Life sure has a way of getting complicated fast – kids, husband, job, school, bills, home maintenance, vehicle repair – oh my! I could go on, but the list would get exhaustive!
For me, summer is time for a slower pace, a time to evaluate my priorities, our schedules, and in the end determine what my family’s goals are for the upcoming year. What is really important? Is what we are spending our time on in line with our priorities? What am I doing or buying that I can live without?
Living simply is about reducing stress and eliminating excess, the things that are just cluttering up your life, getting rid of things that are not in line with your goal and priorities.
Living simply has many benefits:
1. Saves time
When you determine what your priorities are, you will not waste time on activities that are not relevant. Plus, I have always said, it is quicker to clean a room with 10 items than a room that every surface is taken up by knickknacks, piles and so forth.
2. Better organization
If you reduce clutter, it is easier to become and stay organized.
3. Green living
By consuming and wasting less, you are being a good steward of the earth that God gave us to care for.
4. Promotes good health
Part of living simply is learning to eat simply. I am not talking about boring foods, but REAL food. Food that is well prepared, with nutritious and healthy ingredients, eating food that promotes health and growth of our family. Eating simply means cutting out the foods that are not good for our bodies, or the bodies of our children, and replacing it with whole foods, using fresh ingredients, that nourish and energize our bodies and encourages healthy eating habits in our growing children.
5. Saves money
This one is HUGE for me, I love saving money, but often I feel myself pulled into wanting items that are not really a necessity and do not really line up with my families goals and priorities. In the end, buying less saves, not only the initial cost of purchasing, but the costs associated with maintaining that purchase.
Take small steps, rushing in and trying to implement a whole bunch of changes is going to create stress, not reduce it! Besides, if you make a lot of changes all at once, you will likely come up against some resistance in the form of your husband and children. For example, if all of a sudden decide that you are not going to buy anything pre-packaged, including your husbands favorite cereal and your children’s favorite afternoon snack, they are likely to revolt. Instead, pick one area of your life that you feel is not matching up to your family’s goals and priorities and start makings some changes.
For example, if eating more simply and healthy is a priority for your family that you feel needs work, find some simple and nutritious changes. Find a meal or two that you can make that use only fresh ingredients, or instead of offering your children boxed cereal in the morning (that is likely loaded with sugar), offer them a banana smoothie.
Similarly, if you decide to de-clutter your house, don’t start pulling apart rooms randomly, you will never get it all done and you are likely to just feel stressed about the mess and even more overwhelmed. Instead, pick one closet or one toy box so that the project is small and manageable instead of daunting and overwhelming.
Taking steps to live more simply does not take a lot of time or effort; it only takes a real desire to re-focus on the priorities of your family and a willingness to remove the clutter that stands in your way.
For more tips see WFMW!
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