Simplify: the why, the what and the plan

I chose my word for 2016 after a great deal of thought. But, in the end it was an easy decision. There is nothing I want more this year than to simplify.

But first, I need to understand the now: what the issues are, what’s driving them.

I need to work out what I need, what I want; and why.

I need to find somewhere to start.

I need a plan.

SIMPLIFY the why, the what and the plan: the start of my journey to simplify and plan for month one.


Life with three kids is inherently complicated. However it would be unfair, and wrong, of me to expect them to give up activities in order to simplify my life!

Rather, I need to get better at organising and coordinating. I need to prioritise more effectively, to accept help and to learn to say no (without the guilt).

None of us need to be entertained at all times. We all need down time. It can be tempting to overbook yourself. It can be even more tempting to overbook your kids.

I’ve always believed that kids don’t need to be doing an activity everyday. But, looking around me, I often feel that I am somewhat alone in that.

I’ve stuck to my guns, but even so our weeks are full of sports, activities and play dates, not to mention the homework and projects.

Added to that, I have a tendency to want to do everything, all at once.

Rather than doing one or two things well, I’m doing a lot of things quite badly. This has to change, for my own sanity if nothing else.

Stress arises from me trying to do too much, not from living life with three children.


I am a hoarder and I hate clutter.

Yes, I realise that those two statements are mutually exclusive! And, they are probably the biggest cause of stress in my life.

This will be the greatest challenge to my time this year, I find the thought of it overwhelming. I also know that it is not simply a question of getting rid of stuff, but of a change in mind set. I must rid myself of all baggage.

If I’m to end the year in a happier, calmer place I must get on top of the stuff cluttering up my house, and my mind.

Clear clutter. Make space for you. Magdalena Vandenberg


The last few months have seen me reduce the amount of time I spend blogging. A lot. But, even though there have been times when I’ve thought why on earth am I still doing this? I know I do this because it is my space, my outlet; it has saved my sanity and given me purpose.

I would be lost without it.

Having said that, if I’m to get on top of my external (and internal) clutter, I must keep tight control over my time spent elsewhere.

The blog will have to take second place for a little while.

So, February will see me continue with The Prompt, some photography projects and a few other scheduled posts.

Nothing else.

I think perhaps the blog needs simplifying too, and I need time to think that through.

Ultimately, a physical and mental declutter will give me the space I need to develop new ideas.

The Plan

So, the plan? I need a plan!

I’m going to break things down, month by month. It’s all too overwhelming otherwise. So, the plan for February is:

Family Organisation

Get the coloured pens and stickers out and get the family calendar sorted. No more forgotten appointments or last minute panics. No more double booking. Instead, more play dates, more written in pen family activities, as well as more defined blank spaces for spontaneous adventures!


Clothes! I have a huge pile of kids clothes sitting in the corner of my bedroom. By the end of the month they will have been sorted into keep, gift and recycle piles (and stored, given away or recycled!). In their place will be a reading corner. Just for me.


Another blog break is called for on this front, from linkys in particular. The biggest time-suck ever (apart from Facebook). Don’t get me wrong, I love joining in with linkys, they are one of my favourite parts of blogging, but the commenting takes up so much time. Time that I simply don’t have if I’m to make a proper start on simplifying other areas of my life. February will be about focusing on developing ideas, not publishing (and publicising) blog posts.

Simplify - Joshua Becker Quote

Wise words.

This year of simplifying is all about clearing space for me and my family. Physically and metaphorically.

Better organisation, less stuff, more time.



12 thoughts on “Simplify: the why, the what and the plan”

  1. I’m a hoarder who hates clutter as well and I try and clear out cupboards and wardrobes etc at least a couple of times year. There’s a lot to be said for simplifying as social media can take over your life if you’re not careful. It’s quite liberating though to know that we can choose how to make it work for us. I only blog once a week on average but I do put a lot of effort into that one post. Probably most people will be able to post five in the time it takes me to do one but it works for me. Enjoy the simplicty. :)

    1. Quality over quantity! I think taking a step back, re-prioritizing and sorting is a good thing to do at regular intervals. I have never been all that good at it though! I am so determined to change that this year x

  2. I’d say I’m a bit of a clutter hating hoarder too – so frustrating!! Totally agree on the blogging front – mine is literally just ticking over right now and I do miss joining linkies and feeling like part of the community but just this morning I was talking to my friend and saying how well behaved and funny and loving the boys have been recently and I have to question whether my reduced blogging has played a part in that. When I look at the bloggers who seem to be getting it all right and always finding the right balance its people like Jocelyn at Reading Residence – people who excel at organisational and time management skills so yes, I agree – being better at organising and planning life would help immensely. As for the extracurricular activities I think I have the opposite issue- do my kids do enough? Am I depriving them? Again – balance. Hope you find some soon! X

    1. I think it is all about balance, and that the balance point is different for all of us. I’ve noticed the same with the kids since I really cut back… but I do miss the community, feel very disconnected from it at the moment. As for kids activities, mine do swimming and one sport each. I can’t manage any more than that when you add in school work and projects and play dates! And, I don’t think they need more than that :)

  3. I was nodding in agreement all the way through this post. I’m trying to simplify family life too and find a better balance – it’s hard isn’t it! Such a good idea to break it down into smaller tasks per month, I’m going to try that – and I love a good list too, it always makes me feel more in control!

  4. Just popped over to see how you are doing. Your comment on blogging made me smile. I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged our move really and so much has happened! How are your kids doing? They have grown so much! Lotsalove xx

    1. Lovely to see you! I can believe you haven’t blogged about it, you’ve had rather a lot going on :) The kids are great, getting so grown up. I love seeing the photos of your guys enjoying your new life. I’d love to read about it, but honestly, enjoying it is more important than writing about it xx

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