What does having a simple living actually mean? Will having a simpler life truly bring you peace? Does having a simpler life make things any better? Simple living has many definitions, identities, and representations, but there seems to be one common denominator; having a simpler life will make life easier.
Logic points out that a simpler life will provide you will a stress-free home, a relaxed state of being, and is the long lost goal everyone seems to want to accomplish. I know I do.
I want things to be less overwhelming, I want to feel less stressed, and I want my mind to slow down enough to focus on one simple task at a time.
So how do we achieve simple living?
Do we donate everything we own and sell our big house? Do we quit our job, move to the country, and live off the land?
Do we drop every single person in our lives to just focus on ourselves? ….probably not but there are many ways to still achieve a simple life.
The first step in wanting a simpler life is to understand that the big things in our lives causing the most complicated parts of ourselves are not going to go away.
We still need a roof over our heads, we still need an income, and we still need to work on our friendships and relationships.
So with that realization, not all hope is lost to find that simple living lifestyle you are craving. There are many easy and simple ways to transform your overwhelming life into a nice simple one. Keep reading to see 20 simple ways you can practice simple living in your life.
(This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Some of the amazing following photos are not my own, click on them to head straight to the source!)
1 | LOSE THE PURSE
There are these great phone case holders that can carry your phone and necessary credit cards, money, etc.
Our purses often become a black hole we tend to throw everything into.
We spend time organizing it, we spend money buying new purses, and we also have a literal weight we carry on our shoulders every day.
Try going purse free for one month and see how liberating it could actually be.
2 | UNSUBSCRIBE
If your email box is driving you crazy, scroll down to the bottom of every email you no longer want and take the extra minute or two to click the unsubscribe button.
To not overwhelm yourself, maybe once a week unsubscribe to a few until you only receive the emails you actually want.
3 | GO PAPERLESS
If you want less mail clutter it is time to embrace going paperless with your providers.
If you mostly pay your bills online then when you’re on their website look for the paperless option, almost every single company has this option now.
4 | THROW YOUR MAIL AWAY ASAP
The second you pick up the mail, throw away (or recycle) what you don’t need immediately.
Even if you can’t get to the actual mail yet, removing the junk mail ASAP will make going through your mail a lot easier when you do have time.
5 | TAKE AN EXTRA DAY OR TWO OFF OF WORK
This might not be an option for everyone, but if you are lucky enough to use any paid time off, or just can take time off without pay, think about taking an extra day off.
Use this day to complete all of your procrastinated projects.
I try my best to slip in errands on my lunch break, clean the house before work, etc. and more often than not I just overexert myself.
Instead, when I really am needing it, I take an extra day and hit everything I need to do hard, to lighten my load for the entire month.
6 | MEAL PLAN FOR THE WHOLE MONTH
Have you ever thought about what your life could be like without going to the grocery store spending up to 2 hours every single week?
In most cases, we all do our weekly trip plus the extra fun bonus of having to run into the store maybe an extra one or two times.
Try something different. Make a month-long meal plan and make one beautiful grocery trip.
Prep, cut, wash, bag, label, and have your month of meals ready to go.
7 | WRITING A MASTER MEAL PLANNER LIST
Instead of trying to remember things you want to make for dinner, write down a master list of everything you and your family eats.
Categories the areas by Red Meat, Chicken, Meatless, Seafood, etc.
Next time your struggling to come up with meal ideas for the week just take a look at the master list and within minutes instead of an hour, you will have pulled together your Meal Plan.
8 | TECH FREE SUNDAY
We are all starting to get guilty of spending way too much time on our phones.
Sometimes I feel that I am “relaxing” when I am scrolling on Pinterest laying on the couch, but what seems to be happening is my eyes hurt, my arms hurt, and my brain is overfilled with a bunch of new information.
Whatever your phone vice may be, constantly texting, facebook, games, or checking emails, do not be afraid to tell yourself and the world enough is enough.
Let your family and friends know that you will be unplugging for one day a week. Try it just for one week and I guarantee you will want to continue this new simple living lifestyle.
If Laura Ingles on Little House on The Prairie could do it every day we can do it for one afternoon!
9 | GIVE YOURSELF A DAILY TEN MINUTE TIME OUT
I am a doer, and by a doer I mean I do not sit down, or stop moving for more than 5 minutes until I crash hard at bedtime.
I cook, clean, plan, work, go on the computer, etc. Sometimes you literally need to stop everything for 10 minutes.
Stop planning for the future, stop deep cleaning the house, stop feeling like you HAVE to accomplish all of these things every single day.
Tell yourself this is my ten minute time out.
Watch the sunrise or sunset every day, sit and really enjoy your coffee or tea, pet your dog or cat for ten minutes, just watch your child play with their toys.
10 | SIMPLIFY YOUR BELONGINGS
Obviously, I am a huge fan of decluttering (if you didn’t know lol) A sure fire way to really simplify your life is to simplify how much you own.
We tend to identify our status in life by how much we own.
