Our Family’s Simplicity Rules

We consider our family to be minimalists, or at least avid simplifiers. 

Does that mean everything we do is minimalist? Of course not!

Minimalism and simplifying life is an ongoing, lifetime process. 

But we have some little things or “house rules” we implement I would like to share to you.

Note: This post is meant to be fun. We’re not saying everyone should do this or follow us. We’re just sharing what we do as a family when it comes to simple living.

1. Floor surfaces should always be clear. The only things on the floor are furniture. We enjoy having clear floors and we strive to keep them that way. 

It is sometimes hard, especially when you have an active 8-year-old boy. Check #7 later to know how we do it.

2. 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 drawers or containers and we only put out the ones we use at the moment. 

However, one exception is in the kitchen. There are some things we leave on the counters as we'd like to keep them handy.

3. 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.

Keeping all paper stuff in one place has helped us reduce the stress of trying to find something when we need it urgently.

4. 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 to its "home". Everything every time. Simple.

5. No cable TV. On January 2010, we cut out cable TV from our lives. Believe it or not, more than a decade later, we’re still alive! 

It wasn’t only a part of frugality, but cable TV also tends to run your life. We don’t want that to happen to us. 

Another advantage is we get to choose which shows, movies, or videos to watch. The TV doesn't feed us what we don't want to see. Instead, we put on what we want to watch.

6. Quality over quantity. We own fewer things. But we buy what we think are the best and, of course, they last longer. 

7. Tidy as we go. As I’ve mentioned above, it’s a little hard to do this because we have an active 8-year old son. 
Our solution: We taught him how to pack his toys 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 right away. It has become a family habit so far. 

8. 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.

9. 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. 

One in and one out means for every new item that comes into our lives, we remove one as well.

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.