Simplify: Month One: Update

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Simplify Update - Featured Image

My plan for February was fairly simple. It fell under three headings: family organisation, clutter and writing. With only a few things to focus on, I have actually made progress!

Family Organisation

I had one goal for February and that was to fill in the family calendar. And I did it!

I’ve tried different ways of doing our wall calendar over the years and what I’ve found simplest and most effective is assigning everyone a colour. This means I don’t need a special family calendar with enough columns to cover the five of us plus a family events column; not so easy to find!

I then use stickers, in the assigned colours, to highlight the ‘one off’ events like doctors appointments and random Spirit Days at school.

Family Organisation: Calendar

Everyone can look at the calendar and find their own stuff, and I’m noticing the boys checking it more and more. And, we’re forgetting less and less!

I’d love to say that it had been entirely successful, and although it has helped me feel more in control, it didn’t stop me from forgetting to take the boys to the dentist last week. Completely forgot.

Hey ho, onwards and upwards.

Clutter

Kids clothes. The pile of too small ones just grows and grows, doesn’t it? My pile had got completely out of hand.

Now, although I haven’t managed to get it all out of the house yet, it is sorted, organised and bundled. My reading corner is not such a distant dream, and I’ve chosen my new chair. Hopefully by the end of March this goal will have been completed and my reading corner will be no longer be a nice-to-have but a reality.

Clutter 1 - Kids Clothes
This photo was taken after an initial sort and fold. I was too embarrassed to take a photo of the original pile…

Clutter 2 - Kids Clothes
The pile is reducing in volume by the day!

I have found it incredibly satisfying to work through this task. And, remarkably liberating, as I have let go of so much stuff. Granted, not all of it – my favourite kids outfits have been put aside to keep – but the vast majority has either left the building or is on its way out :)

Writing

I promised myself another break and I stuck to it.

I kept The Prompt going and I joined in with my weekly and monthly photography projects. But, I only published one extra post, about a wonderful weekend I’d had with friends, and I didn’t join in with any other linkys.

That was quite liberating too. A whole month!

The bonus was that I wrote and scheduled eight posts for March. That’s unheard of!

I had intended to have a good think about the direction of this blog, but in all honesty, I just took a break. This was the right thing to do though, as I’m quite looking forward to getting back to publishing posts and joining in with a few carefully chosen linkys; I have missed the interaction.

What I haven’t missed is the constant stress of trying to catch up on myself; writing, reading, commenting. I won’t be falling into that trap again.

March Goals

Clutter

We had some more building work done at the end of February, inside the house this time, which meant that I had to clear several areas to allow them access. This impacted my goal to finish sorting all the kids clothes, but did result in several very tidy spaces!

This month I want to finish what I started and get the dining room, playroom and bedrooms sorted. In addition to getting the rest of the kids clothes to their final destination of course!

Writing

My plan is to not have a plan. I’ve been overthinking everything lately; feeling like the blog lacked direction, lacked substance, lacked usefulness. I’m going to stop overthinking and just write. I’ll get back to direction eventually, just not this month.

Although, if I can end the month with posts scheduled into April… I’ll be very happy!

Personal

Following on from my non-goal for writing, I want to spend a bit of time just going with the flow and enjoying my days.

Ordinarily I feel the need to be productive at all times, and I find it stressful when I’m not. Last month taught me that taking time out actually made me far more productive over all. Not rocket science perhaps, but something I have struggled to get my head around.

Simplify - Yvon Chouinard Quote

I got a lot done in February, I’d like March to be the same. So I need to continue being kind to myself and taking it easier. Picking just a few things to focus on allowed me the space to do that last month.

I need to ensure that I don’t start over-complicating things again.
 

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23 thoughts on “Simplify: Month One: Update”

  1. Jenny | Jenny on a Plate

    Good work on making progress with your February goals to simplify! I just wanted to comment to say that what you mention towards the end of your post about feeling the need to always be productive is something I really identify with too. I often feel the need to always be on the go and always be producing something, that I stress and burn myself out and don’t end up doing as much as I could have done if I’d just slowed down a little. I’m practising the art of ‘less is more’, it’s not always easy, though. I definitely agree that it is so easy to complicate our lives!

