In the modern day and age, most people report that they feel as if they are constantly rushing around, always forgetting things, and feeling like they still aren’t doing enough. The truth is most humans on this planet complicate their life way more than it needs to be. And if you want to learn to truly relax, it’s time to dial it back and learn to simplify your life.
40 Simple Ways To Simplify Your Life
1| Quit Social Media
First and foremost, it’s time to ditch social media. Apps like Facebook and Instagram only show you all the things you don’t have in life, driving your jealousy and making you feel as if you need to buy and do amazing things in order to be amazing.
Social media also has you checking your phone every minute of every day wondering if so and so has liked or commented on your post. Therefore, it’s time to bid it goodbye completely and delete all social media from your phone. You may just find your life is worlds simpler just by completing this one small act.
2| Evaluate What You Own
If you’re like most people on this earth, you probably own a lot of stuff and have no idea how much you actually own. Find out by making a list of all the things you own. Is the list getting really long? That’s no surprise. After you have made the list, go through, and mark your most valuable and least valuable things. It’s time to eliminate anything you marked as least valuable.
3| Aim For Quality, Not Quantity
Another problem that most people have, is that they buy lots of inexpensive things, and they do this because the things are cheap so it doesn’t spark as much buyer’s remorse. As difficult as it is to fight your instinct, next time you need something, purchase a quality product, even if it costs a little more.
Because if you buy the cheaper version, it is more likely to break and cause you to need to purchase it again in a few months. Don’t be afraid to look at the reviews for a product before you buy.
4| Stop Buying Things
That brings up the next point on the list. Stop buying things. Of course, you will come across some things you need, but in general just say no to buying stuff as it will only complicate your life.
More stuff makes it more difficult to move and harder to adjust your life. One way to slow down and stop yourself from buying unnecessary things is by having a one in one out rule. For example, you may see a shirt you like in a store, but if you buy it, you have to get rid of a shirt that you have.
5| Stop Engaging In Commitments You Hate
Do you absolutely loathe your Monday night ladies knitting group? Quit. Life is too short and way too complicated to spend your time squeezing in commitments you don’t want to honor. This can be difficult, especially if you are quitting a commitment you’ve had for a long time, but you will be much happier when it’s gone.
6| End Pointless Relationships
Everyone has that one friend that graces them with a text every few months. And maybe you will hang out once a year. Or maybe even every other year. The point is, if there is a relationship in your life that isn’t making you happy and isn’t mutually beneficial, it’s time to end it. And chances are you will both be happier not having to keep up with your semblance of a friendship and enjoy the shrinking of your social circle.
7| Learn To Say No
As you are quitting obligations and people that don’t matter, you may be approached with new opportunities. You need to know that it is okay to say no, to anything or anyone. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it, as forcing yourself to do something you hate will only further complicate your life and make you feel more stressed.
One of the best ways to simplify your life is by decluttering your mind as you declutter your life with possessions. This is because that stress you feel about how complicated your life is, it begins in your mind.
Learn to declutter your mind and have more peaceful thoughts through practicing meditation. And not only will meditation help your mental state, but according to The University of Health Rochester, it can also help you to be physically healthier by lowering your blood pressure and improving your immune system.
9| Make To-Do Lists Every Day
Besides just making a morning routine, you should have to-do lists for each and every day, and it’s best if you make them the night before. This will help you to stay on top of everything you need to get done, and nothing will fall through the cracks. Your mind will feel much less pressure as well, as you will have everything laid out in an orderly list—and get to cross it off as you go along.
10| Observe How You Spend Time
Do you feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day? You’re probably wasting time in ways you don’t even realize. Resolve to go about your day and catalog everything that you do.
Did you spend a lot of time deciding what to wear? Did the grocery store take a long time because you didn’t have your list and had to double back?
You might also be surprised how much time you spend on social media. Either way, take the time to discover where your time is going and make a plans to any eliminate time wasters.
