5 Reasons to “Write it Down”!

I have lists in various places around my home. My to-do list hangs on the front of my fridge. My meal plan hangs on the side of it. I have notebooks and journals filled with lists and ideas. I have a wide variety of lists in the “notes app” on my phone. Where would I be without my lists and my notes?  LOST!

writeitdown

I am a big fan of “writing it down” and here is why….

1) I need to remember. I can’t trust my memory. I am really good at remembering names. (I think that’s the teacher in me.) Remembering  details is not a strength of mine. Remembering that “thing” I was thinking about 5 minutes ago that I was hoping not to forget and looking to accomplish tomorrow…. well, that is definitely a weakness. My solution? Write it down!! I write down appointments the moment I make them. I write down books I am hoping to read. I write down names of people I need to call. I write down prayer requests. I write down goals I hope to achieve. All these things are written down in the name of “remembering”!

2) I need to stay organized. I have a husband, 3 children, household responsibilities, a part-time seasonal job, ministry activities, and ordinary life events. I need to stay organized. Writing things down helps me stay organized. I plot out my week on my calendar. I put my to-dos on here as well. I keep track of what I need to do, should do, and want to do.

chalkboard

3) I need to be held accountable. I find that if I write something down I am more likely to accomplish it. Accountability partners are a great way to follow through on that which you hope to do.  My lists become a sort of accountability partner. Most recently I have been writing down my exercise “to dos” for the day. If I write “go for a run” or “arms”, I am more likely to do these exercises on that given day.

4) I need to be motivated. I am a stay-at-home mom. Referring to my lists keeps me motivated and helps me stay on track as I look at the day before me. I don’t want to be running around as crazy as crazy can be, but I also don’t want to waste moments and hours and days. Writing things down motivates me and helps me keep a healthy balance between those two extremes.

5)  I need peace of mind. If am wishing to keep every thought, idea, hope, and dream in my head throughout the course of a day or a week, well, we know that is just not going to happen. I never like that feeling of, “Who did I want to call?” or “What was I thinking I should buy for my daughter’s birthday?” That kind of mindset distracts, interrupts, and creates anxiety in my day to day life. Writing things down brings peace of mind as I unload my thoughts, ideas, hopes, and dreams onto paper. I can have a clear and calm mind knowing I don’t have to mentally hold onto it all.

Perhaps you find that you are forgetting things that you so desperately were hoping to remember. Maybe you need some organization in your sometimes frazzled life. Maybe you’re needing accountability or motivation. Peace of mind might be your strong desire. If you’re seeking any of these things consider the practice of “writing it down”; you may just find it a help!

How about you? Do you “write it down”? What types of things do you write down throughout the week? Share with me in the comments!

Until next time,

Charissa

Continue reading “5 Reasons to “Write it Down”!”

End the day well

full-moon-1385329

Sometimes I get to the end of the day, and I am disappointed. I am disappointed in my children’s lack of obedience. I am disappointed in the condition of my home. (Could the laundry pile be any taller??) I am disappointed in the thoughts that went through my head and the words that came out of my mouth. Some days are really ugly. Some days are just sort of alright. Some days are like something out of a feel-good fiction book. The reality is life is full of ups and downs, and each day is different.

I pray and strive for days that are productive and peaceful and full of lots of smiles, but that certainly can’t be (and isn’t) the reality. There is one thing, though, that I try to do no matter the kind of day we’ve had and especially when the day hasn’t gone particularly well. My goal at the close of each day is to end it well.

What does ending a day well look like? It looks like tucking my children into bed and giving them extra squeezes. It looks like speaking words of praise and love to them. It looks like singing a song. It looks like praying and confessing to God and to my children the ways I messed up. It looks like a deep conversation about sacrificial love. It looks like a silly joke that makes them giggle.

In those last few moments after our normal bedtime routine (which may or may not have gone well), I move past all the yuck and hard things of the day and end it well.

What about you? What does “ending the day well” look like for you?

Until next time,

Charissa

5 Benefits of Living in a Small Home

home small home

For the last 10 years my family has lived in what most would consider a small house. Our 900 sq foot ranch house has 3 bedrooms and 1 (gasp!) bathroom. We do not have a garage or a full basement. We love our darling house. We brought our first baby home to this space, and we now enjoy life as a family of 5 inside these walls. There are moments when I want to knock down some walls and gain a little more breathing room, but overall, we are quite content in our home. I have also come to realize that there are some wonderful benefits to living in a small house.

1) It’s easy to clean. I love the fact that my home can be ready for drop-in guests in 20 minutes. If we are hosting a dinner or party it might take an hour or so to clean. I don’t have to go up and down stairs. I only have one toilet to scrub. Toys and clothes can be put away in a matter of minutes. Counters can be wiped down without much hassle.

