My Value for a Peaceful Home
We all know we live in a fast day and age. Technology has done so much for us, but it has also caused many of us to live very full lives. My husband is what you would call an early adopter. He loves new technology and always has. He can’t wait for the next new phone, computer, social media outlet, etc. He’s also amazing at learning how to use them.
I, on the other hand, am what they call a laggard. I don’t care too much about new technology, and sometimes I even dread it a bit. I think it’s partially because I don’t like the idea of always having to buy something new to keep up. It feels wasteful. And I also don’t like the pace of life that technology tempts me to keep. I’m a very efficient person by nature. Technology allows me to be more efficient than I could ever be alone. But sometimes I think I can become too efficient. I try to get too much done, and I overwhelm and stress myself out by never having down time.
I have an extremely high value for peace. If a situation doesn’t feel peaceful, I’ll do everything in my power to bring peace. Same goes for my home. I want my home to feel peaceful especially in the midst of living in an era that has a lot going on. Here are a few simple ways that I’ve found help keep me grounded. I work on embracing the age I live in (my husband helps me with this) while at the same time holding to my value of living a life that is peaceful and low stress.
10 Ways I Simplify
1 | Minimal amounts of stuff. I am constantly cleaning out and very rarely buying. I am always on the look out for things in my house that I’m not using. When I find things, I take them to Salvation Army or sell them on eBay or Craigslist. Just as important, I don’t buy new things often. I’m very intentional when I buy. It needs to be something high quality and that I truly need.
2 | No battery operated toys for my children. Before our daughter was born, I knew that battery operated light up and noise making toys would drive me nuts. So I just let all the grandparents know that I didn’t want those in my house. They were amazing about it and have all actually had a great time finding super fun old fashioned toys.
3 | Minimal screen time. My husband and I are book people. We might watch a movie together every other week, but we don’t subscribe to cable, satellite, or even Netflix and Hulu. Our kids get about 40 minutes of TV a day from DVD’s they get at the library. Definitely a bit old fashion, but it keeps our house peaceful and we spend a lot of time outdoors rather than inside.
4 | I make my bed every day. Sounds silly that this would simplify my life, but it does. I am naturally a very clean person, but even for people who aren’t naturally that way, if you make your bed, you are more likely to keep the rest of your room and house clutter free.
5 | I keep a clean house. Now, I live on a farm. I have two giant dogs (one indoor), and two small children. My house is not perfectly clean, but it is always picked up. Part of this is from my simplicity of not having much stuff. And part of it is because I keep a clean house. It’s not hard to do when you don’t have much stuff to clean in the first place. A clean house is a peaceful house to me. Can a house be a bit chaotic and still feel peaceful and simple? Maybe. But as a professional house cleaner of 15 years, even people who live in messy houses, always love coming home to a house I just cleaned for them. There is something about cleanliness that sets us at ease.
6 | Phone boundaries. I’m not always perfect at this, but I do set boundaries with my phone. At times, I’ve considered getting rid of my smart phone and going back to an old school flip phone simply so I’m not tempted to spend as much time on it. Right now, my boundary with myself is to have my phone on from 8am-5pm unless my husband is working late. Then I’ll keep it on till he is home in case he needs me. I keep an app called “Moments” on my phone that tells me how much I’ve been on my phone that day. My goal is 30 mintues, but it’s usually closer to an hour. One way I’ve greatly reduced my time on there is by limiting social media.
7 | Only 1 social media. You’ll notice I only have one social media account, Instagram. This is for the sake of simplicity and to keep myself in check. Social media is addictive, but I don’t want to spend a major portion of my day (or life) on it. If I have it, I do want to be on it so I’ve chosen to only have one outlet.
8 | Boundaries for my social media. I actually don’t keep Instagram on my phone. I will download it each time I need to post a picture and then delete it afterwards. Sounds like a hassle. It is. But that’s how I make sure that I really want to take the time to post. From there, I’ll usually check Instagram on my computer 2-3 times throughout the day. It’s most important to me that I’m intentional with my time and that I’m present to my children. I don’t want to be the mom that’s always checking her phone during the day or the person that spends hours a day scrolling through feeds. As a side note, I follow 100 or less people on Instagram. This is an easy way to simplify my feed.
9 | I do things from scratch. I cook from scratch, and I also make a lot of my own products from scratch. Not only does this benefit my health, but I believe it benefits my emotions. A lot of it is mindless for me now, but because of that, it’s therapeutic. I can zone out, do some “work” that doesn’t involve a screen and just be present in the moment.
10 | I read. Sounds silly, but reading has always been my favorite pastime. I’ve definitely had to reduce the amount I read since I’ve had children, but for me, reading is a way I simplify my life. It’s my “getaway,” and time I take each week to relax and unwind.
We Are All Different
Everyone is different so my ways of keeping life simple might not work for you. Or some of them might work for you, but not all of them. If you do feel rushed or stressed or always on the move, I do think it would be an amazing idea to take some time to figure out how you can change that. What can you change in your life to simplify and slow down? Are there boundaries you need to set for yourself, or are there simple changes you can make that change how your entire day will feel? It is such a great feeling going to bed at night knowing that you were intentional with your time that day. You did what you set out to do, and you enjoyed your day because of it.
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