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10 Steps To Simplify Your Life – Part 3

Today, we are wrapping up the 10 Steps to simplify your life.  Here’s the first 2 parts:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2

I promise this is the last one.

To recap, here’s the 1st 8 Changes that have simplified my life:

  1. Delegate – Allowing my children to help me with the household work has saved me time, sanity and I feel it teaches them good work habits.
  2. Rise – Awaking early is never something I regret.  It always gives me a boost to my day and my spirit.
  3. Laundry – Doing a little laundry each day is a huge help to my overall workload around the farm.
  4. Go to bed – Making sleep a priority makes me a better (and happier) mommy.
  5. Unapproved Items – the best chore in the world.  Assign someone to tackle this daily to keep your home clutter free.
  6. Upstairs/ Downstairs- Keeping the furniture (and everything else) in it’s floor is a sanity saver for me.
  7. Don’t over commit – It’s OK to say, “no.”
  8. Allow some Downtime – I cherish and love afternoons with nothing to do.  These times are precious.  Life is busy.  If I don’t protect my down time my days get filled fast.

On the list today we have:  dishes, vacuums, and structure.  Not necessarily in that order.

simplify your life

Simplify Life TIP# 9

If you have the space and the finances, get a second dishwasher. We don’t have a large home, large bank account, or a large kitchen, but I happily gave up a cabinet for a second dishwasher.

2nd dishwasher

Yes, You are in my kitchen now.  Hi!

Yes, there is a dishwasher on both sides of my kitchen sink.  Excuse me a minute while I get on my soap box.  A-hem.

Justification for a Second Dishwasher #1

I could just start and stop with the milking dishes.  All the milking equipment that has to be sanitized after each milking is a good enough reason for adding a second dishwasher.  It is much quicker and easier for me to dump all the milking pails, buckets, lids, milk storage containers, and strainers in the dishwasher and push “start” than it is for me to wash all of these by hand.  They come out sparkly, clean and properly sanitized.

Justification for a Second Dishwasher #2

In addition to the milking dishes, there are also all the dishes from:  butter making, lard making, bread making, ice-cream making, cheese making, canning and bone-broth cooking.  My kitchen is not just the heart of our home.  It is the life of our home.  If you are reclaiming your food, making it yourself and cooking from scratch you’re going to have a lot of dishes.

Justification for a Second Dishwasher #3

Another reason we had for adding the second dishwasher is that we eat almost 21 meals a week from home.  Throw in snacks and desserts and who knows how many meals our little kitchen is responsible for.

We homeschool our 4 children.  Eating out is first of all not realistic when you live where we do, not to mention usually unhealthy.  We eat at home most of the time.  This makes a constant supply of dirty dishes.

Justification for a Second Dishwasher #4

We killed 3 dishwashers in the first 2 years we lived in our current house.  We ran them constantly.  Even with the dishwasher running 2-3 times a day, there was always a pile of dishes in our sink. The only thing I hate more than laundry baskets full of clean, unfolded laundry are piles of dirty dishes in my sink.

So, we got a second dishwasher.  Both dishwashers are happily humming right now and my sink is empty and clean. Happy Dance.

 

Simplify Life TIP # 10

Have structure in your day.  I can’t tell you how much it has saved my sanity as a mom to have a regular schedule we follow on the days we are home.  It can be very simple or very complex depending on what works for you.

There are 2 ways you can schedule your day:

  1. With times.
  2. Without times.

For folks like me who need to see it, here’s what it looks like.

Schedule With Times:

  • 7am  Everyone up and dressed
  • 7:30- 8:30 Morning Chores & breakfast
  • 8:30-9 Bible
  • 9:00-10:  History
  • ……………………………etc

Schedule Without Times:

  • Everyone up and dressed
  • Morning Chores & breakfast
  • Bible
  • History
  • ……………………………etc

I choose to use a schedule that does not include times.  I list what we plan to accomplish, with no times. Exact time-frames don’t work for me.

