Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tips and Tricks: Simplify

Spring has sprung and for a lot of us, that means it's spring cleaning time.  I've always found "spring cleaning" as a good excuse to declutter and simplify things.  But spring cleaning doesn't have to be just for the physical things in your home-you can simplify in all areas of your life just by making simple changes.  Here are some of my best ways to simplify:

1. Unplug things when you're not using them.  Things like your toaster, phone charger, TV and computer suck up a lot of energy and waste a lot of electricity when they're left plugged in.  When you're done charging your phone, unplug the charger.  When you've turned off your computer or TV for the night, unplug it.  It will save you a bundle on your electric bill.  Just by unplugging my TV every night before I go to bed, I cut my monthly bill by $20.  That adds up fast!

2. Do I really need this?  When decluttering, ask yourself "Do I love it? Do I need it? Would I just die if I didn't have it anymore?"  If the answer is no to at least two of those questions, it's time to toss it.  Keeping things that we don't need just junk up our lives and whether we realize it or not, add to our stress.  If it's not bringing you or your family joy, get rid of it!

3. A place for every thing and everything in its place.  I'm a big fan of organizational containers, especially pretty ones.  Not only are you keeping things neat and tidy, but it looks nice, too!  Clearly label things so you know what's where and can easily find things (and put them away when you're done) when you need them instead of having to dig through things to find what you need.

4. Watch those "Best By" dates.  I can't tell you how many times things have sat in my fridge/cupboard and gone bad because I didn't pay attention to when they expired.  Not only am I wasting that food and my money, but I'm then having to waste more money to replace that item.  Now, sometimes you need to know when to throw something out, such as your make-up/beauty products.  Keeping them past their prime can lead to eye infections, and skin problems.  If you want to know when it's time to toss them, check out this post.

5. Have more quality time.  Spend less time in front of your computer screen, your TV or on your phone if you can help it and spend more face time with the people that are important to you.  Get down there and play with your little one.  Set aside a date night for you and your hubby.  I've found that when I do those things, my home life is a lot happier and I'm a lot happier because of it.

6.Have a little "me" time everyday.  Even if it's only 5 minutes where you just sit and relax, having some "me" time can really change the course of your day.  For me, it's like it recharges my batteries and helps me re-focus on what I need to get done for the day.

What are your tips for simplify and enjoying more out of life?
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I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Cottonelle blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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