WHAT DOES SIMPLE LIVING MEAN?
Simple living is about eliminating what is extraneous in your life to make it feel less cluttered and complicated. Living a simple life is not just about getting rid of possessions.
It’s about making room for the things that matter most to you. Learn how to live a simpler way of life with 10 basic tips.
LESS STUFF, MORE TIME
If it doesn’t add to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life. - Unknown
Living a simple life is not just about getting rid of clutter. It's about consuming less so you can save more. More time, more money, and more quality. It's also about creating more space in your life so you can focus on things that bring meaning to your life.
Living a simple life can be a remedy for overconsumption and overstimulation. We are constantly bombarded with messages that try to convince us that consuming more things and experiences lead to a better life. What happens when it leads to dissatisfaction?
Buying things and experiences used to give me a thrill. Naturally, I wanted to consume more because it felt good. However, I noticed that the feeling was always fleeting.
Trying to hold on to it gave me anxiety because it became the center of my attention. Once I realized that I didn't need to keep consuming to feel content and happy, I was able to let go.
If you make it a regular practice, simplicity can feel liberating because once you let go, you can be more present with the people and things around you. You might even notice that things you once found enjoyable are now just distractions.
SIMPLE LIFE, GREAT PLEASURES
Lead a simple life. First reduce your greeds. Then reduce your needs. Ritu Ghatourey
Having more time for life’s pleasures are some of the joys of living a simple life. It allows you to step out of your head and into the present moment.
If you allow yourself to experience life more deeply, you open yourself up to more joy. Having more joy in your life can lead to more happiness and satisfaction.
While the path to simple living will look different for everyone, I’ve broken my tips down into 2 major categories with subcategories that are simple to follow.
The first category, which involves organizing your stuff, may be “easier” than the second one. The second category is simplifying your life, which is more theory based, but still requires action.
Forming habits that contribute to a healthier lifestyle takes time. If you take small steps each day to simplify your life, you won’t get overwhelmed. Be sure you take your time with the following 10 tips to live a simple life.
10 Simple living tips.
ORGANIZE YOUR STUFF
The first thing you want to do is get rid of stuff you don’t need. The most difficult part of purging is probably letting go of things you're emotionally attached to.
If there are certain items that you just can’t bear to part with, hold off on it until you’re ready to let go. This is easier said than done. I have emotional attachment to some of my personal things, so I know how hard it can be to let go.
Just know that once you’re ready to go forward, you’ll feel liberation instead of anxiety over the space that your things are taking up in your home and in your mind.
Declutter your closet, then your home.
Go through your clothes closet first and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in over a year. Then pull out all the ones that don’t fit. Lastly, if the piece of clothing has a hole in it, and you haven’t worn it in a while, you probably don’t need it anymore.
Once you’re done with your closet, you’ll have all the basic tools you need to tackle the rest of your home. You can start anywhere you like.
Just remember that it’s going to take some time to organize your whole house, so give yourself some kindness and patience.
ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE
Prioritize to simplify.
If you want to simplify your life, this is a good place to start. You want to list your beliefs and values first. Your beliefs are your perception about something and your value can be derived from it.
Keep in mind that your beliefs may not have originated from you.
You may have instilled the beliefs of others, such as your parents, teachers, and friends, and mistakenly called them your own.
In order to discover what your core beliefs and values are, find a quiet place and give yourself enough time to ponder this. Your core beliefs and values are your own insights, not from outside influences.
For example, you grew up in a strict household and you feel that you should also be strict with your children. However, that idea doesn't really sit well with you. If you were being honest, you hate the idea of being strict and rigid.
Identifying your core beliefs and values will allow to you to prioritize the things that are most important to you so you can control how you spend your precious time and resources.
Simple morning and evening routines.
A routine can help simplify your life so you can stay focused on the things that you value the most.
Here is what my morning routine looks like:
- Meditate for 20 minutes.
- Journal and read for 30 minutes.
- Get dressed.
- Exercise for 20 minutes.
- Eat breakfast.
- Brush my teeth.
This is my evening routine:
- Clean up the kitchen.
- Go over my planner for tomorrow.
- Check on the kids’ homework.
