Tag Archives: Simplicity

Simplification Tactics

Last week I tackled the kids toys. It was a bit overwhelming to start but once I got into it, it was easy. I threw out everything that wasn’t a matching set, was out of batteries, (I hate battery operated toys), broken, or anything that just wasn’t played with in the last few months (that took care of a lot of it). But in my very impatient opinion it took too much time to accomplish. So when I moved onto sorting kids books, I took on a new tactic.

We had lots of books that were never touched and I’ve often wondered if we should keep them for some unknown reason. So I pulled all the books off the bookshelf and stared at them all for a few minutes completely overwhelmed (and slightly buried) before I began sorting them into “keep, maybe keep, look at them again, get rid of, and torn.” Yeah, lots of piles and I was incredibly overwhelmed. That’s when I decided to only put the “definitely keep” books back on the shelf. When I looked at the rest of the piles, it was easy to just put them all in the “get rid of” box.

The shelf looked clean and simple and meaningful. I didn’t want to add anything else to it. So my new simplification tactic is to pull out all our “definitely keep” items from amongst the clutter and just give everything else to goodwill.

There is no reason to sort.

Just pull out what is necessary and discard the rest. It is much faster and takes less brainpower. Thankfully I am easily distracted so once something is in the goodwill box, I can’t remember what it is! (I never needed it anyway, right?) Simplifying this way eliminates the “what if I need this someday” question. That question is usually my downfall in simplifying.

I am very excited to experiment with this tactic throughout the rest of the house. Today I am tackling linens and possibly clothes. My next step will be to purchase some clear boxes and make sure everything has a place. Using the boxes will also make moving easier since everything will be pre-packed. And the kids will have a difficult time opening the boxes so I will always know when something is being played with–no more surprise messes.

I am so excited to simplify.

Hopefully by the end of Lent, the house will be completely decluttered just in time for spring and outdoor fun!


Simplicity One Step At A Time

I hate clutter. Hate hate hate clutter (yup, that’s a lot of hate right there). And we have lots of it. Ugh. But there is hope….

Spring is just around the corner and (according to that plump little rodent Punxsutawney Phil) it will be here before we know it. (He better be right–just saying.) Anyway, Spring cleaning is a great time to do more than just straighten and dust. I am taking this opportunity to simplify. In fact, I am taking it a step further. As part of my Lenten fasting this year, I am going to fast from things. I am going to cleanse my life from the clutter and unnecessary items that our family does not need. The things that hold us back, the things that make us distracted. I hate spending my time cleaning up clutter when I could be spending time with my family having fun. It’s time to change that. And it’s going to be great.

Yesterday I started with the kitchen. It took most of the day but I got rid of everything in our cabinets that we didn’t use. I set everything out on the counter and put the things that I realistically use back in the cabinet. The rest got sent to good will. I did the same thing with the pantry. And the freezer and fridge. It is easier to put things away and see what food I have in the pantry which in turn will make meal planning and grocery shopping easier. There, one portion of the house simplified.

Now here’s the hard part: keeping motivation and being patient. To truly simplify is a lot of work. And it takes time. Loosing motivation is the part I am hoping to avoid. In order to keep it from happening I am setting a time line. So over the next 8-9 weeks before Pascha (Easter), I am going to simplify this house. At least a room a week. So stay tuned. Things are going to change for the better.