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mental clutter, simplifying, Simply...Living For Him

Categorizing Your Clutter

I’ve been thinking a lot more about practical ways to reduce clutter lately and have categorized them into three areas each for both physical and mental clutter. I hope this helps you to understand how physical and mental clutter can affect us and perhaps it will help you to evaluate how to handle both. Once we recognize how balanced or unbalanced our stuff is, then we can begin to take steps to start simplifying.

Physical Clutter:

LEVEL 1: Basic Items to Live

If you think about it in levels, there can be three tiers to our clutter. At the foundation of physical clutter would be the stuff you need. Or shall I say, the stuff you really need; which actaully is much less than you probably think 😉 We can get kind of minimalistic on this but let’s just say we won’t take it to extremes, but there are the basics in your home-furniture, clothes, basic supplies, etc.  Also, all of these things have a definite purpose and without them your life would be different or even difficult.

LEVEL 2: Things That Bring Us Joy

The next level would the extra stuff we love and those things that bring us joy. They are not a burden. Perhaps these would be things like electronics, books, some toys for kids, a few sentimental objects, but mostly everything in this level still provides some level of purpose. They also add beauty to our life in some way. However, we could live without them if we had to at some point. These things do not add stress to our life but provide comfort or delight.


Lastly, there is the extra stuff that we really don’t need and truly isn’t providing much of a purpose. This is the stuff that tends to get moved from one pile to another, and never really goes away, yet never really helps us in the long run. These things end up being stored up, and the sight of them may cause stress.These things are often difficult to part with because we might need it “someday.”  Although, 99% of the time, someday never comes. This level of stuff should be absolutely smaller than the first two, but for some reason, it seems this pile is growing. We constantly are trying to find new ways to manage this stuff, yet we never really deal with the stuff in the first place. 

Mental Clutter:

LEVEL 1: His Truths

Then there are our thoughts and they can also be categorized much the same as material items and physical clutter. At the very base of our levels for mental clutter would be what we need the most- His Word and truths, lovely thoughts, and pure thoughts. This is integral and many times this level is seen as an add-on later, when really this is the level which should be so full, because out if it, everything else flows. Our very being, every fiber of our soul, should be woven with the Truths of His Word. Out of those truths, we allow other thoughts in and are able to truly discern what should come into our mind and what should leave. This is our most essential level and should constantly be overflowing with His truths. Remember, our thoughts will determine our actions in life.

LEVEL 2: Purposeful Thoughts About Real Life Issues

The next level will be those things we need to deal with in life. We may fill our minds with problems to solve, or interesting books, ideas, etc. We have our everyday circumstances to deal with. Yet the most important thing to remember is that without the first level being full, this level can get out of balance. We aren’t able to deal with these in the proper perspective if the first level isn’t in check and full.

LEVEL 3: Mindless Chatter and Useless Information (Ends up in Overload and/or Anxiety)

The last level, and the one that should be most guarded and kept free of clutter, is the useless chatter- the mindless information and myriad of things all vetting for our attention these days, that are often meaningless. Sometimes we may numb our minds because we don’t want to deal with the important. These things often come from the internet, television, and even other’s voices. For me this level often causes anxiety- it’s the thoughts that I often feel weighed down by or can’t escape. Once again, when I realize that the first level (His thoughts) have not been filled properly, this level gets out of control.

Now that we have broken down what comes into our homes and our minds, may we move forward recognizing our needs versus our wants, or truths versus useless information. May this helps us to all simplify in some way, these areas of life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you feel you are balanced or is one level toppling over? Are you keeping the third levels much less than the others? How do you keep things in their proper place? What are you struggling with? Let’s encourage each other!


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Simplifying Life. My Life-Changing Grocery Shopping Method

I haven’t gone grocery shopping in one year.

Simple Groceries

Yup. You read that right. It was last September when I decided grocery shopping was taking just too much time and something needed to change.

