8 WAYS TO MAKE LIFE SIMPLER
Life can be complicated sometimes but I’d like to share some ideas for ways to make life simpler. Let’s try to create a little more ease and a lot less stress by making more space in your home, schedule, heart and mind.
INSPIRATION FOR A SIMPLER LIFE
I think it happens to all of us. If you don’t keep your eye on the ball, it’s easy for life to get complicated. With jobs, family, mortgages and the stresses and strains of modern life, we can find our days, homes and brains filling up whilst our energy levels and free time deplete just as fast.
I’d like to share what I’ve done over the years with these 8 ways to make life simpler. The things that complicate my life might look different to yours, but I hope they give you some encouragement and inspiration to experiment with what might work for you.
Here are 8 ways to make life simpler plus a few extra resources to help you along the way!
1. IDENTIFY YOUR PRIORITIES
One of the most fundamental ways you can make life simpler is to understand what you want out of it. It’s about identifying what’s important to you, your priorities, values and beliefs and doing something to honour them every day.
Without priorities, we fill up our diaries, homes, to do lists and minds because everything seems important.
Define your priorities and then filter your life to make space and time for the things that matter to you.
Perhaps try asking yourself some questions:
- What makes me happy?
- What do I look forward to?
- What do I want more of in my life?
- What do I want less of?
Your priorities might come and go with different stages in your life. For example, career was important to me, before I had kids. Travelling was important to me before I realised that I was just using it to escape from my busy life. Check in with yourself regularly to make sure that your life aligns with your current priorities.
2. OWN LESS STUFF
Take a look around your home right now. Peek inside your cupboards, root around your closet, venture to look under your bed or in the attic! What do you see and how does it make you feel?
For many of us, too much stuff at home takes up our time and energy. We have to look after it, clean around it and move it from place to place.
Reflect for a moment on that stuff in your home. What would happen if you cleared some of it? Could you free up space? Free up your time? Do you use it, did you ever use it? Does that stuff make you happy? Could you have spent that money more wisely?
Owning less stuff makes your home easier to manage. I don’t believe your life should run on auto-pilot but I do like the idea of my home running on auto-pilot! Clearing the clutter, thinking differently about whether I need all that stuff in my life and making it simpler to manage my home, have all helped make my own life simpler.
3. CREATE SIMPLE DAILY ROUTINES
These could be personal routines for yourself or household routines to manage your home. Routines don’t have to be totally rigid but they provide loose structure for your life so that everything gets done, as and when needed, without you having to think about it too much.
4. DO LESS
You can create a simpler life by doing less. I don’t mean not doing anything but I do mean doing less of the things that just waste and clutter your time. Less time spent like this, means more time for things that you want to do in life and that align with those priorities we looked at in point 1.
If someone else looked at your diary, what would they deduce about you? Would they be able to tell what’s important to you in life from what they can see on your schedule?
Busy is to some extent part of everyday life, but do you ever stop to think about what you’re busy doing? Are you busy because you’re hiding behind something? Busy because you think you should be? Busy because you hadn’t noticed all the things you take on?
Look at your diary now. Think about the things that you don’t want to do or that you no longer enjoy. Could you remove them and give yourself some free time instead?
Doing less isn’t a sign of laziness, lack of inspiration or that you’re doing anything wrong. It’s more about creating space in your day like you’d create space in your home.
5. LEARN TO SAY NO
It’s such a little word but it’s packed with power and sometimes quite difficult to say!
I’m a people-pleaser and used to be very bad at saying no. I didn’t want to let anyone down, cause offense or seem unfriendly or unhelpful. As a result, I was saying yes to every after-school club for my kids and every invite out with friends. Every opportunity that came my way I greeted with an outwardly enthusiastic (but inwardly reluctant) yes.
The problem was that in saying yes to all these things, I was saying no to other things that were actually more important to me. I craved free time, time playing with my kids or reading my book. The things I was saying yes to were taking me further away from what I really wanted in life because I was too afraid of what would happen if I said no.
Of course, saying no doesn’t just apply to your schedule. You might need to learn to say no to unhealthy habits, no to too much screen time, no to buying that extra pair of shoes.
Saying no is like a muscle. It gets stronger the more you use it. Learn when and how to say no yourself and life might be a little simpler!
6. ORGANISE AND AUTOMATE
Using practical tools to help you be more efficient and effective can really simplify your life. Keep a shopping list on your fridge door, a diary on your noticeboard, set up reminders and alerts on your phone, automate your bills to be paid by direct debit. Keep a notebook on your nightstand to jot down thoughts that come to you in the night, meal plan for the week ahead.
There are so many little things that you can do to help your life run smoothly and more simply.
7. SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE
One of the first decisions you probably make each day is deciding what to wear. If time is tight, your closet is cluttered or you don’t really like what’s in there, it makes choosing your outfit for the day a little stressful and frustrating. And, as most of us have to choose our outfits 7 days a week, 365 days a year, what might seem a trivial little problem soon mounts up.
In fact, decluttering my clothes was one of my own first decluttering projects. I was busy every morning, trying to get my kids ready for school and myself ready for work. My stress levels were high and the clock was ticking so, by the time I’d made it into work, I looked (and felt) frazzled.
Simplifying my wardrobe, keeping clothes I loved and sticking with a sort of uniform, or go-to style, saved me time and stress. I think I looked better so I felt better too and everybody in my family enjoyed the knock-on effect of a calmer, happier me!
8. BE HAPPY IN YOURSELF
One of the biggest and most important ways to make life simpler is to accept yourself for who you are and what you have.
When we don’t have peace in ourselves then we can’t expect to find peace anywhere else. Comparison, envy, resentment, frustration, perfectionism and unrealistic expectations lead to a complicated life of chasing the wrong things for the wrong reasons.
For a simpler life, try focusing on what you have, not what you haven’t. Change the things you can, stop trying to control what you can’t. Enjoy the little things in your day because the sum of these make up your life.
Your life is just that – it is the life that you created and you are in charge (for the most part anyway) of which direction it takes.
RESOURCES FOR SIMPLE LIVING
If you’d like to explore what a simpler life could mean for you, here are some resources which you might find helpful:
- 20 ways to simplify your life – practical steps you can try today.
- 5 tips to remember in your search for simplicity – little tips to help you as you explore simple living
- Declutter Starter Kit – a free guide and workbook to help you understand the what, why and how of decluttering. Projects, tips and guidance to clear the clutter in your home and life.
- What is Intentional Living? A beginner’s guide to living with intention in your every day.
- Your Intentional Life – a free 7-day email challenge to help define your priorities and begin your intentional living journey.