The more we have the better off we seem, when in my opinion the more you own the more stress you have manifested.
So take a box (or several) and fill them with things you no longer need, and most importantly get them out of your home. Immediately take them to a donation center or throw away if unsalvageable.
Why Decluttering is Different From Minimalism
11 | REDUCE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
There are some things we cannot change, we have to keep paying bills, we have to continue to work, we have to continue to parent, etc.
So what responsibilities in your life can you reduce? Do you have to buy your neighbors a holiday gift? Do you have to get a family portrait taken? Do you have to help your sibling with their yard sale on your only day off? Do you have to join the girls for expensive drinks every other week?
Write down all of your responsibilities on paper.
Down to cleaning, financial responsibilities, work obligations, commitments to friends or family, and determine what really can go from your life?
What can you let yourself off the hook from?
12 | TRY A CAPSULE WARDROBE
Take out the frustration of not knowing what to wear all the time and replace it will beautiful well-fitted neutral outfits.
Unless you are a fashion connoisseur, a lot of us stick to the same few outfits in our closet.
Why not embrace only having a “few things” to wear vs. the traditional emotional outburst of feeling like we “have nothing to wear?”
Declutter your closet and leave yourself with only the things you wear, then as you can go purchase higher quality items to build yourself a simple capsule wardrobe.
13 | ORGANIZE YOUR PHONE
We have the real world, and now also our online world.
Both are jam-packed with clutter.
Take your phone for an hour and perform a serious digital detox.
Remove apps you don’t use, delete photos, contacts, texts, pictures, videos, etc. Rearrange the apps on your phone to look clean and organized, update your ringtone to something you love.
Turn your digital life into a more relaxed, and less cluttered environment, your overwhelmed mind will thank you for it.
14 | LEARN HOW TO SINGLE-TASK
Single-tasking is focusing on one thing at a time until completion.
Simple living is a way to hone in on this ability.
Most people feel multitasking is the way to accomplish a lot more, but you would be surprised how easy it is to finish one task at a time and still complete everything you need to.
Not only that, but when you focus in solely on one task, you tend to take more pride in the task, make fewer mistakes, and most importantly do not overwhelm yourself.
15 | PUT A TRASH BAG IN YOUR CAR
Simplify your life by not having to go throw all the nooks and crannies of your car weekly to remove all the trash that has accumulated.
Instead have one trash receptacle in the car to haul away all at once, freeing your car of clutter.
16 | MAKE YOUR BED THE SECOND YOU WAKE UP
The bed will get easier to make if it’s made every day.
The pillows and blankets do not get as thrashed when you sleep in a freshly made bed.
Make your bed making even easier by reducing how many pillows and blankets you do have, it is all about simplicity.
If you are tired of fixing up six or more decorative pillows every day on your bed, then why have six pillows?
17 | RETHINK HOW YOU HANDLE GIFT GIVING
If you have fallen into the Holiday gift giving trap maybe you feel the need to buy everyone in your life a gift (or two), distant cousins, the mailman, teachers, neighbors, co-workers, etc.
The cold hard truth is you really do not HAVE to buy gifts for everyone during the Holidays.
I know you may WANT to, but if money is tight or you’re overwhelmed by stress, it is OK to not go crazy with the gifts.
No one will judge you, and I have to be a little candid here, but they might not even notice.
It’s OK to let yourself off the hook because the only high expectations that you would be letting down are the ones you place on yourself.
18 | GROW YOUR OWN PRODUCE
If you have space and the time, gardening can be very therapeutic and it provides you with fresh grown healthy produce right at your fingertips.
Whether you can grow a full garden in raised garden beds in the backyard or maybe just a plant or two of fresh herbs on the kitchen counter, think about how much money you will save.
I often buy herbs and can rarely use all of them without them going bad.
Simple living promotes a healthier lifestyle and what’s healthier than knowing exactly what is in your produce?
19 | GO ON A NO SPENDING CHALLENGE
Start with one week of no frivolous spending.
Only bills, groceries, and gas.
Eat what you have at home, enjoy the things in your home you do have, do fun free activities for entertainment.
Simple living means learning to enjoy the things you already own.
Sometimes I buy so many things and then my mind is off to the next thing I want, without taking any time to appreciate what we already have.
20 | RECONNECT WITH NATURE
Simple living can be as easy as going for a walk after dinner, picking up running or going for a bi-weekly hike, having a picnic, going fishing, visiting a nearby lake, or simply enjoy your own patio or backyard.
Nature has this amazing and powerful ability to reground you to a more simplistic and relaxed state of mind. The best thing about nature is that it’s free.
Simple living allows you to reconnect with the fundamentals of just being you.
We often are trying to change the way we look, how much money we make, what our homes look like, what we drive around, what we eat, etc.
That well-known phrase it’s time to stop and smell the roses should be instilled in us for a healthier life. You do need to stop and smell the roses, you do need to watch a sunset, you do need to embrace what you already have.
If you want to have start with simple living it’s time you realized you do not need any more than what you have right now.