11| Schedule Your Digital Communication
Lots of people text friends and reply to emails multiple times over the course of the entire day. And every time you leave the task at hand to check your inbox, this will make it more difficult to return to the task and get your focus back on track.
To stop this from happening, and to simplify your life, you should schedule time every day for all your digital communications. During this time, you will answer emails, texts, and do whatever else you need to do that can be classified as digital communication—then you won’t check it the rest of the day.
12| Empty Your Emails
Open your email inbox. How many emails are there? And how many emails are there that you need? Exactly. Make a time to go through your inbox and delete anything you don’t need. This will make it easier to keep track of the emails that are important. Plus, there’s no way you need to keep those emails from 2014.
13| Spend More Time With The People You Love
Now that you’ve cut out the people that don’t matter in your life, it’s time to spend more time with the people that do. This will help relieve your stress and make you feel loved. But remember, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. So, if a friend invites you to a social event, you’d rather skip, just say no, and let her know that you will catch up with her another time.
14| Do What Makes You Happy
You also need to schedule time in your life to do what makes you happy. If you have a hobby that you never get to devote time to, find time in your schedule to enjoy it. Now that you have eliminated time wasters and commitments you don’t like, you should be able to schedule this in somewhere!
And if there’s a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try, go for it! You are the only one holding you back! And if you just want time to relax and sleep, read, or head to the spa, this counts too. If it makes you happy, it will make your life feel more simple.
15| Say Goodbye To “Just In Case”
As you are going through your possessions and getting rid of the items you no longer need, you may come across something that you are keeping because “just in case.” Well, it’s time to let the idea of “just in case” go, because if you haven’t used an item in over a year, professional organizers say you will probably never need to use the item again. So don’t let your brain think those three words and resolve to just throw whatever it is you are holding onto away.
16| Set Up Your Bills To Be Automatic
Most modern households have a whole slew of bills to pay every month, and it takes up valuable time to write checks, pay in cash, and remember to pay certain bills. Thus, if you don’t already have all your bills set to autopay, it’s time to do so.
There is no reason you should still be waiting for a letter to pay a bill, as almost everything can be paid online these days. Not only will this free up some time, but also some mental space as well—as you won’t constantly be worrying that maybe you forgot to pay a bill!
17| Cut Your Credit Cards
Debt is a huge complication when it comes to life. Of course, there are some debts you can’t do anything about, like your house or college debt, but it’s time to simplify your life by eliminating the debt you can control.
This means it’s time to cut up your credit cards. If this is too drastic of a move for you, you could also freeze your credit cards in a giant block of ice and keep them in the freezer. This way the ice will have to defrost before you can use the card and will stop most impulse purchases, while keeping the card active in case there was a true emergency.
18| Cancel Memberships You Don’t Need
In the digital era, it’s easy to forget about all the memberships you have to a variety of services that are auto deducted from your bank account each month. It’s time to cancel memberships you don’t need.
And while you are at it, cancel those you barely use as well. For example, if you have a gym membership, but only go to the gym twice a month, you’re probably better off booking a one-time class twice a month rather than paying for a pricey membership. And when it comes to video streaming and those type of services, ask yourself how many you really need and make cuts accordingly.
19| Empty Your Storage Unit
Do you have a storage unit? If so, empty it out and throw everything away. If that stuff were really important to you, it would be in your house not in a remote location. Paying to store your stuff somewhere only complicates your life. Additionally, you are literally paying for this unit just so you can own more stuff you don’t need, putting strain on you financially. It’s time to cut the cord and let go of everything. For real.
20| Ditch Your TV
Did you part with your video streaming services? If you haven’t yet, you should, because it is time to part with your TV as well. Your TV is your greatest time waster, as you will spend hours sitting in front of it mostly watching stuff that doesn’t affect your life in the slightest.
And by getting rid of the TV, you will free up infinite time for other activities. Just think of all the money you will save by not paying for cable. You will also simplify your life because you won’t be worried about a fictional character in your favorite TV show anymore.
