Tag Archives: simple life

December 14: The Price For Simplicity?

Every Wednesday, I’ll (try) to post up a Simple Living Tip, with an emphasis on tips that can be done while living a more traditional 9-to-5 life.

In this hectic world, I think even regular Joes/Janes like me sometimes feel the need to pay for services that make life simpler, whether it’s an organizer, maid or a personal assistant. 

While I have paid for cleaning help, I don’t think I would pay someone $125 an hour to organize and simplify my closet and home? Daily Candy readers get $100/hour through January 31, 2012. Is that a bargain? I think that I’m perfectly capable (I think) of editing out my closet and donating things to Goodwill.  Then I remember that I’ve been lugging around assorted junk like old movie posters for 10+ years!

I don’t envy movie stars for their fame or fortune (well, not that much..) I envy that they can hire people to make their lives run smoothly.  How much easier would life be if you had a personal assistant to drop off drycleaning, buy plane tickets, book salon appointments and take care of all the miscellaneous stuff on everyone’s todo list?!

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April 20: Stop Saying You’re Busy

Every Wednesday, I’ll (try) to post up a Simple Living Tip, with an emphasis on tips that can be done while living a more traditional 9-to-5 life. 

I realized that before I can even start giving out practical tips for simple living, I should focus on attitude and adjust my own attitude toward life.  Right now, when people ask “How are you?”, my automatic response is a sigh followed by “Oh, I’m so busy.” And I know I’m not the only person who does this.  This is the stock response I get from most people whether they’re a middle manager, a homemaker or out-of-work actor.

Maybe you think saying you’re busy does not matter.  However, I think that we should reserve that response for truly busy periods in our lives. We all have unfinished to-do lists and a million things to do but there are some days, or weeks, where you actually do have time. Whether you spend that time watching YouTube videos or taking a long nap is up to you.  (BTW, I think long lazy afternoons are necessary!)

I guess what I’m saying is that if you think you’re overwhelmed, then you will be overwhelmed. If you recognize that some chores and errands are routine parts of adult life, then you won’t insist you’re always “so busy”.   Save that answer for truly overwhelming times like when you have out-of-town visitors, two weddings to attend in one weekend, or an important work project with a fast-approaching deadline.  Now I realize that some people do get caught up in busy situations week after week but that’s a post for another day. In the meantime, ask yourself do you say “you’re busy” when you’re really not that busy?

Do It Myself…

Dilemma: Yesterday I noticed the horrific weeds growing around our garage and elsewhere.  Now it has become an issue stewing in my own head while my husband is oblivious about this suddenly “urgent” new project.  I have a few options.

1) Take my own advice about work/life balance and find a gardener. My neighbor has a good one, not cheap, but reasonable and trustworthy. Don’t mention to my husband and hire on my own. Unfortunately I don’t think he would like gardeners showing up without warning.

2) Mention it to my husband, who will likely want to pay less or find someone on his own, meaning that this “urgent” project won’t get done this weekend.

3) Do it myself and hate it because I should be spending the weekend with my kids.

4) Do it myself and say it’s exercise and a chance to get fresh air.

Which option would you choose? Which is the simplest choice?  I think I already know what I’ll end up doing….I guess the title says it all!

Battle Between Frugality and Simplicity: Final Verdict

The verdict is in. After a few year’s battling my desire to save and my desire to simplify life, simplicity has won!  The simple reason? Kids. With kids, life is complicated enough and I have to make the decision to save time over money.  We saved in the past and now can ‘splurge’ in order to gain time, something more valuable to us these days.

To recap, here are the main areas of conflict and current results:

1 ) Cooking vs. Eating out

We still cook at home but Trader Joe’s has become more of a mainstay. They have excellent pre-packaged foods, pre-marinated meats, etc..  However, we haven’t resorted to pizza delivery or fast food.  I also hope to improve my/our skills with one-pot or one-pan cooking and cooking in bigger batches.  Winner: Simplicity. 

2 ) Recycling

Our bins of plastic and glass are overflowing.  I’m tempted to put an ad on craigslist to get someone to haul away for us. They can keep the money.  Winner: Frugality/Green (barely)

3 ) Growing vegetables

We have black thumbs when it comes to vegetables.  Winner: Simplicity

4 ) Line-dry clothing

We still do this 90% of the time even with extra baby laundry.  Winner: Fruality/Green.

5 ) Washing and grooming dogs

My husband does this.  I forget that we even own dogs (sad but true!)  Winner: Frugality.

6 ) Comparison shopping

I shop around for diapers and have found good deals on Amazon.com.  Otherwise I just stock up at Target or Walmart.  I don’t have time or energy to find drugstore deals.    Winner:  Simplicity.

7 ) Bringing my lunch

I eat out most of the time but still pack snacks and lunch on occasion.   Winner:  Simplicity

Plus, while we still maintain our home and yard on a daily basis, we are willing to pay for major cleaning and gardening.  This is a big burden off our backs and a lot of time gained!

I do feel guilty that for me at least, simplicity seems to equal more waste. I’m trying to make up for my use of disposable diapers by cancelling paper catalogues, opting out of yellow pages, buying less or as little as possible for kids and self, being more conscious of my paper usage (from paper towels to writing paper).

If you have your own battles between saving money or saving time, I would love to hear about it!