8 Ways I Simplified My Life

Simple Living

Living with daily household chaos and disorder stresses me out.

When I don’t focus on living simply and being organized, I feel:

  • overwhelmed
  • cranky
  • unhappy with the world
  • envious of others.

When I do focus on living simply and being organized, I feel:

  • calmer
  • happier
  • able to manage my time better
  • clear-headed
  • happy with the world
  • grateful to others.

I still struggle with some parts of my day. Every morning is a battle to get little people dressed and ready in time for the school bell, but I’m working on it. Bit by bit.

Here are some of the little changes I have made in my daily life that helps me enormously.

Trust me, if I can make changes, you can make changes too!

8 Ways I Simplified My Life

1. Open Mail At The Postbox

Organized Mail

Strategy

Weather permitting, I sort my mail at the postbox.

I flick through the junk mail and start making a paper pile for recycling.

I open all the letters and discard the envelopes and redundant letters into the recycle paper pile.

The plastic wrap off my magazine subscription is put aside for the trash can.

Anything that does not belong in my home is then placed in the recycle bin or trash can.

Outcome

The only items that come into the home are things that require further attention. That is, bills to be paid, magazines to be read or letters requiring action.

Anything that is not useful remains outside in the trash.

Time Management

It only takes a few minutes, if that.

I enjoy being in the sun and it saves me trying to sort out unnecessary paper piles cluttering my bench tops or drawers at another time.

2. Shoe Racks At Main Entry Points

IMG_4374 Organize Shoes Outside 

Strategy

We moved into our new home in December, so currently there is a “no-shoe” rule in the house.

Tired of the constant, “I can’t find my shoes” from the kids, and “I’m sick of tripping over all these shoes” from my husband, I invested in these simple shoe racks.

With our main entry into the house through the garage, the large shoe racks hold multiple pairs of shoes, neatly.

At the back door I put another shoe rack, which is perfect for our gum boots. I love mine. 🙂

Outcome

Shoes are easy to find and don’t get lost.

Shoes are neatly stacked and tidy.

Time Management

It takes a few extra seconds after you kick your shoes off to then place them into the shoe rack. 

It saves enormous time later if trying to find your shoe’s mate or in the case of my kids, your shoes at all.

3. Hanging Laundry In People Order

Organized Laundry

Strategy

One of my good friends has a theory when it comes to hanging washing.

She has a “one-touch” policy. ie When taking the washing off the line, she folds it neatly in “people order” and leaves it in the living room. Each person then comes and collects their bundle of clothes and puts them away. Hence, she only touches them once. She prefers this to taking all the clothes off the line and putting them into the basket. Bringing the basket inside then taking each item out again to fold and place in order.

So, based on that then, I now hang my washing in people order.

Outcome

If you like the concept, it doesn’t take that much more time to hang clothes out in people order.

You can either do a quick search for all of one person’s clothes, or like me, I mostly pick an item randomly then hang it on the appropriate line for that person.

Time needed to sort and fold clothes at the end of the day is more efficient when the washing is all hung out in order for you.

Time Management

Using this strategy saves me time at the end of the day when I seem to be more time-poor.

I’m happy to spend these extra minutes sorting it out in the morning to make the afternoon easier.

4. Morning Routine

Organized Morning

Strategy

Focus on what’s important in your household and what your priorities are.

If you’re like me, then a cup of tea or coffee in the morning is a must-have!

The first half-hour of my morning routine looks like this:

  • Shower/dressed
  • Kettle on
  • First load of washing on
  • Breakfast & lunch preparation for the kids
  • Tea poured and cooling
  • Breakfast served
  • First sip of tea savoured
  • Continue with lunch prep

Outcome

I’m not a huge fan of multi-tasking but morning routines when children are involved rarely get by without it.

Perhaps that’s why I’m still struggling with my morning routine. It is such a busy part of my day.

