Finding ways to simplify your life can be daunting and confusing at first. When you’re busy and have lots on your plate, it’s difficult to find a moment to stop and think about what you’d like to change, why you’d like to change it and, of course, how to go about making those changes.
Sometimes all we know (or have time to know) is that something feels off and we want something different.
If this sounds familiar, I understand! I felt the same and it took a fair amount of soul-searching and trial and error to work out why, what and how to change things in my own life.
My site is all about making life simpler, so I’ve put together this little roadmap to help you find your own path to simplify life.
Your life (and its priorities) might look different to mine, but I hope you’ll find some inspiration and helpful tips for wherever you are right now and wherever you’d like to go to!
The first step in making any changes is to understand how you’re feeling now and how you’d like to feel instead.
In my own life I realised that the times when I felt most stressed and overwhelmed was when I thought about all the stuff I had to do, the state of my home, being pulled in different directions, being tied to my To Do list when I just wanted to be with my kids or have some time for myself.
These were the main sources of frustration and stress in my life and were the first things I decided to do something about.
When I explored why these aspects of my life were getting me down, it boiled down to one simple thing… I had too much (of the wrong things).
Too much to do, too many places to be, to think about. Too much stuff in my home, too many things I was trying to achieve. It was really about having too much in itself, and also too much of the wrong things. Too much stuff that cluttered my home, my mind, my schedule, my goals, my time and not enough space for the things that truly mattered to me.
I read up on studies which showed that, putting it simply, too much stuff and clutter around you is directly related to increased stress levels. Therefore, by removing this stuff and clutter, stress levels would go down. Having too much was causing me pain, so I wanted to try having less instead.
Finding ways to simplify my life wasn’t an instant fix. I began in small ways, letting the benefits kick in and ensuring that the changes I was making were both sustainable and really made a difference. It wasn’t about making change for change’s sake. I wanted to change my life for the long-term.
Decluttering my home and simplifying my life was a fun and sometimes challenging process. My family didn’t always understand what I was trying to achieve and I sometimes struggled myself when I ran out of time, got stuck or temporarily lost my way. Yet, I kept going and little by little, my life became less full of stuff, less stressful and much much calmer.
Some of my simplifying projects brought about quick results, others took a little longer to feel and see the benefits. The key to simplifying is about learning what works for you and building on that. It’s about identifying your priorities in life, what’s really important to you and focusing on these. Let go of things that aren’t so important and say no to things that just clutter and distract.
Decluttering and simplifying projects are one thing, but the essence of simplicity is to alter your thoughts, habits and lifestyle in small but impactful ways. My life might have less physical stuff but it’s now fuller and richer in every other way.