When we moved almost two years ago, we went from living walking distance to the grocery store to about a 25-minute drive one way. We tried lots of different ways to deal with it. For awhile my husband and I would do a “date day” every Friday. He’d drive me down to the grocery store and we would do all of our errands while out. It worked for awhile, but even so, it meant an hour of driving, plus at least another hour in the grocery store, and then even more time if we added other errands in.

I tried just doing a big one month shop so I wouldn’t have to go as often. That too worked well at times, but more often I still ended up having to fill in during the month.

And then I discovered our local store’s online shopping.
Life changer.

I can order all of my groceries online, and for a $2.95 fee (FREE if I spend over $150, which I usually do) the store has all of the groceries waiting for us when we show up at our designated time. I can order the very same day, as long as it is four hours before the pickup time.

They load the groceries into the car and I pay right there in the parking lot, just as I would in the store. Yes, you can still use coupons. Everything is just the same as if you shopped yourself. You are not even allowed to tip the employees. It is simply a service of the store.

The best part is my husband works onsite at a client a few days each week, and he has to pass the store on his way home. So we don’t have to drive out of the way to pick up the groceries. I simply order when I know he will be working there. Even if I had to make the trip there just for the groceries, it still saves time because I am not actually in the store.

I love it. So much.

Really. I can sit with my family at night while we watch a show before bed, and do my grocery order. Or when I have a moment, I can sit with a cup of coffee in my own home, and place my order. The nice thing is, the previous lists are saved, so I can even just check off things I want again. I can click on the sale circular and order directly from there as well.

Or I can start a list and add to it for days if I want. It’s an incredible time saver.

It is also a huge money saver. There is no impulse buying. I make my list with my monthly menu plan right in front of me, and I ask the kids for any requests. My bill is tallied as I go, so I see exactly what I am spending. There is no walk up and down the aisle of the store, and putting things in the cart just because they are there. It truly saves so much money.

So there you have it. My life changing grocery shopping method. If your store offers this service, it may be worth looking into.  Less time in the grocery store means I have more time for my family, and that brings me joy.



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faith, simplifying, Simply...Living For Him

You Don’t Need a Farm to Live Simply. Learning to Live Right Where You Are

You don’t need a thing to live simply. That’s the beauty. You don’t need a farm. You don’t need land. You don’t need a tiny house. You don’t need chickens or a garden or a lifestyle change. You need a heart that is willing to let go of things, but how that looks for each of us may be different.

Living simply is a mindset more than a lifestyle. It is chasing after God, and desiring less of what the world offers. When we seek Him more we pursue less “stuff” here on earth.

Last year we bought our property– a small hobby farm. Yes, it has allowed us to live more simply because God has placed the desire in our heart to garden, get back to basics, raise chickens, and enjoy His creation.

Yet that same desire may not be in your heart. You may love the city life or suburbia, or wherever He has placed you. The country life may not be for you.

We can all live simply right where we are. It isn’t about our surroundings, but what we do with where He has placed us.

Smack in the middle of the city and the hustle and bustle you can live simply. You can seek Him wherever you are and choose people over things. You can choose to be a light in the dark. You can choose Him wherever He has placed you.

Seek Him wherever you are. In the country, in the city, in a foreign land. Choose to live with less and desire Him more. Choose to develop relationships over accumulating things. All of that can be done in any setting.

Don’t wait for the perfect time. Start now. Choose to desire God over everything else and see where He leads you.

Living simply is a matter of the heart, not just a choice to have less. It is a desire to do more real things, live intentionally and with purpose, and seek Him above all else.

NEXT MONTH we will gather together to take some time in a beautiful setting and talk about living more simply! There is a little time left to register! Click below for the info:
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called home, simplifying, Simply...Homeschool, Simply...Living For Him, Using The Bible as Our Main Text

Off to a Good Start…

Welcome! Have you subscribed to this blog yet? You will be encouraged to simplify all areas of your life… straight to your email!  Subscribe here!

So begins another year of homeschooling. With only two days under our belt, we are off to a good start {so far!}. We have implemented our new plan-using the Bible as our main text. There is some tweaking to do, but overall things are going well.

