8 WAYS TO MAKE LIFE SIMPLER
Check out this post if you’re looking for ways to make life simpler, create more time, space and freedom for yourself and enjoy the benefits of simple living.
8 WAYS TO MAKE LIFE SIMPLER
#1 Simplify your home
Your home is where you and your family want to relax and enjoy being. If you’ve got too much stuff that you don’t need or don’t use, then spend some time decluttering.
Some of the benefits include:
- Clearing your home space will create a more peaceful environment. Your mind will calm and you’ll feel less overwhelmed. The research backs it up that less clutter=less stress.
- There’ll be less to clean, less to tidy, so you can spend your time doing other things without worrying about what state the house will be in by the end of the day.
Here’s how to get started:
- Set yourself a timer for say, 20 minutes a day, or whatever suits you.
- Go through each room at a time, starting with the one you feel is easiest (the bathroom is a good place to start).
- Remove anything that you don’t use, don’t need or which you don’t love. Keep it simple.
- Throw away, recycle or donate these items and find suitable storage for the stuff you’re keeping so it can be kept neat, tidy and easy to find.
#2 Simplify your finances
Simplify your finances to make it easier to manage your money and keep a check on your finances.
- Choose a time to sit down and go through your finances when you’re not likely to be interrupted.
- Create a spreadsheet (or even a simple list) of your monthly income and outgoings.
- Cancel any monthly payments that you no longer need (yet another gym membership anyone?!)
- Automate as much as you can. Set up direct debits to pay as many bills as possible online and switch to paperless statements. This will avoid the chance of you forgetting to pay something and prevent the build up of paper bills if you’re not too good at filing them when they arrive in the post.
- Create a monthly budget which involves putting some money aside for savings if you can and plan to get rid of any debts you might have.
- Shop more wisely and avoid wasting money on stuff you don’t really need.
Check out my post on how to simplify your finances.
#3 Simplify your calendar
What does your calendar say about you? Busy for the sake of it? Busy because you feel you should be or busy because the number of commitments has grown without you really noticing?
We’ve all been there and being busy is, to some extent, just part of every day life. But, we can make it SO much simpler for ourselves…
Look closely at your calendar. Remove any activities or commitments that:
- No longer serve you
- Don’t add value to you or your family’s life
- You’ve outgrown and/or
- That you no longer enjoy
Learn how to say ‘no’ to things you don’t want to do. Find a way that doesn’t upset anyone or make you feel bad for saying no. Try to only say ‘yes’ to the things that are really important to you and your family.
Curate your time closely and keep some time free each day to relax and just go with the flow.
Read my blog post on how to simplify your calendar and be more intentional with your time for more help.
#4 Simplify your priorities
Have you ever sat down and taken a moment to think about what your priorities might be? As a Mum you would probably put your kids at the top of that list. But then what? Having a nice home, car, holidays? The most fashionable clothes?
Or would your list include laughing, spending time together, having fun, exploring nature, creating silence to sit, think or write in a diary, time to watch your kids play, the freedom to do something on a whim without worrying about the consequences?
The difference between the two lists depends largely on your own priorities and how you’ve explored them so far.
Have you got caught up in a life that encourages you to rate material possessions as a measure of success, happiness and priority? Many of us do or have done at some time.
However, once you’ve got your nice new car, the chances are that it won’t be long before you become dissatisfied and want to trade it up. What about that big house? Do you need some nicer stuff to put in it?
Prioritising the wrong things means we’re seldom satisfied with what we have. We constantly chase more, bigger, better. Not exactly the way to make life simpler is it?!
If you were given only a few memories to cherish for the rest of your life would they involve your car or home? Or would they be hearing your child’s giggle or watching them swim the full length of the pool on their own?
The memories we cherish are often the simplest ones and that don’t cost much money.
- Simplify your priorities and appreciate the intrinsic greater value of the simpler but more important things in life.
- Don’t take on more than you can handle, appreciate that life comes in stages and what you can’t prioritise now you might be able to prioritise in the future (if it’s still a priority).
You’ll immediately find yourself more happy, peaceful and content and your bank balance will thank you for it too!
For more about appreciating what you have right now, instead of chasing what you don’t, check out this post on gratitude.
