From being career woman to stressed out, frazzled working mum, simplifying my life was one of the best things I ever did to improve my family’s quality of life. When you’re juggling all the plates in the air and trying to do too much, you lose focus of what’s really important in your life. Make a few changes to slow things down, declutter your home, your mind, your calendar and your life. Choose a simple life that gives you more time, space and freedom to prioritise the people and things that mean the most to you. Find out how simple living can help you with my 20 ways to simplify your life so you can create a life that you and your family love!
A SIMPLE LIFE IS ACTUALLY A FULLER LIFE
I’m so glad you’re reading this because I believe that simple living is the key to a full, happy and fulfilled life and I want to tell you about it so you can try it for yourself! Far from being a life of scarcity, simple living isn’t about living with less. Yes, it might mean having less ‘stuff’ but it’s also actually about finding ways to enrich your life, that go beyond what you see at first glance.
Before I give you 20 ways to simplify your life, let’s take a quick look at the benefits and why I know this lifestyle can really make a difference.
After all, a simple life doesn’t just happen, it takes a bit of work and perseverance to make the changes you need and to keep them up. So, just why would you want to simplify your life?
WHY I SIMPLIFIED MY LIFE
Before having kids, I had a career which I loved and threw myself into with a passion. I didn’t have much else to be responsible for and could put in as many hours as I wanted or my job needed.
Fast forward to becoming a mum with two little kids of my own and my perfectly balanced life went way off balance! I’d also become a step-mum and every other weekend and holidays we would have a total of 6 kids to look after. I’d be totally worn out by the end of the weekend and then still have to jump back into a full time working week, completely exhausted. I soon burnt out under the strain and got signed off work to re-evaluate my life.
After lots of research, soul-searching and a fair bit of trial and error, I found a solution that worked for me…
I obviously couldn’t get rid of the kids and still needed to work, so I changed the other things in my life which I did have control over and the effect snow-balled from there.
I simplified my life by cutting out and getting rid of anything that unnecessarily cluttered my home, my mind, my time and my life. I set about focusing on what was really important because I wasn’t distracted by the other ‘stuff’ that had previously been getting in the way, taking up my time and sapping my energy.
THE BENEFITS OF SIMPLE LIVING
By simplifying my life I found that I’d created so much extra time, space, freedom, money and happiness. It was difficult to believe that by making a few changes, from minor tweaks to big lifestyle choices, that I could actually enjoy being a mum rather than being a stressed out, tired and grumpy one!
The tag line of my site is ‘balance through simplicity’ and this is exactly what my new simple life had given me – balance. Of course, there are still crazy, chaotic days when nothing goes to plan and you go to bed hoping for a better tomorrow, but in general, I’m happier and much more content. And, if Mum is cool and calm, then this tends to set the tone for how the rest of the family is too!
So, in summary, my family and I all benefited from our new simple lifestyle. Here’s a few things we noticed…
THE RESULT OF MY SIMPLE LIFE
- I’ve created more time by being intentional about what I say ‘yes’ to, and what I say ‘no’ to. For example, I can play with my kids, instead of telling them to ‘go play’ whilst I catch up on jobs to do.
- The house is always (relatively) neat, tidy and clean so we can go out without worrying about what housework has been left undone or guests can pop over and I’m not cringing. I say relatively neat and tidy because it’s still a family home so let’s be realistic!
- I’ve learnt what really makes me and my family happy and we do more of it! We used to go shopping but now we go walking or kick a football around the park. We don’t buy stuff we don’t need, we have a laugh and take photos we can all look back on fondly. Simple things but so much more memorable.
- Our family finances look healthier! When we do go shopping, we look forward to buying whatever it is that we REALLY need. Not just unnecessary clutter. Our bank account is grateful for our simple life because we only buy what we really want or need and spend less, save more.
- I’ve got loads more free time to do the things that I want to do. I’m not running ragged trying to be all things to all people. I focus my time on the people and activities that are most important to me and in the other spare time I’ve got, I spend doing things I want to do. I don’t feel selfish or guilty because I’m still doing what I should be doing for all the people that need me. But I’m not wasting my time on things that don’t matter to those I care about in the long run. Instead I use that time productively.
- I’m fitter and eat healthier because I simplified how I look after myself, do what I need to do to keep fit and healthy without over-complicating things and making it unrealistic and unlikely to carry on.
WHAT ABOUT SIMPLIFYING YOUR LIFE?
So, now you know about some of the benefits of a simple life, why not try it for yourself?
Simple living doesn’t have to be difficult, it’s perfectly possible even if you have a complicated life and lots of responsibilities (kids, pets, a partner, jobs etc). With a few changes in the right places, you can simplify your life and create a new life full of more time, space and freedom and less clutter.
