As I was starting to think through this post – I almost titled it, “What I wish I would have known 10 years ago.” Because let’s be honest, simplifying my life has been a journey. But one that I wouldn’t take back because it’s all been a part of the process to get me to where I am today. To set my life and my home up in a way that works for me, so that I live my days with more peace and less stress.
Why am I so dang passionate about simplifying, you might ask?
Because when you simplify your life, you take back control of your life. And when you take back control of YOU, your potential is limitless.
Simplification silences the unnecessary noise, and helps you find your way back to peace and contentment.
When I started the journey of simplifying all of the things, I began by asking myself one simple question.
What are the triggers in my life that are leading to constant feelings of stress and overwhelm?
I wrote down these triggers, and then started working toward solutions. Finding ways that I could elminate these feelings. Because here is the truth, friend. Living in a constant state of stress and overwhelm, is no way to live!!!! You were not created to be stressed out every day. You were created to enjoy your days. But our culture is filled with so much noise and so much stuff, that we’ve lost sight of how we truly want to live out our lives.
And when you grab ahold of the truth – that you have the power to live your life how you want to live it, and start developing a plan to make this a reality, everything can change for you.
So here are 5 ways that I have simplified my life, to start getting you thinking of how you can do the same.
1. Say No Before Saying Yes
I’ve become almost a little too good at this in recent years, because it’s been a really freeing mindset shift. It can be soooo easy to fill up your calendar, with all the things. Busy busy busy. That’s the standard for our culture. If your calendar isn’t full for the month, you aren’t truly living, being social enough, serving….right? Heck NO!!!!
I’ve fallen into this trap so many times and it was exhausting and depleting. As a result, I wasn’t giving anyone the best version of myself because I was stretched too thin. So I made a shift, and started getting really intentional about my time.
Now, before I say yes to a commitment that will take a lot of my time, I like to run it through the 3-question test:
- Will this commitment conflict with needed family time?
- Is this something I will actually enjoy doing over and over again?
- Do I feel like I have something to give to this commitment
These questions aren’t meant to be selfish in any way, but they are meant to keep me in check with what I’m committing to. Because time is your most valuable asset, you can’t ever get it back, so you need to spend it wisely.
2. Simplify Your Home
I am really passionate about this topic. Infact, I have an entire course called, Calm Your Chaos, that is all about calming your chaos and we dive deep into simplifying your home. You can learn more about the course here.
I’m a firm believer that your home should work FOR you, not the other way around. It should be a safe haven for your family. A place of peace and joy.
If your home feels like complete chaos right now, then very first step I would encourage you to take as you begin simplifying, is to clear the clutter!! Get rid of all of your stuff!! Clutter = stress. It’s just that simple. It takes your time away from you, your energy, and your peace.
As I started to really dive deep into purging, my home started to feel lighter. I didn’t have as much to tidy up, I didn’t feel anxious seeing my bathroom counters filled with things I didn’t even use. Everything started to change for me as I got rid of all the things that served no purpose to me.
Ready to start tackling the surface clutter in your home?? Click below to start the Calm Your Chaos 3 Day Dare
3. Establish Daily Systems
When I became a stay at home mom, several years ago, I felt like the chaos at home had become my identity and this really bothered me. I talk about my story here, if you want to read more about it.
But as I started to develop and implement daily systems in our home, everything changed. Systems took the guesswork out of things for me. They gave me a daily plan to tackle the chaos that I could control. I no longer tried to figure out when I was going to clean my house, I now had a daily system in place that I simply had to follow.
As I practiced these systems over and over again, they became daily rhythms that then turned into habits. The household tasks that used to stress me out, no longer stress me out because everything operates within a system.
- Laundry – has a system
- Dishes – has a system
- Cleaning my house – has a system
- Tidying up at the end of the night – has a system
These systems haven’t restricted my freedom. They have created so much freedom for me, to get these daunting tasks done and out of the way, so I can spend my time how I truly want to spend it.
4. Have No-Phone Times
One really simple shift that I have made in my life is to have no-phone times. It’s really important to recognize where unnecessary stress is coming from, when you start simplifying your life, and a big kicker is the phone.
How often do you tell your kids, “Just a minute,” while you’re trying to finish an instagram story of Jenna’s vacation. You know what I’m talking about. Constantly pausing what is right in front of you, while consuming yourself in all these apps, is adding to the stress!
Here’s 3 things I do to keep myself in check with no-phone times
- I try to not pick my phone up for the first 2 hours of the day. Not every day goes perfect, and sometimes I need my phone. But if I can swing it, I try to leave my phone in my bedroom for the first 2 hours so that I can give 100% of my focus to my kids, my mindset, and what the plan is for the day – before letting all of the noise in.
- If I start to feel stressed out during the day because there is so much happening – I put my phone away. Your phone is the one form of noise that you can control, so when you feel stretched thin, eliminate this noise.
- No phone at the dinner table. Dinner time is one of my favorite times to really connect with my family and be present – so we have a strict no phone policy at the dinner table.
5. Work as a Family Team
I am really passionate about this topic, because it resulted in a powerful shift for me and in our home. I used to feel suffocated by the idea that I carried the weight of my family on my shoulders. I wore 60 different hats, and I couldn’t keep up with all of them. Things fell through the cracks, I would get snappy because I felt stretched so thin, there was conflict in my marriage. It wasn’t pretty for a long time. Until a lightbulb went off in my head and I realized this was crazy!!
Our family is a team and I needed to start training my teammates! Yes, we as moms are superwomen in our own right, but we shouldn’t be doing everything. The family team was not designed to be this way. It was designed to work together, delegate, fill the gap for eachother. And when I took on this mindset, I felt like I could finally breathe again.
Here’s just 3 examples of how we work as a team in our home.
- Joe and I have a weekly meeting to go over the schedule for the week, communicate any upcoming things we need to make a decision on, and see where we may need to fill in the gap for one another.
- The kids put their own laundry away. They are still pretty young, so I fold it, but their job is to put it away. No, it is not neatly folded in their drawers, but I don’t care. They will learn this in time, but it is one less thing that I have to do and so I’m grateful for their help.
- Everyone takes their dinner plate to the sink (or dishwasher). This seems so simple, but it seriously helps so much.
None of these examples are earth shattering things, but they are all small things that make a really big difference with the overall workload in the home.
Simplifying your life is not something that just happens overnight. It involves new habits, new rhythms, a new mindset and outlook of how YOU want to live your life. It’s letting go of how you’ve always done things, and being open and willing to start over. But it’s a journey that has the power to change the course of your life in a really empowering and exciting way. So that you can show up every day truly loving and living the way that you were created to.
READY TO START SIMPLIFYING? LET’S DO IT!