Blog Minimalism & Simple Living Wellbeing & Self-Care

Ten Ways I Simplified My Life

16th January 2015

Ten Ways I Simplified My Life | photo of a pilea plant on a stack of magazines |

Less is more!

During 2013, I felt I was being pulled in lots of different directions – know the feeling? I was working full-time, keeping up with this blog, completing photography commissions, seeing friends and family, exercising, maintaining my home, travelling, wasting too much time online and so it went on.

I found the lack of ‘me time’ exhausting so I tried to reduce my commitments. After looking at an average week I realised there was nothing I wanted to remove from my schedule, so I decided to simplify everything else, starting with my environment.

How I simplified my life

As 2014 began, I embarked on a huge declutter which set me on a journey towards a calmer, simpler and easier life. One that felt lighter, provided a greater sense of contentment and gave me my time back. So, today I’m sharing the ten ways I simplified my life.

Ten Ways I Simplified My Life | photo of a desk with a weekly planner |

How to declutter your life..

1. Let go of stuff

I no longer wanted to waste my precious time cleaning and maintaining my home, so I removed all the items I no longer needed, used or loved. The decluttering process transformed my life and living in a simpler environment made me feel calmer and happier.

2. Abandoned the pursuit of unnecessary belongings

When you’ve simplified your belongings, you tend not to want to buy more stuff! And when I stopped looking at online shopping sites or wandering around shops I had more time and money. I find living with fewer things means I enjoy the things I have a whole lot more, after all, less is more!

3. Changed my morning routine

The secret to more hours in the day is to get up earlier, and although I’ve never been a morning person, waking up in a tidy clutter-free home makes my mornings especially joyful. I no longer feel rushed and I’m able to get a lot more done before I leave for work.

4. Started regular exercise

A low maintenance home frees up time and energy and so it was easier for me to establish a regular exercise routine. I tried to stick to set days and I didn’t worry too much if I missed one. I also used my walk to and from work (a 9k round trip) to relax, unwind and enjoy the world around me.

5. Enjoyed more time offline

Too much time online makes me feel busy and restless so I began to try a few internet-free days. I was amazed at the extra time I had and how much I achieved. Following this I set myself three goals:

~ No internet before 9am or after 9pm.
~ Regular internet-free mornings and afternoons.
~ Stop continually checking and scrolling!

Obviously, I don’t always stick to the above, but I have removed the habit of constantly checking my technology. I’ve also rediscovered the joy of books!

Ten Ways I Simplified My Life | photo of a calm and tidy living room |

6. Unsubscribed

I unsubscribed from emails, newsletters, catalogues and anything else that didn’t add value to my life. I also deleted things from my computer desktop and removed the files I no longer needed, organising everything that remained.

7. Calmed my mind

Living in a clutter-free environment made me aware of how busy my mind was and so my next step took me towards mindfulness and meditation. After some research, and trying a couple of iPhone apps, I’m beginning to learn how to quieten my mind.

8. Tried to be a little more present

In the summer, I visited the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park and at both locations, I decided not to take any photographs. I wanted to experience the natural beauty fully without faffing around with my camera or looking at the view through my lens! Six months on and my most vivid memories are of these two places. It was worth taking the risk and it has motivated me to try to live in the moment a little more rather than always trying to capture it!

9. Learnt to relax

I’ve always struggled to relax but it happened as a result of the above. When you simplify your environment, there are fewer household chores and distractions, unlocking more time to put your feet up with a cuppa and a good book. Now, who can argue with that?

10. Created more time for family and friends

And finally, cutting out the life clutter generated more time for my family, friends and all the things that bring me the greatest joy. Collecting moments and not things is a pretty good rule to live by and I’m pleased with how far I’ve come. If you’re about to embark on a declutter I wish you the very best of luck!

Further reading

How to simplify your life
Ten things I gained when I decluttered my home
How to organise your schedule, surroundings and digital life
My decluttering tips

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a gorgeous day!

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  • Avatar
    Reply Kate Gardiner 16th January 2015 at 11:41 am

    This is such a great and inspiring post. I love you you described decluttering your life and how it has helped you in so many ways. My husband and I have just done up out living room and part of that process was decluttering. It has made it a much more calm and relaxing place and somewhere I love spending time even more now. I'm on a mission to declutter my craft supplies too and be more organised as they have taken over the dining room a bit. We're doing up our smallest bedroom to be a craft room so once this is ready there will be no stopping me. Let the decluttering commence! x

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    Reply Victoria Eales 16th January 2015 at 11:44 am

    You're so inspiring. Over the years I've started to cut back on the things I 'need' and it's so refreshing. I'm currently embarking on a declutter session and simplfying things.

