a minimum and have the toys stay in their rooms.

I've come to realize that even though this place is small, and we are hopefully moving into a bigger place around the end of the summer, I need to use this time as practice. Even when we have more space, it would be so easy to overfill it. I want to keep things simplified. I like visual simplicity in homes. I want room for life to happen.

2 comments:

panamamama said...

I love the idea of a family closet! My boys share one, but they are always throwing things on the floor (clean or not.) I make my own laundry soap and think it works better than most and is so much cheaper! I'd love to hear about your menu plan. I'm trying to get myself organized as far as menu and shopping...

Elizabeth said...

@panamamama: My husband picked out 4 of his favorite meals: Buffalo sauce and bleu cheese hamburgers/Chicken, Cheddar Broccoli Cheese Soup, Lasagna and Chicken Gnocchi Soup. I can vary these from week to week if there are other things on sale ie. I can make sausage and sauce in the crockpot on lasagna night if I get sausage on sale or If I have wraps or salad on sale I can do a buffalo chicken wrap/salad. One night a week is pizza night, Sundays are always grinder days, and then of course 1 day for leftovers. I'm not sure how the soup days will work in the summer, but I've got a plan for switching those out in summer time and doing the 2 soups a week in winter. So far, so good!

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That is where God met me. He kept repeating the word 'Undone' to me....kept repeating the phrase "She's come Undone". And then it hit me like a wave, the tears flowed. I realized all that I have been trying to accomplish within my life, my marriage, my home, my parenting...it is all being done in MY own strength. God is calling me, telling me to become Undone before Him. To let Him do the work in and through me. To rely on HIS strength to accomplish all the great things He has for my life, and to be the Woman of God, the wife, the mother, the friend, the daughter, the teacher that He is calling me to be. With that, I am becoming Undone before God. I am letting go of the old mindsets that I have been setting for myself. I'm letting go.