How to Live a Simple Life For Regular People
I’ve been on this pursuit of how to live a simple life for many years now. While I’ve made great progress, I still have found that my life can be quite complicated. Life just gets confusing and as Americans, I think we enjoy the chaos a little. We like being able to tell people we’re just so busy all the time.
But, what if we decided there was a better way? What if we decided to pursue a slower pace for just once? What if we embraced the simpler pace this past year has handed to most of us instead of complaining about it?
As I think on how we’ve worked to have a simpler life, there are a few habits we’ve embraced that have helped:
Allow more time – Being pregnant has taught me this lesson so much! In my attempt to not have pregnancy-brain slip ups and also avoid losing my balance or other injuries while my body was changing weight distribution, I’ve purposely allowed more time to get to places. I’ve allowed myself the freedom to take longer to accomplish something as simple as the morning barn chores. I’ve had physical limitations this year that have forced me to move slower. I hope I can embrace some of this still even after these limitations lift up.
Subscriptions – One thing that has made my life super simple is signing up for subscriptions for practical items. We use Amazon’s subscribe and save tool for things like dog food, cat food, hand soap, toilet paper, and even some dry food items like protein powder and snacks. You can set the timing you want these items delivered and they just show up on your doorstep. Prior to this, I was always making special trips to the grocery store for miscellaneous items because we were almost out and I’d forgotten to buy it on our weekly shopping trip.
Shop online for groceries – The pandemic really got us in the habit of doing this, and as we head into baby/toddler phase, I can see this is something that will be helpful. Any time you don’t have to pull a baby out of a carseat to go into a store, I figure that saves you time and stress. We’ve been doing the grocery pickups where we drive over and have the groceries brought to our car. However, we’ve also discovered that even though we live in a more rural area, we can still get groceries delivered to our house! While not the most economical option, it DOES provide us with flexibility if life is just getting too crazy for us when our little Peanut arrives.
Own less stuff – It still surprises me how much “stuff” we accumulate when we’re still purposely trying to be intentional with possessions. This year we finished phase I of our basement remodel and as a result, we had to condense all of our basement stuff over to one half of the basement while we worked. We purged items when we set up for the basement project, but now as we’re moving things around again, we’ve found even more stuff that simply needs to go. When you think about the time you spend moving around your stuff and the amount of time you spend maintaining and taking care of that same stuff, it can put things in perspective.
Have less on your calendar – The pandemic year has quickly shown me that having less on my calendar allows me flexibility and a lot of the simplicity I had been pursuing. The hard thing is that I simply enjoy social events, so when given the chance to participate in something I have a hard time saying no. This year most of these activities were stripped away and that’s just the way it was. I was given the gift of time. I’ve found time to pursue some hobbies more, organize and nest before baby, and other things that I know would have felt rushed if life was it’s normal pace as before. I hope I take this lesson with me whenever life picks back up again. I don’t have to cram every day with something epic. I can find contentment in enjoying time with my family, time with my pets, and time with nature. I can have a rich life without all the busy calendars.
Put it on the calendar – One of my latest discoveries is putting appointments on the calendar for things that come up here and there. They really act as reminders for me, but if they are something that happens regularly, it’s nice to set it as a recurring event. For example, I have reminders set to print out our auto insurance cards, watch for life insurance statements, and even reminders to buy holiday gifts. There are other things like winterizing our sprinkler system in the fall, or buying hay for our goats for the winter that I have reminders for. You might also set up calendar events for things like changing air filters or checking batteries on your smoke detectors. It’s a simple thing that you can set up once, and it takes the mental energy off your plate!
Pick up as you go – One simple thing you can do to help keep your space straightened up is to put one thing away every time you move to a new room. If there’s something that should live in the basement that is upstairs, grab it on your next trip to the basement. Never leave a room empty-handed, but instead put things away as you go throughout your day. It makes for minimal “clean up” you need to do when you’re ready to actually sanitize and clean your home.