If you are ready to take the plunge and simplify your life but aren’t exactly sure where to begin, here are ways to guide you along your journey.
Prioritize. What is most important to you? Simplifying starts with identifying your priorities.
Evaluate your commitments. Which commitments really gives adds value to your life? Evaluate your time and drop anything that doesn’t line up with your priorities.
Simplify your goals. Limit yourself to three goals and work towards them.
Be Present. Be mindful of the choices you are making. Become more active in the decisions you make and how each one will affect your life. Move your life from mindless to meaningful.
Learn to say no. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person (and it will get easier the more you say no.) Exercise your power to NOT over commit.
Spend time with people you love. Whether those people are a spouse, a partner, children, parents, or friends, find time to spend time with them.
Spend time alone. Practice self-care. Give yourself the time to recharge your batteries.
Simplify work tasks. Focus on those things that need your immediate attention and prioritize and schedule those things that can be done later.
Leave space around things in your day. Don’t stack your appointments back-to-back. Leave a little space for contingencies. Planning gaps in your day leaves you room if something comes up and reduces the stress of squeezing something in.
Limit your communications. Set aside specific time blocks to check and answer your emails and messages. Texting, emails and facebook messaging can suck you down a black time hole.
Reduce your RSS feeds. Cut your feeds to 2 or 3. It’s another time sucker.
Limit your TV time. Don’t waste your time in front of the TV if it’s not something you are actually interested in.
Purge your stuff. Take one evening a week and clear out one room at a time. Once you have eliminated, go back and organize and edit what’s left. Make sure you include closets, bookshelves, and drawers too. Here is the best guide on how to get started.
Come to terms with your fantasy self vs. your real self. This is a real game changer when it comes to purging your stuff.
Purge your closet. Simplify your wardrobe by getting rid of anything that doesn’t fit, you haven’t repaired or is out of fashion. Create a minimalist wardrobe by sticking to a few neutral colors and simple, classic styles. Check out Project 333.
Reevaluate your buying habits. If you are a slave to consumerism, put yourself on a spending diet.
Go for quality, not quantity. Try not to have a ton of stuff in your life … instead, have just a few possessions, but ones that you really love, and that will last for a long time.
Reduce your exposure to consumerism. Find ways to reduce your exposure to advertising, whether that’s in print, online, broadcast, or elsewhere. Don’t let advertising make you think you need more.
Live frugally. Living frugally means buying less, wanting less, and leaving less of a footprint on the earth. Here are tips on how to live frugally. Here are suggestions on how to cut your expenses. Here are also ways to treat yourself while on a budget.
Purge your computer. Organize your computer files and get rid of anything that no longer serves you.
Work on Digital decluttering. Organize your digital mess including unused apps. Read more here.
Clear your desk. If you have a cluttered desk, it can be distracting and disorganized and stressful. Organize your files. Throw away anything not needed or relevant
Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe from everything that isn’t essential.
Keep your email inbox empty. Set up folders and sort your emails into easy to find folders.
Simplify your filing system. Create a filing system for paper clutter that makes sense and then use it!
Clean as you go. Cleaning as you go can cut down on the hours you might otherwise have to spend doing a “big clean.”
Establish routines. The key to keeping your life simple is to create simple routines.
Consider a smaller home. As you edit your stuff, you might find you don’t need as much space. A smaller home can save money in mortgage (or rent), maintenance, and decor.
Consider a smaller car. You don’t need to buy a smart car but could your family manage with something more economical?
Live closer to work. This might mean getting a job closer to your home or moving to a home closer to your work. Cutting your commute time may reduce stress and expenses.
Simplify dinner. If figuring out what’s for dinner is a nightly stressor (like it is for me) create a menu that is based on 5 ingredients or less. Pinterest is full of ideas.
Eat slowly. Be present and actually enjoy the food you are eating.
Exercise. Burn off stress by taking a class you might actually enjoy.
Single-task. Multi-tasking is overrated, and few do it well. It can be complicated, stressful, and less productive. Work on giving each task your full attention.
Create morning and evening routines. A great way to simplify your life is to create routines at the start and end of your day. Give yourself a half hour in the morning and evening to set a particular wake-up or wind-down routine.
Create an easy-to-maintain yard. If you spend too much time on your yard, simplify your space. Plant perennials rather than annuals, consider a beautiful zen rock garden to cut down on grassy space that takes up a lot of resources.
Carry less stuff. Get rid of the giant purses and only carry what you need in a small bag.
Learn to pack light. Who wants to lug a bunch of luggage around on a trip? Here’s an article on using just one carry-on.
Here are some lessons I have learned along the way of my own journey with minimalism. If you are just starting out, be encouraged it starts with taking one small step at a time. You don’t have to master everything at once.
Tells us about your journey to simplify in the comments below.