Need tips for simplifying my life


So, as I was in the waiting room at the dentist today I picked up a copy of Real Simple Family and totally fell in love with the magazine. It also got me thinking that I REALLY need to simplify my life. Besides getting rid of excess "stuff", I don't really know where to begin.

What have you done to help calm your life down, simplify, cut back, just make life less complicated.

I cleaned out my clothing closet. I donated what I didn't wear anymore, even shoes that I liked but hurt my feet. Have you read Clear your Clutter with Feng Shui? It helped me get things squared away around here.
It's silly, but I started using some of the Flylady principles. I don't follow everything, but I do keep a control journal, to-do lists, etc. It helps because I'm wasting less time doing things like cleaning or repeatedly grocery shopping because I forgot something or whatever. The time I used to spend running around doing it all, I can spend more time relaxing and enjoying time with my family. Her clutter methods are good, too.
Thank you gals. In the deep, dark, cluttered corner of my mind I recall hearing about Flygal... or Flylady... or whatever, whoever somewhere. I SOOO need some help!

I just hired someone to come and clean my house once a month, a true thorough clean out the air vents kind of service to keep this place sparkling without lifting a finger.

During most weeks, I have decided to order at least once a week from a great but inexpensive restaurant instead of cooking or putting something together for dinner.

I have officially started working from home full time recently, just losing the commute is golden.
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I use a technique that's used in business to clean out my house and organize things. Google on 5S your house or 5S technique. Last weekend my cousin came to town and was just amazed at how 'streamlined' everything was - well, until she saw the basement which I still have yet to '5S'. :)
Another vote for FlyLady. I actually heard about it here when I posted my "Help me, I'm a slob!" thread.

Need to check out Looks interesting.
I borrowed Martha Stewart's Housekeeping Bible book from the library. It gives really helpful tips to make cleaning the home a breeze and soo quick.
Owning 5 businesses and having 3 teenage girls makes life CRAZY, busy and quite often, complicated!

Another one for Flylady, here!

I hired a housekeeper to come in once a week for an hour...We do the basics, she does the stuff we HATE (mopping and dusting), switches laundry, cleans catbox...

I have on my voicemail that I return calls at 9am, 1pm and 6pm...That is the ONLY time I return voicemails...People know to leave detailed messeges so I can have answers prepared....

Sunday is an OFF day in our home unless it's an emergancy (funeral at the flower shop)...I will not even book weddings for Sunday, the other flower shop in town gives me a referral to send them to her...All chores and errands are done Monday-Saturday...No laundry, cleaning or anything else that isn't "fun" on Sundays...Though this IS the day I'll triple a couple of favorite recipes for the month...

I hired an assistant (one of our girls) to take care of things that pile up at the stores (paperwork, web updates, ads, mailing lists) that I hate...It leaves time for "money making" activities that I enjoy...She's a neat freak and very organized, I am not...

The girls have "set" chores they do...If they aren't done, they WILL skip a game, practice, etc...There are NO "but, Mom's!"

I started "bulk" cooking 6 years ago (before the chaos began!), thank goodness! The first one home makes dinner...Even the girls can put a hotdish (casserole to those who don't live in the midwest!) in the oven...Try 30 Day Gourmet...WONDERFUL site! At the least, cook up 5 lbs of hamburger (or beans, turkey, chicken breasts, etc...) with onion and garlic...Freeze in meal sized portions...That's 15 minutes off of dinner prep!

Hope that helps!
MJ in MN
I go through everything I own every 3 months or so and if it is something I don't need or something I didn't even know I have I donate it.
5S is an organizational approach from manufacturing originally - here's a link: (the 5S's are sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain).

My friend also said something yesterday that I thought was a good tip - she follows the two season rule - if it hasn't been worn/used through two seasons, out it goes. So if she hasn't worn a pair of shorts (for example) for two summers, she gives them away.

Some things obviously aren't seasonal - but I think it's a good rule for clothes and sports equipment.
I subscribe to Real Simple (have since its inception). Love it!! Its a remindser each month. I clean lightly once a week and try to do the big stuff just once a month. I've just recently begun exploring hiring a cleaning lady for the once a month stuff I hate so much. I also take one day each weekend to allow myself to do absolutely nothing (usually Sunday). The only things that get done are those I want to do. There is very little in life that is life-or-death and can't wait until tomorrow.

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