What is Modern Simplicity?

What is Modern Simplicity?I’ve been writing Modern Simplicity for almost 8 years (!) now, and over that time, the blog has grown and changed as I have. With so many new readers popping in every day, I feel like it’s time to define what Modern Simplicity is and how I hope I can help you personally.

When I first started Modern Simplicity, my intent was to highlight ways to live more simply on the Earth. I was very into being eco-friendly, so posts often revolved around changing light bulbs, ways to reuse everyday items, and composting trash. While I’m still very Earth-conscious, the chaos of modern life, with its emphasis on busyness and the avid acquisition of “stuff,” has become my focus. Modern Simplicity shifted gears because I want to help stressed-out families get away from consumerism and packed schedules, and find their way back to a more peaceful, focused existence.

If you’ve been a Modern Simplicity reader for awhile, you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting very regularly. I’ve been frustrated, and feeling unworthy to write this blog, because I’m not the poster child of simple living. I thought I needed to have it all down to a science before I could write about it.

My house is still cluttered (though getting less so every day), my schedule is packed (but I’m learning how to say no to what doesn’t bring me joy or bring me closer to my goals), my kids are loud and messy (whose aren’t?), I don’t know what’s for dinner (because I was too tired to plan ahead), and the budget is tight (because God knows we haven’t always made the best decisions with what to do with our cash). I didn’t feel like I had the “authority” to write about how to live simply when I currently am in the midst of chaos myself. I was scared, frustrated, embarrassed and too lazy to change. My health went downhill, and I’ve struggled with anxiety, fibromyalgia and chronic pain. After much prayer, I realized that Modern Simplicity wasn’t about telling you what to do from my soapbox, it’s about sharing with you the struggles of finding the modern simple lifestyle together.

Together, we can cut through the chaos and find a balance between modern demands and the intentional, joyful lifestyle we desire.

Simple living means many things to many people. My simple may not be your simple, and that’s OK. Simple living for me involves living in a meaningful, intentional way that values my family and brings us joy while also using our resources to help others and living as lightly on the Earth as we can. I want to buy less but buy better quality that will last, and use my excess to help others as God leads me. I want to teach my children to care about others and be generous with everything God has blessed them with.

Modern Simplicity is about learning how to figure out what brings you joy and then pursuing it.

Clearing the chaos out of your home so you’re surrounded by just what you use and love. Making your home a sanctuary where you and your loved ones can relax and shake off the stress of the day — not be confronted by the mess of too much and the stress of paying for it all. It’s about ditching the busy pursuit of more for the simple, fulfilling abundance of “enough.” It’s about getting rid of the chaos that blinds you from what really matters and that distracts you from pursuing your calling.

Together, I want us to:

  • Declutter our homes, keeping the things that we use and that bring us joy, while discarding the stuff that weighs us down and brings down our spirits every time we walk through the door. Staying true to my eco-conscious self, I want to show you how you can discard your unwanted items while being conscious of where they go, ideally to others who need our discards and can use them to bring joy and abundance to their own lives.
  • “Unbusy” our schedules. Yes, modern life is chaotic, but our schedules don’t have to be. Together, I want to find ways to unload the tasks and commitments that keep us running and simplify to just the tasks that will bring us joy and help us reach our goals. That’s not to say that we can unload every task we don’t find pleasurable, but we can trim our commitments down considerably so there’s more time for family, friends and downtime.
  • Dig out of debt. Despite knowing my Dave Ramsey lessons, we’ve got ourselves a hole to dig out of. From talking to my friends, I know that a good many of them do too. When there’s too much month and not enough money, it can be hard and dispiriting not knowing what to do. Together, we’ll figure out ways to reduce expenses and increase income, and together, we will dig out of the hole.

If Modern Simplicity’s goals resonate with you, I’d love for you to drop me a line in the comments, and be sure to sign up below for Modern Simplicity’s newsletter — I want to connect with you and work to create a life free from chaos, together.

Norwex Mop System Review: Clean the Floor with ONLY WATER?!

Norwex Mop System Review: Clean My Floor with Only Water?!There are few cleaning supplies I would call “life-changing” but the Norwex mop system is definitely one of them. I’m known for writing about green cleaning and simplifying life, and this mop is the very definition of both in the cleaning world.The Norwex mop, like other signature Norwex products, cleans with just water — no harsh cleaners necessary. No toxic chemicals, no weird additives that make my tile cloudy and sticky or strips my wood floors. And I love the interchangable heads that make going from dry sweeping to wet mopping a snap.

First, the yellow Dry Superior Mop Pad, with its large head and angled sides, makes getting into corners a breeze, and the 100% microfiber pulls all those dust particles in and holds them tight. No spreading dirt around with this baby. It also cleans up pet hair like nobody’s business. I’ve got two cats and a dog — so my house is very furry! When finished, cleaning the pad is super easy — just sweep off all the hair, fur and other debris in the trash with the Norwex Rubber Brush, and pop the pad in the washing machine.

The blue Wet Mop Pad makes mopping fast and easy — which is not how I usually describe mopping! Just dampen the pad with warm water, squeeze it out so it’s not drippy, and slap it on the mop head. It works on all floor types, even wood floors, with no worries about damaging the finish. And y’all — you can use it to wash your WALLS too! If you have tile floors, the Tile Mop Pad has scrubby nylon fibers woven into the microfiber pad to help get dirt out of grout lines and uneven tile surfaces — a Godsend when you have as much tile in your house as we do! These mop pads made mopping so fool-proof, I can even get my kids to do it! Both mop heads are easy to rinse and reuse, and then just toss in the laundry to wash as needed.

At this point, my husband would also like me to add that when he was in the hospital back in January (he’s fine now), he noticed that they mopped the floor with a Norwex mop. In. The. Hospital. I’m pretty sure that’s what won him over to the Norwex side.

I love the telescoping mop handle — I can make it short for the little ones in the house who want to help with the cleaning, or I can make it taller so my husband can help out. Even better, I can extend the telescoping handle to full length and use it to wipe off the second story window ledges that had previously eluded me (the dust was lethal up there y’-all). I also have the attachable Mop Brackets for my Mop Base, so it’s easy to tuck on a Norwex EnviroCloth for dry or damp dusting even the highest spaces.

Bonus, I can tuck my Norwex EnviroWand to the telescoping handle for dusting those second-story window blinds, sills and ceiling corners. The wand bends so you can position it however you need to reach those hard-to-clean areas.

Before I got the Norwex mop system, I had a collection of brooms, dry sweepers, mops, and refillable mop systems. You know how much I love simplifying, and this one simple set allowed me to dump all those other tools that promised a lot but never lived up to the hype. I rarely saw my husband handle a mop before we got the Norwex mop — now he doesn’t hesitate to grab it and run it around whenever the floor needs it. I love not worrying about whether I have enough cleaner on hand, what’s lurking in the broom bristles, or how long it’s been since the mop was cleaned. My kids can help clean without fear of getting toxic chemicals on their delicate skin. The Norwex mop is easy to use and easy to keep clean, and I love knowing there aren’t harmful chemicals on my floors putting my kids and pets in danger. I know my wood floors won’t be stripped and lose their shine. I know my tile grout is clean. So much from one mop!

Disclaimer: I do not sell Norwex, but my awesome sister-in-law does. You can find her at http://www.norwex.biz/pws/tericlark/tabs/home.aspx, and she throws a killer Facebook party for anyone looking for hostess rewards. In fact, I got my mop system by hosting a party on Facebook! I did not receive payment for posting this unbiased review, nor do I receive any commission off any sales made because of this review, and all thoughts and views are my own.