    Have a great weekend,

    Victoria x

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    Reply Lisa 16th January 2015 at 12:06 pm

    This. All of this. It's exactly what I need to do with my life right now. Thank you for the kick up the bum I needed.

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    Reply found and sewn 16th January 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Love this post! It's amazing how decluttering has had so many positive effects on your life. As you know I'm really enjoying the Headspace app too…I think I need to work on the 'less internet rule' and I've already unsubscribed to lots of emails and newsletters. All very inspiring. See you soon xx

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    Reply Heather @ my little red suitcase 16th January 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I'm very inspired by your simplifying journey, and you still are living with beautiful things around you, it's a nice combination. I like the idea of collecting experiences, you done some great things recently. X

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    Reply Kat 16th January 2015 at 1:37 pm

    It's not uncommon to see lists in this vein on blogs, but for some reason, this one really stuck out to me. I really like it and think I should try incorporating some of that stuff as well. I don't think I could do no internet before 9:00 a.m. though! I love my mornings with coffee and the internet before I need to get on with my day.

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    Reply Ali 16th January 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Yup – I have a feeling life would be calmer with less everything. But the bit I can really get behind is the being present in the moment message. Seems particularly pertinent for the phase of life I find myself in.

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    Reply Katie Bedlow 16th January 2015 at 5:51 pm

    A very enlightening post indeed!!! It does seem worrying to embark on such changes but I imagine after a year you can just look back and smile at what you've achieved, just making small changes for the better! I'm going to try and follow suit, I have already worked regular exercise into my routine which really does make me feel better, I just want to make time to read and learn more this year. We're redecorating our entire house this year so a perfect time to de clutter, here's hoping! X

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    Reply Ingrid Orens 16th January 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Inspiring ! When reading your ten tips, it is very clear they are the result of experience, and are not "yet another list with tips to attract blogreaders".
    And they are useful tips as well. Apart from the first one (for me, that is) – I will never be able to get rid of things, declutter is not in my dictionnary (which doesn't mean my house isn't organised – I'm a freak for order & tidiness !).
    I especially like the way you cut down your online-time. That is something I still really need to work on – strange how keeping up with IG and Blogger can really feel stressful !

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    Reply Jennifer 16th January 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Hi, I'm a new follower. I really enjoyed your list. I think that it's important that you have tried and tested them all. I notice Ingrid said something similar above. It's great to hear that these changes have resulted in a better quality of life for you. Thanks for sharing.

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    Reply Vintage Sheet Addict 17th January 2015 at 8:08 am

    Great post, I've been doing the same without really realising it…..with the exception of getting a new camera, but it won't be going everywhere! 🙂 xxx

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    Reply 17th January 2015 at 9:10 am

    'Collecting moments and not things' what a great rule of live !!! I loved your post! I think we need come back to the simple life ! Too much internet, telephone…..I love reading a book and a magazine but I don't have time I think your post makes me think that time we can created ! Less internet and less stuff !
    Thanks Natasha! Have a great weekend ! Enjoy live 🙂

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    Reply Lemon Freckles 17th January 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Wonderful post! Cutting back on the internet is something i've been trying to do more of, trying live in the moment more instead of being distracted by technology. x

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    Reply Olivia W 18th January 2015 at 6:13 pm

    This is a really helpful post. I totally know how you feel when you talk about 'Collecting moments and not things'. I always do this and I need to stop. Even the weight of a camera around my neck makes me feel like I have to always be taking pictures. I am definitely taking these points on board.

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    Reply KatGotTheCream 21st January 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I've been trying to cut back on screen time and am in a real reading groove at the moment – currently on my third novel this month! X

  • Avatar
    Reply tinajo 21st January 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Clever advice, I should do some of these steps as well..!

  • Avatar
    Reply CraveCute 21st January 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Such great advice CP! I've been telling the hubby that he needs to start the decluttering now if we are to move to a smaller house in five or so years. It will take that long I swear! I think I have one more to add, just say NO. No to new groups, teams, clubs etc. I've learned it's OK to say No and not feel bad about it!

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    Reply Jo 21st January 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Excellent post, I've really admired your commitment to a more minimal lifestyle in the last year. Fantastic to hear it's had so many positive knock on effects. I also love all your Taunton Vale canisters!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kate Beavis 8th December 2017 at 11:28 pm

    Loved this, makes me think about how to lighten my life in 2018 (but not my wardrobe!)

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