What to say, except that I’m trying? To declutter. To discard. To simplify. All of that, I believe, starts in the space of the home.
Little Ways I Make My Life Simpler
— Don’t be evil: Use Google. Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Reader are my best friends. Everything I need to do on the Interwebs, Google can make it swifter and smoother for me. If you read any blogs at all and aren’t already using Google Reader or some comparable RSS feed, it’s time for you to enter the 21st century. It will make your Internet reading life 110% better. Promise.
—To-do lists. My mother created a breed of obsessive list-makers among us. Grace is probably the most addicted of all; she literally can’t go anywhere without a pad of paper with her to write down things to do during the day. I’m not quite that bad, but I do make a to-do list every day. They’re considerably shorter now that I’m not in school, but they do preserve my sanity. You remember things you write down. You forget the things you don’t. It’s as simple as that.
— Budgeting. Guion and I make a budget together every month. Granted, we’ve only been doing it three months now (yesterday was our three-month mark of being married!), but it’s been a tremendous sanity-saver when it comes to spending and saving. Super father-in-law Mike made us an Excel budget sheet that’s very easily customized and has made monthly budget updates a cinch.
— Planning and shopping for a week’s worth of food. This can be a headache sometimes, but it really does save us a lot of money at the grocery store. Instead of buying random stuff that catches our attention or going two or three times during the week, we get all of our shopping done at once. The only tricky thing about this method is the produce. Our weeks are usually front-loaded with produce-heavy dinners. I think we need to start taking advantage of the Wednesday farmers’ market.
— Morning prayer and study. My day always feels more balanced after I’ve started it with prayer and the Bible. This has always been true for me.
One that I just added to my daily routine is practicing yoga in the morning. (Grace, be proud!) We finally bought yoga mats and after I wake up a bit, I am trying to practice about 15 minutes or so. I can’t attest yet to whether this is simplifying my life, but I’ll keep you posted.
While this won’t necessarily make my life instantly simpler, I am going to save for a subscription to Real Simple. A bunch of my housemates got that magazine last year, and I was so excited when they’d leave it on the kitchen table for public consumption. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and I think it’s definitely worth the money.
I’m writing this mostly to solicit your advice; I’m always looking for good tips on simplification. So, tell me: How do you simplify your life?