The Three Easy Ways I Simplified My Life

When I first decided to embrace a more simplistic or minimalist lifestyle I thought there would be some set in stone rules to follow. What I've found with more and more research is there is not. Everyone's definition of minimalism is different and everyone practices minimalism in a different way. This was really good news for me because I am not quite ready to give up my 65-piece Starbucks "You are Here" mug collection!

However, I was ready to give up clothes I didn't wear or things that didn't look good on me. Dishes that were cluttering up my kitchen cabinets. Shoes that no longer "sparked joy" and toiletries that were collecting dust in my bathroom. These are just some of the things I have simplified and by doing so have made me feel "light". Today I wanted to share with you some ways you could also simplify your life and home all without going crazy in the process.

My number one reason for simplifying things in my life was to reduce stress. I find that having a lot of things stress me out. I don't like having a lot of options to choose from. I have found that simplifying has really helped with this. Check out my post about how minimalism has helped my anxiety here. Before implementing the ideas I am going to share, it is really important to find out your reason for simplifying. Then always keep that reason in mind when you are tempted to revert to your old ways.


1. START SMALL.

When you begin to declutter and downsize, start small. Don't throw away or donate everything all at once unless you have thought it through and are ready to do that. Here is the method I used when I was getting rid of things. It makes the process a little easier it to sort items before you discard them. 

  •  Gather all of the items you are considering getting rid of or keeping and place them in 3 piles.

  • One pile will be things that you know will get rid of, one pile things you will keep and a pile of things you are not sure about.

  •  Bag up the items you are sure about getting rid of and put them to the side.

  • Take another look at the items that you say you will keep, channel your inner KonMari and ask yourself "does this spark joy?" If the answer is no, add it to the get rid of pile. If it does, put it away neatly to keep in a place that you can easily spot it for regular use.

  • Hold on to the items you are not sure about for 1 month. If you have not reached for them in that time period go ahead and get rid of them as well. If you have used it, consider keeping it.

2. ONLY KEEP THINGS YOU LOVE.

I am one who tends to wear the same pieces of clothing all the time. I find things that I like and fit well and I tend to return to those items all of the time. Creating a capsule wardrobe was my solution to this problem. I bagged up all of the items I never wear and I gave them to goodwill. I only kept the items that I always wear and really loved. This was over a year ago and guess what, I've never gone searching for one of those pieces.

This method can be applied to many areas of your home. I also did this with dishes, make-up, paperwork, kids art, books and more. Now when I am in search for something in my home, I only have a few things to choose from and they are all items I love.

3. ACCEPT THAT SIMPLIFYING IS AN ONGOING PROCESS

Once you decide to simplify your lifestyle it does not stop at the first purge/declutter. It is an ongoing process. You will continually need to go through things and get rid of things that don't "spark joy" and are adding stress. You will also need to ask yourself whether you really need things when you are considering a new purchase.

I have been on this simple living journey for over 3 years now and I still find myself accumulating things and having to purge all over again from time to time. That is OK! I just remember my purpose for beginning this lifestyle and I keep moving forward. 

In order to feel successful in your simple living journey, you have to accept that minimalism is an ongoing process. 

I have found minimalism to be one of the most freeing things I have done for myself in my life. It feels really good not to put some much focus on materialistic things and focus instead on things that truly matter in this life. If you are new to minimalism or are considering starting a minimalist / simplistic lifestyle check out these resources to help you along the way.

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life By Joshua Fields Millburn

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing By Marie Kondo

Life-Changing Magic: A Journal - Spark Joy Every Day By Marie Kondo

So tell me, have you every considered minimalism? 

What is your purpose for being a minimalist?