HOW TO FIND SIMPLICITY IN LIFE THROUGH DECLUTTERING AND LIVING INTENTIONALLY
A simpler life isn’t a perfect one but it does give us more time, freedom and space amidst a busy world. Here are 5 tips on how to find simplicity in life through clearing your clutter and living intentionally in your every day.
WHY SIMPLICITY IN LIFE IS IMPORTANT
I write about finding balance through simplicity. For me, that doesn’t mean that a balanced life is perfectly poised, rigid or fragile. However, it does mean that when life throws me challenges, I have enough space and flexibility for the balance to shift as much as it needs to stop everything else going wonky or out of sync.
If something requires my time, energy and resources (such as my family, or my work) then I have plenty of time, energy and resources left in reserve for the rest of life. My body, brain and heart aren’t stretched so thin that an extra pull or pressure from one area of my life would send the other parts of my life or myself into overdrive or overwhelm.
I have space, time and freedom to navigate and adapt to the challenges of daily life and I get that balance through simplicity. It doesn’t mean I don’t have problems, worries or days when things go wrong but it does mean that how I react to these challenges is much more positive and healthy!
WHAT SIMPLICITY IN LIFE MEANS TO ME
So, now you know what balance means to me, what then does simplicity mean? And, more importantly, how could you go about finding it for yourself?
Well, the short answer is by trial and error. I made many mistakes and false starts when I was simplifying my own life. You can read my story here and I share what I’ve learnt (so you can avoid those mistakes!) over here.
The long answer is that in a series of small, baby steps you systematically get rid of the clutter in your life.
- For many of us that clutter is usually most obvious in our homes.
- Then it could be clutter in our schedules.
- Clutter in our minds.
- Clutter in your eating habits and wardrobe.
- Clutter comes in all shapes and sizes, visible and invisible.
You can read more about the different types of clutter and 7 ways to think about the clutter in your life in this article on what is clutter.
You might also like to read this article on 10 things to declutter that aren’t actual things.
Or for some quick wins, try these quick ways to simplify your life.
THE BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING
Decluttering our homes creates more space, a clearer and tidier home, a home that’s easier to manage, and a calmer and more peaceful environment.
You can declutter your schedule and other areas of your life by asking yourself what adds value to your life, what do you enjoy, appreciate, use and need.
Decluttering creates more time, space and freedom for the rest of your life, not just your home.
Read more about how to declutter your home and life.
A MINIMALIST APPROACH
Over time, you might establish habits to stay clutter-free, prefer to own less stuff and spend money on experiences rather than things. You might find that you adopt a minimalist lifestyle and begin to think with a more minimalist mindset.
In choosing what you keep in and what you keep out, you’re getting clear on what really matters to you in life and defining your priorities. How else would you know what clutters your life and what deserves to stay if you hadn’t also worked out what’s important and why?
Read more about the minimalist lifestyle.
These decisions encourage us to think about life in a more deliberate and intentional way. We become more conscious of the direction our life is headed in and what we want out of it. The time, space and freedom I talked about earlier gives us scope to do more of what we love and fill our days with more ease and less stress.
It may not make for a perfect life but it does make for a life more on our own terms – a life on purpose rather than a life on auto-pilot.
Read more about intentional living.
HOW TO FIND SIMPLICITY IN LIFE: 5 POWERFUL TIPS
If all of this sounds a bit complicated, then here are some little tips on how to find simplicity in life through decluttering and intentional living. They’re not so much a list of ‘do this’ or ‘do that’ because what simplifies my life might not help simplify yours! Rather, they’re guiding principles and values to help all of us embrace a simpler life generally.
1. Avoid comparison
Stop trying to be like anyone else, have what they have, do what they do. Limit your use of social media and scrolling through the lives of others. Comparison doesn’t support you to make the most of your life, it just makes you feel less than. You are important and unique just as you are.
When we compare ourselves with others, we sometimes forget that different people are treading a different path. Their priorities, commitments, motivations, resources and end-points might be different to yours.
“Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.” (Regina Brett)
You might want to make a few changes here and there or have dreams and aspirations to focus on and that’s wonderful. But make those changes for yourself, when you’re ready and for the right reasons.
Try this article on how to define your priorities and why it matters.
2. Choose less over more
Whether that’s the stuff in your home, the activities on your schedule, the ingredients in your dinner tonight, the appliances sitting on your kitchen counter or the elements of your beauty routine. Choose quality not quantity, less over more.
Ask yourself whether your life is fuller and richer by doing more, having more, chasing more, saying yes to more. Choosing less makes the important stand out, it helps us appreciate and be grateful for what we have. It gives us clarity and freedom, instead of stress and overwhelm.
“When you are overwhelmed, tired and stressed, the solution is almost always less. Get rid of something. Lots of somethings.” (Courtney Carver)
3. Consider your mindset
Mindset is the key to everything. How we feel and think determines our choices, decisions and actions. From understanding what clutters your bathroom cupboards to the fears that hold us back from exploring opportunities, how you think about things shapes your approach to life – including the stuff we let stay in and what we choose to keep out.
Mindset is also about the health of our mind. We can clutter our mind like we clutter our homes, with unhelpful thought patterns, limiting beliefs, too many things to remember and do.
“Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits. It’s anything that does not support your better self.” (Eleanor Brown)
When we have fog in our minds, we can’t find clarity and focus to make clear decisions on what’s supporting us and what’s holding us back.
If you’d like to explore your own mindset and how it can help you to find simplicity in life, here are some helpful articles:
- How to declutter your mind (24 practical tips)
- Essential mindsets to help you get more out of life
- The minimalist mindset and how to think like a minimalist (it’s not just about your stuff!)
4. Enjoy the little things
Big changes happen to us every now and then, but the majority of our life is made up of the small moments. Slowing the pace to create time and simplifying life to create space help us discover and enjoy the little things in life.
These little things, such as the sound of your child’s laughter or the birds singing, a warm cup of cocoa on a cold night, or the first signs of spring flowers popping up in your garden, help bring a sense of peace, calm and stability in a topsy-turvy, busy, noisy outside world.
They help us value and be grateful for all that we have, be mindful and present and open to seeing things with fresh eyes.
“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” (Robert Brault)
Here are some tips on how to enjoy the little things in life without feeling the need to stuff your home, schedule, heart and mind with things that, often, money can’t really buy.
5. Follow your heart
So much of life is about following our schedules, our to do lists, the notifications that pop up on our phone, what other people are doing, what your job requires of you, targets, goals and deadlines, big red sale signs directing us to buy more, advertising on TV telling us to do this or try that.
Finding simplicity in life is actually about following your heart. It’s about knowing yourself, trusting yourself and creating more time, space and freedom for the things which matter and lift you up.
Be aware of your mindset (see the point earlier), but follow your heart whenever you feel you can. Too much of life is spent trying to keep up with others or keep up with ourselves. Be guided by the inner you and have confidence to follow your heart not the herd.
OTHER RESOURCES TO HELP YOU FIND SIMPLICITY IN LIFE
I hope you enjoyed this article and it gave you some little tips and inspiration to seek out simplicity in your home, schedule, heart and mind.
If you’d like to simplify your own life, here are some other articles to help you get started:
- Simplify Your Life – a guide and workbook to help kick-start your intentional living journey and practical ways you can simplify your life. Journal prompts, actionable challenges and resources to help you identify what clutters your life and how to keep it out
- Minimalist lifestyle tips – how to embrace minimalist living every day
- 3 things to try if you’re not sure minimalism is for you (hint: it’s not about your stuff!)
- Where to start decluttering – 6 helpful tips to get you started
A FREE DOWNLOAD…
Clearing clutter is a great first step to help you find simplicity in life. If you’re new to decluttering, have tried but struggled before, or you’d like a fresh perspective on what clutters your life, then I have something that might help you – a free Declutter Starter Kit which you can download and work through at your own pace.
Pop your details in the box below to get started today…