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- It frees up mental and physical space.
- It lessens anxiety and depression.
- It makes things you actually need easier to find.
- And it in turn produces a home that’s easier to clean (with less things to clean).
- Plus, no more stepping on your child’s favorite toys in the middle of the night in a dark house! (Your feet will thank you!)
Here are some ways we’ve been spring cleaning different areas of our life:
If that big word sounds intimidating, just pick 5-10 items each day that you don’t use or like or want, and get rid of it. We are always adding to the pile in the garage for a yard sale… It consists of nearly 3/4 of the items in our garage! It feels so good to be getting rid of stuff, yet we still have more to go. We cleaned through our closets, and now need to go through knick knacks in the tiny house. Yes, we live in a tiny house, as well… about 350 square feet. Still decluttering!
If you are still on the fence, watch the show Hoarding: Buried Alive, and try telling me afterward you want to keep everything in your house! Totally serious.
Try reading The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker for inspiration on where and how to start. Or if you wish, follow the Marie Kondo craze of late and only keep what sparks you joy! (Haven’t you heard of it by now?)
2. Buying wholesome
Buying wholesome means to buy real food and quality items made with real materials… in so many words.
In other words, I’ve been looking more and more at the labels of items, rather than just the price. It makes a big difference.
This includes dog and cat food, laundry detergent, body wash and shampoos, and even looking at where our clothes are made. I’ll get into so much more of this topic in a blog soon!
3. Slowing down
This basically means that we don’t overplan our days and weeks. In fact, we hardly plan them at all.
Specifically it means that we only have a handful of places to go, and intentional list of how and what we do (for example: things that are needed like errands and things that are wanted like going to the park), and leave the rest to come as it may.
This creates less stress, more time comfortable at home, freeplay outside… and more.
Just knowing there isn’t anything planned is freeing because you aren’t caught up in trying to keep it.
Take a deep breath. Doesn’t that relieve so much pressure?
You and I are not meant to do it all. We can’t.
We were designed by God to take time to slow down each week to rest… does the Sabbath sound familiar to you? Shabbat is the Hebrew original word and means “to rest from labor;” Sabbath is meant for the day of rest, following six days of Creation – the day for worship.
There’s a lot we can learn from taking a sabbath day of rest.
So we read, play, fish, walk, paint, talk, nap, just simply enjoy our sabbath free time!
This includes looking specifically at labels and ingredients in daily vitamins and buying whole foods, rather than microwaveable quick meals.
Yet, this can also include buying smart: frozen veggies, fruit or meals from wholesome brands to steam, fresh produce on sale, etc. I stick to the necessities and try to get as much fresh as we can. This is where the frozen veggies & fruit come in handy for daily smoothies!
Remember a rule of thumb for natural mamas: buy ingredients that grow from dirt, buy what you can pronounce, and stick with the edges of the grocery store for fresh food.
5. Know Your Yes
To me, this little phrase means to know what (+why) you are saying yes or no to, and don’t respond a certain way just to please or for the sake of.
Make smart decisions about what activities you agree to or what place you agree to go to lunch during your break. Not just for the sake of it, but thoughtfully:
- does this take away time or resources from something more important?
- does this benefit my physical, emotional, spiritual wellbeing?
- does this contribute to x, y, and z as I’m told?
- will this build me up or tear me down?
I love the upcoming release, The Next Right Thing, by Emily P Freeman, for more about this. You can find the book for pre-order on Amazon here. As a member of the launch team, I’ve received access to an early copy, so I’m able to share this incredible grouping of words bound with you! (more to come!)
There are many more ways to simplify different areas of your life into the kind that you are excited about…
Let’s not get stuck in the day to day mundane. There is no reason to!
If something isn’t right, there is never a better time than right now to change that.
Also: This list of mine is just a start. it is by no means extensive….. And I know in this learning of simple living there is more to come!
~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama