The Little House Living Show – Episode 002 – Living Simpler Today
I’m so excited to introduce you to the first full episode in my brand new Little House Living Show! My hope for this podcast is that it will be a new way for me to connect with you, my readers, and for you to be able to listen to my words even if you are driving or having a busy workday.
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What’s In This Episode?
Since this is our first full week of the podcast, I wanted to talk about my favorite subject, Simple Living. I fully believe that anyone can start living simpler if they really want to and there are many things that you can do starting today. This podcast shares some of my favorite *easy* ways to begin living simpler. I can’t wait to hear which one you are going to start working on after you listen to this!
0:37 – How I grew up and the simpler lifestyle we’ve lived
2:39 – My definition of a simpler lifestyle
3:45 – Simpler mornings
5:30 – Kicking clutter to the curb
6:30 – Overscheduling
8:24 – When to not use electronics
9:24 – Creating a budget
10:23 – Cleaning as you go
11:40 – Trips to the store
13:17 – A simple stockpile
14:12 – Meal planning made simple
15:55 – Minimizing clothing
17:25 – Walking
18:25 – Creating stations
21:27 – Spending time with your kids
23:29 – Removing negativity
25:20 – Wrap up and 31 Days to Simpler Living
Links Mentioned in This Show
- Submit a Question for the Show
- How We Got Rid of Over 75% of Our Belongings
- Creating a Stockpile on $5 Per Week
- Meal Planning Made Simple
- Creating a Realistic Family Closet
- Our Mail/Paper Organizer
- 31 Days to Simpler Living
- 14 Steps Towards Simpler Living
Subscribe to the Podcast
Want to subscribe to this podcast to get the latest episodes each week? I hope that you will be able to join me for the next show!
00:37 – Hello everyone and welcome to the first full episode of the Little House Living Show podcast. I’m so excited today because we are going to be talking about my favorite topic, which is simple living. So I have always felt like I’ve lived simpler my entire life and probably compared to most I have. I grew up in the country and just lived that simpler lifestyle that people would think of when they think of a simpler lifestyle, pretty much laid back and taking care of animals and growing our own food and making our own bread that, that kind of whole lifestyle. But I feel like over the last, probably the last 10 years, we’ve really gotten into simple living how it should be. And there’s been so many changes that have been made in our lives. We’ve had children and that changes how you live.
01:40 – And we’ve moved many times and lived in many types of homes that changes how your lifestyle is. But we’ve always maintained that simpler lifestyle and as the years have gone by, it feels like to me that it’s just gotten simpler and simpler. And I, we just love it. So today I am going to share some tips with you of things that you can start doing now that will help you live a simpler lifestyle. One of the first things that I wanted to address when I’m talking about living a simpler lifestyle is that you do not need to sell the home that you have now and move on to 40 acres in the country and start raising your own goats. That is not the definition of a simpler lifestyle. Now, that doesn’t mean that that’s not a good lifestyle or even an achievable lifestyle, but it’s not simpler lifestyle necessarily.
02:39 – And anyone who has lived on any kind of farm or ranch can tell you that living on a homestead or raising animals or having a huge garden is definitely not simpler. My definition of a simpler lifestyle is just having that day to day peace that comes from a life that isn’t so crazy busy all day long. It’s, it’s a life that you’re not trying to get away from on vacations and things like that. It’s a life that you love living because it’s so calm and peaceful and slower and you’re not caught up in the things of this world by living it. So there are several ways that I feel are good introductions to a simpler lifestyle. Obviously there are many other things that you can do to simplify your individual lifestyle. But there are some things that I found that I feel that anyone can do that definitely will contribute to living that simpler lifestyle.
03:45 – So in this podcast today, I’m just going to give an overview of some of these topics, but if there’s anything that I talk about today that you’d like me to dive into deeper on a future podcast, I can definitely do that. Just let me know. So the first thing that I would recommend is creating a good morning routine. So this is something that we had before we had children and definitely something that we do now that we have children without our calm routine that we have in the morning. I would just be setting up our day for chaos and just general loudness. So I try to get up in the morning and set the mood for the day in our house. This looks like me get getting up earlier than everyone else and I work a little bit in the morning, so I kind of get that out of the way.
04:36 – I make breakfast for my family before they get up. And then when they get up, I usually put on some kind of calming, relaxing music. And if we have time, we’ll just kind of slowly ease into our schooling instead of just jumping into everything all at once. We don’t want to, like I said, I don’t want to start off the day with chaos. A good morning routine also starts at by working the night before as well. So you want to have your home clean and ready to go in the morning. I do not want to get up in the morning and have a huge mess of dishes or toys all over the living room or something. So that’s something that we implemented the night before in order to create that good morning routine. The second thing that you can start doing it now is to kick your clutter to the curb.
05:30 – And I seriously mean that you may think that your house is cleaned up, but if you open the closets or look under the stairs or out in the garage, how much clutter are you really collecting in your house? When we moved not this last time, but the time of four that we sold over 75% of what we had in our house. And I’m still cleaning out more things. We didn’t really have that much before removed. But when you move into a very small space, you really start to understand how little you can actually live with and what you actually need. And so cleaning out clutter has become almost a hobby of mine. It’s something that I do on a daily basis. I’ll find something and pick it up and think, do I actually use this anymore? And if not, I have an ongoing clutter box that is ready to go to the thrift store when it is full.
06:30 – So working on cleaning up your clutter can be a huge, huge way to simplify your lifestyle right now, the next tip I have is to only do what you actually can. And this means not over-scheduling your day. So what I like to do is to start on Saturday or Sunday and fill out my schedule for the week. Decide on which extracurricular activities we’re going to do. If we’re going to go to a friend’s house, if we’re going to play at the park, if we have any work activities that we need to get done, I will write that all down for the week, but not in my planner. I’ll write it all down on a list and then I’ll take a look at exactly what we really need to be doing that week. If I would just add that entire list into my planner, it would be way overscheduled.
07:26 – So I take a look at the week and decide what we can really live without or what we can do another week. Anything that can be pushed off or put until later. I will do that. Or if there’s something that is on my list and I have thought it’s something that we need to do, but it’s not actually a priority, it’s probably going to get crossed off. But by making a list and looking at it before you just go ahead and schedule all those things into your week, it’s going to help you be able to learn how to cut out the excess things. So my next tip was to stop using electronics after supper. Now I used to follow this rule and I don’t anymore because our lifestyle has changed. But what I have implemented is to not use any electronics in the morning since that tends to be the time that I spend with the kids the most.
08:24 – So I’m, my original thought in living a simpler lifestyle was to stop using electronics after supper. And that is a good rule to follow if it is something that you can follow. I’ve mentioned before that my work times for the blog is early in the morning and late at night and that is the only time I have during the day. So if I was to stop using electronics after supper, I’d be unable to work on my laptop, on the work that I actually needed to do. So I had to rearrange this step towards simpler living in our lifestyle, into just stop using electronics after breakfast and until lunch. But either way, if there is a period in the day or a period in the week where you can stop using your electronics, it is excellent to be able to take a break and you will be amazed at how much slower and simpler your life feels without that electronics.
09:24 – My fifth tip is to create a cash budget. Now, this isn’t something that’s going to work for everyone, but I’ve definitely found that if you use a cash budget, you’re going to simplify the things that you’re buying and you’re going to overall just simplify your money system in general. If you’re trying to think about, okay, I need to put this expense on this card or this needs to come out of this account, things get really complicated, but if you use a caste cash budget or some kind of envelope system, then you know when you go to the grocery store that your grocery money comes directly out of the envelope that says groceries. Now, like I said, creating a cash budget might not be the best fit for you, but the best fits to simplify your lifestyle should be creating a budget. In general, if you do not have a budget, then your finances are going to be all over the place. You’re not going to know what you’re spending and you’re, your shopping and stuff will be so much more complicated. So this tip can either be creating a cash budget or just creating a budget in general.
10:23 – So my sixth tip to start living simpler today is one of my favorites. And it’s to clean as you go. So my house is not always clean, but I’ve been able to clean as I go for most of the things that I like to do. So when I bake some bread for my kids, I’m always cleaning up the mess as I’m going. I’m putting the dishes that I used in the dishwasher right away or washing them right away or putting away the foods that I got out of the pantry to make that bread right away. If you clean as you go, it prevents you from getting to the end of the project and being so tired that you don’t want to clean anymore.
11:20 – And so that mess just sits on your counter or sits on your table or sits on your desk until the next day, but then the next day comes along and you’re busy that day too. And so then it just sits there and it collects dust and it just makes a big mess. So cleaning as you go can be a great way to keep your surfaces clean and clear of clutter and it doesn’t add to your workload later.
11:40 – My next tip is that you should skip trips to the store. That means that instead of running to the store every day or every other day or something like that, you should come up with a better system so you’re not going to the store more than once a week. This is always been an easy tip for me to follow since I’ve never lived in a town. But I’ve definitely heard of those that have to go to the grocery store every day or, or always stop at the store after work or something like that.
12:19 – If you are going to the store more than once a week or more than twice a week, you are probably buying too much or are unorganized or you need to start working on keeping a list. So in order to skip those trips to the store, you definitely need to work on making a list so that when you do have a trip to the store that you get all the things that you need in that one trip. Now I keep my list right in my daily planner otherwise I would lose it. But my planner sits right on my kitchen Island. So it’s very accessible to me all day long. And every time I think of something, I make sure and add it to that list right away. So when I do have my trip to town, which right now happens to be once a week, I can get everything on my list that I know that I needed and not miss anything and have to make a second trip later.
13:17 – Now my next tip really goes with the tip that I just mentioned and that is to make a simple stockpile. So, and by this I mean a stockpile of groceries or other household things that your family uses on a daily basis. Now I have a lot of articles on my website that are relating to how to build a stockpile and what you should have in your stockpile. But I’m not going to go into detail on those in this podcast or it would get super long. I can link to some of those articles in the show notes, but for this tip, just remember that you should try and work on building a stockpile so you don’t have to go to the store as often. You won’t be buying one pound of beans when you go to the store. You might be buying five or 10 pounds, so they’ll last you longer and you don’t have to continually add that to your list if it’s something that you buy all the time.
14:12 – Now my ninth tip to start living simpler today is to work on a meal plan. Now, this is something that I love to do and I love to talk about. So I could definitely talk about it in detail at another time. But basically your meal plan is, should be an easy way for you to see what you’re going to make that week, what you’re going to make that day. You can make your meal plan as detailed or as undetailed as you want it to be. You could maybe just make a meal plan that includes all your dinners for that week or if you want to get really in detail with it, you can make a meal plan that includes everything from breakfast to snacks to lunch to supper and anything else that your family needs in between. There is a different meal plan that works for every individual and every family.
15:04 – I have written an ebook called Meal Planning Made Simple and it outlines all of these different types of meal planning styles. So you can find the best thing that will work for your family. And I can link to that ebook in the show notes as well. But basically this tip is just to have a meal plan, the meal plan, it goes along with the tips that proceeded this tip and that’s to be able to plan ahead of time. So you don’t have to go to the grocery store as often so your family can stop asking you what’s for supper tonight. So you can stop asking yourself what’s for separate tonight. It just simplifies your day and your week or even your month. If you plan that far ahead, it’s a have a meal plan. The 10th tips that I have for you to start living simpler today is to work on minimalizing your clothing.
15:57 – So I never really realized what it was a relief. It was to have a less clothing until I actually cleaned out my closet and I don’t have a small, small amount of clothing, but I have just enough clothing where I know, okay, this shirt goes with this pants and, and it also goes with this pair of pants or it goes with this skirt or something like that. Each of my clothes has each article of clothing that I have has a purpose and it goes with something and it makes an outfit and it just makes life so much easier to be able to go to my closet and say, okay, today I want to wear this shirt. And I know that this shirt goes with these things. So that’s what I’m going to wear today. And then I also have separate areas in my closet for these are the clothes I wear when I’m going to be at home all day or these are the clothes that I’m going to wear when I go to town and go grocery shopping.
16:51 – Something else that we’ve done is to create a family closet and I have a, I just did a blog post and a video tour on our family closet, which I can link to in the show notes as well, but that has a really simplified our clothing. And how we have it set up. But to start, definitely work on going through your closet and deciding what you really need, what you’re wearing, what doesn’t fit you. And it’s kind of clean it out in general.
17:25 – My next tip doesn’t seem like it’s something that would help you live a simpler life, but just trust me on this one. And it is to take a walk every day. So I haven’t always been perfect with this rule in my own life. But in the, in this summer and this year, I’ve tried to take a walk every day, walking at least a mile or now at least around our, or even just walking on our treadmill.
17:53 – For some reason, walking helps you just clear your mind and it’s a great chance to be together with your family if you go with them or it’s a great chance to be alone with your own thoughts. Just get some fresh air and think about either the day ahead of you or the day you’re leaving behind you. It’s just a good way to live that simpler lifestyle in, in your mind and not just inaction.
18:25 – So the next tip is something that actually needs its own podcast, but I’m just going to give an overview here. So this tip is about creating home with stations. So what I found is when my life feels a little bit chaotic or messy or there’s something going on that I can’t quite put my finger on, it usually helps if I simplify the problem with creating a station to deal with it.
18:51 – So recently we’ve had an issue with paper clutter in our house and it’s not something that we’ve always had an issue with, but it seems to be an issue right now. And it’s probably because we’re getting settled in a new place. We have new mail coming in from different places. We’ve got things that we’re trying to finish up from our last place that need to be dealt with. So we seem to have a lot of paper clutter and it’s not something that I can just look at and throw away right away. It’s kind of there are issues that are ongoing at the moment. So we’ve created a station for that in our house. I bought one of those little three tiered male organizers that you can put on your desk or something. And we have a section for my husband’s things that he’s dealing with.
