In my search for a new word this year I looked at what changes I made last year and what worked and what didn't. When I kept things simple, it worked, when I tried to do too much or be artificial and pretend I was coping with full time working mum and awesome house wife, things fell apart.
Here are some ways that I have already been starting the SIMPLE life.
- Decluttering, the more stuff you have the harder it is to keep clean, I have culled my wardrobe, the kids toys even the linen cupboard, really no family needs 25 beach towels. At the end of this year I want to own less stuff not more.
- Wash less, this summer beach towels go on the the clothes line not in the wash, sheets get changed slightly less often, kids have to help fold and put away the laundry, everyone needs to iron their own clothes.
- Somehow I got coerced into cooking a hot lunch for Christmas this year, my nightmare so I thought simple, bought foil disposable baking trays and used a combination of real plates for the mains and plastic throw away for the dessert. Not great for the environment but it meant that everything could go in one dishwasher load after 8 people for lunch and no extra washing up.
- At Christmas I also decided to buy better products, I have more money but less time now so I can afford to buy the dishwasher tablets rather than the cheaper powder. I even bought dishwasher cleaner which meant my 20 year old dishwasher is able to take pots and pans as well as glasses, this was a lifesaver on Christmas Day when I drank too much champagne. I am also getting a new kitchen and dishwasher this year but that is for another post.
- Spend more time outside, the highlights of our recent holiday was the runs, the walks along the beach, the time in the pool not the stuff we paid to do or the movies we watched.
- Delegate, this is a hard one for me as I am a little bit of a control freak, for example I told hubby that he is now responsible for his own ironing, 3.5weeks later his work shirts are all still sitting in the ironing basket waiting to be done, it is driving me nuts. But it is no longer my responsibility. We really toyed with the idea of getting a cleaner this year but I have decided that we have a family of four and if everyone helps and takes responsibility we shouldn't need to pay someone else to do domestic tasks for us.
- Eat fresh SIMPLE food
- Screen time, social media and email and smart phones really are killing us. We sleep less, have more depression and are eating more than ever. I love the book remotely controlled which talks about how damaging TV is on society and our kids, I gave up TV for over two years and I loved it. I noticed that when Miss 6 goes to her Dad's he lets her play the ipad all the time and watch commercial TV, this not affects her sleep, mood, anger but it also has her asking for more stuff like sugary treats and toys. Having less screen time family wide will simplify your life and give you more time for things that matter.
- Enjoy time with family, don't be distracted. I asked Miss 6 what her favourite part of our holidays was, her response was "time with you mummy". Three weeks no laptop, lots of time and a simple life is all kids want and need.