The world as we know it is already fast paced and jam packed full of the things we need to do just to stay afloat. Stress levels are high and even our children are feeling the effects more.
We have become apart of a society that glorifies busy and our children are being raised in a culture of more, more school work, more after school activities, more stuff and from this, more stress.
Statistics show that One in 5 Australians experience a mental health condition in a given year and almost one in 2 will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. Of these, 14% of Australian children and adolescents aged 4-17 have mental health or behavioural problems (Mindframe)
It’s time to simplify our world.
I discovered two years ago when I started to homeschool my three children that we were overloading our days with constant excessive clutter and activities. We were always hurrying to get things done, my business, the kids school work, spending quality time together, with my partner, my friends and the daily up keep of the household. It was all becoming overwhelming.
We were all feeling the effects, so we gathered as a family and came up with a simplicity plan.
Firstly we decluttered the house. EVERYTHING had to go to make space for positive growth, relaxation and creativity. We just started with one drawer, one cupboard, then moved from one room at a time. Over time we quickly discovered that this was going to be an ongoing process. So from here we decided that for every new item that came into the house, whether it was a gifted, donated, second hand or a found item, it would replace another one similar to its type. For example if we were given a book, we would then donate one of our old books we have already read, or if we found a jacket at the op shop, then we were to let another jacket we already had go.
In the kitchen we only kept what we needed. We created “Dilly Bags” for the kids. This has in them, one bowl, one plate, one cup and a knife,fork and spoon. This gives the kids responsibility for their own dishes. If they need a drink of water, they use their own cup, wash it and put it back in the bag. This way we are not washing 20 cups throughout the day and we could minimise our time spent cleaning or searching the house for all the missing cups.
We soon found ourselves donating cupboards and furniture as they were now empty! Even the homeschool cupboard was emptied and donated. All the TVs left the house. Switching off is one of the most important simplifying acts we ever did. We do however still have computers that we can occasionally watch a movie together on (we especially love documentaries). You can only imagine how much simpler our lives became once the televisions left us.
Decluttering gave us focus on all the things we valued the most.
Homeschool also needed to be reset. We discovered online courses, apps and workshops for absolutely everything. In fact the entire Australian curriculum is online! This freed up all the text books and files we had stored in cupboards that would end up being lost in piles of work. Most of the children’s work is now recorded online. Except of course their most creative works. We also still love the written word and physical books are still a big part of our family. We just borrow them from the library.
We joined homeschool groups. This was a huge help as part of the planning because again was one less worry for me to plan. Call upon your tribe!
We cut back on activities. The children were getting alot of this as apart of their homeschool journey anyway, so now we just have one outside of school activity. This cuts back on all the running around and time spent in the car.
SO after the declutter came and simplifying of my time doing homeschool prep, we had more time for the things we loved. I decided to look at my work in this light and so much changed. I let go of the things that were no longer bringing me joy and turned my focus on to what was most important. That way I was not giving away energy to something that was not bringing me joy. My new hours fit in perfectly with the family routine.
From here we created a home ritual that aloud us down time and family connection. We switch off from all devises and just be. We have gentle rush free mornings, and low down evenings.
Our days are now free from clutter and overdoing activities. Instead we are conserving energy and being present in the moment. Simplifying and letting go of the rush.
We have realigned our family and created more creative space and peace within the home. We are more aware of our energy levels and where we use them. We choose only things that are worthy of them and move forward with less stress and more motivation to discover what it is we are truly grateful for.