19:38 – We have a section for my things that I’m dealing with and then we have a section for new things that come in. So new mail that day or something. So that means every day when I bring in the mail or when I come home from church or there’s just come home from anywhere and have brought home some kind of papers or a stack of paper clutter, it goes directly into this sorting system, this little file thing that sits on our desk. And if it’s something that I already know that either me or my husband is dealing with, it goes into one of those spots. Otherwise it just goes into the section of stuff that needs to be sorted out. And towards the end of the day, after we’ve put the kids in bed, then we can go through that file of items that need to be sorted and either throw them away or put them in our more ongoing Ben.
20:29 – But instead of keeping this clutter all over and getting piles of paper clutter on my Island or on my table or anywhere else in my house, everything is contained. This one little three tiered thing that sits on our desk and that is our station four paper clutter. There’s other types of stations that you can create in your house, like a station that has everything that you need to get out the door. So your jackets, your purse, that kind of thing. Or you can have a reading station that’s got some kind of maybe next to your bookshelf and have some kind of comfy place to sit pillows, anything else that you need for reading. But making stations in your house is just a good way to organize and to make your house more functional and create a place for things. Because the biggest thing that I hate in my house is things that do not have a home. So having stations really helps with a lot of that clutter and a lot of that stuff that causes stress on a daily basis.
21:27 – My next tip sounds a little bit silly, but it’s so much fun. It is to play with your kids and this is, this is to play with your kids on a daily basis, which can sometimes be a challenge, especially depending on the age of your children. So maybe your kids are older and they don’t want to play anymore, but you could turn this tip into just spend one on one time with your kids. And this doesn’t have to be spend an hour or two hours or three hours, but just spend any amount of time with your children during the day. And this is just as just as much for your benefit as it is for their benefit. They are going to love spending that one on one time with you, but you by spending time with them, we’ll also remember what it was like to be a kid and to enjoy that time of complete simple living before you got into all the chaos of being an adult and the stress that comes with that.
22:35 – You can sit on their playground with them and just, you know, laugh and sing songs together. Or maybe your one on one time looks a little bit quieter and you just read a book with them and jump into some adventure. I highly recommend picking a book that you loved when you were a kid. So that will take you back to that time when you were a child and you read that book and just remember the adventure of it and the fantasy of it. But try to do this every day because like I said, it will do them good to have that one on one personal time with you and it will do you a world of good to remember what it is to be a kid.
23:29 – And my last tip that I’m going to give you today is something that can’t all be achieved in one day, but it’s something that you can start working on right away and that is to start removing the negative things in your life. That is things that caused drama or craziness or stress. You can work on removing a lot of those things from your life and to try to not to deal with them anymore. And yes, this is a very, very difficult thing to do depending on what your trying to remove. But it’s something that’s so necessary because the negative things in your life just cause stress and anxiety and more issues. You can end up getting caught up in the drama and it’s going to impact the way that you think, the way that you live your life. And so by working towards removing those negative things, you’re going to be able to live a simpler life. And it is not an easy thing to do. Like I said, it’s not something that can happen in a day usually.
24:23 – But the problem is that when we don’t remove the negative things from our life right away, when they come into our life, they keep on building up and building up over time until it’s something that really bothers you. And if you’re someone like me that deals with anxiety and stress and that really impacts your day. If you have something that’s just in the back of your mind and is nagging you all the time, it’s going to make your day, no matter how simpler your life is, it’s still going to make your day feel like it’s busy and full of stress. So I recommend dealing with those issues as soon as you possibly can and not putting them off because putting them off is just going to prolong the stress and anxiety that you have about them. So those are the 14 tips that I wanted to share with you today about how you can start simplifying your life right now.
25:20 – I wasn’t able to fully go into detail on a lot of these tips because otherwise this podcast episode would get too long, but if there was one of these tips that you feel like you really need to work on and you’d like me to do a longer podcast episode on it, please just let me know. I will have my contact form in the show notes or you can always email me [email protected] I hope that some of these tips will help you start living a simpler life. I am excited to hear about which ones you’re going to try first and which ones you’ve already implemented in your life that have made a difference. Most of these tips that I read for you today come from my book called 31 Days of Simpler Living, and it’s an ebook that I took a lot of time writing because it’s something that I feel so passionately about.
26:13 I will definitely link to the ebook in the show notes of this episode so you can check it out. But basically instead of just 14 short tips, it is 31 tips that you can do over a period of a month that will kind of walk you into that simpler lifestyle. And my favorite part is that the book includes principle worksheets that will just make it easier. I don’t know what it is, but I love printable worksheets. So I hope you’ll check that if you’re interested in kind of a guided way to get into simpler living. Otherwise, like I said, I’m so excited to hear about which of these tips you’re going to start working on first. And I’m excited to talk to you again in my next podcast. So I hope that you enjoyed this episode today.