Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Family’s Simplicity Rules

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

We consider our family to be avid simplifiers or minimalists. Does that mean everything we do is minimalist? No, we’re not completely there yet, I believe it’s going to be an ongoing, lifetime process. But there are some little things or “house rules” that we implement in our family that I would like to share with you.

Note: This is a short post and is meant to be fun. J We’re not saying that everyone should do this or follow us. We’re just sharing what we do as a family on practical ways of simple and stress-free living.

  1. Floor surfaces should always be clear. Except for the furniture. We enjoy having clear floors and strive to keep them that way. It is sometimes hard, especially with an active 5-year-old. Read how we do it at #7. 
  1. Flat surfaces should always be clear. Aside from the floors, all flat surfaces, such as counter tops, cabinets, beds, and couch, should be clear. Everything is inside the drawers and we only put out the ones that we use at the moment. 
  1. One inbox for all paper items. All documents, bills, receipts, magazines, newspapers – all that’s made of paper, are in just one inbox. We process each one as quickly as we can, and dispose. As for important documents like wedding & birth certificates, diplomas, warranty cards, and bills, we have a handy, plastic type envelope organizer. 
  1. A place for everything and everything in its place. We have a home for everything we have in the house, and after we use it, the thing goes back to its proper home. When we get home and unload our stuff, it goes back in its home. Every time. Simple. 
  1. No cable TV. In January 2010, we cut out cable TV from our lives. Believe it or not, after more than two years, we’re still alive! It wasn’t only a part of frugality, but also cable TV tends to run your life. We don’t want that to happen to us. 
  1. Quality over quantity. We own fewer things, but we believe they are the best and they last longer. 
  1. Tidy as we go. As I’ve mentioned above, it’s a little hard, especially since we have an active 5-year old daughter. Our solution: we taught her how to pack her things away after playing. To serve as an example, we wash our dishes right away after eating. We pack away things that are not in their proper places and put them back in their homes. It has become a habit and a success so far. 
  1. Throw away empty packages. We don’t keep empty bottles, or boxes, or plastic cups “just in case”. When a product we have is consumed, we throw the package away. Simple. 
  1. One in, one out. This is something we just recently applied and is still in the experimental stage. But it’s very effective to keep our house clutter-free and simple. For every new item that comes into our lives, we remove also one. That means gifts, clothes, shoes, books, anything. We give it to other people, we sell it, or we donate. Or we simply trash it. 
There are some more, but these are just the ones on top of my mind at the moment. I’ll just share more in future posts. J
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