The pursuit of a simple home, a simple lifestyle and minimalistic mindset is quite the trend right now. People are starting to discover how our modern culture and fast paced lifestyles have led us to have too much stuff, too much sickness, lots of unhappiness and lots of debt. Granted, this is not the case for all people, but the less we have taking stock in our lives, the better off we may be.
Trying to create a simple home is still a process for me too. I'm your average girl who caves in at Hobby Lobby on occasions and who enjoys wrapping one too many gifts for my childrens' birthdays. Yet somewhere in between these things, I've discovered some ways to make homemaking simple and today I am happy to share what I feel like are some great ways to make your home more simple, natural and hopefully more enjoyable.
- "Relaxed" meal planning. I am not strict when it comes to meal planning however I find that shopping for 4-5 meals I can cook, leaves me with a fridge full of things I know I can make. Some meals are fancier and may take longer and some meals will be a quick fix. Either way, cooking my family real food has us eating healthier, more organic options than takeout and boxed meals. Always have 1-2 easy meals planned on your weekly menu such as baked chicken thighs in a dish with fresh green beans or tortillas, a frozen bag of bell peppers and shredded cheese and chicken for fajitas. I do not plan each day's meal until I wake up and decide what we're doing for the day and which meal best fits our time frame.
- Make a shopping list. As old school as it is, make a specific list and stick to it. You'll save your money this way and buy less of the junk you really don't need.
- Consider before you buy for your home. Only buy the things that you truly love and that bring you joy. Trying to fill up the spaces with too much just to "have it" can be overwhelming. When you see something that you think will work in your home, if you're able to, go home and think about it. Chances are you may realize you really don't have a good spot for it or that it may not be practical.
- Less is more. To some people. Some people like a home bustling at the seams with items and that is okay. To each their own! However, don't feel you have to fill your spaces just because. Less really can be more. It's less overwhelming for our state of mind if we don't see as much "stuff."
- Purge frequently. Very frequently I purge through my closet, the kid's toys and cabinets around our home. This allows us to free ourselves from things we no longer need and that just take up space. It allows us more room to breathe when new things enter the home during the holidays or for new clothing items that fit your new style, size, etc...
- Repurpose things. Very often around my home things get reused and repurposed for different things. One week a vintage coke crate is on my front porch for decor and another week it's serving as a wine bottle holder in my home. Before you go out searching for something, see if you don't already have another item that can work.
- Do a food cleanup. I am a believer in expiration dates and expiration dates mean I can get rid of things! Clean out the pantry, freezer, fridge and medicine cabinet to free yourself of things that are old and expired. This allows you to have more room! While you're at it, see what unhealthy foods you can start eliminating from your home as well.
- Create a rhythm. Schedule is a hard and intimidating word. But a rhythm and structure to your days keeps a good flow, especially when children are involved. This is very beneficial for them. Rhythms change as seasons change.
- Rid yourself of artificial aromas. Candles, plug ins, air sprays and room dispensers all are costly to keep up with, overwhelming for some guests and most of all, dangerous to your health. While everyone wants to have a home that smells good, having your "plug in" scent so strong that even food from your freezer smells like it, that's a problem. It's costly to keep up with refills for these items and they are dangerous for your health. Invest in 1-2 beautiful essential oils diffusers and you can covers hundreds of square feet and actually receive many wonderful health benefits for these natural scents.
- Toss all of the cleaners. Most of us all have that cabinet under the kitchen sink that is full of cleaners, household items and more. And most of us have to dig for things, keep it locked from babies for fear of poisoning and so much more. You can actually toss all of your cleaners and use just ONE bottle for everything! With Thieves household cleaner you can disinfect and clean all surfaces naturally. Learn more about that here!
- FREE yourself. Free yourself of obligations that do not feed joy to yourself or your family. Make the calendar in your home less full and leave more time to just be. Sometimes life gets busy, and that's okay because living and seeking is beautiful. But just being is just as lovely.
My last thought on creating a simple home is to think back to the days of simplicity. Fresh eggs from the coop, weeding a flower bed, taking a walk with the kids, a tire swing hanging from a tree, rocking on the front porch together, dinner as a family, summer snacks outside, sprinklers with the water hose and so much more. We have a tendency to overthink things sometimes. We have a tendency to think we need so much more than what we do (guilty here too). I think the key to a simple homestead is relying on a simpler time. Find what works for you and create a home of joy and simplicity for your family.