21| Save Your Coins
When you are given change, where does it go? If you toss it aside, or on the street, remember that you are throwing money away. Although one quarter may not be worth much, four of them are a dollar and these can add up over time! It may seem a bit stupid, but start keeping your coins, even if you just end up putting them in a jar on your dresser. You never know when you may need a few extra bucks for an emergency and your coin jar could be just the cash you need.
22| Clean As You Go
A messy house can complicate life when you are in a mad rush to get somewhere and can’t seem to find anything! Simplify your life by having a clean as you go technique. This will keep the mess from piling up and leave you with an always clean house.
An example of this technique would be washing the dishes you eat off of right after you use them, instead of leaving them in a pile in the sink for later.
23| Keep Yourself Organized
Beyond just cleaning as you go; you should keep yourself organized as well. This way everything will be right where you need it when you need it. Take an entire day and get yourself organized.
Make a place for everything in your house. Use labels if it helps you (and others who live with you) remember where things go. And after you’ve spent time organizing, make sure each item in your home gets back where it belongs every time. This will save you hours spent looking for something that you can’t seem to find anywhere.
24| Outsource Tasks When Needed
Outsourcing isn’t laziness, and when you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, it can be the answer to your problems. Of course, this will cost money, so only outsource if you can afford it, but this can be as easy as buying a Roomba to vacuum while you are away to hiring someone to shop for groceries for you. No matter what you may need done, see if you can find someone to do it for you, which will make your life much simpler!
25| Re-Adjust Your Work/Life Balance
Maybe you were thinking about outsourcing, but just can’t see yourself letting anyone else help you with your work. This shows that you don’t have a good work/life balance, and it is definitely not healthy.
Having a good work and life balance means you have time for work, and then you have time for you, and the two don’t mix. If they are mixing, this is where you need to draw the line to leave work at work and consider hiring someone to help you with the tasks that are overflowing into your personal time.
26| Meal Prep
Another way to simplify your life is by taking the time to meal prep. Before you knock this idea, thinking that meal prepping takes way too much time, think of how long it takes you to make the typical meal. Say one hour each night. This is seven hours a week. With meal prepping one Sunday evening, you may be able to make a week’s worth of food in 3 hours, saving you 3 hours later in your week.
This will make it easy, and simple, to stick to a diet without having the stress of cooking every night. And if you don’t want to prep a whole week in advance, that’s fine too, but consider cooking in larger portions and saving half for the next night, so at least you can only cook every other day instead.
27| Eat Slower
In modern times, it is common for people to eat while they are walking, working, or watching TV, and sometimes people will eat so quickly they don’t even properly taste their food. If you want to simplify your life, it’s time to schedule yourself time to eat without distractions and allow yourself to actually taste your food. Eating is a simple pleasure in life and society often forgets this small fact. So, simplify your life and enjoy your meals without distractions at a leisurely pace.
28| Start Carrying A Water Bottle
Everyone needs to drink water through the course of the day. And if you are out and about, it can be difficult to find water sometimes, leading you to purchase a soda or a coffee that you don’t really need.
This is why you should start carrying a water bottle with you when you go out. You will always have access to water, and you will save money, and time, by not having to stop for a beverage when you need one. Plus, water is just all around healthier.
29| Stop Multitasking
Although it may seem better to try and do as many things as you can at one time, this actually leads to your tasks not being done correctly or to as good of a quality as they could have been done had you focused.
And this means you are likely to have to do the task over, or it will take longer to complete all three tasks than if you had just done each task individually in the first place. So, it’s time to put your multitasking days behind you and give each task that you do your full attention. You may just surprise yourself and find that you accomplish things faster than when you used to multitask.
30| Unsubscribe From Emails
While you were cleaning out your email inbox, it’s likely you came across lots of emails from companies urging you to buy their products, their services, or both. It can be difficult to step outside of consumer culture and simplify your life when these images and tempting emails are constantly paraded right in front of your face.
Take the time to unsubscribe from every email that didn’t come from work or a friend. Or some email accounts will provide this service for you. You’ll be much happier once you do.
