100 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Be Happier
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Have you been feeling stressed out, anxious, or overwhelmed recently? If so, then you probably have an inkling that you want to make life easier, but maybe you’re stuck on wondering how to get started?
Don’t get caught up in the idea that you must do something dramatic to change your life.
In fact, in the long run, making small moves can help you tackle your goals and make changes that will last LONGER.
It’s time to get inspired to simplify your life right now!
READ MORE: 70 Simple Living Quotes to Embrace the Joy of Slowing Down
100 Ways to Simplify Your Life
Here are 100 ways to simplify your life so you can be happier and more comfortable being yourself.
Because everyone is different, with different values, beliefs, strengths, and challenges, some of these ideas may appeal to you and others won’t, and that’s okay.
Choose the techniques that speak to you at this moment. Also, don’t try to do too much at once – you want to aim for baby steps that make a lasting impact!
20 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR HOME
- Take out the trash. If you’ve gotten a bit lazy and let the trash and recycling pile up in your home, commit to taking out the garbage. You’ll be surprised how much lighter you feel once the trash is gone.
- Make the bed. Start your day off right by making the bed. At the beginning of the day, a tidy bed sets the tone for a productive and happy afternoon and evening.
- Get rid of duplicates. Do you own multiples of things you never use, such as spatulas, notebooks, or black leggings? If so, consider if you really need that item or can you clear space in your home by decluttering one of the duplicates.
- Embrace empty space. A lot of people see empty space, and they start thinking about how to fill it up. Why not adopt a minimalist perspective when it comes to decorating your home and embracing empty space? You’ll save more time, space, and money!
- Give each item its own proper home. When you designate a specific space for an item, that item can be returned more quickly to its rightful place after it’s been used. It helps reduce visual clutter, and everyone in your home will know where things go!
- Use the one-touch rule. To use the one-touch rule means that every item you touch should be put back in its proper place after that one use. This weird life hack keeps you from putting off things until later, which means less effort overall. WEIRD FACTS: According to Paula Zuccotti, who traveled around the world to photograph and document what a wide variety of people touched in 24 hours, the average person touches 140 items each day.
- Tidy as you go. Do you ever walk past a pile of clothes on the floor or stack up dirty dishes in the sink and tell yourself you’ll deal with them later? Tidy and clean as you go, and you’ll save time and effort.
- Let go of hobbies you don’t enjoy. Hobbies should be something you enjoy spending time on, so if you aren’t, then let them go.
- Get rid of books you don’t need. An excellent place to start is new books you never got around to reading or books you know you’ll never read again. Also, there’s always the library!
- Declutter kitchen appliances you don’t use or enjoy. It’s okay to say a kitchen appliance didn’t work for you; you should know by now what you do and don’t like using. Give yourself permission to let go of items you don’t use or enjoy.
- Have a “time out” bin. If you are questioning whether or not to get rid of something, put it in a time-out bin for a set period, say, 30 days or three months. If you haven’t looked for it after that, feel free to discard it.
- Teach kids to pick up after themselves. This helps take the burden solely off your shoulders and teaches kids essential life skills that they will need later.
- Clear out expired food, medications, and makeup. Check the expiration dates on perishable items in your pantry and bathroom and get rid of anything that is past its expiration date.
- Keep surfaces clear of clutter. Studies show that clutter can cause stress and anxiety, particularly in women. Even if you can’t keep EVERYTHING clean, aim to keep at least one surface clear of clutter to create a peaceful oasis. Go for more if you can!
- Create organization systems that work for you. Even the most Pinterest-worthy pantry organization project is worthless if you don’t enjoy using it. Go for function over form, and find what works for you.
- Clear your entryway. In the practice of feng shui, the entryway is like the mouth of your home. Keep it healthy by making it a habit to keep your entrance clear of clutter and trash.
- Deal with paper clutter. Declutter papers immediately as they enter your home and save yourself a headache in the future.
- Purge your purse. Take a few minutes to go through your purse and get rid of the trash, old receipts, empty chapstick tubes, and anything else that isn’t essential.
- Practice the one-in-one-out rule. It’s simple; when you bring something new into your home, get rid of something else. This way, you maintain a balance of items in your home.
- Sell, donate, or give away toys that your kids have outgrown. Want to try minimalism with kids? Getting rid of toys that are broken or outgrown is a great place to start.
