}); kristenwoolsey.com: 9 Ways to Simplify Your Life

Monday, March 4, 2019

9 Ways to Simplify Your Life

It might just be me, but I crave simplicity! The world throws so much at you on a day to day basis. I think if we can uncomplicate even just one thing in our lives it will help us navigate through all the distractions. 

In my constant quest to reevaluate my life, I've made a few changes in the last year or so to simplify my life and they've worked really well. I thought I'd share a few suggestions today and maybe you can give me yours in the comments below!

Nine ways to simplify your life! (www.kristenwoolsey.com)

Choose to give up some tv shows. 
One thing I learned about myself is that when I sit down for the evening and turn on the tv, that's it for me. I will not get up and do anything else. Most likely, in fact, I will fall asleep on the couch and have to be woken up to get into bed. Minimizing the amount of shows I watch really helped me regain the time I was spending catching up on them. 

Cancelling cable, and then subsequently cancelling our Hulu subscription made me really have to work to watch a show (like going over to someone else's house) and because of that I only watch one or two shows. There are shows I have been watching for years that I've decided to give up on for the sake of time and simplicity. I thought I would really miss them, but to be honest I haven't! 

Unsubscribe from emails. 
A personal goal of mine is to keep my email inbox at zero. Zero doesn't really happen, but I prefer to keep less than 10 emails in the inbox. That digital clutter really weighs on me, so I delete as often as I can. One way that is possible is because I have unsubscribed from hundreds of email lists! It takes some effort at first to unsubscribe from all of those emails. It's amazing how many businesses manage to get our email addresses!

By the way, when a store clerk asks for your email address at checkout, you do not have to give it to them. All you have to do is say "No, thanks!" or "I'd prefer not to give it out." I was shy about it at first, but now I say it with no problem. Your email is not required to make a purchase! 

Uncomplicate your meal plan.
I've shared my meal planning tips before! Meal planning is one of the single best things you can do to organize your week! Knowing ahead of time what's for dinner saves your brain from a lot of unnecessary stress. Even though in the past I was a pretty good meal planner, I felt like I mastered it when I uncomplicated the process. We did that by creating a list of about 30 meals and broke that down into 4 weeks. We labeled each week 1-4 and made a grocery list for that week's meals. Now we just cycle through the weeks and our meal plan is completely on auto pilot. (Plus, I don't even grocery shop myself! I use Instacart!)

Unfollow and unfriend.
If you are spending an extensive amount of time scrolling through your social feeds, one way to simplify is to reduce the number of people you are friends with or the people you follow. The fewer friends you have the fewer things will populate your feed. 

I went from following around 400 people down to less than 150. I promise if you took a minute to look through your list you'd see a lot of people you don't really care about. There are those random acquaintances, people that annoy you, and a few celebrities I promise you won't miss seeing in your feed. 

Try to use something you already have. 
This is a skill that takes some honing, but you can use it in SO many ways. For example, let's say a recipe you want to try calls a kitchen gadget or a spice that you don't already have. Before purchasing something new, try to use something you already have that can do the same job. There are very few things you actually need in the kitchen. This principle also carries over into clothing or home goods. 

It might not be convenient, but using an alternative is an excellent way to save money. Additionally, you won't end up with a drawer full of single purpose tools. There is also great satisfaction in making something work when it's not exactly easy! 

Eliminate steps in a routine.
Recently, I was cleaning out my bathroom cabinet and I noticed that I had a few skin care products that I used once in a while. It was stuff that I didn't see a dramatic difference from using, like a vitamin c serum and an eye cream that didn't really do anything. I decided to eliminate those items from my routine all together and just stick with the basics. That decision helped me to remove some clutter and help me to stick with things I can use every day. 

Think about all the routines in your life. Maybe there are a few steps, or products you can remove or stop doing. This simplification of routine can save you time and money. I can't tell you how many times I bought milk out of the sheer habit of buying it, before I realized we never drink milk! Sometimes we just get in routines that aren't serving a purpose. Devote the time, energy and money from something that isn't working to something new that will improve your life!

Clear off surfaces.
Decluttering is a huge chunk of simplifying your life. Getting rid of the old makes room for the new. The challenge is to not bring in a whole lot of new physical items. One thing I noticed when I began decluttering over 2 years ago was how much I loved having negative, or empty spaces. Decluttering is something that I still have to do periodically, but my favorite part is finding new surfaces to clear. 

Visually, it's incredibly calming and peaceful to see less. It makes room for you to showcase your favorite things. And, it's easier to keep a surface clean when you don't have to move around your trinkets! 

Consider a different hair style.
When I look at pictures of myself, I love how I look with shorter hair. My hair, though straight, likes to flip out in crazy ways when it's short. So, I basically have to style it everyday if I want it to look right. Because my mornings are so tight, blow drying and straightening my hair is not a luxury I have on most days. To simplify my mornings I've decided to give up on short hair. My long hair dries straight and it's way less maintenance. (Although it does require more shampoo!) You can also go longer in between haircuts if you have a longer hair style.

Simplify your cleaning products.
Cleaning is sort of a hobby of mine. (Lame to admit, but it's true!) I've always found it really grounding. When you like to clean it's easy to accumulate a collection of different cleaners and tools. Simplifying your cleaning cabinet to the essentials is actually really helpful! Uncomplicating these chores makes them easier to do. 

I just shared my DIY thieves cleaner, and it really is multi-purpose! I use it for 80% of my cleaning tasks. An unexpected benefit of minimizing household cleaners is that it makes it easier for your family to participate in keeping the house tidy. There is no confusion about which product to use when there are only a few options. 

Let's Chat! Let me know in the comments below if you are like me and crave a more simple lifestyle. What routines or products have you eliminated from your routine for the better? What would you say is the most complicated area of your life? 

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