DIY & more

8 Practical Ways to Simplify Life

At the beginning of the year, I decided to simplify life in order to focus on what’s important. Soon after, we added two little people to the household, which meant my need to simplify (for sanity purposes) increased exponentially!

Practical ways we’ve simplified our household:

Practical Ways to Simplify life and home via See Jamie Blog

1 – Simpler yard maintenance.

I wanted a cottage-style garden in our biggest flower bed, right in front of the house, but it became wild beyond taming. So we tore out everything but the shrubs, and I’m going to put in easier-to-maintain plants. Next spring, I’ll make a much smaller, more manageable cutting garden in the back yard.

We’re also creating more pine straw beds around trees and near the fence to save Ken time in weed-eating. It’s more work now but will save a great deal of time during yard-mowing season — which lasts almost all year here in Georgia!

2 – Simple meal clean-up.

I bought pretty oilcloth and stapled it to the kitchen table. After meal clean-up is so much easier, and the tablecloth doesn’t slip around like a typical tablecloth. (I love the selection at; it’s where I got mine!)

Also, I bought a cordless mini vac for under-table crumbs; well worthwhile!

3 – No flat sheets.

Flat sheets on the little kids’ beds just got tangled and made it nearly impossible for them to make their own beds. So I took them off — and felt brilliant! The kids can make the beds themselves this way. One less thing to take off and put back on when I wash bed linens, too!


4 – Closet clean-out.

Do you actually wear it on a regular basis (with a few exceptions for dressier items for occasions like a funeral or wedding)? Does it fit well? Do you love it? If not, why keep it? I’ve been brutal in closet clean-out this year; it’s made closet organization easier, and takes less time to decide what to wear each day!

Related: I try to take clothes out of the dryer to hang immediately, which means I almost never have to iron. It’s worth paying attention to the buzz of the dryer to save all that time I’d have to spend ironing!

5 – Simple beauty.

I’ve narrowed down my styling to one hair product. I keep my make up minimal. And even though I have another stylist I adore, I switched to one right around the corner because it makes life easier. (For a while, I even cut my own hair! — or more accurately, buzzed my own head!)

6 – Simple meals.

Use that slow cooker! By afternoon, I don’t want to mess with dinner. Having it already in the slow cooker helps make sure we don’t eat sandwiches every night! {I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to eat: crock pot!}

7 – Simple exercise.

If you can manage CrossFit or some other amazing workout program, then go for it! That’s not realistic in my life right now, and I’ve stopped guilting myself about it. I do squats while I make tea in the morning, do stretches and such throughout the day, and take walks with my dog. Just get moving!

8 – Simply less.

Get rid of stuff. Less to store. Less to worry about. {Renee’s one mug inspires me, but I’m not quite to that level of simplification just yet!} I’ve cleaned out kitchen wares, gotten rid of knickknacks from all around the house, and I’m keeping fewer but better photos/art on the walls.

Simplification is an ongoing process, but I’m finding it addictive!

–> I’m linking this post with List it Tuesday (formerly known as “Top Ten Tuesday”), hosted by at Many Little Blessings and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

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Meghan Carver

Love your ideas, Jamie! My children have never wanted flat sheets. At first, I thought that odd, but now I find the benefits you listed. (Visiting from List It Tuesday.)

Alisha @ Flourish

Love this post, Jamie! I’ve been decluttering & getting rid of unused/unwanted items for the past month, but you’ve inspired me to go beyond what I’ve done. Guess I will start tackling my kitchen & closet next!

I’m right there with you! We’ve never used flat sheets on the kids’ beds. I’ve always worried that they’re going to get married one day and their spouses are going to be appalled that they don’t know about flat sheets…then, I read posts like this one and figure maybe they’ll marry someone else who doesn’t know about them. Imagine the confusion when they open those wedding gifts of sheet sets. 🙂 And, I already mentioned to you yesterday that I have pulled out and dusted off the Crock Pot and it’s well on its way to becoming my new BFF.… Read more »


Great list!
I need something like this for simplifying our homeschool. I thought it would be a good idea to use different curriculums for different children, but I cannot keep up! Something needs to give!


These are great ideas, Jamie — I like the oilcloth on your kitchen table — very good idea. I’m going to look into that today, in fact!! Great post!


I totally agree with the no flat sheet for kids. My kids on their own decided early on that they only wanted a comforter to cover up with at night. This mostly boiled down to laziness on their part when making their beds. lol. But I’m okay with it, it works for us.

Chris Tillley (@hhtales)

We have been working on decluttering ourselves. We keep a box by the front door that anything that need to go to the thrift store goes it. When it is full we make a trip. I haven’t had flat sheets on beds for decades and I am glad that I am not the only one that has made that choice. I gave up on them for the same reasons. I figure I have 2 more lawn mowings and then I will leave it for winter. This weekend we are blowing out our irrigation so it doesn’t freeze.


Great ideas! My most freeing choice was to stop folding baby clothes (who cares if the onesie is a bit wrinkled? Not the baby!) and stop sorting socks.

[…] 8 Ways to Simplify Life This one focuses on the stuff that we need to do and have, and looks at it from the perspective of simplifying processes.  Yes, you have a yard.  Does it have to be a complicated yard?  Yes, you have to eat.  Does everything have to be a 3 course extravaganza every night?  Yes, you need potions and pastes with which to make yourself presentable.  Do you need a hair style that takes 45 minutes every day?  Do and have what you need, but there’s no need to put on a show. […]

Robyn@Living the Simple Life Now

I can relate to ALL of these! 🙂 I thought I was the only one who found flat sheets to complicated.

I admit I never thought of the table cloth one!


Love this! I do the same sort of thing except I buy clear vinyl by the yard as a “tablecloth” and fold it under the table sides and duct tape it in place 🙂


[…] Jamie has 8 Practical Ways to Simplify Life. […]

Cheryl Ramirez

No flat sheets! Brilliant! I was wrestling with mine this morning and wanted to rip it off the bed! Now I will…forever…nobody will mind since they have been complaining about them for years! I too drink steaming tea, even in the middle of sweltering Texas summers! Going to check out your Crock Pot Pinterest thing next.