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Simple Challenge – Week 3

Organization - Simple Living Challenges Minimalist LivingImage: by digitalart

I can’t quite put into words how happy I am it is getting close to summer.  I love the freedom that comes with warmer days!

Welcome to the Simple Living Weekly Challenge!

This week, week 3, is for organizing.

Today we are going to do some simple organizing to help us make the most of warm-day-freedom.

Simple, but important.


Opportunities for enjoying the days are all over the place.  The problem is that life keeps going and we are often too busy to take advantage of the opportunities we see.  

So today I wanted to take some time to organize some ‘opportunity’ supplies (or you can call it something less goofy) so we can take advantage of more opportunities in these warmer days.

What do you need to have available to grab for:

  • a trip to the park
  • a trip to the beach
  • a picnic
  • an evening walk
  • a weekend trip

These are all opportunities that come up – often last minute.

If we aren’t ready we can find ourselves saying ‘no’ to things we would really enjoy.

Summer seems to be the easiest time to ‘live in the moment’.  It is easier to take a break from life stress and future planning and play for an afternoon.

… it may seem to be going a bit against the minimalist/simple living rules, but I think it is important to have items around the house ‘just in case‘ for some of these ‘enjoy the moment‘ opportunities.

Everyone reading has different opportunities, different family make-up, different climate.. so I am not sure how to come up with a good list for everyone.  But these are some things I do:

  1. Keep extra bottles of water around – Normally I like to use our re-usable water bottles.  But there are times I can’t find them, they aren’t clean, or we have company with us.  We also use them for longer trips, or really hot days, when we aren’t sure if we have enough in our ‘main’ water bottles.  If you keep a few in the freezer they can work for really cold water or ice packs in the cooler for a picnic.
  2. Have simple picnic food – usually we don’t eat a lot of processed snacks.  But in the summer, especially for picnics, day trips, or camping it is really nice to have some easy things to bring or to share.  We like to keep some potato chips, corn chips and salsa, or other snack mixes.  Having some quick box-meals are great for camping at the last minute.  It is also good to keep some snack food in the car for days that are too fun to come home as soon as you originally planned.  You can find healthier packaged options at cheaper prices if you plan ahead.
  3. Swimming bag – unfortunately we haven’t figured out swimming in China, but the past 2 summers we have spent a lot of time swimming.  We kept swimming things together with the kids swimming towels and suits and they were ready to grab with 2 minutes notice.
  4. Camping supplies – What do you need to go camping?  Can you grab it from the garage or do you need to sort for a few days?  It helps to camp with less things (think minimalist camping) and it helps to have these things ready to go.

What would you like to do this summer?  What are some things you can get now so when the opportunity comes up you are ready?

I love spontaneity and the summer is such a fun time for spontaneous guests, parties, picnics, hiking trips, zoo trips and more.  I love that simplifying my life and schedule, as well as planning for these opportunities before they come up, help facilitate more of these family adventures.

What do you need to sort, organize, buy so that you are ready to live in the moment this summer?


  1. Nancy Nancy

    This sounds like some good planning ahead ideas. I hope you have a great summer In China. I look forward to seeing pictures and hearing about your explorations. Have fun!!

  2. The idea of planning ahead also takes the stress out of packing for any kind of outing. A swim bag is great way to avoid forgetting the sun block.

  3. Valerie Valerie

    This is a great reminder. I already needed an outing bag recently, I was the only mom without bug spray, sunscreen and extra clothes at a recent event. It was embarrassing!

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