Keeping it Simple to Keep Myself Sane

Can Produce Dramatic Results

As another new year rolls around, we are all making resolutions to hopefully help us to improve our health, well being, and/or lifestyle. While I personally don't make 'official' resolutions - you know the kind that you write down and share with others to keep yourself accountable - I DO try to keep in mind that sometimes a little change can have a great effect on my life. 

There are a few changes that I have made in the last month that I have been really pleased with! And sometimes with simple pleasures, comes that moment of sanity that we all need. 

  • Toy storage. It's amazing how big of a change a simple set of shelving can make. A set of cube storage shelves and a few fabric bins took us from chaos to cool in no time flat last spring. This holiday season I took it one step further by moving the bed in our guest room to make room for a play area. I put the toy storage shelves in there with another set of storage drawers and, presto chango, instant play room. Not only do the kids have a great space to play, but it helps keep clutter in the main living area much more manageable. "Ahhhh! Cube storage, take me away!" 
  • I just recently took on the task of rearranging our family living space. It did involve a visit from the electrician to install a new cable jack, but otherwise all I really did was move the TV from the end wall in our living room to the side wall. It really helped to define a much cozier space for us to sit and watch TV and the main traffic corridor through this space no longer goes between the couch and the TV - YAY!! It also opened up the old space where the TV was for kid stuff. 
  • After the living space, it was more kid space that got a simple makeover. Now that there was a bit more room with the TV and TV stand out of there, there was a whole corner dedicated to kid play. Kitchen, kid table, easel, and associated toys are now all in one area instead of jammed wherever we could fit them throughout the room. 
  • Cubes for Crafts: my final bit of reorganizing involved all of the craft stuff I have for my girls. It was getting out of hand, stacking up on top of their kid kitchen and cluttering my kitchen counters. It was so unorganized that I hated getting stuff out for them to craft with! I decided to install a simple 2 cube shelf (up and out of reach so they can't self craft me into a new interior design when I'm on the potty) to organize it all. Now we are back to doing some crafts every day - which is fun for both the kids AND me! I also hung a small bulletin board that I had just lying around so we could hang up their works of art without making my fridge look like it needed to start dating a paper shredder. 

  • As with most people in January, I am adding some more exercise to my normal routine. My goal is 20 minutes a day. Even if it means the laundry doesn't get folded or the dishes don't get done. I actually started this before Christmas - really spurred on by the fact that an awesome pair of pants fit, but not all that comfortably. It's really amazing what just a tiny bit of actual focused exercise can do for your energy levels! So what have I been doing?
    • 30 Day Shred Workouts: These are 20 minute interval training workouts that are really effective at burning calories and strengthening core muscle groups. And don't be scared of Jillian - you can turn her voice off if you don't like to listen to her! 
    • Wii Fit: I inherited this from my mother in law and I love it! It's really fun and you can blow through an hour of 'games' before you know it. It helps work on strength, balance, flexibility, and aerobic activities in a really fun and simple format. 
    • Yoga: I have talked about yoga before - it is one thing I recommend for everyone to try at least once. I try to get to a formal class about once a week. 
    • Shoveling Snow: I live in Montana. It's a fact of life. ;)
  • Banning the Bag. The takeout bag, that is. It's really tempting and easy to just run out and grab a takeout meal instead of cooking something at home. Especially when you are low on energy and running ragged from your day. No matter how 'healthy' or 'gourmet' the fast food joints try to make their food seem (come one people - natural cut fries with sea salt sounds good, but they are STILL french fries!!), it will never be as healthful, tasty, or affordable as food cooked in your own kitchen. In order to ban the bag in our house I try to plan for a week of simple, healthy meals that I can stretch into a day or so of leftovers (I mean, who wants to cook EVERY night, right?). This keeps us eating home cooked meals more often and getting fast food a LOT less. And we all know this is not only good for your waistline, but also for your wallet!
Now, this may seem like a big list, but in reality - each item in it was a pretty simple task that made or is making a pretty big impact on my life. Rearranging and reorganizing simplified our living space and helped eliminate the chaos. For me: Less Chaos = More Sanity. Exercising just a little every day (and keeping it fun!) really helps boost my energy levels, as does eating simply and well! So, keep it simple and keep it sane! 

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Simply Orange® blogging program. If I am one of the first 65 blogs received by SocialsMoms, I will receive a $25 Target gift card and a gift pack that includes a Simply Orange® cooler bag and logoed fleece.


Tina Peterson said...

You had a nice LONG post, LOL. Mine wasn't quite as long - yours did have a lot more to it too. More suggestions and ideas people might be interested in and able to tweak. =D If you'd like to read mine it's at:

I'd love your thoughts. =D Like you I missed the quota. RAts!



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