Whether you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom, we all have something in common – our homes. We can either feel peace when we enter our homes or we can feel chaos. I spent years feeling chaos and overwhelm. Forever falling victim to my laundry piles. This is something I still hear so many moms talk about! So today I’m sharing easy ways to simplifying home and life that you can start today!
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What Overwhelms Us?
I recently had a conversation with a friend. She said she enjoys the peace she feels when she visits. I was kinda shocked because of the 4 copy and paste children of my husband that run around our home. But then I wondered if she meant the “minimalism” of our home and she agreed. I’m not a die hard minimalist. I still like to keep things that make me happy. Still like to have cozy spaces. I always have space for just one more plant, and I haven’t Marie Kondoed any of my clothes.
But our house is minimalistic in the sense of clean work areas, like the kitchen table and the counters. There’s empty space on walls, and we don’t have an abundance of toys. This allows for mental clarity, which in turn brings peace. So if someone has ever told you that you can’t have cozy spaces, all the plants you want, and that you have to get rid of all your things, well it’s just not true. Real quick, just glance around your living spaces. Is your table covered with paperwork, do your counters have dishes and cups galore, are the walls full of decorations and pictures? I’m obviously not saying to get rid of everything, but I bet there’s a few things you can change that would bring some peace into your home.
Having Rhythms for Simplifying Home and Life
Before I share these easy ways to simplifying home and life I want to talk about rhythms. We all have them, even if you think you don’t. But your current rhythms may or may not be serving you. So take a look at your current rhythms, are they benefitting you and your family or do they need some improvement? Adding in these 5 things to your rhythms are sure to help you be able to simplify your home which will simplify your life!
To avoid any extra burdens here, just add in one of these 5 things or whatever feels doable for you and your family. Once you’ve added in one for awhile and it feels like second nature, add in another one and so on until you’ve revamped your entire home rhythms and now your home isn’t a chaos ridden burden that you dread walking into everyday.
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Easy Ways to Simplifying Home and Life
So here’s 5 easy ways to simplifying home and life that you can start doing today!
1. Keep flat surfaces cleared of clutter.
Keeping your kitchen table and counters cleaned off helps in so many ways! First, by having those spaces cleared off your whole kitchen will look cleaner. But it also helps mentally. It allows there to be room to breathe. It allows you to joyfully and peacefully prepare the meals for your household.
And if you still want to decorate go for it. I love decorating for Fall and Christmas, so on those occasions I may have some decorations on the counter or kitchen table, but it’s never so much that I can’t cook a meal and it’s something that brings me joy to look at while I cook, remember that cozy feeling I mentioned earlier?
2. Wash at least 1 load of laundry a day.
Do this first thing in the morning and that should give you plenty of time to dry it before you leave if you have to leave. If that’s not an option do it as soon as you walk in the door and allow it to run while you cook supper.
Multitasking it helpful here. There are several mornings I start a load of laundry, fold the laundry from the previous day while I’m waiting on bacon to cook in the oven for breakfast. Fit this in whatever time of day is going to work best for you.
3. Everyone has their own drinking cup.
You guys might think I’m crazy, but when there’s 6 people in a house all day long together, the amount of cups on the counters can make a person crazy. I’ve witnessed it first hand. So invest in some stainless steel cups, put names on them, color code them, whatever you need to do. But everybody needs their own cup. Refill and reuse! Stop dirtying every cup you own!
We’ve collected stainless steel cups over the years, but for the most part everyone has their specific cup. And another tip I started doing for the cups is placing them on a lazy susan on the counter by the fridge! Makes it super easy for the kids to spin, grab their cup, and refill when needed!
4. Run the dishwasher at night.
Either load it throughout the day if you stay home or load it after supper, but always run it at night! Then unload in the morning as you cook breakfast. In our house, this is one of the kids’ chores. I can’t even begin to tell you the difference this makes. And yes, there are some dishes that have to be hand washed but 3 dishes compared to 20 saves so much time and we always have clean dishes when we need them!
5. Do a quick 10 minute cleanup before bed.
Doing a quick clean up every night makes mornings go so much smoother. And I know for me personally waking up to a mess in the kitchen prevents me from wanting to cook breakfast. I almost feel like I have to clean it before I can even begin cooking. It’s like making your bed before you’re about to sleep in it. Please tell me I’m not the only one that does that!
This step goes quickly if everything has a “home”. If it doesn’t, it probably belongs in the trash (sorry). Either find it a home, donate it, or trash it. One catch all junk drawer or space I think is allowable, but if it starts filling up and you can’t close it, it’s time to toss stuff!
Bonus Tips for Easy Ways to Simplify Home and Life with Leah
I know Instagram is not everyone’s favorite place, but I’ve “met” some amazing people on there, one of them being Leah from @leahsimplelife. Leah shares how to use minimalism as a tool to simplify motherhood! She’s such an inspiration and encouragement for motherhood! And I asked her if she would do a Q&A on this topic!
