3 Ways to Live a More Simplified Life

Do you find yourself rushing around throughout your day and feeling overwhelmed or anxious? You may want to consider simplifying your life. 

By living a more simplified life, your days will feel calmer and you will be able to live more in the present. The moments of your day will flow more fluidly and you will experience more positive emotions and less negative ones.

If this sounds appealing, considering giving the following suggestions a try.

Cut Back on Commitments

Being busy doesn’t make you important and it isn’t a status symbol. Slow down and enjoy your life. Filling up your calendar and rushing around makes it difficult to prioritize what’s important.

Be present.

Check out Is Your Calendar Overflowing? It’s Time To Declutter Your Schedule to read more about limiting your commitments.

Declutter

Having less stuff will free up time spent cleaning and looking for things. It also creates a more calming atmosphere so it is easier to sit back and just relax.

Check out 4 Tips to Help You Start Removing Clutter if you want a little guidance to get started.

Limit Choices

Having too many choices overcomplicates the decision-making process. Don’t give yourself excessive choices. For example:

  • You don’t need cable and every streaming service available. Pick one service, or better yet, none.
  • When you want a night off cooking, stick with one or two of your favorite local places to visit. You’ll spend less time debating about where to eat and more time enjoying your dinner.
  • When you find a good mechanic, handyman, hairdresser, or other professional, continue to use them as your go-to instead of continuously shopping around.
  • Find a style that suits you, and eliminate those extra “just in case” clothes.

How you recently made any changes to live a more simplified life?

Earth Is Your Home: Pick Up Litter

Earth Day is right around the corner. Start celebrating now (and always) by treating the Earth as if it is your home. It is!

At our houses, we all do our best to provide a clean and safe place for our families. But, what happens when we leave our properties? 

We have all seen litter while we are out and about but how often do we do anything about it? 

Litter can make a place appear less beautiful, seem a little sketchy, or even make a place dangerous. The Earth is home to all of us, join me, and do your part by picking up litter when you can.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Why

By picking up litter you may inspire others to do the same. 

You would be doing your part to help your community look its best and be safe for everyone. 


Imagine if we all picked up trash when we noticed it.

Challenge yourself to help reduce the litter in the places you visit. Attempt to pick up, and properly dispose of, one piece of trash a day (or about 30 pieces a month).

Together we can make a difference.

10 Tips to Help You Avoid Accumulating Stuff

Stuff Doesn’t Bring You Happiness

You know it’s true, accumulating more stuff won’t make you happy. But for some reason, more stuff keeps making its way into your home.

Once stuff gets into your home, it is more difficult to get rid of it. To change the pattern of continuously accumulating and decluttering, you need to be more mindful about what you allow to enter your home in the first place.


10 Tips to Avoid Accumulating Stuff

1. Don’t accept freebies or giveaways.

Just because something is free, doesn’t mean you should take it. That tote bag is probably just going to take up space in your closet. And is that stress ball relieving any stress or is it just taking up space on your desk?

2. Say “no thanks” when family or friends offer you something of theirs.

Most people offer you a thing because they think it will be useful to you. It is not offensive to let them know that you don’t need it. If you feel bad about saying no, you can always tell them that you want to go home and think about it and you will let them know if you decide to take it later.

3. Unsubscribe from emails encouraging you to shop.

An email with a great advertisement and an enticing coupon can convince anybody that they need something that they don’t. Unsubscribe from these emails and you will save money by not buying things you don’t need. When you go shopping for an item that you need, you can simply visit the store’s website for a coupon.

4. Collect memories, not souvenirs.

People collect souvenirs so they can remember their vacation but memories aren’t held in an object. 

5. Avoid browsing stores. 

Shopping as a hobby is a sure way to add clutter to your home at a fast pace. Been there, done that! Check out Alternatives to Retail Therapy for some suggestions for alternative ways to spend your time.

6. Resist the urge to get the next new thing. 

Something new comes out all the time. It always seems super cool and something that you must get. Don’t fall for it. The new thing might make you feel cool for a little, but it won’t be long until the next new thing is here and your thing is obsolete. 

7. Drop hints for an experience gift.

Instead of asking for more stuff for birthdays or holidays, give people experience gift ideas that you would be interested in. Event tickets or memberships are offered at many places and make perfect gifts. 

8. Find a way to treat yourself without buying objects.

Sometimes after a long week or a bad day, we feel like giving ourselves a little treat. Instead of buying another object to add to your home, consider some other options. A bubble bath, going out for ice cream, or taking a walk are all ways to treat yourself without the risk of adding clutter.

9. Only buy what you need for the present. 

When making purchases make sure you are buying something for who you are now. Stop buying stickers if you are no longer scrapbooking. In contrast, don’t buy a pair of jeans three sizes too small in the hopes that you may fit into them someday. Buying stuff based on who you were in the past or who you think you will be in the future will lead to unused items sitting around your house. 

10. Don’t buy something just because it is on sale. 

Sale signs used to catch my attention and lure me in every time. However, a sale only saves you money if you were intending to buy that item in the first place.


If you enjoyed reading this, you might also enjoy reading Stop Clutter Before it Starts and Rethink Your Needs and Avoid Clutter.

Tips to Help You Spot Clutter While Spring Cleaning

Happy Spring! Many people use this time of year to shake out rugs, deep clean windows, and switch seasonal items.

