Simple Ways to Make Your Family’s Day More Convenient
Sometimes simplifying your family’s life can seem like a steep climb in a hurricane. To set new boundaries, mindsets, or habits takes effort.
Each day brings new opportunities, challenges, and ways to make decisions. It’s possible to simplify your family’s lives by making small changes. Sometimes we are so small that we don’t realize how big these little steps can make a difference in our lives.
I used to be frustrated when I spent more time caring for my stuff than spending time with my family. Although I thrive in orderly environments, I am not gifted in organizing. Someone must have thought that you couldn’t have enough good qualities (except grace, love, and patience — I always need more of those) was wrong.
Uncluttered spaces are my favorite space for sensitive creativity. Physical clutter quickly becomes mental clutter for me. My four children and I must live with minimal clutter. It can cause damage to my brain, and I have trouble thinking straight. Studies show that I am not the only one.
Here are some ways that you can simplify your family life.
1. Make a list of three things.
Note the top three things that you must do each day. Invite your children to do the same. Steven Covey: “The key to scheduling your priorities is not to prioritize your time, but to plan your priorities.”
2. Your daily-use items will be well taken care of.
The idea behind minimalism is to make every item in your home a home with room for breathing. If you cannot simplify your home in a single day (like me), Start with what you and your family use every day.
In my book Minimumalism for Families, I explain how creating a command center (like three stacked trays in the kitchen cupboard) to receive papers and a drop-off area for bags/shoes/coats at our entrance has greatly simplified our daily routine.
Our family created a storage space to store the items we bring in and out of our house every day — bags, shoes and school papers.
Our family has found that having a place to store the items we use every day helps us keep organized, even when busy.
3. Speak no.
Today’s world is filled with more consumption than it is healthy. To make sure we have time to do the things that matter, Oswald Chambers says, “The whole point to getting things done is knowing how to get them done.”
4. Practice gratitude.
Your family can find simplicity through gratitude. When you are grateful, it isn’t easy to desire more. Surprisingly, this was one of the greatest unexpected benefits that I discovered during my journey to simplicity.
Joshua Becker’s statement, “Owning less but wanting more is great,” is right. This teaches us how to attract our hearts towards having and being more.
5. Accept the idea of one.
Look for areas where one is sufficient as you go about your daily life. Our family uses stainless steel water bottles as a way to embrace the concept of one. Each member of the family has a water bottle that they use throughout the day. Four children get water every hour, so one water bottle is enough to reduce dishes and encourage more water drinking.
6. The same thing.
It can help simplify the routine for your family by wearing the same thing every week.
My three- and four-year-old daughters have worn the same shirt to church every Sunday for the entire spring/summer season. The shirt is a basic button-down shirt with short sleeves that can be worn to work, the park, or out for dinner. It was easy to make sure they wore the same shirt every Sunday morning. It was amazing how much I appreciated having one less decision, especially when we were six and trying to get out of the house before 9 am.
7. Reduce the complexity of cleaning products
In the past 6 years, I have simplified my cleaning regimen and changed most products to be non-toxic and virtually zero waste. The daily/weekly cleaning routine becomes easier with minimal multi-use products.
8. For breakfast, eat the same thing.
Although it may seem boring, we haven’t found any problems eating the same breakfast every day. After about a week, we change it up. It can help you save time and money by purchasing the same ingredients. This gives you more freedom to choose what food to eat and allows for greater mental clarity. This has been my morning breakfast. It’s easy and quick, with no cooking necessary.
Make sure you choose meals that can all be cooked in one pot. An instant pot has replaced our crockpot and rice cooker. This pressure cooker dramatically reduces cooking time.
10. Batch cooking
Batch cooking means that you prepare a greater amount of food before you plan to use it. Batch cooking is a great way to save time and effort.