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.
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!
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. If you’d like to read more, I’ve shared the six things I gained from a year of mindfulness and meditation.
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. After I’d simplified, I no longer felt overwhelmed or busy – here are the ten things I gain when I decluttered my home.
If you’re about to embark on a declutter I wish you the very best of luck!
Further reading on the blog
Thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a gorgeous day.