Time for Slow. Time for Simple.

This blog was written by Kate Fehr of the Clear & Simple family. It’s well worth a read as the summer flies by too quickly.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It also bring me to reflect on what has become my focus and to step back a little and slow down. We all get caught in the hustle and bustle of life and demands of work. A little reminder to slow down is always a good thing. So sit back, slow down a few minutes and read this lovely blog.

We could all use a little big dose of slow and simple.

I was sitting outside my son’s basketball practice reading and enjoying a new book. I overheard two parents reconnecting after being away for the summer. “How was your summer?” The woman asked politely. “It was great, but went by so fast! How was yours?” The man inquired. “Oh my gosh, so fast. I think it was the fastest summer ever and I was not ready for school to start.” She replied.

I sighed deeply in empathy for I have also experienced just how fast life goes by. On the other hand I also felt grateful for Our Simple Summer that rolled by at a sweet pace; something I know was very intentional on my part.

As I lamented over the “too fast” culture we live in, I continued to notice scenarios before me as parents zipped in and out of the parking lot, some dropping kids off and some picking kids up.

  • One mom talked aggressively on her phone as her son climbed in the car and they drove away. Been there.
  • A father was urging his son to hurry up and tie his shoes to get into practice. Been there.
  • Another woman pulled into a spot, tapped her fingers impatiently while watching the school door. After about 15 seconds she jumped out and ran into the school to retrieve her son. Been there too.

After many layers of simplifying our stuff, our time and our lives, my family’s approach looks very different than what I witnessed. We leave the house with more than enough time to get there. Our phones are put away so that we can be present with each other to talk, sing and laugh all the way. We arrive early giving us a bit more time to connect. As my son hops joyfully out of the car and saunters into the gym, I push the driver’s seat back, kick my feet out the window and dive into a book.

This particular day I was reading a fantastic book called In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed and was on chapter 8, Work: The Benefits of Working Less Hard. Over the last 6 months my soul has been begging me to bring my work life into alignment with our minimalist energy. The combination of this book, a couple of months of summer sweetness and experiencing the fast-paced madness of my fellow humans, has created a great urgency in me to make this happen right away.

Barely making it through the day over-stressed, overly disconnected, under-nourished and under-inspired is certainly NOT the kind of life I want to live. How about you?

With lots of love,
Kate

3 Step System for Kids School & Precious Papers

Yes, you can have fun with your kids and their school papers using this 3 STEP SYSTEM!

One school year is over and another one is ready to begin! So what to do with the huge pile up of art, reports, awards and all those papers that come home throughout the year. Here is a simple system you can do now to clear out the last year and then be set up for this coming year.

Marla Dee, creator of the Clear & SIMPLE Way, has been helping people for 18 years. And she comes from a family of 10 children so she gets the chaos that kids can create and the desire to keep those precious pieces of art!

Marla Dee on KUTV – 3 step system for kids school & precious papers!

Step 1 – Get a bulletin board or display area for each child for the treasures of the week to be seen!

I have been blessed to work with hundreds of moms through the years. And I have heard over and over again – “Where do I put all the art work and school papers?” When your child has a chosen place to put the treasures, your child feels seen and proud. But you can rotate the pieces weekly or monthly. Once you take them off the board, go to step 2.

Step 2 – Choose a container, about the size of a file tub, which can hold the papers all year long. Once the papers come off your child’s board, ask which ones do they still want to keep and then place them in the drawer or tub or cool container. They will still be there throughout the school year and if you run out of space, it is a signal to go through a release a layer. Now check out Step 3.

Step 3 – Schedule a day with your kids for paper play. It is time to do STACKS© (sort, toss, assign, contain, keep it up and simplify) on the paper. The key is to make this last step FUN. Put on music and have snacks. Then let your child take their tub of papers and dump it out on the table or floor and spread them all out. Enjoy the time as your child relives the school year. Honor this time with them by listening to the stories. Next, ask your kids to choose their FAVORITES – the TREASURES!! Then 3 hole punch them and put them in a big binder. Last, you can let them decorate the front, or pick a favorite and slide it in the front sleeve.

*** The best part is now placing the binders in your child’s room so they can relive those memories for years to come.

Have you tried this system? Please share your stories with me at [email protected] or www.facebook.com/clearsimple.com and I will give you a prize. I want you to get organized and have fun doing it – Marla Dee

 

 

3 Tools for School Success

School Tools to relieve the stress and add success!

It’s here! – Time for the kids to go back to school, or for the grown kids to leave for college. No matter what age you are, school can be overwhelming as well as exciting. We want to make organizing fun so we are sharing our tools to relieve the stress and add success.

1 – Even with today’s technology most of us still need paper. A Day Planner that suits the child is still vital for tracking all the information and actions. And check out the brilliance of discbound notebooks. This notebook is called the TUL Notebook at Office Depot, the ARC at Staples or CIRCA at Levenger (an online resource). You can also find cool accessories for them at Etsy.com– just search for disc bound.

2 – Set up yourself up for success by getting the perfect backpack for you along with all the necessary tools. Watch the video below to see some of my favorite tools to go inside the backpack. Hint – those packs get heavy, so get one with wheels.

3 – We all have activities where we get lost in the zone. Our favorite tool for helping you stay on track in the TimeTimer. It answers the big question of how much time is left without having to calculate. And the section in red gets your attention so you stay focused.

Invitation to you – Choose one of the TIPS above and share your experience with me at [email protected] or www.facebook.com/clearsimple.com and we will give you a prize. we want you to get organized and have fun doing it.

Clear & SIMPLE, Marla Dee, School Tools