I was reading Organized Simplicity and thinking a lot about my own simple life. We really live rather simply, but there are some things we are still hoping to change to live an even simpler life.
Living a simple life for me is defined by living a life that is enriching and free from a lot of stress and pressure. I think most people will agree with me that stress is AWFUL. It wreaks havoc on relationships and tears families apart. Raising children in a stressful environment pushes them away from the family.
Mr. Simple and I do what we can to have a not-so-stressful life. His previous job made our simple lives extremely complicated. It left us in debt and we are slowly digging ourselves out of it. I will say that our debt was not caused by reckless spending. It was caused by bad circumstances and a lack of planning and saving. When the fridge went out in our new-to-us house, the good old credit card came to the rescue. Every time we got to a point where we were saving money, his job would go under. Needless to say, I am thankful we are out of that mess and I continually pray that we never have to deal with that again.
I will probably talk about how we are digging our way out of debt sometime in the future, but for now I’d like to talk about how we simplify our lives.
Cooking from scratch.
Every day I learn something new. I’m not only learning how to cook from scratch, but I’m learning how to make good food with the most healthy ingredients. I can’t say that we will one day all become real foodies, but we are getting there.
My knack for getting myself organized and sticking to a meal plan has greatly lessened our expense for eating out. To be honest, we are still eating out more than I want us to, but every month we get it down a little lower. My hope is that in the near future we will only eat take-out once a month (bad, I know, but no one likes my homemade pizza), and only go to a sit-down restaurant once a month.
Growing some of our own food.
We get fresh eggs from our backyard chickens every day. I love it. Our yard is way too shady for a good garden, but I do grow a few things in containers. Last year I totally failed at growing tomatoes and peppers, but my herbs did well. I’m going to try again this year with a little container garden.
I hate having the TV on in my home. If you come into my house when it’s just me and the kids the TV will most likely be off. I do let my kids watch TV sometimes. They get to watch movies, too, but it’s obviously more important for them to play without the noise and distraction. It’s much more interesting to watch Bug build a car out of his Lincoln Logs or Sis feed her baby doll. I’d rather live life than watch other people live their fake lives.
Learning New Crafts.
Two years ago I taught myself how to knit. I quit because, well, knitting is not a toddler-friendly activity and Mr. Simple kept calling me “Grandma” or my favorite, “Little Old Lady.” I may pick it up again someday. This year I’d like to tackle soap making.
Decluttering and Living with Less.
I love to declutter and organize things. It’s so hard to explain, but I guess I get a high from doing it. Kind of like Mr. Simple gets a high from looking at fancy sports cars. I love getting rid of junk and I do it all of the time. I’m constantly going around and picking up things here and there and getting rid of them. I just took a large load of things to the Goodwill last week. Oh, and just because I get rid of stuff doesn’t mean I go out and buy new stuff. Nope, I think long and hard before I purchase things and bring them into my home. I get rid of kids’ toys twice a year when the big consignment sales happen around here. Word of advice, don’t go through your kids stuff while they are present, and don’t ask your kid to throw something away after you’ve put an old toy in the trash. You just might find it sitting on your kitchen counter.
What do you do to make your life simpler?