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simplify: general ways to declutter life

Hello friend! Here is a cute mug full of your favorite warm drink. Let’s sit down on my back patio and enjoy the warmer weather today. Last time we talked about living a quiet life, as in, sitting still, being quiet, and acknowledging the presence of God. Let me paint a picture of my real life so maybe we can relate and then figure out some ways to be quiet and still.







Krew was born January 6 and we were blessed with meals from some really kind people. Who has time to meal plan, much less make a meal? Thank you to every one of you who brought food! We have ballet on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I enjoy taking the girls to ballet, and spending time with the boys (it still takes time to get used to saying “the boys”) while they are in class. We just read books in the car and watch the birds, but it is peaceful and special. I love even just walking them inside to talk to some other ladies and watch the sweet little girls in their bubblegum pink uniforms point their toes as they walk into the studio room. On Mondays, three of four have cIass, so I make three quick trips to the studio just down the road and have some lunch between trips.



This last week, I was feeling energized because I talked to real adults, enjoyed time with the boys, and drove back home…to realize when I washed my hands at the sink, a huge piece of lettuce was stuck in my teeth - right in the front. It did not even have the courtesy to hide toward the side to avoid being noticed. How rude. It is a little crazy getting everyone here and there without lettuce in my teeth, but well worth it to see their excitement to dance. Here are Deacon and I where we sit in the middle seat of the van together to read and watch trucks go by.




Another instance of craziness happened few weeks ago. A kind lady who was scheduled to bring a meal, came a little early to drop it off. Of course it was no problem, however I was in the middle of the “witching hour” at 5 p.m. and it was Brett’s night to work late. This time of day is really like a small-scale track or gymnastics meet where many events happen at the same time. I had three in the bathtub for a bubble bath (please do not judge, I did not leave babies in there), and the doorbell rang. I am truly appreciative for the meal, and I carried Baby Krew downstairs to greet her at the door and help her take the food to the kitchen counter. She had so thoughtfully brought a violet plant too, and included some plant food. I am so honored! It was wonderful to chat with her, but as we made our way back to the front door, I heard splashing and jumping noises from the bathtub upstairs. It sounded like tidal waves amid the arguing and screaming from the other girls in the bedroom. I was trying to enjoy the conversation and appear like I have it together, but inwardly cringing about what I was about to walk upstairs to when she walks out the door. Krew was also screaming in my arms as I was trying to have this conversation. So, Brett is working late in the cloffice, a baby is screaming in my arms, three are creating a tsunami in the bathroom, and the others are screaming at each other and chasing each other around the upstairs hallway. Whew. Who needs simplicity? Pick me!


I am always interested in ways people simplify and love to create ways to make my life more peaceful as well. I have included some ways I have found helpful to simplify or declutter life and create more opportunities to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). I hope these are helpful for you in your quest to break away from a culture that worships constantly busy schedules and loud noises.


Declutter your mind. Make a list each morning for tasks to accomplish for the day. Create a list that is doable and not too crazy. It is helpful to avoid having to remember all the little things to do in a day! There is only one sheet left on this notepad because clearly I love making lists and crossing tasks off!





Declutter your space. When you are through with something, put it away. Keeping it put up will avoid a major pick up at night or drowning in clutter that never gets put away. Make your bed each day! Here is my kitchen, which naturally becomes a drop zone. Here, everybody takes their junk to where it belongs by bedtime so we start each morning fresh.




Declutter your day. Prepare the night before. Lay out clothes, pack lunches, put dirty dishes away, clean off the counters, put clean clothes away. Beginning a new day refreshed in the mind and in your space sets the day up for success.


Declutter your body. Find ways to incorporate a fruit and veggie at each meal. Drink water throughout the day. Have some sweets and enjoy life, but remember your fruits and veggies!


Declutter your closet. Take every item out, weed through and keep only what fits and is in good shape. We cannot all just get rid of everything we dislike and buy a new wardrobe, but we can sift through and get rid of old, worn out clothing you do not wear anymore. Organize in a way that works for you. Put like colors tougher, or seasonal items together, group tops, pants, dresses together to save time when you need to head out the door.


Declutter your cleaning. To ensure your household chores are accomplished but they do not overwhelm you, make a list of essential chores that need to be done each week and assign them a day. Years ago, I saved all housecleaning for one day a week, but have now a daily chore, and it seems to work better. I never have to spend a large amount of time sweating to get stuff done.


Declutter your decor. Refresh your walls and switch out items or pass on decor that no longer works. Clean stuff off counters and put it in drawers or baskets. Visual clutter is stressful and when surfaces are piled high with stuff, it will cause unnecessary anxiety.


Declutter spiritually. Spend time with God daily. Write down some prayers you have and watch how God works in your life. Allow Him to speak to you and calm you with His peace. I keep a post-it note in my Bible with current prayers I am keeping up with as a reminder each day and to watch how God handles the situations. Here is my current Bible study and well-worn Bible I use each morning.




I love that God is the One Who created order and peace! We read that, “everything is to be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). We also take comfort that “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33).


Try some new ways to simplify life and alleviate some stress. Let God help you find ways to create peace and honor Him in all you do. Life is full of challenging seasons - let us give all the stuff to the Lord! I am learning how to do this too. I believe we will always be learning how to lean on Him with our stuff in life, and I think the more we do, the easier it is to trust Him. Let's encourage each other. Hugs!


Love,

Charis

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