READ MORE: 10 Minimalism with Kids Tips That Can SAVE Your Motherhood
20 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE
- Find your best colors. Do you gravitate to specific colors? If so, you’ve probably already found your best colors – you just didn’t know it! The best colors are ones you feel comfortable and confident in.
- Let go of clothes that don’t fit. Dress for the current you, not your “goal weight” or something that fit ten years ago. You’ll be happier and more confident in clothes that fit.
- Say no to “fantasy self clothing.” The best clothes are the ones you love to wear. If you hate dresses, don’t buy dresses. Listen to your gut. If it’s telling you you might not like or be comfortable in that item, then DON’T BUY!
- Choose quality over quantity. As Vivienne Westwood said, “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” Choosing quality over quantity will save you space and money in the long run.
- Look at your favorites. Take a good, hard look at the items in your wardrobe that are your “favorites,”; the ones you find yourself reaching for each time you get dressed. Notice similar colors, fabrics, or shapes so that going forward, you are more likely to pick a winner the next time you shop!
- Dress to impress – yourself. When it comes to your clothes, the only opinion that should matter is your own.
- Turn your hangers backward. I heard this trick from Oprah. Turn all of the hangers in your closet backward, then as you use them, turn them back the correct way. Give it a few months and get rid of anything you haven’t touched!
- Simplify your accessories. Keep accessories minimal and straightforward, and don’t try to wear too many accessories at once. Less is more!
- Don’t buy into trends. Trends are a massive waste of money and time. Buy clothes that flatter your body type, fit you well, and keep timeless pieces in your closet that can last a long time.
- Fold and store clothing vertically. Vertical folding is a great way to keep drawers organized and tidy. You can see everything at a glance and fit more than you think. Here’s how to do it!
- Hang clothes in rainbow order. This might seem a little extra, but trust me, it’s AMAZING! You always know where items are when you need them and where to put them when you do laundry. Put white on the left, black on the right, and go in rainbow order or dark to light from there.
- Or organize by categories. If color-coding isn’t your thing, try organizing your closet by category. Hang pants with pants, skirts with skirts, T-shirts with T-shirts, and so on.
- Reduce how often you wash your clothes. One of my favorite laundry hacks is to do less laundry. Don’t wash unless the clothing is visibly dirty or doesn’t pass the smell test.
- Choose versatile wardrobe pieces. Try not to buy pieces that don’t fit with the colors and styles in your wardrobe. Aim to be able to mix and match at least five outfits before you consider buying.
- Pamper your clothing. The better you treat your clothes, the longer they will last. Beyond laundering less, you can use lingerie bags to protect them in the wash, use velvet hangers, remove fuzz, keep them off the floor, etc.
- Know how to care for clothing. Basic knowledge of mending clothes or treating stains is another great way to maintain your minimalist wardrobe.
- Put away laundry as soon as it’s done. Don’t start a “floordrobe” – fold or hang laundry when it’s done!
- Sell or donate unwanted clothing. There are so many great places to donate or sell unwanted clothing. You can use apps like Poshmark, eBay, and thredUP to sell clothes, and here is a complete list of ideas on how to get rid of clutter.
- Reduce your need for “more.” Be aware of the Diderot Effect, which often causes people to buy more stuff to complete another purchase, such as buying a new belt and shoes to complement new pants. Reduce your need for more and be happy with what you have.
- Declutter using the 5F Rule. The 5F Rule makes doing a closet clean out a breeze! Check out my video on how to simplify your wardrobe with the 5F Rule below to find out more.
WATCH NOW: How to Simplify Your Wardrobe with the 5F Rule
20 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR MONEY & FINANCES
- Track your spending. You can’t start saving money if you don’t make it a habit to know where your money is going.
- Keep a budget. Use your spending tracking to create a budget that works for you, trimming the fat in critical areas. Find out more here.
- Eat at home. Food is one of the most costly monthly expenses, but it’s almost always cheaper to eat at home versus dining out – especially if you meal plan and use money-saving grocery hacks!
- Plan your meals. Having a meal plan saves you time and money and always gives you an answer to the question, “What’s for dinner?”
- Shop with a list (and stick to it!) Before you go shopping, write down a list and stick to it. This will help reduce impulse spending and the chances that you buy something you regret.
- Practice the 30-Day Rule. If you see something that’s not on your list that you want, write it down and think about it for 30 days. If you still want that item after 30 days, you are free to buy it.