If I’m behind schedule – I feel like a failure.  If I’m ahead of schedule, my kids think they get to take a 30 minute break before History starts – next thing I know they are in a pasture frolicing with the cows.  It could take hours to get them rounded back up and focused on school.

I know a schedule with times works very well for many moms.  Not for me.

So, we go with our loose, laid-back approach to our day and it works for us.  It keeps us structured, on task and successful most of the time.  There are days, you know.

Our schedule looks something like this:

  • Everyone up and dressed  (7- 7:30 is usually when my children begin the day)
  • Morning Chores & breakfast
  • School work (usually starts around 8:30)
  • Lunch (around noon)
  • Finish schoolwork
  • Music practice, snack time & free time until dinner
  • Dinner time & after dinner chores
  • Family time
  • Bedtime

 

Simplify Life TIP # 11

I know it was supposed to be 10 things, but I couldn’t leave this off the list.  As far as simplification goes- this is a must have.

vaccuum

I’m not sure why everyone on the planet doesn’t have one of these.  Apparently they don’t because EVERYONE who comes to our house has NEVER seen this.  They act like we have a vacuum-cleaner from outer-space.

Kids and adults alike fight over who’s going to vacuum after dinner around here (yes, we vacuum our house every night of our life after dinner).  It doesn’t matter who is visiting or if it’s Christmas Eve. The house must be vacuumed. If you are at our house after dinner, it won’t matter.  The house must be vacuumed.  DH will politely ask you to lift your feet as he vacuums underneath where you are sitting.  Sorry.

This is a simple, cordless, battery powered vacuum.  You can get one just like it at Walmart.  It has a little base where it lives when it’s not being used so it will always be charged up and good-to-go.  It’s wonderful.  You can use it to vacuum the living room, the bedroom, the porch, or the garage.  No outlets?  No cords!  No problem!

We do have a normal size vacuum we use for our weekly deep-cleaning.  This little portable guy is the perfect fit for around the table after dinner, under the island after lunch, quick cleanup of spilled crumbs,  or the evening tidy-up.   You’ll never use a broom and dust-pan again.  So convenient.

simplify your life

Because I couldn’t leave out the space-vacuum, the list grew to 11.  Here’s the roundup of 11 steps you can take to simplify your life:

  1. Delegate – Allowing my children to help me with the household work has saved me time, sanity and I feel it teaches them good work habits.
  2. Rise – Awaking early is never something I regret.  It always gives me a boost to my day and my spirit.
  3. Laundry – Doing a little laundry each day is a huge help to my overall workload around the farm.
  4. Go to bed – Making sleep a priority makes me a better (and happier) mommy.
  5. Unapproved Items – the best chore in the world.  Assign someone to tackle this daily to keep your home clutter free.
  6. Upstairs/ Downstairs- Keeping the furniture (and everything else) in it’s floor is a sanity saver for me.
  7. Don’t over commit – It’s OK to say, “no.”
  8. Allow some Downtime – I cherish and love afternoons with nothing to do.  These times are precious.  Life is busy.  If I don’t protect my down time my days get filled fast.
  9. Dishwashers & dishes – If you have a dairy animal, or a bunch of kids, or just a bunch of dishes; you may also want to consider a second dishwasher.  It has been a game changer for us.
  10. Structure – having a plan for our days keeps us on schedule and allows us to accomplish more.
  11. Cordless Vacuum – If you are a cleanfreak like DH – this will complete your life.

These 11 things have helped me tremendously.  They have made my home more orderly, easier to manage, and less stressful.

I’m sure you probably could make a similar list of things that have simplified your life.  I certainly still have a lot to learn.  Here’s some final thoughts from a cookbook on my shelf:

“The life of a homesteader is like a railroad track.

The end seems in sight but never is.”

– Meadowbrook Cooks 1990

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