January, 2017

How I Became More Easy Going By Planning Ahead!

posted by Andrea | 01/31/2017 | 31 comments

This might sound like a crazy oxymoron… but it’s completely true for my life! Without faithfully planning ahead and incorporating structure into my daily routine, I would not be able to enjoy the benefits of a simpler, less stressful, more relaxing, more easy-going way of life.

Can anyone relate?

The Questions We Ask When Debating Whether to Save or Splurge

posted by Andrea | 01/30/2017 | 4 comments

Today I’m sharing a list of questions Dave and I ask when we’re contemplating saving or splurging.

Of course, there is no right or wrong way to save or splurge, but I’ve found that my mental checklist of questions helps put my purchase into perspective, resist impulsive spending, and still enjoy regular splurges and special treats for myself and my family (without feeling guilty!)

Creating Routine… When Every Day is Different

posted by Andrea | 01/27/2017 | 21 comments

As a self-employed, work-from-home mom of 3 energetic, non-school-age children, my days can be very VERY unpredictable… and this lack of structure starts to wear on me after a while!

Today I’m sharing a few basic routines I’ve implemented that allow our family to thrive, even when every day is different. I think the concepts could be implemented into many different family situations too.

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes With Ham

posted by Andrea | 01/26/2017 | 11 comments

One of the things I love most about scalloped potatoes is that it’s a delicious MAKE-AHEAD side dish that can instantly be transformed into a MAKE-AHEAD main dish with the addition of some chopped ham!

If you’re looking for a hearty winter meal (or yummy potato side dish) this is the recipe for you!

5 Ways I Find Free (and Frugal) eBooks

posted by Andrea | 01/25/2017 | 14 comments

I realize there are literally hundreds and hundreds of online resources for free and frugal eBooks, but since I like to keep things super simple, I’m sharing MY top 5 today.

And of course, I’d love to know what your favorites are too!

Why Every Household Needs An Important Information Binder

posted by Andrea | 01/24/2017 | 32 comments

Several years ago, I put together a large binder filled with ALL our important documents and information — basically a handbook for anyone who might need to step in and “run our lives” if we were unable to, for whatever reason.

Today, I’m sharing how I put this binder together, how I keep it updated… AND a free printable worksheet so YOU can get your important papers in order too!

A Peek Into Our Week

posted by Andrea | 01/23/2017 | 27 comments

Despite starting our week with 3 sick kiddos, we had a great week with slightly warmer temperatures and Dave home a bit more due to exams.

I finished a couple more books, did a few small projects around the house, and updated our important document binder… so overall, a pretty productive week for me!

Developing the Habit of Simple Living

posted by Andrea | 01/20/2017 | 39 comments

Simple living can sound like an overwhelming task for many of us… and it CAN be at first.

However, I know from personal experience that when simple living becomes a habit, or “an unconscious pattern of behavior,” it just feels right, and easy, and oh so simple you won’t even be able to imagine living life any other way!

My Thoughts, 4 Years After Rebranding My Business

posted by Andrea | 01/19/2017 | 26 comments

As we start a fresh new year, I thought it might be fun to revisit a time when I started over fresh with my business — that time I rebranded my entire blog and business!

Believe it or not, it’s been almost FOUR years since I changed the name of my blog and my business — which means I’ve officially been “Andrea Dekker” for longer than I was “Simple Organized Living” — crazy!

Post-Holiday Cleaning + 1 Chore My Kids LOVE + A Giveaway!

posted by Andrea | 01/18/2017 | 53 comments

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been one to do tons of deep cleaning BEFORE the holiday season. I like to wait until the dust settles and then do my version of deep cleaning after the New Year.

Today, I’m sharing a bit more about my post-holiday cleaning, one of my kids’ favorite ways to “help” me clean, and a fun little giveaway with some of our favorite cleaning products (plus a Visa gift card!)

Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard

posted by Andrea | 01/17/2017 | 18 comments

Have you ever pushed yourself too hard… to the point where you hated an activity you once loved?

As we strive for new goals and resolutions in the coming year, I want to highlight the negative impact of pushing too hard. It’s one thing to strive for a lofty goal… it’s another to completely burn out and start hating an activity you formerly enjoyed.

How I Organize Our Van

posted by Andrea | 01/16/2017 | 15 comments

I’ve officially been driving a minivan for a full year now — and yes, I still love it!

Since we’ve had a full year to use our van and assess our storage needs, I thought it might be a good time to share a bit more about how I’ve organized the interior of the van.

One Important Life Lesson I’ve Learned

posted by Andrea | 01/13/2017 | 48 comments

Tomorrow my sweet baby James will be 18 months old!!!

Today, I’m sharing one very important lesson I’ve learned after 5+ years of motherhood — one that has completely changed my outlook on these years when so many others share their personal suggestions, opinions, and advice. 🙂

Why I Have ZERO Meals In My Freezer!

posted by Andrea | 01/12/2017 | 26 comments

Freezer cooking has been a crucial part of my efforts to simplify my life for over 10 years now. I have saved myself countless hours in the kitchen, thousands of dollars at the grocery store, and bucket loads of stress due to planning ahead and having ready-made meals in the freezer ALL THE TIME.

However, aside from some leftover soup, we currently have ZERO full meals in our deep freezer right now! Today, I’m sharing why…

It Can’t Hurt to Ask

posted by Andrea | 01/11/2017 | 30 comments

Although I’m not nearly as frugal as I was 10 years ago, I still try to use our money wisely, get the best value, and save when it’s not too much of an inconvenience.

One of the ways I save quite a bit (without sacrificing much time, effort, or quality of product) is by simply asking the right questions to the right people.

Our Current Laundry System

posted by Andrea | 01/10/2017 | 46 comments

For the past year or so, I have felt like our laundry system could be simplified… but I wasn’t exactly sure how. I didn’t want to lock myself into a strict laundry routine or system… but I also didn’t want to constantly feel like I should throw another load in.

While I would never claim to be any sort of laundry expert, I am excited to share our current laundry system because I feel like I’m finally 100% on top of our laundry every week, with very little extra effort on my part.

Two More Healthier Habits

posted by Andrea | 01/9/2017 | 69 comments

As you might know already, I’m not a huge health nut. HOWEVER, over the past 5+ years, I’ve made a conscious effort to SLOWLY incorporate several healthier habits into my (and my family’s) daily routine.

Today I’m sharing 2 more super simple healthier habits for 2017!

Maybe Busyness Isn’t Always Bad

posted by Andrea | 01/6/2017 | 7 comments

Sometimes, I think we get sucked into thinking that all busyness is bad, unnecessary, and something that could or should be avoided — like if our lives are busy, we’re doing something wrong.

But in reality, busy times are often just part of life. They are not always avoidable, nor are they always bad…