    1. You’re right, it’s not always easy, but having made a conscious effort over the last month, slowing down has made a huge difference to my state of mind! And, I have been far more productive…

  2. I am on a massive declutter. Infact I have been for a year! It is getting sooooo much better. We are planning on moving so that is giving me extra motivation. Removed black bags of soft toys from little mans room today! Looks so much better and he liked it too!

      1. I am feeling great! It’s amazing what a positive effect it has getting rid of stuff that’s cluttering up your life :)

  3. Sounds like it’s really working well for you and you had a productive month. I fall into that trap all too often of feeling I need to be on the go all the time, achieving and ticking off tasks. Makes a difference to slow down and take a step back. Hope March goes as well for you.

    1. It does make a difference, but it’s something I’ve found very hard to do in the past. But, I suspect it also one of those things that you need to be in the right place to do x

  4. Lovely to hear the progress you have been making on simplifying things. I am amazed by the number of blog posts you have ready, I’m a ‘write when needed and hit publish’ kind of girl, although I’d love to have less pressure of them being ready ahead of time. I always notice that stepping back and giving myself time creates greater productivity, I wish I believed it more when I was in the midst of driving myself crazy with overbearing demands. x #WhatImWriting

    1. I’ve always been a write when needed type, but I find it very stressful. Taking a break and just writing, without publishing, has taken the pressure off completely. For the moment anyway! It’s hard to step back, but I am getting better at doing it :)

    1. Thank you, I’m feeling like I’m actually getting somewhere :) I’m looking forward to getting a little corner all for me!

  5. I love that quote – so true. It sounds like you had a great month. I love that you’ve set goals and stuck to them (so impressed!).

    I have the column calendar, although I was disappointed with the one I chose this year – doesn’t quite work as well for us, but will have to stick with it now. My worse thing, is forgetting to put what’s on my phone calendar on to the paper one. Then we’re all over the place.

    1. It’s a great quote, isn’t it? I’m generally useless with goals, but I tend to set too many! This month worked well, especially as one of them was to cut back on blogging :)

      I haven’t found a column calendar with six columns, so I started just colour coding instead. Seems to be working… as long as everything goes into it!

  6. Simplifying sounds like its working brilliantly for you. I love how you’ve achieved more by focusing on fewer things and that you’ve felt less stressed by it at the same time. I do think we have a tendency to overload ourselves and it’s amazing how much you can get done when you take some of the pressure off! Thanks for linking to #whatImwriting

    1. It is working, although I wonder how much of that is down to it just being the right time for me. I’ve tried it before and it hasn’t worked. Fingers crossed it all keeps going in the right direction…

  7. Loved to read about your goals and your successes!
    You are right, when we try to do too much at the same time, nothing gets completed and it is frustrating.
    At the weekend I tend to do a day-by-day planning for the coming week, and I have learned – well, still a work in progress, really! – not to overfill it.
    Good luck with your March goals!

    1. It has made such a difference to my days, allowing myself down-time. I really have been more productive, and while it’s definitely still a work in progress, I’m feeling very positive about it x

  8. Sounds like a brilliantly constructive month. I have been working hard on decluttering recently too – even with just one little person in the house the speed at which piles of stuff seem to build up is ridiculous! But I’m getting there… Your ‘personal’ goal for March really resonates with me. I was having a stern conversation with myself this morning about not getting trapped in anxiety-inducing cycles of guilt for not ‘achieving’ enough, especially because getting to that point is usually entirely counter-productive. Putting the focus on enjoyment and going with the flow sounds like a lovely way to be – I might just have to try it for myself too :) xx

    1. I had definitely fallen into the ‘under-achieving’ (in my head) trap. I’m not completely out of it, but I am feeling a lot more positive and in control x

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