Do you ever feel overwhelmed with your life? Are you a human!? Of course you’ve felt overwhelmed and out of control. It’s natural and it happens to all of us. Today I’m going to share with you 5 areas that you can simplify in your life TODAY. Not tomorrow, not next week, not even next year, right now you can implement one or all of these tips in some capacity. Warning, these ideas are so simple you may fall off your chair but we’re starting with practical and obvious and we’ll move on to deeper and more philosophical at a later date. Keep you posted on that one.
m’kay..? let’s get started!
1. Skin care
Marketers will have you believe that you need a million different products for all your hygiene needs. *Newsflash* you don’t! You probably could go into your bathroom cabinet right now and replace a whole bunch of lotions and potions with one simple thing: a humble bar of soap. Mind you, there is soap and there’s soap but the premise is the same. A bar of soap can serve to wash your face, your hands, your body, remove makeup, replace shaving cream (think about it, a can of shaving cream is just puffy soap), wash your kids, your husband and your clothes in a pinch. It could even wash dishes and the dog if needed. Most skin care products have properties of soap in them. Because soap can be drying to the skin, I recommend finding one that has been made for either kids or your face. I like this one from Meow Meow Tweet because it’s super gentle and designed for your face but you can find whatever works for you. I know we’re not traveling right now (#rona) but soap is the perfect travel companion especially on an airplane because it’s one less thing that’s going to leak. And did I mention soap packaged in cardboard is probably the most eco friendly way to wash yourself right now. Just saying. Mother Nature thanks you and demands you eliminate single use plastics! (soap box for another day – pun intended!)
So now that you’ve cleaned your family with just one thing, it’s sometimes nice to put a little something-something on it: make-up.
Again, we have been brainwashed to think that we need hundreds of different foundations and eye shadows and blush and don’t get me started on lip gloss, but in reality make-up has a shelf life and can harbor nasty bacteria if used for too long, and the amount of product in a single item of make-up is probably enough to outlast all of us. Perhaps I missed the instructions, but there is no way I will ever get through half of my make-up before it expires. Plus there is so much to choose from that I’m just tempted to try the next new thing before finishing what I have already.
SO! What’s a busy gal to do? Simplify, Simplify, Simplify! Yes do some research (this could be pretty fun) and find out what make-up works for you and your life style. Go into a Sephora or a Nordstrom or Mac and have your make-up professionally done and ask questions about what would suit you. YouTube was basically founded on “beauty gurus” who put up make-up tutorials to show you how to do any look you desire. Once you have a better idea of what you like, buy just ONE, maybe two of each thing, also consider what can double up to work for two uses (e.g. cream blush as lip stain, bronzer as eye shadow) and stick with that. Use these make-up guidelines to know how long everything is designed to last and only replenish if you run out of something or it expires.
Even better, look for companies like Stowaway Cosmetics that create travel sized makeup for every day so that you are not purchasing cosmetics that you will never use and essentially just throwing your money away.
SHELF-LIFE of MAKE-UP approximate:
Mascara: 2-3 months
Eyeliner: pencil: 1-2 years; gel: 2-3 months
Blush: powder: 2 years; cream: 1 year
Powder: 2 years
Foundation: liquid 6-12 months; powder: 18 months
Lipstick: 1 year
Let’s talk simplifying your wardrobe to clear up your brain space. After I became a mom I literally wanted to get rid of all my clothes. I know, so wasteful. But to say I was overwhelmed was an understatement. I just couldn’t think about what items of clothing go with what, and does this need to be dry cleaned, is this white shirt going to turn blue if I wash it with jeans (the answer is yes), you get the point. Out of necessity I kind of created a “mom uniform” for myself which helped me stay sane (and clothed). For me at the time this was mainly navy blue, black and grey clothes (so depressing but it worked!) but everything went together, looked moderately ok, and washed well. It was what I could cope with as a new parent. Even today I still think it’s helpful to have 5 or so killer outfits that you love, that you know work for you and your style, and that can be your go-tos without much thought. Simplifying your closet and your choices frees you up to focus on your priorities which right now, may not be your clothing!
Well you have all this soap and all these clothes, they need to be cleaned, right? Cleaning products are another one of those categories, that companies will have you believe need to be incredibly varied. In reality, you need a few core cleaning staples to satisfy most if not all the cleaning needs in your home. You can order these supplies in bulk so that they are much cheaper and make different items as you need. My core ingredient list for cleaning supplies goes like this:
- distilled vinegar
- baking soda
- washing soda
- bar of heavy duty soap like this one
- liquid soap (I like this brand)
- hydrogen peroxide for stains (works super well with blood) and to induce vomiting (don’t ask but my dog ate a deathly amount of chocolate one day and this basically saved her)
Google how to make DIY anything and you can use those ingredients to make your own kitchen spray, powdered laundry detergent, stain removal spray, toilet cleaner, window cleaner, floor cleaning, whatever you need.
Here is a down and dirty (not really, it’s clean I promise) powdered laundry detergent:
DIY Laundry powder Recipe:
1 bar of solid soap
equal parts borax to washing soda
e.g. 2 cups borax and 2 cups washing soda.
Grate the soap by hand or in a food processor, mix all the ingredients and voila!
OK so the last area you can tackle right now to simplify your life are your MEALS!
My advice is, like with your clothing, to choose 3-5 meals for you and your family that you learn by heart and you love to make BUT with ingredients that have a long shelf life (seems to be a theme here!) so that you can make them any time and you more than likely have the ingredients in your pantry. These are not necessarily heavy on super fresh ingredients which is why they are staples.
We almost always have homemade bread either already baked and sliced and frozen for toast or the dough is frozen and ready to be baked as and when we need it.
I also make this lentil dahl often. It’s delicious, super easy and I have most of the ingredients on hand.
So there you go! 5 super easy ways you can start simplify TODAY and free up some much needed brain space and cash almost immediately!
For more info, here is a video that I made all about this and I discuss my coin concept that I think can really help to prioritize how you want to spend your time so you can focus on what matters most to you and your family! https://youtu.be/jHb-GOAPTHE
Where do you want to simplify in your life? I would love to know in the comments!
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