Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Five Things That Simplify Life

I've been actively decluttering the house again.  Seems like we always have too much stuff.  I'm learning that more stuff equals more cleaning.  More stuff equals more stress.  More stress is just bad.  So some of the stuff has to go.

But, as I'm analyzing objects in our house to decide if they are worth keeping, I've also found some things that really are useful. Objects that I never really thought about before now.  And I started pondering the usefulness of these things and how they simplify life around here.

 Yes.  Random thoughts like that truly do just pop into my head.  What can I say...But enough about my randomness and back to five random objects from my house.

These items may not seem like much, but they do help simplify my life.  With a busy family, a growing farm and life in general, simple is good!

A word of warning.  These things may not simplify your life.  Thus, don't go out and buy one of each thinking that these five items will solve all your problems.  They certainly haven't solved all of mine.  And they might not even be useful in a different season of life. But they are useful to me right now. How's that for a rather random disclaimer?  :)

 With that rather wordy (and apparently random) introduction out of the way, let's get to the heart of the matter.

Five Things That Simplify My Life

1. Our toilet seat

Okay.  I know what you're thinking.  How in the world can a toilet seat simplify life?  Just hear me out.  I was skeptical too.  In fact, we recieved this as a gift from Bryan's older brother for Christmas several years ago.  And it sat in the box for a long time.  I wasn't really seeing the use for it back then. 

 But now that we've been using it through two potty training kids (with a couple more to go...), I'm sold.

 This toilet seat is different.  See that fancy insert that my hand is holding? That snaps down and provides a training seat for the kids.  That way they can't fall into the toilet.  (Important stuff!)  You know what is so awesome about this seat?  It allowed us to get rid of the small potty chair we used to have.  Those are horrible to clean and take up space that my small bathroom just doesn't have. 

Another bonus?  Because my kids are learning on a normal sized potty (except for the smaller hole), they aren't scared of sitting on potties in stores or at other houses.  Yeah!   

2.  Our Apple TV

We now have converted our DVD collection to iTunes and have placed all the DVDs in the basement.  Do you know how often Owen and Sydeny or Simon would empty out our DVD cupboard before?  And then Owen would rip and eat the inserts.  And we'd have a crazy big mess in just a couple of minutes.  Not to mention the scratches.  Now?  Just a simple little box sitting on top of our DVD player. No messes.  That's pretty awesome!
 3.  The crockpot. 

Right now it has beef broth simmering away.  It's also useful for making casseroles, soups, mashed potatoes, taco filling, and about a million other tasty things.  And...it doesn't heat the house up to use.  That's great news for summer in this house with no AC!


That, my friends, is a very useful object!  One that I won't be parting with anytime soon.  Though I might add another to my collection.  Then I could make mashed potatoes in one and cook a chicken in the other.  Hmmm...I might be onto something there!



 4.  Our Dog Crate

Yup.  We crate trained Cinders.  He sleeps here.  He hangs out here.  He can't destroy the house from here.  All good, stress reducing things for puppy owners!  It also makes a nice place to store boxes of diapers on top. 

Just be sure a loose diaper doesn't end up so it can be pulled into the crate.  Otherwise you might come home to a mess.  But at least that mess is contained inside a crate!  (Not that I'm speaking from torn up diaper experience or anything... :) )
And last, but certainly not least.

5.  Our shoe rack.

You have no idea how much of a hassle shoes have been.  Ideally, we'd all keep our shoes in our bedroom and there wouldn't ever be a shoe mess in the living area.  Except...when you have to run outside to do anything.  Going upstairs and finding the shoes you want just isn't really feasible. And I'm really not good at then putting those shoes back away as soon as I come back in. 

When we had a smaller family and had first moved in here, we just left our shoes on the hearth around the stove.  It worked really well.  Until our family grew.  And so did our shoe collection. We had shoes all the way around the stove.  Which worked in the summer.  But trying to start a fire with shoes all the way around just wasn't very practical.

So we got a tub.  One of those large Rubbermaid tubs.  And we shoved all our shoes in it.  Ever try digging through a tub of shoes while you're in a hurry to leave, trying to find the mate?  That's not fun.  So the tub didn't last very long. 

I can't remember all the other things we tried.  I know we lined them up on the wall under our coat rack at one time. But the kids really enjoyed scattering them a little too much.  And when we got our pup, the crate needed to go there.  What to do?  What to do? 

Then I saw this at Wal-Mart.  And it was like a light-bulb going off!  It's worked beautifully for about a year now.  Boots on top.  Shoes in the slots.  If the shoe rack is full--take some of your shoes and put them upstairs.  Your entire collection does NOT need to be in the living room.  Brilliant! 

See--shoes matched up and put away.  No frantic searching.  No stepping over shoes.  No more huge mess.  Just shoes--simplified!

From the bathroom to the kitchen and everywhere in between, there are definitely random objects in life that can make things simpler.  What things do you rely on to ease the stress in your life? 


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