Enjoy the Outdoors

When I get out doors I end up feeling refreshed. I experience a slower pace of life and enjoy the scenery and fresh air. This seems to fill my soul. I feel happy and relaxed. As a bonus, I find myself naturally more active.

Unfortunately, it is easy to miss out on these fun adventures. Busy schedules - school and sports activities - can eat up our days and weeks. Taking care of our home uses up a lot of time as well - laundry, cleaning, reorganizing, mowing the lawn, fixing things that break, and home updates. When we stay busy with all these things we often forget about the joy we experience when we get out in nature.

Our Day at Devil’s Lake

Three girls standing on a rock, flexing their biceps

My husband and I took our girls to Devil’s Lake State Park this weekend. We had an awesome day. After a relaxing morning filled with coffee, my husband’s amazing pancakes, and reading on the couch, we set out for an afternoon of hiking.

During our hour long drive the girls got tablet time and my husband and I enjoyed having a conversation.

Once at the park, we walked, explored, sang, and giggled. The girls got ice cream half way around and then we hiked the Tumbled Rocks Trail. The girls climbed on the rocks (my husband and I freaked out a little). And when it was time to return to the car our oldest shouted with joy:

Never! Climbing is my life!

Once back in the van, the girls enjoyed relaxing with tablet time again. We picked up our favorite dinner - Potbelly Sandwiches - and fell asleep easily after an active afternoon together.

This day, this amazing day - I want more of these days! But how? It’s easy to fit in days like this here and there. But what if you want more? Can you declutter your life to make room for more adventures?

A Decluttered Life

One of the benefits of decluttering is that you have less to maintain, freeing yourself up for things that are more meaningful to you.

How do you spend most of your Saturdays right now?

  1. Running your kids around to different activities
  2. Shopping - Grocery Store, Target, etc
  3. Household Chores - Laundry, Cleaning, Lawn Maintenance

What if I said you could free up your Saturdays if you decluttered? Sure, you will still have to buy groceries, but a lot of your time could be opened up to things that bring joy to your life. Here are some ideas to declutter your life so you better enjoy the outdoors:

Limit Kids Activities

  1. Have your kids pick one sport per season
  2. Participate in community sports instead of traveling sports

Limit Shopping

  1. Stop shopping for fun
  2. Focus on enjoying what you have instead of thinking of something new to buy
  3. Only buy something when you need it

Household Chores

  1. Declutter toys - spend less time cleaning up
  2. Re-wear unsoiled clothes - save on laundry
  3. Downsize your home - less home to clean/maintain
  4. Get rid of dressers, side/coffee tables - less dusting & clutter build up
  5. Plant native flowers and grasses - less yard maintenance required
  6. Have just One TV - not a chore, but a time sucker for sure!

We have instilled a lot of these changes in our home. Our girls are all in gymnastics one day a week during the school year and take swimming lessons in the Summer. I no longer step out of the house for a stress relieving shopping trip to Target. When I do shop, I think about it what I need and what I want to buy. Then I usually order it online! We’ve gotten rid of a lot of our possessions as well. I spend a lot less time cleaning and reorganizing my home.

Enjoying the Outdoors More

For me, a great life is one that enjoys the outdoors! I’m so glad we spent our Saturday at Devil’s Lake, but I want more - more days out in nature with my husband and kids. But how do I free up more time?

Here are my ideas:

  1. Grocery Shopping: During a weekday = More free weekend time
  2. Downsize our Home: Less home/yard = Less maintenance!
  3. Pay off our Mortgage: Once we are out of debt, my husband could adjust his work hours and have more free time with our family!

In the meantime, we try to get outside on a daily basis by walking instead of driving whenever we can. This usually looks like walking home from school with my kids during the week and walking to church on Sundays.

By choosing walking over driving, it forces us to slow down, enjoy the scenery, and get fresh air. My soul relaxes, my heart feels happy, and my body is active. We are spending more time enjoying the outdoors!