Year 04

The Simple Year 4 is going to focus on what I’m calling “Life Management.” It might sound complicated  and it feels a bit overwhelming at the moment. But a year from now I hope to say I succeeded and that I’ve simplified my life. In other words, I want to get an A.

On the outside I appear organized enough. I’d give myself a solid B+, maybe even an A-. I’m rarely late. My second grader never misses her bus and always has her lunch and homework. I usually have what I need when I need it. But on the inside? I’m struggling in C-territory. I feel frazzled way too often because my house is a mess, I don’t know what’s for dinner and a lengthy list of unfinished projects is calling my name.

And I have secrets. A spare bedroom teeming with junk. An attic close to bursting. And a garage crammed so full of stuff that I can’t make my way through without banging into something. After ten years in my house, I’ve learned to accept the always-evolving list of things to fix and improve. But I’m tired of seeing the same organization-related tasks on the list.

I was an English teacher for sixteen years, so I decided to approach my project with an educator’s eye. It won’t be like any course I’ve ever taught before, because I’m both the student and the teacher. And the curriculum’s kind of going to write itself. My husband and daughter are my students AND my classmates, and they may or may not land in detention for insubordination.

Life Management has four objectives:

1. To create a home which contains only things we need and love.

2. To implement routines and habits to help us manage our time, our house and our health.

3. To improve the quality of family mealtimes through better planning and organization.

4. To utilize free time more mindfully, individually and as a family.

As I work on each objective I plan to refine my ideas about simplicity and how it looks in my life.  At the end of each month I’ll issue myself a progress report, so you can see my successes and failures.

I look forward to getting started, and sharing all I learn along the way.



Me and my daughter Emma.

16 Responses to Year 04

  1. Welcome Tracy – Congrats for being brave to take on Simple Year 4 “Life Management”.

    To organize my task list to fix or improve I have an orange poster 15×15 with 1 index card (or half a card) for each room of my house, front/back yard, roof, each car, son’s tasks. Each person’s pressing tasks are highlighted with their color pink-me, yellow-husband, blue-son. When task is completed I use white-out tape so that card stays neat looking. On weekends I tape 1 index card per person on the microwave with 2 or 3 tasks for the weekend. Otherwise out of sight, out of mind! I took a picture I would like to share with you but don’y know how.

    • Pat, this is Kerry, I really want to see your poster (I have a whiteboard that is really only updated occasionally and not a very good system). Can you email it to me through the contact me section or to my email?

  2. I can’t wait to read about your journey. I find that flylady is very helpful, but it’s an internal process and we can be super attached to our “stuff.” George Carlin did a great bit about just such a thing 🙂

  3. Sounds kind of like what I’m doing.I’m decluttering my home making things more simple and less “stuff”. Also been working on saving money and spending less. Cook more eat out less and that’s going great to. Good luck and can’t wait to follow.

  4. Tracy, I’m excited to see your progress. I’m working to simplify right alongside you! We don’t have an attic – but we do have a scary looking basement that I’m waiting to touch until the main areas of the house are taken care of. All the best!

  5. I love these goals! My husband and I are working on the same sort of things…. Try out “” and see if using that helps streamline meal planning. We LOVE it!

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