Tag Archive for Simplify Your Home

Simplify Your Home – Kids Bedding


As we recently added a 3rd child, I realized that we were pretty efficient about our kids bedding choices. My need to plan has meant that I am not eternally buying bedding :). Here are 4 tips for having less waste & turnover in your children’s bedding.

Skip the Crib

Co-sleeping may not be the best choice for all families. I understand that. If you are one of those people who needs her sleep or she’s a grumpy old mama bear, it’s worth learning more about. My babies sleep with us for about 9 months before moving to their own bed for a large chunk of the night. No crib means saving on the crib & extra crib linens :). But, like I said, its not for everyone. Either way…

Skip the Toddler Bed

We skip the toddler bed for many reasons. First, they are totally capable of getting out of out bed on their own. Because we co-sleep and have LOTS of stairs our babies learn how to get out of beds & down stairs practically before they can walk. Second, bed rails are beautiful things and easily found second hand, as are twin beds.

Also, since we move them into big beds early, they usually still want parent snuggle time for a long time afterward. Toddler beds aren’t made for grown ups. And finally, you don’t need to buy special toddler bed linens that are only used for 2 years.

Consider the Future

Bed linens tend to last a long time. I just bought my first new comforter for MY bed in about 5-10 years. The kids had nicer bedding than hubs & I did.! When I started buying their bedding, I decided to go very generic. By generic, I mean no characters. No Dora, Pirates, or Doc McStuffins to get tired of or outgrow. They each have a handmade blanket for one season and a store bought one for the other because we’ve been blessed with Bushia blankets :).

I bought one daughter a generic appliqued floral Circo quilt from Target in Purple, Blue & Yellow. I also have the pink version for our queen bed when they shared that. The queen blanket for winter was pink & purple with butterflies. For our son, I picked a plain blue striped reversible quilt from Circo. They are pretty & colorful enough for small children, but also grown-up enough to be used until they are 10-14 years old. Or until they get gross & fall apart.

Bedding Essentials

We also have just enough bedding for our kids. In Michigan, that means we have a ton :). Each bed has a long bedding storage bag underneath it. In it is all the bedding for each bed. For each bed, we have the following:

  • 2 sets of sheets (one on the bed & one “on deck” for middle of the night sheet changes)
  • A summer weight quilt w/shams
  • A winter weight blanket
  • A winter weight comforter w/shams
  • Pillows (2 for twin, 4 for kings/queen)

If we happened to buy a bed in a bag, the extra pillows are either on the bed or in the bag under it. Any extras like bed skirts are in the bags also. We tend not to use those.


A note about pillows. My husband used to complain about the number of pillows on the bed. Now he complains that they aren’t there when he wants to prop himself up in bed :). I like having my pillow shams filled (thus 4 pillows for a queen or king bed) for looks, but they are useful, too. Your use & budget dictate use of “extra” pillows.

Second, do not buy the cheapest pillows. If you need to wash them (and with kids you almost have to), cheap ones will lump to unusable levels once washed. Ask me how I know. Wait for sales–January & back to school seem to be good times to buy pillows. Or you could get new ones all the time, but that seems a waste.

With a little forethought, you can really save money, space and energy on your children’s bedding.

What are your favorite children’s bed & blanket tips?

Jen S.




{Simplify} 30 Chores That 4 Year Olds Can Do or Help With

Advertising postcard, picture side, for the &q...

Advertising postcard, picture side, for the "Happy Day" washing machine, sold by the National Sewing Machine Co. of Belvidere, Illinois. Opposite side of unmailed card shows boilerplate message: "Dear Madam:/ If you will try the 'Happy Day' Washing Machine, you will surely buy it, because it operates so easily and cleanses so very thoroughly." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I must confess that while I tend to expect a lot of my kids, I’ve never been one to make them clean up or do chores.  Until I had two little people making messes.  It was also kind of hard to teach them chores when I’d rather be reading books — mine or theirs!  As I’ve become more domestic, I’ve created a list of things that my oldest can help with.

– set table
– clear table
– help cook (mixing/dumping)
– unload dishwasher
– put away silverware & dishes they can reach
– take out compost
– mop
– sweep
– wipe off counters & table
– put away groceries
– help wash/dry dishes

Living Room
– use carpet sweeper for crumbs
– pick up and put away toys, books, DVD’s, etc.

