Sunday, October 25, 2009

Living Simply

I've been toying with the idea of writing more on this blog. I tend to post lots of pictures since we don't have family where we live and it's our way of showing what we've been up to and Grady's growth and activities. However, I enjoy reading lots of blogs and learning tips from other moms and women. The pictures won't disappear, but I am going to try interjecting other things from our daily lives and things that make my life easier.

A few weeks ago we had a women's night at church about living simply. Lots of tips were given on things that make life easier at home, for moms, etc. Here are a few of the things I do on a regular basis that help me:

- monthly meal planning

I sit down once a month, make all my grocery lists for each week and write my meals out on the calendar for each day. This helps me plan, but also stay within budget each week. It also ends the question of what's for dinner each and the last minute scramble of getting dinner on the table. My friend Amy K. gave me this idea. I used to do weekly planning, but I felt like I was always planning! Another thing I do with this is make meal lists of what we like to have based on the season (salads/grilled stuff in summer, slow cooker meals and stews in winter), plus a list of all the sides we rotate through.

We also do theme nights frequently. Brinner nights (breakfast for dinner), Italian nights, Mexican nights and Pizza nights. (Oh, I also found this website for coupons to load directly to your grocery card).

- chore/housecleaning chart

I keep a list of all the chores that need done in our house based on daily/weekly/monthly/every 3 months/every 6 months/yearly basis. I tape it to the inside of my cupboard door and record the last date completed next to each chore. It helps me keep track of what needs done and what to do when I find time to spare.

I also try to split my chores and errands over a few days and schedule a few days to just relax so I can read that book I checked out from the library, work on some crafts while Grady is napping or spend time with a girlfriend.

- goodwill bag

I keep a box in the basement that I throw old clothes or unwanted items to donate in. A few times a year we go through our closets and get rid of things we aren't wearing or don't need anymore.

We are also constantly sorting Grady's clothes, things he's outgrown and things of his we are keeping we store in rubbermaid bins labeled by size.

- rising early

I find the best way for me to keep my days focused and simple is to get up early. I usually get up at 6am or so... and do my quiet time (this does not come easy for me, I wouldn't say I'm a morning person but it's worth it). I spend time working on whatever bible study I'm currently in...right now it's Beth Moore's Esther then I spend time journaling and praying for my different 'spheres of influence.' This is a fairly new process for me and I got the idea for it here. Because my day is full of playing with Grady and juggling lots of things, it's refreshing for me to have quiet (I never appreciated silence until Grady was born) and be up before the rest of the house. I find that when I have time to pray, dedicate my day to God, have a cup of chai and possibly get a load of laundry started before I hear that initial cry from Grady (I'm awake, feed me now!!!) I'm a much more patient mom and wife and much more equipped for the day!

- learning from others

I read a lot! I love reading other people's blogs and especially love books. In particular if you're a stay at home mom I recommend these three books: Feminine Appeal and Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney and Living Simply by Joanne Heim. Some blogs I love are Mustard Seeds, The Simple Wife, Marla Taviano, and The Long Thread.

Hopefully this kind of thing is interesting for you to read too and gives you a glimpse into not just what we look like in pictures but what our day to day stuff is like too!

How do you simplify? Any tips, tricks, tools to share? Leave a comment I'd love to hear from you!


Amy K said...

This is great Megan. I need to be more organized, esp. with household chores. Things tend to slip through the cracks around here! Keep sharing your thoughts!

Amber Reimer said...

Great tips Megan. I really need to get on board with making a meal plan. I HATE grocery shopping, so cutting back on the shopping trips would be nice. And since I will be quitting work in two weeks, that means I need to start cooking dinner more too.

We do the goodwill box thing too. So helpful and a great reminder! I also keep a clear, plastic tub handy in our room (near where I sort clean laundry) so that it is easily accessible for packing away the clothes Adrianna so quickly outgrows.

I found your blog from the MOPS blog. :)

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