Top Tips for Simplifying Your Life
WORDS: LINDA MCCORMICK
8 ways to simplify your life – sounds good right? It’s so easy to get carried away with the business of life. When you’re not at work or rushing from one appointment to another, you may be ferrying the kids to and from school, then after school activities, and maybe have a gym (or wine) session somewhere in between. It’s often hard to find time for yourself or your home.
If that all sounds very familiar to you, it’s time to take stock, slow down and simplify your life.
Of course, it’s not always easy to change down a few gears on command. When you’re living life at a billion miles an hour the very idea of leading a more simple life – while tempting – just seems so unattainable.
Here we share a few pointers to help you on your way to a more relaxed pace of living.
One morning, once you’ve done all the usual errands, just stop. Leave the mess, forget work, take a load off and breathe. Give yourself at least 15 minutes to sit still and relax. Your mind will race with all the jobs you think you should be doing instead, but these 15 minutes are the beginnings of an easier life. Enjoy the down time.
2. GO MINIMAL
Decluttering can feel immensely cathartic. When you’re suitably relaxed and have a clear head, take a look around your home and have a think about what you’d like to tackle first. If it all seems too overwhelming, make a list. Draw up a list for each room if you have to, and don’t feel like you have to declutter the entire house in one go.
Get a few big empty boxes and label one for keepsakes, one for keeping and one for recycling. No, two for recycling. Be ruthless. It feels good to purge things that crowd your home and your life.
If you’re a hoarder, decluttering will be like facing your worst nightmare. However, if you really want to simplify your life, start small; just get rid of the obvious clutter first. Get used to less for a little while then tackle it again.
3. BUY LESS ‘STUFF’
Start shopping according to what you need rather than what you want. It’s something you’ve been hearing since your mother preached to you as a teenager: “Do you really need that?” Of course there will be times when that’s an absolute yes. And there are times when questioning yourself works and you decide that, no, you don’t need yet another handmade bowl that is good for nothing but holding bamboo woven balls (yes, we all have/had one).
4. BUY SECONDHAND
It’s amazing what you’ll pick up at the local Vinnie’s these days. There are some seriously good threads to be had in many an op shop across Australia. It helps that wearing vintage is all the rage.
The rule with maintaining a simple life and buying new clothes is to take a bag of clothes or shoes to the op shop when you go. That way you reduce the chance of refilling your recently decluttered wardrobe.
5. MOVE HOME
It may sound like a drastic move, but downsizing may be a good option for some people who are finding it difficult to meet rental payments or home loan repayments. Life can become considerably overwhelming for those who are feeling stretched financially. Make life easier by admitting you may have bitten off more than you can chew in terms of rent or mortgage, find something more affordable and move on. Cue another decluttering session!
6. MEAL PLAN
For people who shun routine, planning your meals for the week sounds far too restrictive, but being this organised can help simplify your life in a number of ways. You can plan around your social life for the week. If you don’t have any outings planned, now is your chance. Pick a few staple, easy-cook meals and decide what nights you’re going to have them. Buy only what you need for the week and save money into the bargain – if you know what you’re eating for the rest of the week, you’ll have a better idea of what funds are left for everything else.
7. SWITCH OFF
Do yourself a favour and have a self-imposed digital detox every now and then. Go get some exercise, go for a walk, read a book; do anything other than watch TV or browse online in the evenings. Yes, the FOMO (fear of missing out) factor can be strong, and it’s oh-so-easy to keep in touch with friends and family, but remember how blissful it was to be uncontactable before smart phones entered our lives? Remember how much time you had? Create some space for yourself and grab a good book, sit back and enjoy.
Repeating the old triple R mantra never gets old. Following these three words might just lead you on the path of simple living enlightenment. Reduce what you consume, reuse where you can and recycle as much as you can. Simplifying your life is as simple and as difficult as that.
What are your pointers for leading a simple life?
Images courtesy: Pixabay | CCO Public Domain
Linda McCormick is a freelance journalist and travel writer living in Melbourne. Originally from Northern Ireland, Linda’s obsession with travel started at a young age when she set off in search of a warmer place to call home. While travelling she became more aware of the negative impacts of globetrotting and the importance of sustainable and responsible travel. She now travels with a different attitude and shares her passion for the natural world and eco travel in her writing. Linda’s work is published in a number of leading magazines, papers and websites, and on her own travel blog: www.EcoTravellerGuide.com
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