Sunday, September 30, 2007

More Jobs for Kids!

I give my children jobs. It started when they were arguing over who is going to say the blessing at meals!?!? So we made up a schedule (a simple schedule – every other day). So one says the blessing for meals all day and the other is the leader of the day. The leader gets the mail that day. It works out well and less arguing. Also if something comes up and there is arguing, I simply ask, “who’s day is it to be the leader?” That person does the job. It is simply solved, no more arguments. We keep track, with our easy system, and we are consistent. We do this daily. Thus the kids “know the rules” and do well with this system!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Got Kids? Get Them Involved!

Do you have children? If so, get them involved in your process of simplifying. Yesterday, I was doing the kids’ laundry. Now this just worked out for me. I do laundry on most days. Today though, I did all of the kids laundry. After each load, I gathered the kids around with me and we all folded. First they sorted the laundry into piles - socks, underwear, shorts, pants and shirts. Then we each chose a sorted pile to fold. Now, my son did the underwear and socks. Daughter did shorts and pants. I folded the shirts. =)

It worked out really well! At the time, I noted to myself to add this to my blog and definitely add this to weekly list of chores! Yay! 10 points for Mom! =)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Take Action - Declutter!

Here is another article on action based principles for decluttering your home! Thought you might enjoy it!

click here

I like combining the 1st and 2nd ideas - assessing each room as IF you were moving. If you were moving, what would you get rid of? For example Sally is 3 years old now, she's outgrown her baby toys. Can they be given to someone else or Good Will, sold at a yard sale or on ebay?

What are some other things that you would not take with you.....if you have more than several of one item....things that you don't use, or have NEVER used....bless others with those items or sell them!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Simplifying Children's Clothes

It's that time of year again...for changing seasons which means changing clothes. Packing up some of the summer and bringing out some heavier clothing items. This is the time of year, I sort through my children's clothes. How many clothes do our children actually need? They each have about 7-10 outfits, many of those outfits are mix and match. My daughter also has a few skorts that she really likes to wear and several dresses. Of course we also have several sets of pajamas too. She announced she doesn't like jeans! Yikes!!! Jeans go with everything! She loves denium skorts and skirts, but no jeans. Okay, black and taupe pants are still good for mixing and matching.

My son's drawers are sooo deep. He can keep sooo many clothes in there! That was a big clean out. I try to do the same for him 7-10 outfits. Of course I usually end up with an extra "stack" of t-shirts too for both kids. I packed up all of their clothes that no longer fit and send them the boy's pile to my friend and girl's pile to my sister. Whew, I feel organized and simplified!

Handling hand-me-downs. I love hand-me-downs. When I first started receiving them for my son, I was sooo overwhelmed! I received sooo many and kept most of them! Yikes! So here is my strategy.

1. Go through all hand me downs. Pull out the ones that are stained, throw away.

2. Make matches (pants/shorts and shirt) out of what is left. No match then make a pile for Good Will. Most likely you won't use it if there isn't a match.

3. Out of the matching outfits, take out what you don't like. You will not put these clothes on your child if you don't like them and no sense putting them in the drawer if that's the case. Put them in Good Will pile.

4. Out of the remaining matching outfits, pick about 7-10 that you really like to keep for your child.

5. Donate the remaining clothes to Good Will, to a friend or give to a church collecting clothes.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Are You Content?

In my Quest for the Simple Life, I always come back to this question. Am I content?

Am I content with what I have? Am I content with my relationships? Am I content with my place in life? This isn't to say that we shouldn't have goals and improve our lives. It's just to bring the point home - STOP & this very moment, are you content with your life?

I was thinking about this yesterday and even right at this moment. I am VERY content with my life. I am grateful for all that I have, for all that I have been blessed. I don't take enough time to sit quietly and reflect on what I have and be thankful. Life's moving too fast. My children and I talk often about having a grateful heart and being thankful.

Are you content?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Decluttering Help - Action Based Strategies

I just stumbled on this article on thought you might find it informative. It's action based for decluttering your home.

click here

So Many Gadgets, So Little Time........

There are so many gadgets in our society these days. It is amazing! I jumped on the internet. I love email and the internet! I love being able to keep in touch with old friends and far away friends in email! I also love the resource the internet be able to jump on and "google" something, even back when you just did a seach - before it was "goggle-ing" or is it "googling?" (That second one didn't look right, that's why I made up the first one.) I love having the information I was searching for in minutes.

Now I stayed away when the cell phones came out. Eventually my mother-in-law purchased a TracFone for me. You buy the minutes as you go along. She felt as a mother with 2 small children that I needed one. I use it for emergencies or on the rare occassion that I am away from the kids to check home. Didn't Moms survive for many years without cell phones? Didn't all of our children too? It is convenient though when I am away from home.

I don't give out my TracFone number nor do I have the voice mail set up. This drives my Dad crazy! I tell him though, I just use it for emergencies. So, it's never on unless I am away from the kids, which isn't too often.

When cell phones became popular and people purchased them to keep in their pockets or on their belt, I thought they were annoying. People would take them with them everywhere they went. They were always ringing, always an interruption. I would see and hear people use them everywhere at the grocery store, on the streets, in other stores, on the beach, etc. I never wanted to be attached to one. I don't want to be found. I want to be able to go to the beach with the kids and get lost for the day.

I have noticed now that the cell phone use seems more controlled. Or people are exercising their options. You can put it on vibrate or turn it off. They have voice mail and someone can leave a message. Then you can check it at your convenience.

There are so many gadgets out there these days - Blackberries and IPhones too. Don't forget the IPods, which I really just call the new age walkman. =) Of course I know it can do more than our walkmans did and it has some great features. I don't own one though.

Of course, there are so many gadgets, you really just chose a few that work for you and your lifestyle! There are all available and options we have, you don't have to have them all or use them all either. Just pick the ones if needed that fit your lifestyle! Keep it simple!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where are you Miss Manners?

Some of my friends think I'm a bit crazy! My one friend left a message on my machine without her phone number. When I finally got her number and called her back, she said "oh I thought it would come up on the caller ID." I smiled and told her we live in the dark ages over here and do not have caller ID. We moved last year and I can not believe how many options are offered with the telephone service now. I have to go through all of the options and tell them I just want local and long distance. I do not need caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding or any of the other services. Then they try to "sell me" and explain why I do need all of these services! I just want to keep it simple.

I do have a problem with call waiting also. I had one friend who was very social. Her phone was always ringing and she would always answer the caller ID! It was frustrating when I was talking on the phone with her. Does Miss Manners have a new book out on proper manners for our new technology?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Do Not Answer the Bell!

We are so conditioned to answer a ringing bell. Isn't it hard not to pick up the ringing phone or answer a ringing doorbell? In my quest for a simple life, I've taken a different path. I've decided I do not have to answer the phone. I have a choice. Like Pavlov's theory states, I have been conditioned. It rings, you go to pick it up......ahh, but that is one of the great things about answering machines! If I don't want to answer the phone, the caller can leave a message! I can continue my day uninterrupted! I especially do this, when I am reading to the kids. We are very interested in our book and none of us want to be interrupted. They are aware of what I am doing now too.