Friday, August 24, 2012

5 Simple Tips to organize simple living into your life {5 Days of Organizing & Cleaning}

This week I was honored to join 21 blogger friends in sharing our perspectives on organizing and cleaning.  

Welcome to my fifth and final day   

My journey to began three years ago when we returned from India. I was not prepared for where my journey in India had brought me. I was prepared in going to India for the culture shock but it was on returning to our American life, over filled with stuff and comments that allowed the real culture shock to begin. 

I compared our lives in India with our lives back home and came to the realization that the major difference was our lack of possessions. Living in India has forced us to downsize to the essentials, leaving our massive haul of household goods in American storage. 

Life is simple when we are living this scripture:
Proverbs 30:8, Edwards Granddaughter

We are happy when our needs are met, too much or too little and we become overwhelmed. On our last day I will be sharing 

5 Tips to Organize Simple Living Into Your Life

1. Less is more. 

Keep only the things you cannot live without. If you use the item often and it add value to your daily life keep it. If you cannot remember the last time you used it, free yourself of it. Any item not being used should be donated, sold, or trashed.  

My kitchen is usually cleaned, dishes washed and in the cabinets. I credit this to the fact that we have 5 plates and 5 bowls, every things comes in sets of five. If the dishes are not washed after the meals we have no dishes for the next meal.  

2. Simplify your menu

The main purpose of your menu should be too meet the nutritional needs of your family. Life is complicated so why not simplify what we can.  

Not having a supermarket to shop in every week, I learned that most people could be healthy eating the same basic food everyday. This not only simplified meal making but also grocery shopping. 

My menu rotates every two weeks and the recipes have been the same for the last fifteen years. I just change ingredients. For an example of what I mean check out my menu below. 

3.  Create a budget

Budgeting does not have to be complicated. Many of life complications can be avoided by simply facing the truth. John 8:32 tell you that the truth sets you free.
John 8:32, Edwards Granddaughter

I have always used a paycheck-based budget. When choosing a budget make sure its one that is easy for you to use. We assure our success when we understand how to use an item.  

Budget Resources:

4. Shop less often, Set limits, and Maintain freedom

Living in a place with out big stores and supermarkets makes you shop less often but it does help you learn to live without shopping. 

I have a master-shopping list that I keep in Evernote so I can have easy access for my monthly shopping trip. I only purchase what is on that list.

The list also allows me to set limits and define how much daily bread we need. Another example from my life is Christmas ordainments. I really missed having my ordainments in India but I limit the number I add to my collection each year.  

A budget goes a long way to helping your maintain freedom. Knowing how you are using your money gives you choices. Buying less to pay off your debts gives your more resources to live your life dreams. Not having any debt has allows us to travel around the world and take yearly family vacations. 

5. Use home made cleaners

The price of Vinegar and baking soda has gone up in recent years. It could just be the nature of the economy or that more people are turning to them for cleaning their homes. 

I use vinegar and baking soda for most of my cleaning. It is does a better job than commercial cleaners and is cheaper by far. 

Homemade cleaners last longer, work better and require fewer products to make. For a deeper look at switching to homemade cleaners, you can read 5 Days of Cleaning up Your Cleaning Supplies: Going Natural by Jeri Lynn at Alabaster Box and Amy at Cajun Joie De Viure has a archive of Natural Living post.

Want to see pictures of my simple home and learn more about my idea of simple visit me at Homemaker's Challenge for my "Defining Simple" post.

Stephani at The Cheapskate Cook has a amazing post called Green Frugal Foodie Tips that covers using less in some creative ways.

Kelli at Adventurez in Child Rearing wrote 5 Days of Organizing When You Don't Feel Like It

The Discipline of an Effective Routine

To read more from my blogging friends visit our organizer Sarah at Sidetracked Sarah to check out other perspectives on 5 Day of Organization & Cleaning.

Do not forget to check out our Rafflecopter Giveaway for some amazing prizes.

Before you go leave me a comment:
What simple living tips are you choosing to employ?

As Always

Other post in this series
Day 1: 5 Simple Tips To Organize Your Mornings
Day 2: 5 Simple Tips To Organize Exercise Into Your Day
Day 3: 5 Simple Tips to Organize Healthy Eating Into Your Day
Day 4: 5 Simple Tips to Organize Your Life Using a Desk Calendar