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!

Life as a Lumber: What We’ve Been Up To!

This week, my husband asked for a sweet treat. I’ve been trying to cook and eat at home more. I tried making a pineapple cobbler for the first time. It doesn’t look very pretty but it tasted good.
We also made some tasty “from scratch” waffles on Sunday morning and they were really good. We will share the recipe soon! It’s super easy, cheap and super good…my three recipe requirements.
On my first school day of the new year, I managed to have a little bird fly into my classroom and entertain us for most of my first class. My principal managed to shoo him out.
School and dance started back and these little kiddos are keeping me busy.
This boy has been getting into all sorts of

Happy New Year! Catch us next week for these fun posts:

1. Green and clean in the pandemic (and a giveaway)

2. A new playground for the little lumbers

3. A fun Friday roundup

Home Improvement: Things To Consider When Planning Projects

Home Improvement: Things To Consider When Planning Projects

We’ve been blogging here for a good five years now, and in that time, we’ve had a lot of questions from readers. One question we’re often asked is this: “You all seem to always be doing something to your house. How do you do so much?” Today I’d like to share how we prioritize our projects.

1. Do projects a little at a time

We just did a small remodel of our master bathroom. We replaced mirrors, hardware and light fixtures. We eventually plan to replace the bathtub and surround and flooring as well, but it simply isn’t in the budget right now. So we started with the cheapest, easiest items on our “master bath to-do list” and we completed those.

2. Find cheaper options for the things you want to do

We love carriage house garage doors, but we neither need nor want to buy a $2,000 garage door at the moment… so we took to Amazon and ordered faux Coach house door hardware and a faux window kit for $50. We spent far less money something that looks like the real deal.

3. If you can DIY it, do it.

Custom closets are expensive, but my dad and I built this closet organizer ourselves for $100. It only took one day and it was a fairly simple project. We saved a lot of money by doing it ourselves AND it was a lot of fun.

4. Before you do any part of the project, ask yourself these questions:

1. Who will it benefit?

If it’s something that will benefit everyone in the home, bump the project up higher on your to do list.

2. Can I do the project in phases, or must I do it all at once?

If a project must be done all at once, but it’s small, it’s probably OK to raise it on your list. If it’s a big project and you can’t do it in phases, it’s probably expensive and should be lower on your priority list.

3. Do I need to do it, or just want to?

Projects that you want to do, no matter how much you want to do them, are never as important as the projects you need to do.

5. Save money for the things you can’t afford right now

Even if you can’t afford the things you want at the moment, save money until you have what you need.

How do you all prioritize projects?

Have a wonderful weekend.

Weekend fall family fun: Homeland Creamery

My tiny dancer had a performance this weekend at a farm not too far down the road that we know well.

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Not her actual performance. That’s just for funzies. They were having a fall festival, complete with vendors, food and fun. And of course, the ice cream shop was open.

My girls are into hayrides these days, and Homeland Creamery has a neat one: lots of pretty scenery and even a quick history lesson about the farm.

There were some neat vendors there, with homemade organic soaps, baked goods, woodwork, and even dried flower bouquets.

We even got to feed and pet a baby alpaca.

And look at this adorable calf!

We even got some homemade honey and some ice cream. A fantastic time was had by all! And if you have never been to Homeland Creamery in Julian, NC, you should definitely check that out.

Fall fun for the whole family: Smith Hollow Farms

Fall fun for the whole family: Smith Hollow Farms

We have recently taken a good look around and realized the younger members of the Lumber family are growing up…too fast. We have been trying to take the time to make some memories, and we’ve also been trying to explore some of our local area as well.

The little Lumbers have been asking to visit a pumpkin patch, and while there are two pumpkin patches within a short drive of our house, we decided to check out Smith Hollow Farm in Kernersville.

These two sweet sisters had a blast! They got to meet and even feed some of the farm’s many animals.

They both rode horses (It was the Littlest Lumber’s for the first time!!)

They also went on a hayride and got their faces painted.

We enjoyed the food and enjoyed walking around the pretty farm. Did you know they have weddings there? We didn’t.

The oldest Lumber tried her hand at archery- her Pop Pop would be proud.

And before we left, we chose two pumpkins to bring home and carve.

It was a great trip and didn’t cost us a lot of money. We had a great time and plan to go back.

You should definitely check it out! You can find their website at http://www.smithhollowfarm.com.

Join us next week for some fun fall crafts!