August was a bittersweet month for me. The first part of the month marked the end of my summer sabbatical, while the end of the month marked the end of an era for our family. Here are four things that happened in August that simplified my life – some small, one huge.
Conducted yet another clothing purge
My closet was already pretty lean. While some areas of minimalism have been more of a struggle (ahem – books – ahem), clothing has been pretty easy. Earlier in the summer I focused on getting rid of some of the more “aspirational” clothing I was holding on to. Out went the biking shorts (I haven’t owned a racing bike in years!) and some of the jackets and tops I had for running races. The fact of the matter is, I wear old t-shirts over my sports bra along with old shorts to do my running now.
What was left was one pile of aspirational jeans and my regular clothes. In August, I got brave and hit the jeans pile. I thought this pile included two pair of jeans in a smaller size that I hoped would fit again someday. Lo and behold, one of the pairs was actually my current size. This was a total win, because I’ve been struggling to find a pair of jeans that doesn’t cost a fortune. I wear jeans until they literally fall apart, and I was down to one pair. Score!
Because I wanted to free up my t-shirt drawer by hanging the shirts instead, I sorted my hanging clothes for the umpteenth time. Out went the items I knew I had not worn in the past year. This freed up enough space to hang the t-shirts from the drawer.
Discovered I’m a doofus
Unfortunately, I have a few prescriptions for medications that I must refill each month. This was one of my most dreaded tasks, because it took an inordinately long time to use the phone system. Why? Because it was automated, and despite having memorized the prompts I needed to enter my prescription number, the automated system forced me to listen to the entire spiel before entering my choice. Every month, this annoyed me. For years.
One bright sunny morning in August, I suddenly thought, why doesn’t our grocery pharmacy have an app? Well. It turns out they DO have an app, and who knows how long it has been there, while I have been using the insufferable phone system. With the app downloaded, it now takes me 3.7 seconds to tap the items that need refilling. This seems like such a silly thing, but I cannot tell you how much it has improved my life.
My husband is on fire in the garage! Earlier this summer, I reported the work that my daughter, Rowan and I did on our meager share of the garage. I had hoped our work would inspire Greg to continue the project into the rest of the garage, and it did! Slowly but surely, he has been moving his way across the garage, purging and organizing as he goes. It is looking great!
Sent Rowan to school
This is the bittersweet part. We’ve been homeschoolers up until now. Other than a very short stint in a preschool situation, Rowan has never been to school. In August, Rowan started sixth grade at a small school near us. In many ways, this has simplified my life. While Greg and I shared the responsibility of getting the schoolwork done with Rowan, I was the one that did all the curriculum research and schoolyear planning and organizing. (I’m not complaining – I love all that work, but it was additional responsibility!)
But in August, it finally hit me that homeschooling was coming to a close, and I was sad for many days. The good news is, the transition has been pretty seamless, and Rowan is loving school. And I have several hours per week to reallocate!
It all adds up
Sometimes it is a series of small things you do in your life that take you a few steps closer to the simple life you crave. Other times, like our homeschool-to-school example, you experience a larger life change. Either way, it has been important to me to mark these occasions and honor the progress I am making toward the life I want to life.
Small changes add up over time. Sticking with the process is what counts. I will continue on the journey!
What small steps have you taken recently to simplify your life? Share below! Or if you want to start a discussion with some like-minded friends, join the free SimpleMoney Community on Facebook to share your thoughts!
P.S. If you like what you read, subscribe to our free weekly newsletter! This will keep you up to date on the week’s blog posts and podcast episodes, but also includes content only available to subscribers!
You might also enjoy: