Have you ever just been totally overwhelmed by the simple task of keeping your house clean? I know I have been, and rarely is it because I was just too lazy. Normally, it has to do with a lot of other factors and life just spiraling out of control. Here are some basic steps to help you simply your life even when you can't control outside circumstances.
Simplify Your Schedule
1. Know Your Limits
We all have physical limits. Some of us choose to live by them and others choose to fight them. For a long time, I was in the latter category, staying up to late and waking up too early; over committing myself and not taking the necessary time to nourish my body. Every couple of months, my body would completely give out, and I would be down for a week. I was afraid to admit that I was tired and overwhelmed so I kept pressing on, that is until I got married. Then my husband really helped to put me in tune with my limits. He would recognized my signs of stress and tiredness even before I would, and he would tell me that I needed to take a break. Eventually, I came to understand my body again and learned that it was okay to take it easy.
Knowing your limits is important because taxing your body too much whether physically or emotionally will always lead to future problems. Know how much sleep you need and how many projects you can successfully take on at one time. Also understand, that every stage of life is different and that is okay.
When you have a house full of littles, it is not the time to have ten projects going on. It is time to rest and invest in your little ones. As they get older, you will have more time to invest in other projects and dreams, but it only amounts to a tired, grumpy mamma when she tries to do too much. Take a step back from life as you knew it, and accept this stage of life with grace.
2. Learn to Say No
Once you know what you can and can't handle at a certain stage in your life, don't live outside those limits. This will mean that you will have to say a lot and that is okay. You are in charge of your life and your time. If your life is crazy, and you are overwhelmed, take a step back because most of the time, you allowed it to happen by over committing yourself.
Time is very precious. It is the one thing we can never get back once it is gone. Because of this, I am very selfish with my time. I do not do crazy, and if something will make my life crazy, I say no. This goes hand in hand with the next point.
3. Know Your Priorities
Not only should you learn to say no, it is helpful to know what to say no too. For example, my first priority is my husband and children, so if a project calls for me to be gone many evenings, I will say no. On the other hand, if it is something that my whole family can enjoy, then we would say yes. I make it a point not to be gone from my family more than once a week. This is just me, and everyone is different.
You will need to figure out what is most important to you at this time in your life and make sure that everything you commit to is completely in line with those priorities.
Simply Your House
I don't know how this happens but clutter has a way of sneaking into life when you are not careful. Getting rid of excess really helps your house cleaning to stay manageable. I mean how many sheets per bed do you really need? Consider this scenario: You get up in the morning, strip the beds and throw the bedding in the washer. You then put a new sheets on the beds and go on about the rest of your day. A couple days go by and you are washing laundry, you open the dryer and there are your sheets that you forgot about. Or maybe, you did take them out of the dryer, and they are sitting in a laundry hamper or in a pile somewhere. Is it just me or do things like this tend to happen?
Wouldn't it be better, if you only had one pair of sheets? You wouldn't have to use the extra storage, and you wouldn't forget them in the dryer because you need them on the bed come nightfall. There are a lot of items that clutter our closets and make tons of laundry for us, that truly are not necessary. I challenge you to go through your house and get rid of duplicate things. Here are some examples:
- Serving Spoons
A good rule of thumb is if you haven't used it in the last two months, you probably don;t need it. I know this is difficult, but I promise taking away all the excess will help you have less stuff to clean up and less laundry to do.
2. Create White Space
White space helps you relax and is easy on your eyes. Not every spot on your wall needs to be covered with a picture frame. Remember that the more you have, the more you have to clean. All those figurines and nick knacks collect dust, so be selective of what you keep. In your attempt to create more white space, get rid of anything that tends to collect stuff. Most solid surfaces like bookshelves, end tables, counter tops tend to collect an assortment of random items. You will know what surfaces these are in your house.Obviously, you can't eliminate them all, but eliminate the ones you can.
After you have spent some time de-cluttering and eliminating, it is time to organize what is left. Everything in your home needs to have a place it belongs. For example, shirts always go in the third drawer, and little cars always go in the shoe box under the bed. Everything having a home really helps you to be able to teach and enlist the help of your children when putting things away.
These are two ways that I have learned to simply my life so that I can actually enjoy it. What are ways that you have learned to simply that have made a big impact?