Connecting the Generations-Simplify this Summer

In recent years I’ve been working at simplifying my life. The process has been an uphill battle but one I’m committed to because it’s worth it for the well being of my family. Living in simplicity embraces a lifestyle filled with less stress and more spontaneity, creativity, and more connection with people you care about. If you are feeling overwhelmed with too much on your to-do list and too little time to get things done, consider the suggestions below. Institute just one or two changes to take some pressure off you and your family, and are likely improve your quality of life overall. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Reduce your overall consumption

  • Purchase fewer things and invest in experiences and activities rather than material goods. For gifts, consider giving tickets to a show, movie, or circus. Or try a family excursion; that way you will create memories to last a lifetime.
  • Get rid of the possessions you no longer use, enjoy, or need. Be relentless and try the 10-item challenge. Walk through your house and choose 10 things you no longer use or want and place the items in a paper bag and give them away. Use this process with clothes, nick-knacks, books, overflowing kitchen cupboards, and linen closets.
  • Designate a give-away spot in your garage or closet and donate the items you have collected to a local charity monthly.

Take back your time

  • Make family dinner a priority. Eat together as often as possible, preferably daily. Turn off the TV and other electronic devices and concentrate on positive conversation during meals.
  • Schedule in family fun time and family down time. Consider setting aside one or two days a week for family time – no outside activities.
  • If you have a tight schedule, consider giving up the activities that are not absolutely necessary. Limit children’s activities to just one or two per child. Your sanity, your family, and your health are worth it.

By Amy Sluss. Amy Sluss, RN, is a family-life specialist, an author and an acclaimed parenting speaker from Pleasanton, CA. Visit her website  to read more and to access her workshops and  learn-at-home courses for families with children ages 9-16.