Simplify in 2015

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The good thing about those All-Good-Plans-For-The-New-Year type of post is that it is always interesting to see at the end of the year how much we accomplished. The New Year is already well on its way but still young enough to make big and hopeful plans and define a motto for this year: Simplify!

Since we moved to a new home and with three young energetic boys around laundry keeps piling up, the fridge gets emptied too fast, somebody needs to clean and cook, and boys need to be brought to and from school and extra-curricular activities. We have still boxes unpacked, still trying to find the right place for everything. We have many ideas for wonderful projects and excursions and want to invite our new friends. It all feels like a blessed chaos, but I would like everything to be a bit more organized, thought through, planed and simplified.

Thus, it is my aim for this year to get everything a bit straitened out. Just a bit more organization and simplification might bring some calm into out life so that we have more time to enjoy each other and the things we do. And I hope that by the end of the year we have found our way of dealing with chores, projects and things.

And here are the four big things we want to simplify:

  1. Simplify the house: declutter and organize. Although we tried to get rid of many things before we moved, we still have way too much stuff (does our nine month old baby really need 18 bodies and 15 pairs of socks?). So there is no question that things can and have to go. This will be a real challenge and I am realistic enough to know that this process will need many rounds. Furthermore, many things still need to find good practical permanent places. Thus, my plan is to tackle one area a month and be done with one round within a year. This month I organize and declutter the office.
  2. Simplify housework: getting the kids involved into cleaning and cooking. This is probably no simplification yet, because kids are kids and many things are done much faster by myself than involving the kids. But I consider this an important educational effort. My boys should learn that a nice and clean home is a communal effort (no, we don’t have elves coming in at night to do the laundry). This year I will teach¬† the kids how to clean the house and let them take over some duties. We will also develop chore charts and schedules together (we started on this already – see pictures – but it still needs to be improved).
  3. Simplify daily life: developing daily and weekly routines. This goes hand in hand with the previous point. It is much easier to get everyone to help, when the demand is part of a schedule or routine. This year we will develop a (semi-) fixed weekly and daily schedule so that everyone knows when it is pick-up time, reading time, chore time, etc.
  4. Simplify our family life: planning our weekends and time together. And of course we want to have fun!  49 weeks are still ahead of us, plenty of time for wonderful projects. Each month we want to try at least one new recipe, plan at least one trip to a new location, have at least on big crafting project and invite friends over as often as possible.

Well, these are our plans to simplify and I am curious to see how we’ll manage!

 

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Jute basket

2015.01.01.NewYear.044sWhat a great idea to crochet baskets out of thick jute yarn! I followed the instructions on Naturkinder and made already three baskets in different sizes. It is hard work but rewarding. They are great for about everything. I made a small one for keys, the one pictured was a gift for my mom (and was also used to keep the goodies from St. Nicolas) and a larger basket is holding baby’s little toys.

I had some trouble in the beginning to make a nice transition between rounds. But with this tutorial I finally figured it out!

Yarn: Jute yarn 6mm 6-ply (e.g. from Rayher)

Crochet hook: 12 mm (from bamboo)

Will I do it again? Yes! I just put in an order for more jute yarn.

 

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