- Watch TV with my husband for an hour.
- Brush and floss my teeth.
- Sleep for 7--8 hours.
Before I had a routine, I used to waste a lot of time surfing the internet and social media. I rarely had time to do the things that I really wanted to, like exercising, journaling, and even reading a good book.
I had to prioritize the things that mattered to me and best supported me and my family. Having a solid routine may take some time. You might have to experiment and change things around until you have one that best suits your lifestyle. It will be worth the effort because your day will flow much easier and with more intention.
Gratitude will open up your life to more abundance without adding anything that you don’t need. I remember when I challenged myself to write a gratitude journal every day for 30 days because I heard about all the benefits but was a bit skeptical about it.
What surprised me most was looking forward to the little things in my life that I took for granted before.
They were things like drinking my coffee slowly in the morning, enjoying a piece of chocolate by myself, and even the journaling process itself.
If you practice gratitude regularly, you may open yourself up to more positive emotions such as contentment and joy. When you feel deeply fulfilled, you’re less likely to act on urges that only serve to fill an endless void.
Surrounding yourself with positivity can build your resilience so you can have resources to pull from if you’re faced with impulse buying or retail therapy.
Remove or limit your distractions.
A distraction can be anything that takes your attention away from something that needs your focus.
Distractions can clutter up your mind, steal away your time, and even cause you distress.
My biggest distraction is social media. I used to check my social media feed first thing in the morning and right before I went to bed.
When I asked myself why it was so addicting, I discovered I was afraid of missing out. I didn’t want to be left out of conversations or the interesting lives that other people seemed to be leading on social media.
One tactic you can try so that the distraction is eliminated or diminished is a digital detox. You can pick any device that is most distracting to you, such as your cell phone. Choose a particular day and time you need to do your detox.
I like to do my digital detox once a week to give myself a break from social media, the news, and my email. However you choose to go about it, you’ll simplify your life by removing distractions while leaving room for meaningful experiences.
Trust your instinct.
Trusting your gut, or instinct, can help you lead a simple way of life. I’m not saying that this is the answer to all of life’s problems, but it might help eliminate clutter in the mind and any harmful consequences that may arise from it.
One thing I used to do quite often was ruminate, which caused me anxiety and stress. I used to overanalyze everything in my life. My mind would create worst case scenarios and often my body would react to a nonexistent threat with fear.
This became a huge problem because it made it difficult to function normally. So I used meditation in the beginning to help decrease my stress from constant thinking.
Then I started to listen to my inner wisdom rather than look to other people and resources to solve my issues.
It can be hard to trust yourself sometimes because you can't be 100% sure about anything. But if you stop and look within instead of searching for solutions to your problem, the perfect answer may just flow to you like water.
Practice slowing down.
Slowing down can help you simplify your life almost through gentle coercion because it forces you to sit down, take a breath, and just be. This is particularly helpful if your life is fast paced and you need breather every now and then.
Slow living is simple living because you’re putting on the brakes physically and mentally. When there’s less physical activity and less noise going on in your head, there’s more space for creativity to flow.
You’re making more time for your passions and new ideas. You also allow yourself to relax so you can recharge your batteries and show up with a fresh perspective and new energy.
Have healthy boundaries.
Putting up your "personal" fences may help to simplify your life. For instance, when you say yes to someone but you really mean no, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and the other person.
It can take away your time and energy. Not only that, it can build resentment, which can poison yourself and the relationship.
Saying no to others is also saying yes to yourself.
The other person might not like it at first, but if they really cared about you, they would understand and respect your boundaries.
Simple living is just as much about self-care as it is about decluttering. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be good for anyone, no matter how much you simplify.
Being mindful of self-care practices that contribute to your health can put you in a state that is more balanced and harmonious. When you feel good, you’re more likely to pursue your passions and contribute to your community.
Simple living is about getting rid of the excess in your life so you can make room for the things that matter most to you. I hope that these simple living tips help you find more balance, joy, and purpose in your life.
I would love to know what you think! Please let me know in the comments down below.
MORE TIPS ON SIMPLE LIVING.
How to unplug and disconnect in 10 simple ways.