Simplifying: A Year of Change

This is the year! The year to simplify my life. I can’t wait to start (ha in July) my year of simplifying a few areas in my life.

Simplifying. It can mean something different to many people with some sort of similarities. For me simplifying, means to make something more simple. It means to make my life easier in some way. I have a goal of simplifying my life this year. Many people pick a word for the year, so I guess my word is simplifying.

Before we moved into our home 3 years ago we lived in a 530 square foot basement apartment. I lovingly called it our dungeon. Haha! It was a shelf basement, which means that the foundation of the house stuck out about 3 feet from the wall. It didn’t go all the way up to the ceiling but about 4 feet high. So we had a huge “shelf” all around the outside walls of the apartment. The few windows we had were either the foggy glass, didn’t open well, or behind the kitchen counter AND the shelf. I had to literally climb on the counter/sink area and then onto the shelf to open the window. In the 5 years we lived there I probably opened the window 7 times. We ended up just leaving the curtain half way open so we didn’t have to mess with it. We didn’t have much sunlight or space. But, we had the BEST landlord. If we didn’t have Miss L living in our room at almost one and a half and another baby on the way we would have stayed longer.

Now that huge shelf was constantly getting filled with stuff. We didn’t have a place for things because we had more things then places for them to go. My son’s room shelf consisted of our food storage. Our bedroom was a free for all, a place to pile whatever we could fit. I got to the point where I didn’t care. It was so overwhelming and frustrating. I was embarrassed by it but I guess not enough to actually do anything about it. If I got the sewing machine out to work on something it stayed out on the shelf in our kitchen/living room for what seemed like a century. I had boxes that we never unpacked because we didn’t have room for them. We packed them into the one car garage that never held a car. We pretty much took over the garage with our stuff. Seriously, guys, our landlord was amazing. She still is amazing. 🙂

When we were house hunting and getting ready to move I told myself that I would go through things as I packed so we could start living in our house in a clean and orderly manner. HA! That was a bunch of a bologna. We had a 3 year old, an almost 1.5 year old, I was 3 months pregnant with baby number 3, I stopped teaching, and had to go through and pack up my classroom at the same time, and we moved the day after school ended and I finished teaching. We were a bit busy and maybe a tad crazy. So my plan of going through things never happened.

Fast forward three, THREE years and it’s still not done. I was able to open boxes that hadn’t been opened in five years. It was like getting wedding presents all over again because I had forgotten some of the things we had boxed up. It was fun and exciting. The good thing is we more then tripled our living space. Just in the upstairs 3 beds and 2 baths we have more space then our whole apartment. In our house so many things have a place. We have so much less surface space to collect junk, it is way better. Just don’t look in my basement! Haha! It’s like Monica’s closest that she never let’s anyone see. Any friends fans out there?? It’s the room we put all the junk that doesn’t have a home. There are also many other areas in our house that need some help and attention.

My year of simplifying was born! Woot woot! I have huge expectations for everything I want to accomplish but I have 4 kids, 6 and under. So, I’m going to be realistic here and hope to high heavens I can make a dent. My goal is to not only simplify my house but my life. I have so much in my head that I can’t keep track of what’s going on. I can get overwhelmed by junk hanging around the house. I am 6 months postpartum and want to focus more on simplifying my health, both physically and emotionally.

So here it is folks! I plan on simplifying my life in these areas:

  • House: de-junking, de-cluttering, and finding homes for everything.
  • Head: coming up with a way to keep myself more organized and not trying to remember it all, because I can’t remember it all, or half, or sometimes anything. Mom brain anyone??
  • Health: as daunting as going through my whole house is going to be I know health is going to be the hardest. Eating more simple foods, doing good for my body by way of exercise and sleep, being kinder to myself, helping myself feel emotionally stronger, and self talk to name a few will be a challenge. But one I am up for and wanting to tackle.

The 3 H’s: head, health, and house. As I have learned in therapy (and just by being alive) it’s going to be one step forward, and two or sometimes ten steps backwards. But as long as I can keep taking any size step forward that’s progress. That’s something to be proud of and to celebrate. Come along with me on this year (half year) of simplifying and my journey of making my life a bit easier one step at a time.  Read here for a more detailed plan and how you can also make a plan of your own.

Do you need some printables to help you get started and stay on track? Well then you are in luck. Click here. Happy simplifying my friends!!


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  1. What a great goal Stephanie! I am so proud of you and in amazement of how well you cope with 4 children under the age of 6! You have inspired me to try to organize and simplify as well.

  2. I love this idea and your 3 areas of focus! I certainly have a need to simplify my life and you have encouraged me to jump right in

  3. Great post! Honestly simplifying your life will be a lot of work but will be so worth it in the end. I’m just over a year and a half into our decluttering and it’s amazing how much stuff we had and didn’t need. The few rooms I have 100% decluttered are completely different now and feel HUGE! Funny story, we have a shelf basement in our house. I honestly thought we were the only ones with that annoying shelf. It definitely was a clutter attracting area, but now 95% of it is just empty space and the few things that are there are decorations that just break up the flat line of the shelf. Good luck getting your life simplified. Just remember, it will take time and a lot of effort but will be worth it once you have emptied out your home and mind.

    1. Thanks! I am very much looking forward to being where you are and feeling the difference. YAY to shelf basements!! Way to go getting them decluttered! That’s a big task.

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