To Be More Joyful: Simplify Your Life

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One way to enjoy your family life more is to simplify. Basically, you’re going to find out what you have to do and then determine the easiest way to get it done.

This can mean different things to different people. For my friend with a new baby, she had to find “the bottom line.” She realized her limitations and found her “must do” for the day. She knew she would “feel human” if she got a shower and blew dry her hair every morning. While a shower doesn’t seem like such a big accomplishment, it’s one way to simplify her life and lower her expectations of herself for a season.

For my friend homeschooling different aged children, putting her kids on the same history and literature curriculum is going to simplify her life immensely come next school year. She won’t be teaching American History to one kid while she’s talking about the Middle Ages with the other.

For you, it might be something different. Maybe you’ll take a vacation from couponing and chasing around to many different stores every week; maybe you’ll ask your husband to handle the carpool for a season; maybe you’ll say, “No,” to being team mom next season.

Find ways to make your life simpler and easier, and you will be one happier mama.

Last year I wrote a series, entitled 50 Ways to Streamline Your Life. Many, if not all, of my suggestions fall under the “simplify your life” category. Many of them are simple things that you probably already know.

The 50 ways are listed here with links back to bigger explanations of each. You may already be doing some of them. But, I would hazard to guess that working in a few more will make life even more enjoyable.

  1. Have a plan.
  2. Start your morning in a peaceful way.
  3. Simplify your wardrobe.
  4. Do as much as you can the night before.
  5. Develop a laundry system that works for you.
  6. Even if you’ll be home at noon, make lunch the night before.
  7. Carpool.
  8. Spend time regularly to plan menus for your family’s meals.
  9. Read good books about cleaning, housekeeping, organizing, and making your house a home.
  10. When running errands, take a few minutes to map out your route.
  11. Avoid huge piles of wet towels and dirty cups through color coding.
  12. Quit wasting time crunching numbers with pen and pencil.
  13. Organize your bookkeeping.
  14. Prepare packing lists for different activities so that you always have what you need.
  15. Clean as you go.
  16. Set your maids to work first thing in the morning.
  17. Use little minutes.
  18. Cook ahead and freeze several meals.
  19. Clean the bathroom while you’re in there anyway.
  20. Delegate.
  21. Develop a method of cleaning and tidying for each room.
  22. Include a child with you in your errands.
  23. Store like items with their kin and locate them where you use them.
  24. If you bake often, consider preparing your own homemade mixes.
  25. Maximize relaxation.
  26. Find a calendar system that works for your family.
  27. Prioritize your tasks.
  28. Clip coupons? Don’t leave home without them!
  29. Create shortcuts to dinner prep.
  30. Find yourself buried? Take some time to climb out from under.
  31. Ask God for help.
  32. Start going to bed earlier.
  33. Lower your standards.
  34. Get moving.
  35. Use the penicillin method for decluttering.
  36. Find the quickest route from messy to clean.
  37. Learn to say NO.
  38. Look at the path ahead of you and plan accordingly.
  39. Be willing to take a shortcut.
  40. Only keep what is useful and beautiful.
  41. Be satisfied with enough.
  42. Have a potluck.
  43. Catch some rays.
  44. Don’t fold the laundry.
  45. Wear an apron.
  46. Expect good behavior from your children.
  47. Go to the doctor.
  48. Clean out the car.
  49. Be prepared for an emergency.
  50. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

What do you do to make life a little simpler at your house?

** This is part of the series, 14 Ways To Be More Joyful.

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  1. I recently printed all of these off and keep them in my home management binder as a reminder to keep it simple. Added this to my Friday Favorites this week!

  2. This is a great list. I love your blog! I would add make your own coffee because you can wait a long time (and spend a lot of money) in line.

  3. What a great post – I still need to work through all your links. I think #31 should be #1 to start out right. I’m beginning to declutter over the summer (almost here!?) so that the remainder of the new school year will go more smoothly.

  4. Love your list, thanks for sharing again 🙂

    Even though I’m not a mom yet (but it’s in the distant future) one of my tricks is “Don’t iron clothes unless you have to.”
    I try to buy clothes that don’t require ironing (about 80% of my clothes and my fiancé’s clothes are ones that don’t need ironing), I hang dry clothes and make sure they’re straight on the hanger and only iron if it’s absolutely necessary.

  5. While I don’t agree with all of these (shock! 🙂 ), I do embrace “Only keep what is useful or beautiful”. I keep a very simple, yet elegant home with very few knick-knacks or clutter. It’s just more to clean in my mind!

    Plus, when I walk into a room, I feel more at peace w/o tons of busyness all around me. I think soft textures and fine lines keep a sense of structure, yet comfort.

  6. Thank You! I needed these reminders! I’m going to take my coffee and read some of these (again) to help me end our homeschool year AND start off the summer well.

  7. What a great list! There are many things on this list that sound so simple, but really do make a big difference (meal planning, clean as you go, delegate, lower expectations). I hope I have a chance to go back and look through all of the links in more detail. Loving this series on being more joyful!