How to Simplify Your Life in 2018
Lucas makes fun of me because he says that if a brand has the word "simple" or "simply" in its name, I'll automatically purchase it. Every time I come home with another "simply organic" brand, he laughs and I roll my eyes, but considering the fact that we painted half of our house "simply white" by Benjamin Moore, he might be on to something. ;)
I admit that I'm drawn to simplicity, but aren't we all somewhere deep inside? To me, simplicity means walking into a room and feeling peaceful. Breathing deeply and smelling a candle burning. Hearing the crackling of a fire nearby. It means automating the parts of my life that I don't want to think about so I can focus on what I love. It means eliminating things that don't bring me joy, and maximizing things that do. And don't we all want that?
If you're looking for ways to simplify your life in 2018, the following areas are a great place to start!
Adopt a capsule wardrobe.
I love owning a small, curated collection of clothing. Almost everything I own matches (because I basically just own black, white, and shades of grey) so I know I always have something to wear. I've found that intentionally eliminating choices allows me to spend less time staring at my closet and more time doing things that bring me joy.
I no longer have to worry about forgetting to pay a utility bill or credit card statement. Manually paying bills was an unnecessary stress in my life, and I'm thankful that now, everything gets paid on time and I don't even have to think about it.
There are a thousand ways to do this, but the idea is to only possess things that you love and use on a regular basis. As I'm writing this, my desk is literally covered in random papers, books, and items, so I know that this is not always easy and can often feel overwhelming. I suggest you tackle one room at a time, and give yourself permission to take a few weeks (or months!) to work through the process. If I need a little extra motivation, it helps me to turn on a favorite podcast and see how far I can get in that one hour. I think you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish during one podcast if you really focus!
Declutter your digital life.
As you're removing things from your life that you don't love or that you no longer use, be sure to apply this to your digital life as well. Go through your computer and delete files that you have no use for anymore. (For me, this is the hundreds of random screenshots!) Think about what apps you use on your phone daily and delete everything else. It feels amazing to open up your phone and only have a few essential apps loaded, and your computer will run faster without all of those unnecessary files slowing it down.
Eat real food.
By eating real food, you cut down on the number of ingredients you need in your home. I've found it's much easier to throw together meals if I always have a simple collection of real foods on hand, and I save time because I don't need to walk down about half of the aisles at the grocery store. And, you know, it's a lot healthier. Win/win/win.
If you have magazine or entertainment subscriptions that you never use, take an hour to sit down and cancel them (I'm looking at you, hulu). In the future, take time to really think about if this is something that will add value to your life before signing up for a reoccurring monthly fee. Our only subscriptions are Netflix, iTunes, and Thrive Market, and we use all three of those services every single week.
Don't make impulsive purchases.
Girl, I know that it's impossible to walk into Target without wanting to bring home half of the store, but resist the urge. If you see something you love, take a picture of it, go home, and think about it for a few days. If it's still something you love in a week, then consider going back to purchase it. But, more often than not, after a few days you'll realize that you don't really need that item, and you'll prevent yourself from both spending unnecessary money and cluttering up your home.
Pay attention to whatever your hands are doing.
I first heard this tip from Erin Loechner, and it literally changed my life. If you pay attention to whatever your hands are doing, it's impossible to get sucked in to multitasking and distraction. It forces you to be more present and mindful of your surroundings and activities, and really, at the end of that day, isn't that what simplifying your life is all about?