The past couple years of our lives have been fairly low key and simple. Andrei has had a full time job, I have been homeschooling the kids and for the most part not working. Late last year I began, as I had the previous years, to wonder about the next school year and whether or not we would continue homeschooling. After prayer and discussion, we decided that the kids would go to school in the fall. Then in the spring of this year, I was offered a job that was part time. The hours worked out so that I could finish homeschooling. This summer was busier than previous ones. School began two weeks ago. And this weekend my job went from one and two days a week to full time for the next few weeks. Talk about change. This month has been one hectic and stressful month. Also, I will confess I am not happy at all about the change in my job, but I love what I do and if I can get through a few weeks of full time in order to go back to part time I will. Thus a new season for us has began.
As I mentioned we went from living pretty simply to looking a lot more like (for the moment) a busy, bustling average American family. We desire and even crave a simpler routine–we’re only three days into this mom-working-fulltime schedule, but have agreed to tackle it as a team. So, how in this craziness that I am feeling and living can we still be minimalists? Three days in, I obviously don’t have a complete answer, but having slowly adjusted our lifestyle in the last few weeks, here’s what I’m sticking to:
- Quality family time. One of the most important reasons we choose to be minimalists is so that we can spend more and better time as a family. Instead of caring, cleaning, and buying THINGS we focus more on activities and experiences as a family. Last night it was as simple as Nolan playing basketball on his little nerf goal in his room while Nadya cheered and Andrei and I sat on the bed and watched and laughed and cheered.
- Nightly clean up and putting away as you go. With the stress of a busier schedule, I am tempted to go back to leaving makeup on the bathroom counter, not putting shoes away immediately, etc. but the clear counters and floor space does every soul good, so we’re sticking to that. It really takes a second to put my makeup away and a few more to put shoes away. Also, the kitchen has to be cleared away.
- Paper clutter. I hate mounds of paper and this is something I still don’t do perfectly and have slacked on this week, but I have made my mind up, that it is worth a couple minutes each evening, to recycle the trash immediately and file away whatever is absolutely necessary.
- A simplified routine. For me specifically it looks like wearing my hair curly. It saves a significant amount of time. In previous months I have streamlined my wardrobe making choosing an outfit easier. In the craziness of this week, I have wished for an even more streamlined wardrobe, but it certainly helped that everything in my closet fits, looks great, and works with everything else. Cutting down on decisions like this save a little brainpower for later on in the day.
When you’re in an extra busy season be it short or more long term, how have you adjusted to keep things simple and focus on the important things?