They recently remodeled my favorite coffeeshop. I had low expectations for the change. I couldn’t imagine how they could improve the space. How much can you do with a long rectangular room in a strip mall? I was stunned when they re-opened. The changes are subtle, but make a remarkable difference. There is fresh paint and decor, but they nearly doubled the seating and widened the room by simplifying the space. I was used to the way it was before. Now I can see the old design was over-complicated and cluttered. They couldn’t accommodate their current customers well and had no room to grow. Now it is a better customer experience and they increased their capacity. They are ready to grow.
Every parent I know wants their family to thrive and grow. But those same parents struggle. Life gets over-crowded and over-complicated for families. This got me thinking. The most helpful renovations in the coffeeshop were simple. Are there subtle shifts and changes families can make to declutter and make room for growth?
What are some simple renovations parents can make?
Here are four to consider:
- Quit Something. Quitting one activity can free up time, reduce stress and save money. What does that $50, four-week, 30 minute class/practice/activity really cost when you add in gas, travel time, dinner at the drive-through, etc? Quitting just one activity could free up several hours and hundreds of dollars over time. How might your family benefit from more time?
- Go Analog. Just Google, “noise-pollution” and you will find countless studies showing how the noisiness of our world is literally killing us. Life is more than noise. What would we hear if we just shut down and went, “analog” for a few hours every day? I bet family conversations and communication would improve. How would your family benefit from better conversations?
- Schedule Your Intentions. Having a plan for each day helps us say, “Yes” to the right things. This isn’t a type-a personality thing. It can be as simple as saying, “Tonight after supper we are going to play games together.” Or, “Saturday morning (before noon) we are going for a walk around the neighborhood.” Without a plan, our intentions rarely become actions. What do you want to do as a family? Schedule it.
- Lower Your Standards. There are wonderful ideas for families on Pinterest and Facebook and YouTube. But every day doesn’t have to be like a Disney adventure. Just because someone can craft a rollercoaster out of recycled pallets doesn’t mean your kid won’t enjoy just kicking a ball around the yard. Ask your kids what makes them feel special. Do more of that. Usually it has more to do with spending time together than extravagance. Where can you lower your standards? How can you help your kids feel special?
Simple renovations can make a huge difference for families. What ideas do you have? Share your ideas in the comments below or on Facebook. If you think this post might be helpful to a friend, pass it on!