For me living a life that is stress free means living a life simplified. I think the new age term is living a minimalist life. But I’m going to keep everything simple and stick with a term that everybody knows and understands. Living a simple life. There are 5 ways you can get started today.
- Get the right mindset—While you can make definite headway in a weekend, simplifying your life is going to be a process and that’s okay. Get your mind in that place where it’s okay to take one step each day toward your goal. A plan to simplify should be simple, right?
- Spend just 15 minutes—In just 15 minutes a day, you can reduce clutter, put filters on your email, make a phone call to implement an auto-payment, unsubscribe from newsletters that clog up your email or cancel a credit card you don’t use. If you are feeling like you just don’t have time to simplify, it’s a sure sign you need to! Decide on one small task to complete each day. Set a timer for 15 minutes and see what you can accomplish.
- Chose one place—What room or area makes you the craziest when you walk into it? What have you been meaning to clean out and declutter the longest? Start there. It’s taking up mental energy you can use for more important things.
Get your family or housemates involved—the common areas of your house are not going to stay decluttered if you are the only one maintaining them. Sit your family down and have a chat about why simplifying is so important to you and how it will benefit everyone.
- Keep a donate box—Once you’ve made that first (or second) big trip to the donation location of your choice, you will still come across stuff that you didn’t notice on the first go-round. Keep a donation box in an out-of-the-way place so that you can toss things in as you find them. When the box is full, take it to your donation center.
- Buy one, toss one—Make a new rule for the household: when you purchase a non-consumable item and bring it into the house, you must get rid of something. For example, if you buy a new pair of shoes, either throw out your old, disgusting running shoes or place a pair that is still good, but that you don’t care about keeping, in the donate box. This rule works in two ways—it helps you maintain the minimalist lifestyle you are creating, and it cuts down on impulse shopping. You’ll probably be surprised to discover that there’s no pair of shoes you currently have that you are willing to part with in order to have the new, shiny pair. Problem solved.
None of this is hard. It’s something you can do starting today. Don’t try to spend an entire day. Just 15 minutes a day to start to simply your life.