The routine above however sets me up for a good start and then things roll on from there.

Time Management

I have only highlighted the first half hour of my morning. So far the above half-hour strategy works well, and is a good starting block for me to continue with a more focused approach to getting out the door more calmly.

I still need to work on dealing with unexpected meltdowns (…but I don’t want to go to school), curbing my addiction to checking Facebook (…I just want to wish friend a happy birthday) and getting distracted by conversations/tv/magazines/WordBrain.

5. An Easy-To-View Calendar

Organize Invites

Strategy

When I walked into my son’s preschool yesterday I was handed three birthday party invitations.

Three! My five-year old’s social life puts mine to shame!

My strategy for keeping on top of all of our engagements to write them up on our calendar. 

I have a 9-week at a glance calendar, so I can see exactly what’s approaching.

For this example, on the calendar I write the name of child, age of child, time and place of party.

I then RSVP straight away. 

Then the invite is thrown out. 

If the invite is being admired (Spongebob is a fave in our house at the moment) then it might take a extra few days for the invite to be thrown out, but it will be as soon as the excitement has worn off. 

Outcome

All of our engagements, work commitments and activities are noted in a central place for all family members to see.

Any clashing engagements are quickly realized.

And in this case, no rummaging around looking for the invite to either RSVP or confirm time, place or venue.

Time Management

Fast & efficient. It only takes a minutes to write it up & cross-check other activities.

7. Organized Activity Bags

Organized Activities

Strategy

Case in point, our swimming bag.

This bag remains packed at all times.

As soon as the towels and swimming costumes are washed ready for the next lesson, they are packed into the bag. 

The bag is stored in the linen closet and is only pulled out on swimming day.

Outcome

I always know there are towels, goggles, and swimming costumes in the bag. 

The bag is always kept in the same place.

No last minute rush to find all of the swimming gear.

Time Management

Minimal time required.

Instead of folding towels and putting them in the linen closet and putting swimming costumes in wardrobes, all items remain in one central place.

8. An Organized Pantry

Organized Pantry

Strategy

I saved the best ’til last.

My new house has this gi-normous pantry.

That I am determined to keep neat & tidy.

Being so vertically challenged ie short, I have always found it hard to keep a pantry neat and tidy because I can’t reach the back. So… I used to throw stuff to the back. Unceremoniously! What I can’t see, can’t hurt. That is until I needed it and then it was a problem.

My new pantry is wider and not as deep. Hurray!

I still need a step ladder (as seen neatly folded at the bottom) but this pantry is not as hard to navigate as my old one.

I simplified my pantry organization by adding all of these storage boxes. They weren’t expensive. Only a few dollars from the discount store. 

Outcome

It looks neat, it keeps me tidy and organized and I can find things when I need them.

Time Management

It did take some time setting this system up.

I had to find the boxes I liked, in the colour I wanted.

Then I had to sort through each item and keep, throw or donate things.

But once I had done this, I now spend very little time organizing my pantry.

I do a quick tidy up each week as I put new groceries away. That’s all.

You Can Simplify Your Life Too

The key to having a less complicated life and living simply is to make change.

Start with one change. Then gradually start changing more.

I can give you a thousand strategies for you to overcome overwhelm, but you have to make it happen.

That’s where our next online program gives you the boost you need to start taking action.

Try our 21-Day Simplify Your Life Challenge

We not only give you insight into life-simplifying strategies but we motivate you, encourage and you and ultimately get you to take action. Sometimes we just need that little kick-start. The truth is, if you could do it yourself, then wouldn’t be reading this right now. Right?

We can help you! Live the uncomplicated life you want and be happy.

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Life really doesn’t have to be so complicated. Join us from Monday 8 June 2015 (US time) to break free.

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Kylie Browne

Kylie is our friendly Community Manager. Organizing advocate. 80s music fan. Busy Mom. Amateur over thinker. Thrives on coffee and chocolate.

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