Raise your hand if life has become too complicated. Is your hand up?
Why is life too complicated?
Why is the calendar jammed full of activities? Why are closets bursting and cabinets overflowing? Why is there no time to consistently put healthy meals on the table? Why do we have to schedule time to see our own children and husband?
We tend to blame our personalities: “I’m just not naturally organized.”
Or we play the grown up everybody-is-doing-it card: “The kids have to be well-rounded to fit in.”
Some of us are even resigned fatalists: “That’s just the way life is. You’ve gotta grin and bear it.”
Is that how you want to live? Grinning and bearing it until…until what? The kids are grown and gone and you can’t redeem that lost time? You’re too exhausted and stressed to even remember how to enjoy life? You’re six feet under?
“Of course not! I don’t want to live that way, but…I’m just not naturally organized.” Insert the I’ve-heard-it-all-before excuse of your choice.
It’s confession time.
People assume that, because I homeschool, manage a family of nine, cook from scratch, travel the country with my family, and run The Simple Homemaker, I am born-organized. You’d better sit down.
The only aspect of my being born-organized that’s true is that I was born. Not only am I not born-organized, but it took me nearly 30 years to learn to consistently make my bed. My ridiculously messy bedroom from childhood and early adulthood has become a family joke. It takes me longer than the average person to develop a good habit, and if I push too fast (which is probably half the speed most of you can handle), I crash and burn.
There’s more. I can’t manage the physical “stuff” that seeps into our home. Not only does clutter mentally oppress me and physically suck the breathable space out of a room, but it plays evil games with my hoarder tendencies. I’m naturally bad with a budget, bad with a schedule, bad with follow-through, and bad with self-discipline. Finally, the most humbling to admit is that I have unrealistic expectations regarding my own abilities–I can’t manage all (or even half) of what I think I can manage.
“Then why on earth are we listening to you?”
Because being undisciplined, disorganized, and unstructured is precisely why I had to simplify to survive…and, yes, thrive. And if I can do it…indeed, if I can, so can you, no matter who you are!
What do I mean when I talk about simplifying here at The Simple Homemaker?
Simplifying is getting rid of the excesses in your schedule, your home, and your life so that you can effectively manage what matters most to you and your family. I call it clearing your queue.
Don’t be disheartened if what you can manage seems small. Manage that smallness to the best of your ability, and all those in your small circle will thrive.
It is not a matter of emulating the likes of Martha Stewart, your mother-in-law, or even The Simple Homemaker–heavens, please don’t try to emulate me! It’s a matter of scaling down to what works in your family. Don’t try to be what you’re not, because your family will be missing out on the unique gifts that only you can offer.
The first step to embracing a simple life is acknowledging your personal need for simplicity, and committing to the process–no excuses. Simplifying, ironically, may be one of the hardest tasks you’ve ever undertaken. It’s painful…uncomfortable at best, but in the end, you will never ever ever (repeat incessantly) want to go back.
Do you want to commit to simplifying? Decide today to turn your life in a simpler direction.
Next week, we’ll discuss your first action step to develop a simplifying mindset.
What areas in your life have become too complicated?
While there is no perfect organizational tool, and no tool will negate your need to simplify, here are two great options to keep you on task as you manage your home. I own both of these so that I could properly review them and recommend them.
Get Organized Wizard is offering their popular Organize-In-5 Diary for $4.95, a whoppin’ 83% discount. It includes a 5-minute organizational mission for each day of the year to help you declutter, organixe, and simplify. I own this, and it’s never too late to jump in. (Limited-time offer.)
Confident Mom’s 2013 Household Planner breaks the entire year down into daily and weekly home management tasks to do or delegate. Each week is on its own page, so you can print it out and check items off as you go. It can be purchased with or without daily Bible readings. The supplement adds even more helpful material. Only $9 for the planner, or $12 for the planner plus supplement (regularly $14) using code SIMPHOME. Well worth it in my opinion. Jump in where you are!