Many of you are interested in seeing just how we are doing this. So I will try to include details when I can, and share with you what is working and what is not. I am new at this myself, so I am trusting the Lord to lead me in this…

So far this is what we have done:

We have started the morning around 8:30 am at the dining room table, everyone together. I actually love this part the most. We pray, and then go over the day of the week, the date, and the weather with the littlest guy-my preschooler.

Then we read the passage that we are studying for the week, which is Genesis 1.  We are using the King James version.

Yesterday I read the passage out loud, and today everyone took turns reading parts of it. It was beautiful to listen to the children read it.

I am using Genesis: Finding Our Roots, by Ruth Beechik as a resource to guide me in discussion with the children after we read. They each have a binder with a section for Bible notes, and during this time they write down anything we discuss or something they want to remember.

For Genesis 1 they wrote down the words “bara” and “yom”– Hebrew words that mean “created” and “day.” We talked in depth about the importance of the translation here.

We also are using resources from Answers in Genesis, the Life Application study Bible, and some commentaries on Genesis.

Our memory verse for the week:

Yesterday’s discussion focus was what happened on each day of creation.  We talked about how God had a specific order for the way He created things, and how we still need order when we do things. We talked about how our complex world could not have just happend by accident and God had a specific plan. We also discussed how humas were created higher than animals and in God’s image.

The preschooler made a mini book representing the days. The older kids put on  a play depicting the days of creation. They were very creative and it was so much fun!

Today our discussion was focused on the number seven and how God used this number of days to create the earth {and rest.}  We talked about the number seven in the Bible and the importance of that number elsewhere in scripture.

Tomorrow we are focusing solely on being created in God’s image, and how special we are.  I plan on focusing on each child as individuals and their uniqueness. Friday we are going to focus on myths of creation and understanding other beliefs about creation/evolution.

Next week we are going to look each day at specific animals that God created. The older kids will choose an animal to write a report on.

Both days, we watched a video on demand from Answers in Genesis website. They kids really enjoyed their videos.

After our discussion time, each child has individual assignments.  Each child has a spelling list that I created using words from Genesis 1, but on each of their level. I have entered them into SpellingCity where they can play games with their specific words. I love this site! They also can write sentences or paragraphs on the site, using their words. So far they LOVE this.

There is a section in each of their binders for spelling and for copywork as well. Each day they are doing copywork from Genesis 1, either in cursive or manuscript depending on their age.

My middle schooler is reading  “Adam and His Kin’ by Ruth Beechick and also The Basket of Flowers from Lamplighter Publishing.  My nine year old is reading Dr. Doolittle and the seven year old is reading easy readers.

The preschooler practices his ABC’s during the older kids’ individual time. I set out flashcards on the floor and we played our own version of “Hullabaloo” by calling out different letters for him to hop to, skip to, or crawl to!

My eleven year old wrote a one page paper describing creation vs. evolution. The highlight of her week is that she emailed me her assignment. I sent back corrections and she is working on the revisions. I think she likes using the computer for assignments!

The eleven year old and nine year old also wrote a newspaper article today, the topic being “Earth Created in Just Six Days!”  I look forward to incorporating more of these creative writing assignments each week.

We also did some experiments from  “Genesis for Kids: Science Experiments that Show God’s Power in Creation.”

In the afternoons, the children work on finishing up individual work. They are all using Math U See for their level. They are all using Rosetta Stone for Spanish. Once all of their assignments are complete, they are free to play outside or find something creative to do {paint, computer art, games, experiments, etc.}

I am grateful for two good days. It’s a start. What I am loving most is that we are all studying the Bible together, and our discussion time in special. It is truly a blessing.  It does get a bit crazy when we do our individual work, so I am trying to make it all smoother. For the most part though, it has been great.

I am letting God lead us on this journey. He is the Teacher. We are sitting at His feet. 

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said….

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:39, 42

I will post more at the end of the week about how we are doing, so be sure to subscribe here!

How did you first week go? Or, if you have been schooling through summer, are you trying anything new this fall? Comment below.

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