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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 |

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 | photo of a desk with a weekly planner |

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. 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.
~ Take 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!

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

How to simplify and declutter your life

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, 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 time and space to sit with my thoughts and check in with how I’m feeling. It also helps me to be more mindful during the day.

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 camera. I wanted to experience them without faffing around with camera settings or looking at the view through my lens. When I reflect on my trip, 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 had too much to do! With a simplified environment, I have fewer household chores or distractions, giving me more 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 joy. Collecting moments and not things is a great value to live by.

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: how to declutter your home

Thank you, as always, for stopping by. I hope you have a gorgeous day. Until next time, I’ll see you over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. Kate Gardiner 16th January 2015 at 11:41 am - Reply

    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

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

    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

  3. Lisa 16th January 2015 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    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.

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

    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

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

    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

  6. Kat 16th January 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    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.

  7. Ali 16th January 2015 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    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.

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

    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

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

    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 !

  10. Jennifer 16th January 2015 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    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.

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

    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

  12. 17th January 2015 at 9:10 am - Reply

    '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 :)

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

    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

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

    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.

  15. KatGotTheCream 21st January 2015 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    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

  16. tinajo 21st January 2015 at 7:19 pm - Reply

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

  17. CraveCute 21st January 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    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!

  18. Jo 21st January 2015 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    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.

  19. Kate Beavis 8th December 2017 at 11:28 pm - Reply

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

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