SummaryHomeschool mom Elizabeth Turajski shares five easy ways to simplify your home and life in the new year. Letting go can bring a lot more peace into your life.
I don’t consider myself a trendy person, but one trend in 2016 I loved was minimalism.
Though I’ve never been much of a shopper or collector, my family had accumulated more things than we needed over the years and it began to show in our house.
However, minimalism is not just about physical possessions; it also involves simplifying your day and your commitments to leave more time for what you truly value.
This year, try these five tips to experience the benefits of minimalism in your daily life.
1. Gather one bag or box of things to donate per week.
Although one box a week is not a lot, over time, it will add up. After just a few months, you can start to see significant changes in your home. I have noticed a positive change in the atmosphere of our home now that the surfaces are much clearer.
I found the two categories of things I had an excess of were books and kitchen items, so I would recommend starting there, but after Christmas is also a good time to tackle the kids’ rooms.
2. Reevaluate your activities and consider if they are serving you and your family.
I used to wonder if the activities my family was doing were enough. The homeschool community is not immune to the modern problem of being scheduled to the max. A few years ago, I had enrolled the kids in a choir because it was close by and I thought the kids might like it.
However, the kids did not enjoy it much, and it caused much stress trying to coordinate drop off and pick up, etc. Now, we let the kids each pick one activity to do at a time.
This causes them to think about what they want to excel in and is much more manageable for our schedule.
3. Institute daily quiet time.
One reason I continue to homeschool is because it brings my family closer together. Nonetheless, being together 24/7 is a challenge. The constant noise and desire to communicate get overwhelming.
I recently started designating the afternoons (during my youngest’s nap time) as quiet time.
I don’t make the kids sit in complete silence, but they must do a solitary activity with minimal noise. This helps us all get a break to recharge before finishing our day.
4. Simplify your meals.
Homeschooling all day is basically a full-time job. I used to often feel relieved to end a homeschool day, only to suddenly remember that I had yet to cook dinner!
I tried meal planning, and it worked well for awhile, but I soon got burned out trying to cook a new food blog-worthy dish every night.
Now, I do a modified version of meal planning. I do a theme every day, like Slow Cooker Monday and Burrito Thursday, and add variety to that framework. Using this system, I can make my easy go-to meals frequently without my family getting sick of them.
5. Let go of unrealistic expectations.
Goal setting is great — without goals, I would not have made so many positive changes toward minimalist living. However, goals are only great if they motivate you, not discourage you.
One thing I worked on with my minimalism was doing what worked for my family, not what “should” work or what worked for other families. Only you know what God is calling your family to do.
Letting go of unrealistic expectations brought a lot more peace into my life, and I hope the same thing happens for other homeschooling moms.