For me, simplicity is created by routine. Not the rigid routine that doesn’t allow for flexibility. Quiet routine that is freeing. Routine that frees up time and mental energy to actually be awake.
The reality is that to-dos need to get done. We need to eat, we need to wear clothes, we need to have a clean house (relatively clean). This means that I have to cook, go to the grocery store, do laundry, actually put away the laundry and clean the house regularly. I’m sure that all of you have similar to-dos in your home.
At times, these to-dos seem like a burden. When I am trying to do meal planning before I make a grocery list, it takes forever. Nothing ever sounds good when I am trying to plan our week.
Or I put off the laundry until I am spending the entire day doing it, load after load. Or the girls announce before school that they don’t have any clean underwear.
Or I put off cleaning/organizing certain areas of the house until it is in complete disarray. Like the kids’ bedroom. Or the pantry (specifically the baking shelf), and I can’t find anything. Or I buy another bag of frozen green beans when I already have three unopened bags in the freezer.
So one of my goals is to find that simplicity in routine that can allow for the completion of those to-dos. I have been exploring a couple of ideas that may create peace.
Considering the ridiculous amount of time it takes me to make a grocery list, I need multiple ideas. One idea is to create a document with meals divided into categories to help me with that meal planning piece, such as easy dinners, comfort food, etc. Making the grocery list on Thursday nights instead of right before I go to the store on Fridays might also help speed up this process. This doesn’t need to be so complicated, it’s a grocery list!
I clean my house every week but those cluttered areas or deep cleaning projects often get neglected. Taking an hour each weekend to tackle those projects will help me stay on top of that, and I won’t feel as if I have given up my entire weekend to housecleaning. I should probably clarify that I am not a neat freak. I think everyone likes to see a little organization. I like to see it, not sure I like to actually do it….
I love waking up in the morning and seeing a clean kitchen. I’m finding that I also enjoy waking up to a picked up family room as well. Fifteen minutes (if that) of a quick pick up each night before bed (after the kids go to bed and can’t reclutter the house) would create a lot of peace for me in the mornings. Of course, that means I would have to stay up for a few minutes after they go to bed. I have an early bedtime too! Don’t judge.
But simplicity is not just about routines and housecleaning.
I want to create simplicity in other areas of my life as well.
Billy and I have been embarking on a journey for quite a while to strengthen our finances. Our biggest obstacle at first was a pretty basic concept, living within our means. This year I hope to continue our progress in this area-pay down debt and continue saving. Pretty basic. But that’s what this is about…simplicity. Frankly, life is more peaceful when your finances start to get in order. I learned that the hard way from my days of working seven days a week. Working seven days a week really complicates life.
There are some other areas that I am seeking simplicity, but those run into some of my other goals so I will go into more details in future posts.
Really, this idea of simplicity is a thread that I think runs through all of my goals for this year. Life doesn’t need to be complicated. I don’t need to overthink everything.
I probably will still overthink many things and overcomplicate life. That’s ok. This is a journey.
This post is part of my journey for 2013 to be awake.