I created a list of 20 ways to simplify your life that I actually did when I was in the process of figuring out the best ways to simplify my life. I found what worked and really made the biggest difference. I’m sharing my list here so you don’t need to figure it out for yourself, it’s all here for you! Try them now and let me know in the comments what worked and what didn’t!
There’s also a freebie which you can get at the end of this post to kick-start you on the first step to a simple life – declutter your home in 30 days!
20 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW!
#1 Your meals
Once a week take a look at your calendar so you know what’s happening for the following week. Plan what meals you need based on that, including breakfasts, lunches and dinners for everyone in the family. Decide on which meals you’re going to cook, write a shopping list for what you need and order online for home delivery at a time that’s convenient to you. Meals – sorted!
#2 Your home
Your home is where you and your family want to relax and enjoy being. If you’ve got too much stuff that you don’t need or don’t use, then spend some time decluttering. Once you’ve got less stuff in your home then you’ll spend less time cleaning it, tidying up after it’s being used and moving it around so you can find other stuff. Click here for my 20 ways to declutter your home!
#3 Say no and own it
If somebody asks you to do something you don’t want to do, or don’t have time to do, or isn’t in line with your priorities and values, then say NO! Don’t worry about what they’ll think, or what they’ll say. This is your time and how you choose it is up to you. Remember that every time you say ‘yes’ to one thing, you’re saying ‘no’ to something else.
#4 Your wardrobe
Find another home in the house for everything that shouldn’t be there, a wardrobe is for clothes only! Clean the inside thoroughly. Sort your clothes into 3 piles (keep, donate, throw away). Only put back into your wardrobe the items you want to keep. These should be pieces that are in good condition, that you love and make you feel good when you put them on. Take the donate and throw away piles straight to a charity shop or the bin. Check out this post on how to declutter your clothes in 10 easy steps.
#5 Your paper clutter
Set yourself up with a small filing cabinet or set of cardboard files which contain all your important original documents. Go through all the paperwork you currently have, take photos/scan the documents that you feel you need to keep a record of but that you don’t need the actual physical copy and save these onto your computer into appropriate folders. Shred the originals. Set yourself a time each week where you can action all incoming post, file what you need, scan or shred the rest. You’ll be able to find things more easily and won’t have piles of paper building up on your table tops.
#6 Keeping your home tidy
Tidy up the house throughout the day. Don’t let the toys build up on the floor. After the kids have played with them and before they move onto something else, make sure all the toys are put away. Straighten the cushions. Grab a laundry basket before every meal time and walk around the house. Put everything in it that doesn’t belong in each particular room and return the items to where they should go.
#6 Your time
Use your time wisely and don’t waste time on things that aren’t important to you. The definition of wasting time is different for everyone. I like watching TV, but some people consider this a waste of time. Whereas I feel that mindlessly scrolling through social media is a waste of time, but others love it. There’s no right or wrong here! Do what is right for you but really ask yourself during the day whether what you’re doing is worth it, or could your time be better spent doing something more productive? Click here to read more on the biggest time-wasters in your life.
#7 Your priorities
Simplifying your priorities means working out what’s most important in your day, your month, your life and focusing your time, energy and attention on these things. If you don’t declutter your priorities, then you run the risk of having so much on your To Do list that you’re never able to achieve anything. If you declutter your priorities you can get rid of the unnecessary ones or the ones that actually, when you think about them, aren’t really adding any value or something you want or need to do anyway.
#8 Your finances
Simplify your finances to make it easier to keep on top of how much you’re spending each month and avoid the build-up of stacks of paper and forgotten bills to pay. Choose a good time when your unlikely to be interrupted and go through your income and outgoings for each month. Allocate what you can to a savings account, cut out unnecessary spending and make a plan to get rid of any debt. Switch to paperless billing where possible and create a monthly budget which you can keep track of. Click here for more info on how to simplify your finances.
#9 Your evenings
Get into the routine of laying out clothes the night before so it saves time in the morning. I also make sure that school bags are packed, lunches are prepped and any forms or permission slips are filled out. I also mark out a bit of time for me to unwind and chill! Check out this post on how to create an evening routine that cuts out the stress for the following day and calms you down for a good night’s sleep.
#10 Your mornings
You can spend some quiet time before the rest of the house wakes up either on yourself or getting some work done without interruptions! Click here for my post on how to create a morning routine that sets you up for YOUR day.
