Simple Living: 10 Little Ways to Simplify Your Life

“It is desirable that a man live in all respects so simply and preparedly that if an enemy take the town… he can walk out the gate empty-handed and without anxiety.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Simple Living

Little changes can be accomplished quickly and those accomplishments build momentum and confidence for bigger changes. By making a list of 5-10 little things and knocking them out, you’ll create inspiration for the big stuff. You’ll also create more time and space for more love and joy in your life.

Identify little changes as things you can complete in an hour or less. Use this list, make your own, or mix and match.

Simple Living: 10 Little Ways to Simplify Your Life

1. Engage in a rapid-fire decluttering session.

Decluttering a whole home takes time, but you’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in a small amount of time. Set your timer for 10-30 minutes, turn on your favorite music, and go. Fill up a box or bag with stuff you don’t use or enjoy.

2. Say no.

RSVP with a “no thank you” to any requests that you’ve been sitting on for a week or longer. If you are still thinking about it, you aren’t excited to do it.

3. Be well.

Schedule all annual medical appointments like physicals, mammograms, dental visits or other routine medical things.

4. Under-calendar

If you don’t have time for what matters in your life, stop doing things that don’t. A jam-packed calendar might, on some level make you feel important or needed and wanted by others, but it doesn’t take long before overscheduling yourself becomes a bad habit. Break the yes habit because a jam-packed calendar usually results in burn-out and depletion. Edit your calendar by removing things that don’t matter, and by protecting the white space.

 5. Stop the distractions.

Turn off all phone notifications. Yes, all of them.

 6. Dump the junk

Open your inbox and sort through your email. Unsubscribe from all catalog and shopping sites plus all the things you didn’t sign up for but just happen to show up in your email. Delete or file/archive anything you aren’t planning to respond to in the next week.

7. Digital free hours

Challenge yourself to digital free hours during certain hours of the day and for 24 hours a week.

8. Create one little clutter-free space.

Identify one countertop or corner of a room to be your clutter-free sanctuary. Ask everyone in the family to commit to keeping that one space clutter free as inspiration for the next clutter-free space.

9. Orphaned Items

Donate, discard, or repurpose orphaned items. Some examples … socks with no match, Tupperware/Rubbermaid tops with no containers.

10. Duplicates

Grab a box and walk around your home. Toss any duplicates you own when you know one is enough. Do you need two sets of measuring cups? 10 throw pillows? 4 hats? The answer is different for everyone. If you are worried that one won’t be enough, hide the duplicates for 30 days and see if you miss them. If not, donate them.

Simplifying your life will create room for more love and joy but this isn’t a race. You didn’t clutter up your home overnight and you aren’t going to create a simpler life overnight. This is a step by step, inch by inch, scarf by book by measuring cup process. If you place 5 things, one thing at a time in a box each day to donate, by the end of a month you’ll be 150 items lighter and by the end of a year, 1825 things lighter!

Your little steps and one-thing-at-a-time efforts will make a difference. Cheers to more love and joy one step at a time.

What about you? What is the first you can take towards simple living? You can share your comment in the comment section below 🙂


Courtney Carver

Courtney Carver changed her life by simplifying it after a devastating diagnosis in 2006. She’s the founder of and minimalist fashion challenge Project 333. Her new book Soulful Simplicity is available for pre-order and will be published December 26th by Tarcher/Perigee, a division of Penguin Random House. Carver shows us the power of simplicity to improve our health, build more meaningful relationships, and relieve stress in our professional and personal lives.

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