Simplify: tips for a happier and healthier life

Simplify: tips for a happier and healthier life

Simplify tips

At my house, we have really been thinking about simplifying areas of our lives, but what lately, I keep coming back to one recurring thought. What about simplifying our lives in general? There are so many things we do that add stress to our lives, and we don’t even realize it.

Before we changed the name and niche of this blog to Lumber in my Minivan, it was called “Organized and Simplified.” Most of the time, my life is anything BUT simplified. I am the world’s worst for trying to do too much, and it’s something I need to work on.

In addition to maintaining this blog, I also work full time, raise two lovely but lively little girls, and schlep my kids to dance class three nights a week, as they are competitive dancers. Add their schoolwork to the mix, along with keeping house and church, and, well…you get the picture.

In order to simplify my life, I am doing some things differently. I am far from done experimenting, and I am definitely open to suggestions. Please feel free to comment below and add any more tips- I’d love to hear from you!!

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  1. Know your priorities, and choose them wisely.

I am guilty of often trying to do too much in one day. I often try to do so much, that quantity takes over quality, and I end up doing a lot of things, but not necessarily doing them WELL. If you’re like me, I get stressed out by a lengthy to-do list. Just because you have a lot to do, doesn’t mean you need to do it all at once, or even in the same day. Give yourself permission not to be perfect. It’s OK- no one else is, either.

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2. Read more, watch TV less

I am trying to make an effort to read more than I have been. I love reading, but I usually have no time for it, until summer or spring break. I have been taking at least 15 minutes a night to read something, and a few minutes during lunch to read my daily devotional.

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3. Less phones!

Hooo boy, is this an area that I need to work on!! My family has been making a concentrated effort to put down the cell phones and just be present. Turn off your social media notifications, and allow yourself only a little cell phone time each day.  Being constantly tied to your phone stresses you out and makes it difficult to concentrate on other things.

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4. Declutter your spaces by getting rid of what you don’t need.

A cluttered space is stressful and makes it hard to relax. A light, airy, decluttered space is a space where you can get comfortable and relax.

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5. Focus on the present, not the future

Focus on what you’re doing right now, and what you need right now. Don’t worry too much about the future, as you can’t do anything to change the future. Worry about the future when it gets here. For now, enjoy where you are.

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6. Don’t overcommit- you can say no, and you should say no. No one can do everything- it is perfectly OK to turn down tasks if you feel overwhelmed.

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7. Don’t multitask- singletask when ever you can, to sharpen focus and effectiveness. Trying to focus on too much at once is like a computer browser with too many open tabs. Your brain runs more slowly and less effectively when you are trying to do too much at once. Focus singularly and you can focus more easily.

 

I hope you have enjoyed these tips for simplifying your life. Please comment below to share any additional tips you might have.

 

Have a great weekend!

Dollar Store Crafts: Place Mat Pillows

Dollar Store Crafts: Place Mat Pillows

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I have wanted some pretty seasonal pillows, but I don’t always love the price. I was at Dollar Tree when I spotted these pretty placemats.

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They were thin, as far as placemats go, but they were really pretty. Since they were at the Dollar Tree, I went ahead and bought four of them, with the intent of making two pillows from them.

I then took them home and pinned them together where I wanted to sew them. I then turned them inside out and sewed the edges together.

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And after I sewed the edges, I simply turned them right-side out and stuffed them with quilt batting.

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I then sewed the open end together.

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I absolutely love how these turned out! I am now looking for some napkins or tea towels that coordinate with these placemats so I can make some pillows from them!

What Dollar Store Upcycle have you completed lately?

What’s New With Lumber in My Minivan?

It’s been a good month since I’ve posted anything- I want to get back into a regular schedule but since school started back, things are super hectic. I did want to take some time to update everyone and let you all know what’s new in our neck of the woods.

Mr. Lumber and I are doing well. His job is keeping him busy and my job is keeping me busy. We are making an effort to spend more time with our girls and with one another. We are also trying to check off all those house projects I want to do 😃

This kid. She keeps us busy. She is now a sassy eight year old third grader and has switched from gymnastics to dance. She is currently taking acrobatics and hip hop and has her first competition next month. She is beautiful, talented and has a compassionate heart.