– make bed
– put clothes away

– sort laundry for washing
– load washing machine
– transfer to dryer
– clean top of washer/dryer
– match up all socks
– fold kitchen linens
– fold hand towels & washcloths

– clean the walls
– mop floors
– clean fronts of cabinets/side of tub

– sweep deck/porch
– pick up sticks
– rake leaves

– get drinks for themselves or others
– get snacks for themselves pr others

Do your little ones have formal chores or do they just shadow you?


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Simplify Your Home To Simply Live – Inboxes

Several weeks ago I wrote about setting up paper systems that work for you.   I’m going to expound on that a little bit this month and this week, I’m going to talk about inboxes.  One of the things that greatly simplifies my life is having ONE inbox.  I have all my email accounts going to gmail (all 6 accounts), one inbox for all my paper (it gets HUGE), etc.

Every week, I try to process all my inboxes at least once so that none of them take an inordinate amount of time.   Here are some things that I consider “inboxes” or things that would make life easier if I dealt with them [at least] once a week.

  • voicemails
  • cameras (photos/videos)
  • email
  • social media
  • physical inbox

But before you can process everything, you need to condense things down into as few inboxes as possible.   Where are your clutter spots?

  • Kid’s backpacks
  • Diaper bag
  • Purse
  • Counter or Table
  • Bedside table
  • Dresser
  • Bathroom
  • Bookshelf

Think about the areas where paper usually collects.  Why are they there?   Can you make a habit to always empty <insert item here> in your inbox?  Do these things land there because you need to deal with them?   Put them in your inbox.    Is it because it’s a project you are working on?   Make a home for current projects.   Is it because you need to do something with it–soon?   Well, we will deal with those in the weekly review next week :).

For this week, try to put ALL your paper in one spot.   Then forget about it.   You will go through it during your weekly review.

Where are your paper clutter nightmares?



This post will be linked to Works For Me Wednesday @ We are THAT Family.

Simplify Your Home to Simply Live – May Summary

There has been a LOT to think about for the last few weeks and so I’m going to take a break for the Memorial Day holiday so you can spend some time with your family.   If you want to think about the last several posts, here they are:

We will get back to working on taming the paper monster in June.  Our tentative schedule is:

6/1 – in-boxes
6/8 – weekly retreat/review
6/15 – scan/file
6/22 – weekly maintenance
6/29 – specialty/ someday/maybe

Until next week, enjoy your families and honor those who fought for our freedom!

Simplify Your Home to Simply Live: House Rules

This week is kind another kind of heavy week as far as thinking and pondering your life path and priorities.   In previous weeks, we have covered taking back your time, family mission statements and personal mission statements.  This week, we are going to talk about making house rules.

There are two reasons for this.  First, making house rules is a great first step in picking your battles.   You can’t fight about EVERYTHING, so these should be things worth picking fights over.  The second is, there are some super cute projects on the web that I wanted to share :).

You have your personal and family mission statements and it’s not hard to pick out your house rules as the detail of how your mission works.  Here is ours:

Thank God for this day, this family & this home.
Obey the first time.
Husband, love your wife.  Wife, support your husband.
Say grace.  Be thankful.  Eat together.  Clean up after yourself.
Have fun.  Be kind.  Ask first.  No fussing.  No whining.
Sing silly.  Dance crazy.  Laugh often.  Hug more.
Use your manners.  Yes, please.  No, thank you.
Resolve conflict daily.
Cheerfully serve others.
Give love, grace & mercy.
Too much tv is bad.  Too much reading is good.
Use nice words.  Ignore dirty ones.
Work hard.  Pray harder.
You’ve heard the expression, “Is this the hill you want to die on?”   Well, for our family, these are the things that are so important they should be addressed/lovingly corrected EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.   Other things I try not to nitpick about.  If I need to teach or model or whatever a new skill that’s one thing — these are a whole other beast.
So think about your hills.  What qualities do you want your child to have when he or she leaves home?   What qualities do you want your child’s future spouse to be glad you taught him/her?   What character traits do you value most in your family?   For us, this was the easiest one to do!
And once you’ve written them, keep them posted!  Here are some awesome examples I’ve seen on the web:
Are these not cool?   So many ideas, so little time…
Have you made rules for your home?  Do you display them?

Next week, we will take a break (for this series) for Memorial Day. See you in June!