- Build an emergency fund. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that emergencies can come out of nowhere. Put your emergency fund in high-yield savings account like CIT Bank so that it’s earning more money than it would in a regular savings account. Ideally, you want to have it earn maximum interest while still being accessible at a moment’s notice.
- Grow your money. Sadly, you are losing money if you just leave it sitting in a bank because of inflation. Inflation means that money loses value over time as prices increase. The best way to offset inflation is to invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, or other ways to grow your money.
- Go paperless. Nowadays, almost all bills have paperless options, so you can simultaneously reduce physical clutter and streamline bill paying by going paperless.
- Practice mindful spending. Mindful spending is about building awareness around what you’re spending your money on. Focus on spending money on things that add value to your life and reduce impulse buying and emotional spending.
- Consider downsizing. Downsizing is a great way to save money. You can make money downsizing your clutter and selling it, which may even inspire you to downsize your home.
- Automate your bills and payments. Automating your bills and payments will ensure you are less likely to incur hefty late fees if you forget a payment. Just be sure to check in every once in a while to make sure everything is okay!
- Pay off debt. Even if you can’t pay a lot all at once, try and pay more than the minimum monthly payments, especially if you have really high-interest rates.
- Unsubscribe from brands. Go through your emails and unsubscribe from any brands that are constantly tempting you to spend money. Those $5 off coupons and sales aren’t a DEAL because most of the time, you weren’t planning on spending money anyway.
- Make saving a priority. Wanting money isn’t bad; money is financial freedom and peace of mind. Sure, it can be hard to save money, but it’s a LOT harder not to have money, so make saving a priority.
- Close accounts you no longer use. If you no longer shop at a store, make sure to go back and close out the account.
- Cancel subscriptions. If you have a subscription or membership you no longer use or enjoy, you can cancel that and get more money in your piggy bank every month.
- Focus on fewer goals. Having goals is great, but focusing on too many things at once can hamper your progress. Make a few goals and tackle them hard; once you’re done, move on to the next.
- Reduce energy consumption. Doing things like running the dishwasher only when it’s full, turning off the lights in the daytime, and keeping appliances unplugged help save money and the environment!
- Pay with cash. If you can’t resist racking up debt with your credit card, challenge yourself to pay with cash only. Using a system like the cash envelope system helps you realize that’s REAL money you’re spending!
BE INSPIRED: 120 Minimalist Quotes to Simply Live Better
20 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR DIGITAL SPACE
- Clear your email inbox. Make clearing your inbox a daily habit, and you’ll enjoy checking your email again!
- Get rid of old phones and tech. If you have old phones, computers, hard drives, or other tech piling up, try and get rid of them. You can sell them on safe apps like Decluttr or Gazelle or take them to a tech shredding service to have them shredded.
- Clean up your phone’s photo storage. Periodically go through your photos and clear out the images that don’t spark joy.
- Cancel old social media accounts. If you no longer use a social media or brand platform, like Twitter, you can go so far as deleting your account (if you don’t want to full-on delete, just remove the app from your phone).
- Purge old documents. Paper clutter gets a lot of attention, but what about all those digital papers cluttering up your computer? Try and purge old records from computers and hard drives to free up more space.
- Organize your computer home screen. Delete unwanted clutter and tidy up your folders to create more peace of mind.
- Write down your passwords. There’s not much worse than getting locked out of an important account because you forgot your password. Write them down in one place and store them somewhere safe.
- Turn off notifications. Constantly getting notifications on your phone is a huge distraction. Try and turn off as many app notifications as you can to be more productive.
- Unsubscribe from email lists. If you have a lot of brand or social media emails crowding your email inbox, hit that “unsubscribe” button to stop the flow of clutter.
- Declutter your contact list. When was the last time you spoke with the people on your contact list? Was it five years ago? Maybe ten years? Try and delete a few contacts a day.
- Swap out your scrolling habit. If you have a bad habit of scrolling when you are bored, try to swap your scrolling habit for a better one, like making a cup of tea, reading a book, or going for a walk.
- Turn off your phone 30 minutes before bedtime. This will help your mind and body relax and get a better night’s rest.
- Check your email once a day. If you can, limit your email check to once per day and get all your reading and writing done in that window.
- Limit TV and stream time. A little TV and streaming are okay, but too much isn’t great – try to find more hobbies that get your mind and body active.
- Unfollow. If you follow any celebrities, influencers, or real-life friends who make you feel bad about yourself, go ahead and hit that unfollow button. Make it a habit to follow people who make a positive impact on your life.