This little lady is getting ready to turn four. She’s sassy, mischievous and makes us laugh on a regular basis. She’s sweet and cuddly and she is full of fun and laughter. She herself is taking dance and is loving it!

Our sweet Bear is turning 13 this fall. He is doing well for his age, but our vet says he is going blind and developing arthritis in his hips. He is still his sweet dispositioned self despite his age.

Annie Sue is getting older too. She is now 14, and healthy despite her age. She has slowed down a lot but is doing well .

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know my girls got a little gray kitten this summer. Daisy Mae is sweet but mischievous, and she fits into our family quite well.

We are currently working on a number of projects, both inside and outside our home. We most recently cleaned out some overgrowth on our property and began cleaning out various flower beds for spring. At the moment, we are decorating our back porch and redecorating our living room. We have some major projects up ahead as well.

Thanks for sticking with us! More to come soon!

The Benefits of Living with Less…and why you should purge your house right now!

The Benefits of Living with Less…and why you should purge your house right now!

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RIGHT Now. Drop everything and PURGE YOUR HOME NOW! No, I’m kidding. Sort of.

I know you read a lot about purging your home on my blog. Some of you are probably fans of living with less already, while others of you are scratching your heads and wondering how much more stuff I can get rid of and blog about it. #istillhavetoomuchstuff

I am currently in the midst of a whole house purge, but we will talk more about that later.

The truth is, living with less has a lot of benefits. Some are health benefits, some are financial benefits, and some are so good they don’t fit into any category. I’d like to share a few of those with you today, as well as some great advice for purging your home that I’ve collected over the years.

1. Living with less can be beneficial to your mental and physical health

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  • Living with too much causes your house to feel cluttered. A cluttered house feels chaotic, and makes it hard for you to relax and destress. Continued stress affects your mental state, as well as your physical health.  An organized and clean home evokes a peaceful feeling, and who doesn’t want to feel at peace in their own home?
  • This one is especially true if you have kids. More stuff=fewer places to put things away. Stuff that is left out in the floor becomes a trip hazard. Show of hands: who else has fallen over items left in the floor, or stepped on some hard plastic toy with your bare feet? (Lego moms, can I get an “amen?” )

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2. Living with less makes your home feel and appear cleaner

  • Living with too much makes it harder to find places to put things away. Having nowhere to put things causes your home to look and feel cluttered (see above).
  • A cluttered house also seems dirty even if it really isn’t. Having less stuff and less clutter makes your house look and feel cleaner.

 

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3. Living with less saves time

How does living with less save time? It means that you spend less time looking for things. It’s been said that the average person spends four years of their life looking for things that they are missing. Not being able to find your missing items makes you stressed.  Having less stuff means that you don’t have to sort through so much when you need something.

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5. Living with less saves you money

How is this? Well, when you make a conscious effort to live with less, you are much more intentional with your spending. Additionally, who here has ever bought something, only to realize you already had that same item at home? Living with less makes it easier to distinguish what you need- therefore keeping you from spending money on something you already have.

 

There are many benefits to having an organized and simplified home, with less stuff. Start with one room at a time and keep only what you need- donate, recycle or throw away the rest. I know many people who wish their home was less cluttered, but I don’t know anyone who wishes their home was MORE cluttered. Start today and you’ll soon see the benefits.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Coming soon: Characteristics of an organized home

Make it Monday: an easy summer wreath

Make it Monday: an easy summer wreath

I found these beautiful hydrangea blooms at Hobby Lobby. I wasn’t going to buy them, but they were so pretty I had to have them.

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I knew I needed a new wreath for my back door, so I decided to buy an oval grapevine wreath.

I also grabbed some ribbon from my craft cabinet and got to work. I simply cut the stems from the flowers, put the flowers into the wreath and arranged them as I liked. I then added a little hot glue to the backs of the blooms and tied a bow from my ribbon. I attached this to the top.

I was satisfied with the wreath when I finished it. And if you’re wondering how realistic the flowers are?

This sweet butterfly was surprised, too!

This wreath was easy and fun to make. Have you made any wreaths lately?