How I simplified my life
During 2013, I felt like I was being pulled in lots of different directions – know the feeling? I was working full-time, keeping up with this blog, seeing family and friends, 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 home.
Less is more
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
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. Living in a simpler environment makes me feel calmer and happier.
2. Abandoned the pursuit of unnecessary belongings
When I simplified my life and belongings, I didn’t want to buy any 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 and buying less is kinder to our beautiful planet.
3. Changed my morning routine
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. Best of all, getting up earlier gives me more hours in the day to enjoy.
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 like to exercise on set days, but I don’t worry too much if I miss one. I also use 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 technology-free days (and by technology, I mean my iPhone/iPad/iMac). I was amazed at the extra time I had and how much I achieved when I stopped scrolling through social media. Following this I set myself three goals:
~ No technology before 9am or after 9pm.
~ Schedule times to check social media.
~ Regular technology-free weekends.
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!
How to simplify and declutter your life
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, so my next step took me towards mindfulness and meditation. After some research, and trying out a couple of iPhone apps, I’m beginning to develop a regular meditation practice. This gives me a daily space to sit with my thoughts and check in with how I’m feeling.
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 with my Canon. I wanted to experience them without faffing around with my camera or looking at the view through my lens. When I look back, my most vivid memories are of these two places, motivating me to live in the present moment a little more rather than always trying to capture it!
9. Learnt to relax
I’ve always struggled to relax because I’ve always had too much to do! With a simplified environment, I have fewer household chores or distractions, giving me more guilt-free time to put my feet up with a cuppa and a good book.
10. Created more time for family and friends
And finally, simplifying my life generated more time for my family, friends and all the things that bring me the greatest joy. Collecting moments and not things is a good rule to live by!
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: how to declutter your home
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