31| Allow Extra Time For Appointments
When it comes to appointments, there’s a good chance you are scheduling them too close to other things in your life. You need to put a stop to this as well. Allow yourself extra time both before and after all of your appointments. This way you won’t be rushing around if one runs a little bit late. This also allows time for you to travel between appointments if necessary and will do wonders for your stress levels.
32| Prioritize Thinking Time
Self-care is of utmost importance when it comes to simplifying your life. But besides just scheduling time for the things you love to do; you also need to allow yourself time to just sit and think by yourself. This will give you time to learn more about what makes you tick and your gifts and abilities in life. This tip can be combined with meditation mentioned above but must be done in solitude to achieve results.
33| Get A Smaller Home
When you have a big home, you will need to purchase more furniture, decorations, and stuff to fill it. Instead of expanding into a larger home, consider condensing into a smaller home. This will force you to get rid of the things you don’t need anymore, as well as inspire you to live more simply.
When picking out a new place, choose something that has enough space for you, but also towards the bottom edge of your budget so that you won’t be stressed about paying for your living space.
34| Stop Bypassing The Laundry
Are you one of those people who does the laundry, but leaves it folded in a basket waiting to be put away? Or does your laundry pretty much always live in your laundry room? Either way this is a practice that complicates your life, and it needs to stop.
Dedicate a couple hours each week to laundry. During this time, you will wash, dry, fold, and put away all your laundry. This will keep your clothes more organized and keep your house cleaner.
35| Lay Out Your Clothes The Night Before
Speaking of clothes, one of the best ways to simplify your morning routine is by laying out the clothes you plan to wear the night before. This way you can plan for the weather, and any activities you may have for the day, with the perfect outfit, and you won’t be rushing around to find the shoes or accessories you need the next morning.
36| Organize Important Documents
It’s quite common as an adult, especially in the United States, to have a bunch of important documents you need to keep track of. This can be everything from your birth certificate, social security card, and tax documents to the birth certificates of your children.
These documents can often be lost if they aren’t organized properly, causing difficulties later. Simplify your life by taking the time to organize all of these documents now, in a folder or a filing cabinet, so they will be easy to find on that day you do need them.
37| Declutter Your Computer Desktop
How many folders and apps do you have on your computer desktop? Probably a lot. While you are taking the time to organize your home, it’s high time you organize your computer desktop as well. Delete any old documents you don’t need, and sort what you do need into files that will make them easy to find later. When you are done you should be able to see that awesome picture you’ve chosen as a wallpaper.
38| Get A Smaller Car, Or A Bike
This next one is a tough one. But something that will truly simplify your life is to get rid of your car. Cars require lots of money and maintenance to maintain and create a lot of stress when it comes to traffic and trying to find parking. If you live somewhere where you can walk, bike, or use public transport to get around, do it.
You won’t believe how much this will improve your quality of life (plus it’s better for the environment). For those who can’t quite get rid of their car, maybe try a downsize to a smaller, slight used car instead that puts less pressure on your budget.
39| Simplify Your Goals
You need to have goals when it comes to life. But if you have too many, this can leave you stressed trying to figure out which ones to focus on. Put a stop to this by taking the time to simplify your goals and decide which ones really matter.
It’s okay to prioritize goals and defer some for later. It’s also okay to let go of some goals that you may not be feeling anymore. Just be sure that whatever goals you do choose, pursuing them leaves ample time for you.
40| Build And Maintain A Morning Routine
Do mornings constantly feel like you are rushing to accomplish everything you need to do? Simplify this portion of your life by developing a morning routine and sticking to it. This way you will be able to accomplish everything you need in the morning, even if you are not yet quite awake. This will also make mornings more simple and less stressful on everyone in your household.
Overall, when it comes to simplifying your life, there are lots of little things you can do to lessen the stress and burden that falls on you. Even if you can’t do everything on this list, even just applying a few of these strategies could really change your life for the better. After all, the simpler you can make your life, the better you will feel and the happier you will be!