Q: How long have you been implementing minimalism into your life?
A: “My husband and I have been living minimally for almost 10 years now! We started out decluttering our home, as most do, but then minimalism started bleeding into other areas of our life that we weren’t expecting but gladly embraced. It then became us being more intentional with our schedules, finances and mental clutter that we didn’t even realize we’d been hoarding. It was after we started implementing minimalism into our finances that I was able to take a huge step of faith and quit my job as a regional director for a Christian university to stay home with our children. I truly believe the principles of minimalism can be added to any area of your life and greatly impact you, if you let it!”
Q: What made you turn to minimalism?
A: “I’ll never forget, I was working at a radio station and I was already feeling the effects of the hamster wheel lifestyle, wake-up, work, eat, sleep, every single day. I was in a constant state of ‘catching up’. Whether it was laundry, dishes, cooking, work, etc. I was always behind. Which is why I was at work, Youtubing videos on “how to organize your home”. Ha! While searching, I came across a video of Joshua Becker talking about a term I’d never heard before, minimalism. After that I was hooked! Almost like a lightbulb had gone off and everything he was saying made total sense to me. Of course I felt like I was drowning because I was drowning, in stuff! The rest, I guess, is history!”
Q: Name one practice, routine, or rhythm that has helped you the most?
A: “Preparing the night before. So cliche right? Mornings used to be a big stressor for me and if my morning derails it’s really hard for me to get it back on track. Preparing anything I can the night before helps my mornings run so much smoother which sets me up for a better day altogether.”
Q: What’s one misconception you hear about minimalism?
A: “Oh my, just one!? Ha! The people that say minimalism is a life of deprivation because for us it’s been the complete opposite. It’s given us the most important, precious, sacred thing that you can never get back in this life and that’s time! Time to spend as a family, making memories rather than spending our whole life working and trying to keep up with the Joneses who we don’t even like!”
Minimalism + Motherhood
Q: How has it impacted your motherhood?
A: “Simple living has been the biggest blessing to me when it comes to motherhood. Like I said earlier, I don’t think I would be home with my children or homeschooling if we hadn’t taken the steps needed to simplify our finances in the beginning of our journey. From a broader spectrum, it’s allowed us to teach our children things like the importance of donating and giving, that we don’t have to be involved in every single sport or activity because family time and time to rest matters and that it’s okay if we don’t have the latest and greatest “________” because those aren’t the factors that make up a fulfilled life! Faith, family and friends are!”
Q: How do you practice minimalism with kids?
A: “Minimalism with kids is all about cultivating their mindset. I’m a big believer in communicating with my kids about why we’re decluttering, what we gain by passing things on to others and how others can be blessed by our donations. Practically speaking we have a very small selection of toys, books, clothes, shoes, not because we’re trying to deprive them but for the simple fact that it’s just not necessary and our space is limited. I say this a lot but I truly believe if toys were nonexistent kids would be just fine and probably better off.”
Q: What is your number one tip to someone just starting on simplifying their home and life?
A: “Be ruthless! I think a lot of times we’re scared of decluttering, in ALL forms, physically, spiritually, mentally, financially, etc. because of the unknown factor or the “what if” factor. As someone that’s experienced all of these fears I can tell you that it’s worth it! It’s worth every minute spent decluttering, it’s worth every “no”, it’s worth every feeling of FOMO. In the end, having a simplified home, schedule, and life is so very worth it. What you’ll gain is far more than what you’re giving up.”
Q: What area would you encourage a beginner to start with?
A: “I like to start in bathrooms because most usually there are no emotional ties to anything in there, mostly just self-care products which seem easier for people to part with. But give yourself strict guidelines and stick to them!”
Q: What is the easiest strategy to add a new rhythm to life?
A: “I love to habit stack! So, if you’re someone just starting out and you’re wanting to implement new habits for a simplified home and life, start with making your bed every day, then when that becomes a habit, add on emptying your dishwasher every morning and running it at night. You wouldn’t think simple habits like that make a difference but oh boy, they do!”
Q: What are your 3 favorite books or podcasts for simplifying home & life?
A: “I’m giving you 4 because I just couldn’t pick!
- Book: “Things that Matter” by Joshua Becker
- Podcast: “Minimalist Moms Podcast” Diane Boden (love her!)
- Youtube: The Minimal Mom (love her!)
- Documentary: Minimalism: A Documentary by The Minimalists”
Easy Ways to Simplifying Home and Life Extras
I hope these easy ways to simplifying home and life are helpful to you as they have been for me. If it feels like too much to do them all at once, just pick one and start there. Progress is progress! And I know the difference you’ll feel if you start implementing these in your home and life.