Living a Beautiful Life, Personal

Simplify, Simplify!

There’s a post that’s been circling around Instagram lately–I’m sure you’ve seen it–that goes something like, “Sorry I didn’t text you back, it’s just that I am exhausted and overwhelmed by everything…” anyway, you’ve seen it. And of course it is true, especially after two years of the pandemic. Being at home all the time has given many people a new perspective on the act of living–not just being alive, but how your environment affects you, and small improvements that make all the difference.

For me, a small improvement that has been making a big difference in my life is simplifying the decisions I make in my life every day. One of the ways I do this is to set out my clothes for the next day the night in advance, like I used to do at school. In the early morning, when I wake up, the last thing I want to do is deal with figuring out what I want to wear, even if it’s the same general thing each day. Taking five minutes in the evening is a big game-changer, and something that’s really improved my morning.

Writing things down in my planner has also–surprise, surprise!–helped me to stay organized. I’ve always been the sort of person who would commit to starting a new planner every year and somewhere around having to turn the first page would give up. Well, it’s still January, but I’m getting in the habit of writing things down, carrying my planner with me, and checking it throughout the day. It’s much more helpful than anticipated!

A third small thing that is improving my life much more than I thought it would (other than financially) is my no-shop January challenge. Clearing my inbox of all but three stores’ emails has really 1) cut back on emails, as I’m not deleting fifty a day; 2) reduced the temptation to waste time scrolling through things; 3) I don’t have to deal with opening deliveries, disposing of packaging, and finding a place for the new thing that isn’t really necessary. It’s surprising how much easier life feels without all this clutter.

That’s not to say I’ll never buy anything again—I still have my eye on those Faye pants!—or even that I think this mindset is practical for the long term. But I’m finding it more and more helpful in cementing my goal to live with fewer and better things.

What small changes have you made that have had an outsized positive effect on your life?

7 thoughts on “Simplify, Simplify!

  1. I do the first two things on your list – choosing clothes the night before and keeping a planner – but have not done the “no shop month.” I think I am going to try it in February. I certainly am not “in need” of clothes, etc and I definitely like to shop too much!
    I agree that these 3 things help simplify life. Hoping the third one will help me as much as it has for you!

  2. I’m also feeling the need to simplify my daily life and routines. I’ve been making an effort to do the following:
    -Buy better. Rather than buy something lesser that fills a gap for now but will eventually need replacement or upgrading, I try to buy the best that I can, with the idea that the item will last years (or hopefully a lifetime!) before it needs replacement. Fewer shopping trips/shipping emails/boxes to unpack in the long run!
    -Clean out drawers, closets, and cupboards. Donating things that are not wanted/needed; throwing out things that aren’t in good enough condition to donate. I’m by no means a minimalist, but having less extraneous stuff around makes it easier for me to see/appreciate/use what I already have.
    -I keep a running to do list (I use Google Keep) outlining daily meetings/appointments and tasks that I need to complete – I use it as a sort of day planner. It helps me see my days/weeks at a glance.
    -I love to cook, but I have simplified my repertoire. If a recipe calls for an ingredient I’m unlikely to use in another meal, I’ll look for another recipe that doesn’t call for ingredients that will end up sitting in the fridge/pantry.
    -Similarly, planning the week’s meals before I go grocery shopping means I’m more likely to buy what I need and be more mindful of using up ingredients/leftovers, and less likely to run out of things unexpectedly (or not know what’s for dinner at 5 pm!).

    1. Those sound like great things to incorporate into daily life. I do need to do a more serious clean-out, and keep putting it off until the seasons change. But I think I need to start doing that now so that I can start spring fresh! Meal planning is also something I’d like to start, as I would love not to resort to the same options for dinner every week!

  3. I’ve seen that post, hahaha! I do use a planner…I really could not manage my family without one. Something that is newer to me is meal planning. My parents were strict meal planners and we never deviated from the “menu”, so I spent 20 years stubbornly resisting the meal plan. I have always kept my pantry and fridge stocked with staples and I cook nearly all our meals…but I was *never* going to meal plan. I was wrong! It is so incredibly helpful for me to have my dinners planned in advance and now I don’t have to spend 3:30-4:30pm every day trying to think of dinner!

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