Making a commitment to simplify your life is one of the most impactful things you can do, especially if it feels like you’re on a never-ending hamster wheel just trying to keep your head above water most days. Writer Leo Babauta once broke the concept of simplifying down into two simple steps: “Identify the essential, eliminate the rest.” We can overcomplicate it all we want, but in the end, that’s all it takes.
The hardest part is deciding what’s worth keeping in our lives and what we need to let go. If you’re ready to simplify your life, here are three things you can do to identify the essential and eliminate the rest.
Declutter your home.
Getting rid of physical clutter can do wonders for your mindset. Try doing a deep clean of your house to get rid of things you no longer use or need. If you have trouble parting ways with objects, even if you haven’t touched them in years, organizing expert Elizabeth Larkin has some important questions you should ask yourself.
- Has it passed its expiration date?
- Is it critical to save and why?
- Do you love it unconditionally?
- Do you have duplicates?
- Do you use it regularly?
- Was it a gift you never wanted?
- Could you put it to better use?
If you get through this list of questions and decide you want to keep the object around, that’s great! However, if you decide it’s time to part ways, consider donating or selling it to someone who might have a better use for it.
Make a plan.
It’s amazing how much easier life flows when you’ve spent time planning out your days and weeks … and no, we’re not just talking about writing your daily to-do list (though this is still important!). Take it a step further by planning out your dinners for the next week and laying out your clothes for the following day. Although these things seem simple, they can save you a ton of time.
You should also try meal prepping your breakfasts and lunches for the week. Whether you’re doing this for yourself or for the whole family, it can save you from some of the chaos and stress of a busy morning. This video is an awesome introduction to the concept of meal prep if you’re ready to learn more!
Pay off debt.
Accumulating debt can add a new level of stress to your life, especially if you don’t plan accordingly. Debt comes from things like student loans, credit cards, auto loans, and so on. If you don’t have a strategy to pay off debt yet, try adopting one of these.
- Debt snowball: pay your smallest debt first (while paying minimums on others), then roll the amount you had been paying on it into payments on the next largest.
- Debt avalanche: pay debt with the highest interest rate first (while paying minimums on others), then the next highest rate, and so on.
- Debt consolidation: combine multiple old debts into a single one, ideally at a lower interest rate, to make payments more manageable.
This can take some time, but paying off your debt takes a huge weight off your shoulders and helps simplify your life in a big way.
Simplify your life today!
What’s essential to your life? What can be eliminated? And most importantly, how are you getting yourself closer to a less stressful life? Our tips should help you find answers to these questions. To quote Leo Babauta once again, “Our lives are frittered away by detail … simplify, simplify.”
Looking for new ways to relax? Read our blog post here on “Three Outdoor Stress Relieving Activities.“