Simplifying is one way to calm your life because by juggling less, it’s easier to create space and generate more time to relax. I began to simplify my life in 2011 when I moved from a three-bedroom house to a two-bedroom apartment. Letting go of the things I didn’t need, use or love was liberating, and it opened the doors to a calmer and simpler way of life.
Today I’m sharing three ways to simplify your life focusing on:
1. Your surroundings and environment
2. What you spend your time doing
3. The distractions and time wasters
Each area can be looked at in stages and implemented as gently or as drastically as you feel comfortable with. I’ve found the benefits of addressing these areas have included less stress, more freedom and a greater appreciation of the simple things in life.
Declutter your possessions
If you’re seeking a calmer life you may wish to declutter your home. This is because less stuff means less housework, less time organising and tidying, less time looking for things and less time getting things repaired or replaced.
A clutter-free home can have an enormous impact on how we feel. Cupboards of clutter can weigh us down and prevent us from moving forward. By letting go people often say they feel lighter, freer and can see everything in life a little more clearly.
It’s wonderful to live in a home comprising of only the things you use and love. In my case, it was a long journey, but I haven’t looked back because a home without clutter is an uplifting and energising place to be. It also provides a little more time to put my feet up!
Create some life boundaries
It’s wise to guard your time and create space for the things that make you happy. This can be achieved by establishing what’s important in your life and planning time to relax and recharge. It’s also valuable to look at your commitments to see if any can be reduced, tweaked or removed. Regularly looking at how you’re spending your time is a great habit to get into.
For a long time, I felt I had to say yes to everything and saying no would result in a missed opportunity. I now view every invitation, offer and request as a no before deciding if it’s worth my time. I give myself permission to gracefully decline without guilt and I’m never hasty or I may say yes to something I later regret!
Reduce your distractions
We live in a world of distractions, but by removing bad habits and practicing a little restraint we can calm our lives and unlock a little more time. Distractions include all the things that aid procrastination, for example, the television, email, social media and so on. Some of these things can help us to make plans and keep in touch, however, it’s wise not to waste our precious time aimlessly scrolling. The secret is to use these things with intention.
Take time to notice what’s distracting you and eating away at your time. There are many ways to push back, they can range from turning off phone notifications to processing your inbox more efficiently. Identify what is keeping you from the life you want to live and take steps to regain control. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless, life moves quickly so blocking out distractions and learning effective time management can transform how you feel.
‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’ – Ferris Bueller
Although there are many other ways to simplify your life, I think these three areas are a good starting point. My journey began with decluttering and as I kept going, I noticed other areas that needed editing. By asking the question, ‘does this add value or bring happiness to my life?’ you can allow the non-essential stuff to fall away leaving space for the people and things that bring you the greatest joy.
Ten ways I simplified my life
My decluttering tips
How to organise your schedule, surroundings and digital life
Ten things I gained when I decluttered my home
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
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