- Back up your important files. So much of our lives are digital nowadays; it would be horrible if you lost it all at once. Always keep a backup on at least one hard drive (we have two!) with all your important files, photos, and documents.
- Challenge yourself to a tech-free day. Try a one-day challenge and put away all devices for the day. If you want to know the weather, look out the window! See if you can last the whole day; this is fun to do as a family as well.
- Consolidate your schedule. Keep your schedule in one place, whether it’s with the Cloud or on a physical planner; it makes things much easier to keep track of.
- Delete unwanted apps on your phone. It’s such a small thing, but it makes sense considering that we touch our phones around 2,617 times a day.
- Organize your apps into folders. Once you’ve gotten rid of extra apps, you can tidy up even more by sorting your apps into folders. Use basic names or emojis and get to tidying!
READ MORE: 8 Genius Ways to Organize Your iPhone Apps in 2022
20 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR MINDSET
- Wash your face twice a day. Sure, washing your face helps keep your skin clear, but it also helps wake you up in the morning! Likewise, washing before bedtime is essential to clear the gunk that’s accumulated during the day for a fresh night of sleep (and clearer skin as a bonus!)
- Make a daily to-do list. Write a to-do list at the start of your day to keep you organized and on track.
- Do less. While making to-do lists is a great way to get things done, you should also question your to-do lists. Not everything is a top priority or even needs to be done at all.
- Embrace a less is more mindset. Find joy in the things you have in your life, from the physical to the spiritual. Knowing that having less can give you more of what matters to you is truly freeing.
- Say goodbye to a toxic relationship. If you have people around you who drain you of time, money, energy, and peace, consider letting go of that toxic relationship.
- Listen to music. Find a music playlist that soothes you to relax or energizes you if you want to work out. (I highly recommend the Avatar Lo-Fi playlist on Spotify for chill lo-fi music to get stuff done!)
- Create a daily routine. Humans thrive on routine. Tailor a daily routine that works for you and makes your life easier.
- Know your worth. Don’t let others treat you wrong, and don’t look down on yourself. Know your worth and act accordingly.
- Continue to educate yourself and grow. No matter what stage of life you are in, continue to learn and grow for more life satisfaction. My favorite place to learn new things is Skillshare. (✨ Try it yourself with this special link for a FREE 30-day trial of Skillshare premium. ✨ )
- Give a compliment. You probably enjoy getting compliments, so why not give one yourself? You might just make someone’s day!
- Breathe. When you feel stressed out, anxious, or overwhelmed, take time to breathe. Taking deep breaths and counting your breaths can help you relax and calm down.
- Redefine success. Don’t let what others say about success influence you to the point of unhappiness. Let go of your desire to keep up with the Joneses or feel like you always need more to be happy. Find what makes you feel satisfied in your success and do it with purpose and intention.
- Banish bogus self-talk. We are often the harshest when it comes to ourselves. Don’t talk down to yourself the next time you feel down. Instead, talk to yourself as you would a cherished friend who was feeling down. You are also deserving of love and encouragement.
- Be grateful. Gratitude makes so many things in life easier, from letting go of clutter to appreciating what you have. An attitude of gratitude can go a long, long way.
- Move your body. Moving your body not only helps keep you active and healthy, but it’s also good for your mind. Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which boost mood and energy, which means you’ll feel more positive in no time.
- Say the magic word. The magic word is not, please. The magic word is no. Don’t overcommit yourself to people and activities you don’t have time for. If something isn’t a priority, it’s okay to let it go.
- Done is better than perfect. Perfection is an illusion. Focus on progress over perfection so you can keep making progress each day.
- Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. You’ll only end up making yourself unhappy because you aren’t being true to yourself. Life is short, so don’t waste it pretending to be someone else.
- Prioritize sleep. Sleep is important; some people need more, and some need less, but make sure you get the right amount for yourself. If that means taking things off your to-do list or going to bed without watching TV, that’s okay – you will be healthier and happier because of it!
- Eat the frog. Eating the frog means taking care of something you’ve been avoiding. Tackle the yucky stuff early in the day, and you’ll feel the rest of the day is smooth sailing afterward.
Final thoughts on how to simplify your life
Don’t get stuck thinking you have to simplify everything all at once.
Find small ways to simplify your life every day and all those tiny changes will add up to big results over time.
I needed to read your clothing and mindset simplification lists this morning!! Thank you for all your hard work here on your blog!!
Thanks so much, Natalie! Good luck with simplifying. 🙂