#5 Simplify your goal-setting
Do you ever set goals for yourself and then wonder why you never achieve them? Or do you flounder through life, buffeted by outside forces and not knowing where you’d like to be in 5 or 10 year’s time, let alone tomorrow?!
Simplify the process and make it easier to follow through and hold yourself accountable for what happens in your life and the direction it takes.
- Grab a notebook and pen and choose a quiet 20 minutes to sit down and reflect on what you want from life.
- Sketch out three sections and brainstorm where you want to be in the short, medium and long term future and what you want your life to look like at each of these stages and what you’d like to have achieved.
- Break each section down into the top five goals for each stage and make a list of three action points per goal for how you’re going to achieve these.
- Put them into practice today to get the ball rolling. Go back to your notes every now and then to re-assess your goals and see whether they are still important to you.
Don’t be afraid to dream big and aim high.
Goals are things that you work towards and although it’s great when you achieve them, a lot of our personal growth and learning comes from the journey towards them as much as achieving the goal itself.
Making a note of your goals with specific actionable steps at each point will help keep you focused and accountable.
Simplifying your goal-setting in this way will make it much easier to set goals in the first place and even more likely you’ll achieve them.
Click here to read my blog post on how to set goals and keep them. There’s a free workbook you can download to help you too!
#6 Simplify your routines
Do you have regular routines for all the mundane stuff that needs to happen around the house in order for your home to run like a well-oiled machine (at all times!) with minimal effort from you?
Or, do you run around like a headless chicken at the end of the week when you realise that none of you have clean clothes, or there’s no food in the fridge, or the house hasn’t been cleaned for weeks?
Every home requires a bit of attention now and then, even the simplest of homes get dirty and messy without regular attention.
You will always have dirty laundry to wash no matter how big or small your wardrobe. And none of us feel like food shopping, cleaning or tidying up when we’re ill or had a busy week at work.
Get some regular routines in place and stick to them. Your home will function as you need it to every day without you running out of food, clean clothes or having to do a 24 hour deep clean session.
Here are some routines you might want to think about:
Laundry – get in the habit of putting a load on daily (more or less depending on how big your household). Where possible, make sure this is dried, folded and put away before you go to bed at night.
Cleaning – make a list of all the rooms in your home that need cleaning and what you need to clean in each room and how often they need to be done (weekly, monthly, six-monthly etc). Decide to clean a different room or two each day and stick to it. Manageable bite-sized chunks that won’t take long and will keep your home clean enough.
Dishes – load your dishwasher after each meal or snack and switch it on to finish before you got bed and then empty it first thing in the morning. If you don’t have a dishwasher, wash your dishes etc by hand straight after every meal, dry them and put them away there and then. Don’t let the dishes pile up so that you end up doing this in the evening when you could be doing something much more fun and rewarding!
Check out my post on 10 simple household routines to save you time.
#7 Simplify your wardrobe
One of the best ways I’ve found to make life simpler was to simplify my wardrobe.
Every morning I spent time deciding what to wear. Sometimes when I was in a rush, it was difficult to pull an outfit together, especially if my wardrobe was crammed full of clothes and I was running out of time.
My wardrobe used to be full of clothes that, when I thought about it, I didn’t really wear. They didn’t fit, I didn’t like the way I looked in them, but still I kept them for those ‘just in case’ moments!
When I simplified my wardrobe, decluttered the clothes I didn’t wear and curated a smaller wardrobe which was full of clothes I did love, it was like a weight lifted!
- I’d made it easier and quicker to get dressed in the morning.
- I liked how I looked.
- I had a variety of clothes (instead of wearing the first that came to hand).
Best of all, I liked how I felt. I felt better, more body-confident, more ready for the day!
Read more on how to declutter your clothes.
#8 Make peace with yourself and stop trying to be anything different
One of the biggest and most important ways to make life simpler is to accept yourself for who you are and what you have. For example,
- Stop trying to be somebody different
- To change yourself because you think that somebody else has it better or more together than you, or
- Wish you’d done this or done that
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.
From now on take ownership of yourself and the life you have. Be proud of it, enjoy and make the most of it.
Consider the quote by Neil Barringham, “The grass is green where you water it.” Keep watering yours!
Make your life the best it can be and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing with theirs.
For more about making your life count, try my free short course, Your Intentional Life.