Looks like this will be a monthly feature on the blog! In February and March, I offered posts about the things I had done in each of the prior months to simplify my life (see links at end of this post). Those posts were very popular, so here we go again! Reading about real life people can be entertaining AND educational, I suppose. It’s also good to be reminded that sometimes it is the small changes or decisions we make regularly that add up to a simpler life over time.
It’s a journey!
Here are five things I did in March to simplify my life.
Moved our grocery list to Cozi
Last month I wrote about combining our family calendar onto the Cozi* app. We’d been using the calendar function for some time, but we had not ever gotten serious about the list function. Our protocol had been to use a bit of scrap paper from the basket in the pantry to jot down items needed from the grocery store. Then when one of us, usually Greg, since he does the lion’s share of the household shopping, left for a grocery run, the list would come along.
Except that frequently it didn’t. Often, we’d forget the list, necessitating either the spouse at home to send a picture of it (pitiful, right?), or just work from memory, which was always a dicey proposition.
In March, I had another “duh” moment and declared that we should all use Cozi for our lists for our various shopping errands. It took a week or two to get in the groove, but let me tell you, this has really streamlined our efforts. We can both access Cozi on our phones, and the ability to just check off the items as they are loaded into the cart is, well, thrilling to a die-heart list maker.
Now if I can just get our meal planning techniques improved!
Batched our health appointments
This was a project that took a while to accomplish. Getting the timing organized on our various appointments to pull off batching required my focus for the past year. In March, all that work came to fruition, as we had two days in one week where six routine doctor and dental appointments were scheduled.
At first, this was like a living hell. Just the thought of two “lost” days in my week made me depressed. But as I pointed out last month, I dislike running all over town repeatedly, and in general, if I can batch errands, I prefer it.
Rowan and I embraced the challenge, and we packed snacks, water, and books. The appointments all got done just fine, and then I had the pleasure of realizing I would have almost no other regularly scheduled appointments for the remainder of the year. Yippee!
Had a staycation
The second half of March was time off work for me, and our original intention was to spend the time in the RV at the beach. The uninspiring weather forecast, coupled with the fact that Greg and Rowan had started lots of seeds for the garden, caused us to feel conflicted about the trip.
After only a bit of discussion, we all decided we were perfectly content to stay home for this vacation. Personally, I adore staycations, and in recent years, we have kept up a pretty rigorous travel schedule. I think we all came to the conclusion that we were missing spending time at home just hanging out.
Now, because we’re both just wired this way, Greg and I DON’T actually just stay home and “hang out.” Instead, we each had several projects that needed attention. The effect was a lovely combination of relaxation and rewarding project work. We saved money by not traveling, and we enjoyed our time at home.
Decluttered three spaces
During this staycation, I vowed to tackle some of the decluttering projects that are on my 2019 goal list, as well as some others. Rowan was excited to help, and we knocked out all three big decluttering projects in one day. I originally spaced them out in the interest of feeling like, hey we’re on vacation here, but we got in the groove and kept going.
First, we tackled our mudroom. We purged jackets and coats that no longer fit or that we no longer wear. Old boots got the boot, and we removed everything to give the floor a good mopping. We cut the size of the hat/scarf/glove bin in half and organized the shelf.
It looked AMAZING. So nice, in fact, that I went out of my way to walk through there several times during the next few weeks just to look at it.
The mudroom didn’t take that much time, so we moved on to Rowan’s closet and then my closet. Rowan’s closet is always pretty easy, as we keep it decluttered throughout the year. It’s satisfying to clean out clothes that no long fit, even while I marvel at how fast we have to replace clothes and shoes due to her growth.
My closet is also routinely in pretty good shape. I did have some lingering aspirational storage bins in there, though, and that was on my 2019 goal list. You know, hobbies I’ll get back to someday, as well as reminders of the person I once was. I got about half of this work done. The remaining bins are all full of things that are homeschool related or mementos. The rest of the closet bin project is coming soon.
Emptied the car of donations
Ok, this is a bit of cheating, since the trunk of the car became full of donations due to all the decluttering we did. But the reason this is significant is that the weather turned rainy during our decluttering efforts, and therefore I was very unmotivated to take a trip out in the pouring rain to deliver our donations.
The rain persisted for a few days, and before long, I couldn’t seem to find the time to make the necessary stops. In total, I think the donations rode around town for about a week before I finally got them dropped off. So, when I finally did, it felt like a big weight was lifted a second time!
It all adds up
None of these recent things I did were major lifestyle changes. Instead, they were small projects or subtle shifts that led to some gains in white space in my life. Are you trying to simplify your life? Consider what small things you can do today to move you further down the path.
It all adds up.
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!
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