10 Ways to Simplify
You will be doing yourself a big favor if you can figure out some ways to simplify. Expecting too much of yourself, your time, your money, etc. can be very stressful and leave you feeling like you can never get on top of things. Here are some ways I have simplified my life:
1. Don’t feel obligated to set your table for every meal. More often than not, we just set a stack of plates and silverware on the table and let people grab their own. Sometimes, we leave the food in the kitchen and stack the plates there. (This does not alter the taste or quality of your food, I promise.)
2. Don’t look at Pinterest. Ever. Again.
3. Master the art of making do. Those who have mastered this skill might be seen cleaning their tablet’s screen with their pj shirt instead of buying/hunting for a screen cloth. You might find them eating soup out of Pyrex food storage containers instead of rushing to wash bowls right before dinner.
4. Pay bills through your bank’s online bill pay service. I was resistant to doing this until my banker convinced me that my identity was less likely to be stolen if I wasn’t sending checks through the mail. Initially, I had to enter addresses for a number of payees, which required some time, but I now love the service. Another plus is not buying stamps!
5. Set up a system for your laundry and stick to it. I like to check the laundry room every morning and see if a load is ready. Because all our laundry baskets are in there and I hang some things up to dry, this works well for me. It might be best for you to collect/wash laundry one day a week.
6. Train your family to stick dirtied dishes in the dishwasher as they use them. Try not to be too picky about how perfectly they place said dishes. I always have to do some quick re-ordering before I run a load.
7. Get off of mailing lists! This usually involves a two-minute phone call, but it’s worth the absence of more mail to sort and shred.
8. Use your library card and don’t feel the need to own a lot of books.
9. Have a standard on-the-go meal and always have the ingredients on hand. This way you can quickly assemble it and don’t have to waste time and money stopping for fast food. Our on-the-go meal is crackers, lunch meat (which I freeze until we need it), and cut fruits and veggies. My kids can assemble this on their own since they know just what to make.
10. Let go of your perfectionist tendencies so that you can appreciate the help others give. No one will ever do everything the way you want it done. Maybe you can fit two more plates in the dishwasher, but are those two plates worth the time you’ll spend to do it yourself and get it done “right?”When my kids clean the bathroom counters they don’t squeeze the sponge out as much as I would, which leaves water spots on the counters sometimes. When you notice an inefficiently loaded dishwasher, or a spotty counter, just remind yourself to breathe and shrug it off. Whenever I struggle with letting go of perfectionism, I quote the following proverbs to myself:
Proverbs 21:9 “It is better to live in a corner of a roof Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” (NASB)
Proverbs 27: 15 “A constant dripping on a day of steady rain And a contentious woman are alike.” (NASB)
How’s that for ending on a perky note? If you are particularly inspired by these verses you could immortalize them in needlepoint on a pillow.