2) We have less stuff. If you have less room to store things then you have less stuff. Every inch of our house has to be used appropriately, so we can’t be holding onto things unnecessarily. For example, we don’t have a garage or a full basement, so our outdoor toys and gear must be limited. We don’t have lots of extra closets so we can’t buy numerous amounts of bedding or towels. We do have an attic that stores items that we feel are worth keeping (but not keeping in our main space), but we have tried to become more careful about evaluating an item before we put it upstairs.

3) It’s easy to heat. We only need to heat one floor, and we are able to do it for almost no money because of our wood stove. When we first bought our home we received a free wood stove from a friend. My husband spends the spring and summer collecting firewood from family and friends who lose trees in storms or want them removed from their yard. He chops and stacks, too. Free wood=free heat. We love our wood stove. We are always toasty warm, and the stove creates such a lovely ambience.

4) You have to learn to share and put others first. Two of my children have to share a room. That’s not always easy, but they have learned how to share a space. We only have one bathroom, so we often have to “wait our turn”. Yes, it would be nice if my children could each have their own space; yes, sometimes I wish my husband and I had our own bathroom, but we can appreciate the character-building that occurs in a small space.

5) It brings you together. There really is no hiding in our home. Our lives have to be lived in front of one another, so this makes for a lot of togetherness. Yes, we can shut a door (and maybe even lock it), but when it comes down to it, someone is always right there. We have learned how to do life together and have bonded in ways that might not happen if we had more square footage and two (or 3 floors).

We might not always live in this home, but it truly is a gift that we love and appreciate. We are thankful for the years we have had here, and we do acknowledge the sweet benefits of living in a small house.

What about you? Do you live in a small space? What benefits do you find from living in a smaller home?

Until next time,

Charissa

My Photo of the Week

food1

This was my daughter’s lunch one day this week. It’s a typical lunch I pack for her (and for my son).  Items include: a homemade waffle sandwich with peanut butter, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, and a Stonyfield squeezer. My kids also bring a Camelbak water bottle each day.  There are so many cute water bottle designs! (FYI: Students in her school can eat peanut butter if they sit in a specified area in the cafeteria.)

(This post contains an affiliate link, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through this link.)

Quick tip: Hang your sunglasses

hangingglasses

Over the years I have scratched many of my sunglasses and broken a few.  I have also wasted too much time searching for them while trying to get out the door on time. I don’t buy expensive sunglasses, but I do like to keep the ones I have purchased for as long as possible. I wanted to find a place for my sunglasses that solved some of my problems. A few years ago my husband and I came up with a simple solution: hang your sunglasses to keep them safe and easily accessible. We put hooks underneath a kitchen cabinet that is right by the door we use most frequently. This handy station for sunglasses has continued to be a problem solver for our family.

What about you? Where do you store your sunglasses?

Until next time,

Charissa

5 Things You Can Clean in 5 Minutes

 

8657557-clock-on-white

I am too easily overwhelmed. If I walk into my messy kitchen I get discouraged. Piles of clean laundry needing to be folded and stacks of papers that need to be sorted create a similar feeling inside of me. When I actually start and complete a task, though, I am often quite surprised at how much I can accomplish in a short amount of time. Sometimes even 5 minutes can yield a good amount of progress. Below I have listed 5 things you can clean in 5 minutes. Take a look!

1) Your nightstand (or top dresser drawer). My nightstand holds a few books, some lotion, a lamp and a basket of odds and ends. Too often a few odds and ends become a large number of odds and ends. 5 minutes is just the right amount of time to return items to their proper home, maybe give a quick dust and straighten the book stack. An organized nightstand is a soothing sight for tired eyes!

2) Your purse. How in the world do purses gather so much extra junk? (Or maybe it’s just me?!) Gum wrappers, receipts and random papers seem to be the types of things that are generally found in the extra pockets and bottom of my purse. 5 minutes can change all of that! I think this is a practice I need to incorporate into my weekly (or daily?) routine.

3) Your makeup bag. This is one of those areas that is easy to ignore but important to clean out every once in awhile. And guess what? 5 minutes should be all you need. Dump expired products and pass along or toss things you are no longer using.

4) Your microwave. This is one of those tasks that can seem overwhelming but isn’t so bad once you get into it. Heat a bowl of water in your microwave for about 60 seconds, and then wipe down the inside. A microwave that has been ignored for months might take a little more time and elbow grease. I have found that using a microwave spatter cover like the one shown below (and encouraging others to do so) makes major cleanings a thing of the past. 5 minute touch ups can do the trick if we all remember to use this cover.

5) Your magazine bin or basket.  Magazines and catalogs can quickly pile up. Take 5 minutes and sort through your basket. Recycle catalogs and magazines; you might even pass along a few of your magazines to a friend or neighbor.

Do you have 5 minutes? Choose one of these things to clean today! You’ll be surprised how good it feels!

What about you? Which cleaning tasks take you much less time than expected?

Until next time,

Charissa

(This post contains an affiliate link, so thenotsobusymom receives a very small commission if you make a purchase through this link.)