#11 Your health and fitness
Keep it simple and you’re more likely to keep it up, whether that’s eating healthily or getting fit. Choose healthier meal options where possible, don’t stress if you’ve eaten that extra biscuit, take a walk daily and anything extra is a bonus. Don’t go from one extreme to the other, eat and exercise with moderation and find a way to fit these into your existing lifestyle!
#12 Your mind
A cluttered mind is one that’s not only full of thoughts and knowledge but also full of things to remember, thoughts, worries and problems. You can start to declutter your mind by getting things out of your head and on to paper. You’ll be able to see things visually in front of you so you can organise, prioritise and take action over them. Your thoughts will no longer be a jumbled mass of abstract thoughts swirling around your head. Click here to visit my post on how to do a brain dump to declutter your mind.
#13 Your relationships
We all have relationships that feel a bit one-sided or cause us more harm than good. Declutter the relationships in your life which aren’t built on mutual love, strength and support. It doesn’t mean you have to be rude or unkind, just find a way to maintain the relationship in a way that benefits YOU. Dedicate your time to fostering the relationships of your choice. Every relationship needs work to keep it strong and healthy so, if a relationship is important to you, find a way to work it into your life.
#14 Your self-care
Mums so easily put themselves at the bottom of the priority list. Instead, be intentional about creating some time for yourself and you’ll be a better and stronger mum because of it. If you need further encouragement or ideas with this, then head over to my post on why mums shouldn’t feel selfish for looking after themselves.
#15 Getting organised
If you plan and organise yourself more then you can create more time for yourself to do other things. You’re also likely to be less stressed because you’ll feel more in control of your life, what needs to be done, what’s most important and you can foresee and avoid most (unfortunately, not all!) problems. Stop winging it though life and get yourself more organised with this post on 15 ways to make life easier and simpler.
#16 Your chores and housework
Do you have regular routines for all the mundane stuff that needs to happen around the home in order for your family and home to run like a well-oiled machine (at all times!)? Or, do you run around like a headless chicken at the end of the week when you realise that none of you have got clean clothes, or there’s no food in the fridge, or the house hasn’t been cleaned for weeks? Get some regular routines in place and stick to them and your home will function as you need it to every day without you running out of food, clean clothes or having to do a 24 hour deep clean session. Check out this post for 10 routines that will keep your home neat and tidy with little effort from you!
#17 Your daily routine
How many times do you get to the end of the day and realise that you’ve still got loads of things to do but you’ve just run out of time? Would you like to be more organised and use the time that you DO have in your day more productively, so you can do everything you need to do and still find a bit of time for the things you WANT to do? Guess what! It’s all possible but it just requires a little planning and organisation from you. Check out this post on 24 habits to include in your daily routine.
#18 Your clutter
Clutter can be physical (stuff you can see and touch) and psychological. We’ve already looked at how you can simplify the clutter in your home but check out this post for ways you can simplify your life by getting rid of clutter that isn’t actual things!
#19 Your expectations
Society encourages us to do more, buy more, be more… more of everything. Simplify your priorities and importantly, what you expect from your life. Focus on the things that mean the most to you and what you’ll remember in years to come and forget about the expectations of others and concentrate on your own.
#20 Ditch the things that bring you down
Take a moment to think about every aspect of your life, the good bits and the not-so-good bits. Which are the areas that inspire, motivate and challenge you and which are the bits that bring you down and you struggle with? Find ways to improve upon the difficult areas, deal with the things that you’ve just got to get through in this current stage and say goodbye to the negative stuff that serves no purpose other than bringing you down. Remember that this is your life and it’s up to you what you do with it. If you need help, check out my free courses to help get you started in a simpler, more intentional life.
Some of these 20 ways to a simpler life are easy projects that might bring about quick results and instant impact. Others might take a little longer and require a little more motivation, perseverance and a whole shift in your thinking and mindset. Don’t give up if it doesn’t all happen straightaway.
Declutter your home in 30 days worksheet
Grab your FREE worksheet to help you Declutter Your Home in 30 days! Follow my day-by-day simple and easy decluttering projects so you can have a decluttered home in one month. Your home will be easier to look after and quicker to keep clean so you’ve got more time and energy for other things!
SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE IN 7 STEPS
If you feel you need a bit more help and some kind of structure and framework to guide you through the process so that you can really make impactful changes which will last, then check out my 7 Simple Steps to Simplify. This workbook is full of information, question prompts and projects to help you simplify key areas of your life so you can come out the other side! Simple living has so many benefits and improved my family’s quality of life no end. Check out 7 Steps to Simplify to see if it can help you too!
LET ME KNOW WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
I’d love to know what works for you, what you found difficult and whether you’ve got any other tips to share which could help others on their journey to a simpler life. Let me know in the comments below!