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Over the years I’ve taken a lot of these steps to living a simplified lifestyle. I thought these steps to simplifying your life would also be helpful for you too. You don’t have to follow them in the exact order of course. Some of these ideas you may already incorporate in your day to day life and others you might find harder to do. You will find some steps will take longer than others and that’s totally fine.
I hope you enjoy this list and feel inspired to make some positive changes towards simplifying your life.
15 Steps Towards Simplifying Your Life
Declutter your home. I know this one might seem like a huge task but you can decide which way to do it. You can either spend an entire day or two removing all items you no longer use or love, or you can do some decluttering weekly as time permits. Every little bit helps. I opted for doing all the decluttering in one full sweep. Now I just keep a donation box with items that I still occasionally find at home that I no longer use or love. When the box is full it goes out for donations. Although not easy to do for some people, decluttering is so worth it and one of the first things I recommend when simplifying your life.
Create a morning and evening routine. The best way to start and end your day is to have a set morning and evening routine. Without a set routine, the day will feel hectic and overwhelming. I talk more about how I went from a zombie-like state in the mornings to productive and happy in my post How To Makeover Your Mornings over at my other blog.
Make it easier to do laundry. I chose not to buy clothes that requires taking it to the dry cleaner. Most of my clothes do not require ironing either.
Minimize your wardrobe items. I have a lot less clothes than I used to have thanks to the inspiration from Lessons From Madame Chic and specifically the section called ‘Liberate Yourself With The Ten- Item Wardrobe’. I know that sounds crazy but the 10 item wardrobe does include some extra clothes and is not about only having 10 pieces of clothing. Having less clothes has made it easier to put outfits together quickly and allows you to be more creative in mixing the pieces that you do have. No more wasted time staring at a closet full of clothes and yet feeling like you have nothing to wear.
Batch tasks. It’s amazing how much time you can save when you batch tasks together. For example, I do all my shopping one day a week. Yes, occasionally something comes up that I have to buy another day but this doesn’t happen often. You can save yourself time and sanity by batching tasks together such as: paying bills, cleaning the house, appointments, grocery shopping, and more.
Clean up as you go. It is so much easier to clean up as you go instead of cleaning up after you’ve made a mess and you are tired. If you are cooking or baking, put away ingredients and clean up as you are still in progress. It’s easier to clean this way then to leave a big mess in the kitchen to clean up after you’ve cooked, eaten, and are hanging out on the couch.
Create a time blocked schedule. Planning out your day in time blocks really helps to increase your productivity. You have a set time to work on certain tasks. You could create one master schedule or create one every day if your schedule varies quite a bit. This is similar to batching tasks, where you do a number of things for a certain amount of time and then move on to the next block.
Setup automatic bill payments. Almost all of my bills are set to be paid automatically each month. This is great because I don’t have to worry about missing a payment and frees up my mind and time for other things.
Go paperless. In recent years I am signed up for paperless billing. For paper bills and statements that I have to keep for a few years (for tax purposes) I use a scanner and scan everything to Evernote, a note taking system that allows you to also scan files and sort by date and categories. No more filing cabinets full of paper! I love the combination of using Evernote and my scanner. I learned about how to organize my paper life and how to go paperless from an awesome resource called the Paperless Home.
Create a simple meal plan. I plan my meals for the week on Sundays so I know exactly what groceries to buy. I chose meals that are simple to make and my organized recipe binder makes meal planning super quick too. Since I believe in eating mainly whole foods, oftentimes I just eat whole foods such as chicken, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cook them with some spices for flavor. It really is that simple to make a meal. If you complicate your meals believing you have to follow fancy recipes with elaborate sauces, you will end up procrastinating and not planning at all. Keep it simple so that meal planning for the week is easy:)
Have freezer meals on hand. Having some freezer meals on hand is also another way to simplify your meal planning and will allow you to spend less time in the kitchen. I love the idea of making a whole bunch of meals in one day and having meals ready to thaw and cook for weeks to come. I have to do another freezer cooking session soon!
Limit your time on social media. This one is a difficult one for many people. Social media becomes a habit which then becomes an addiction. After a one week vacation in Cuba with poor internet access, at first I was frustrated but then it felt great to just relax and I came back home feeling liberated! I now limit my time on social media each day.
Watch less tv. In my opinion, watching tv is not real living. It’s living vicariously through others. Yes, I do think it could be a great form of entertainment and I still do watch tv, I just don’t spend so much time watching tv. It’s easy to waste away three hours a night watching one show after another but it’s not the best use of time. Then you wonder… “where did all the time go?”. Choose to take a walk, have a bubble bath, or read a good book. You’ll feel much happier:)
Seek quality people. Find quality over quantity. It’s much better to have a few really good people in your life who will support and encourage you even if they don’t always agree with you. It’s okay to let go of relationships that are not supporting you. There are only 24 hours in a day. Spend it with people who are dear to your heart.
Do pay for helpful services. Another way towards simplifying your life is by freeing up some time by having others help you with certain services. I used to have someone clean my apartment so I’d be free to do other things. Maybe you want someone to deliver your groceries or meal plan for you. A helpful service known for meal planning is $5 Meal Plan. What are some services that would be helpful in simplifying your life?
What are some ways you’ve simplified your life? Feel free to share in the comment section below…