As you go through your spring cleaning routine, take some extra time in each area to remove clutter that you no longer need. It will make cleaning in the future easier and it will make your spring cleaning efforts more noticeable.

Below are some tips to help you spot clutter while you are doing normal spring cleaning tasks.

Windows

As you deep clean your windows and take down your blinds or curtains for cleaning, look for these common forms of clutter to remove:

  • Faded sun catchers
  • Window sill decorations that are faded or no longer suit your style
  • Dead plants
  • Curtains or blinds that are faded or torn or otherwise looking past their prime

Rugs

As you are taking your rugs out to shake off and air out, look for signs of the following:

  • Rips or tears
  • Stains
  • Peeling

Fix the issue if you can or retire the worn-out rug.

Clothes

Before putting away your winter clothes, go through them piece by piece and pull out items:

  • That no longer are your style
  • That didn’t fit
  • That have stains or tears that cannot be repaired

Tips Moving Forward

  • When you put your spring clothes in your closet, turn your hangers backward. After you wear an item you can put it back in the closet with a hanger facing the correct direction. This way at the end of the season you will easily be able to see what you wore and what you didn’t wear.
  • Keep a small donation bag or box in your closet so that if you find an article of clothing that doesn’t fit or that you no longer want to wear you can immediately add it to your donation bag. Take the bag to the donation center as soon as it is filled up.

Walls

As you wipe down your walls and dust off your pictures and decorations, make use of the time you are spending on each item individually and ask yourself:

  • Do I still love this? 
  • Does this fit my style?
  • Is this still in good condition?

Tips for the Whole Process

  • Don’t return something after cleaning a space simply because it has always been there. Take time to evaluate your belongings and remove the things that don’t serve a purpose.
  • If you come across something you didn’t even remember that you had, there is a good chance it is clutter that you can remove.
  • Before replacing anything you decide to remove, give yourself time to enjoy your space without the item. You might decide that you can simply do without instead of buying something new.

Have you started your spring cleaning? Did you come across any clutter that you were able to remove?

Enjoy What You Have: Happiness Highlights

*One of my 2021 goals was to keep a Happiness Highlights journal. On the last Tuesday of each month, I’ll be sharing some of my happy moments from the month. I hope they help you pause and recognize all the great small things that are happening in your life.*

This past month I didn’t buy anything extravagant and I didn’t go anywhere new but I had an amazing month. Looking back over my happiness highlights notes that I jotted down each day, there is nothing exceptional but I wouldn’t change anything. I spent time with my family, there was plenty of sunshine, and my days were filled with love. 

I hope you can look back over your month and be thankful for the small moments you experienced. Spending time wishing for more or being jealous of others will only bring you down. Enjoy what you have and you will find happiness.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.”

– Charles Spurgeon

March’s Happiness Highlights:

  • I tried a new recipe provided by an awesome blogger and it was delicious! Check it out: Super Simple Bok Choy Soup
  • The girls and I went to the zoo.
  • My oldest daughter and I went on an ice sculpture scavenger hunt in the city.
  • I worked in my flower beds and garden.
  • There were many nice days where we spent all day outside without shoes. I love being barefoot!
  • My husband helped me get a shelf up in my craft area for my Mandala Dot Painting supplies.
  • My girls and I decoupaged our old coffee table.
  • We spent a rainy day putting puzzles together and playing games as a family.
  • We had our first picnic for the year.

Do you have any Happiness Highlights from your month that you would like to share? If you wrote a post about enjoying what you have, include a link!

12 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

For those of you who have been following my blog for some time you know that my focus is on providing tips and motivation to declutter and simplify your life. Other than reading the About page on my website or reading the About Me post I created, you might not know much else about me.

Thanks to Olivia over at Olivia Lucie Blake, I got the idea to write a post to provide some fun facts so you can get to know me better. If you aren’t familiar with Olivia‘s blog you should check it out! Her blog was one of the first I started following when I joined WordPress. She offers a lot of great advice about blogging as well as life in general.

So, here you go…

12 Random Facts About Me:

  1. Before I started blogging (about 5 months ago) I didn’t write anything unless it was required by school or work.
  2. When I was in high school, I touched Lance Bass on the arm at an Amusement park. He was in NSYNC at the time so it was a pretty big deal.
  3. I try to camp with my family in at least one new state in the USA a year. So far we have 10 together.
  4. My favorite song is Imagine by John Lennon.
  5. One New Year’s Eve I stood outside in Times Square, New York City all day so I would have a good spot to watch the ball drop.
  6. I drink a cup of vanilla chai every day. Some might say I’m addicted.
  7. I can’t stand it when people are rude.
  8. My favorite sport is field hockey.
  9. I have a Master of Education in Educational Leadership.
  10. I am not competitive.
  11. Spending time with my family and extended family is my top priority.
  12. I love playing pickleball.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me. Let me know if we have anything in common.

Is Your Calendar Overflowing? It’s Time to Declutter Your Schedule

Are you constantly telling people you’re busy? Are you often late to events or have to leave early to get to your next commitment? Do you find that you let those who care about you down by not being available?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, you may want to consider decluttering your schedule.

Being busy in itself is not necessarily a bad thing but if it causes you stress or if you have become unreliable and/or unavailable to important people in your life, it is time to reassess your commitments. 

Some people like to brag about being busy, but being busy isn’t a badge of honor. Managing your time effectively and being reliable is much more award-worthy.

Finding a balance between scheduled events and free time will help you feel less stressed and allow you to focus on what is important to you.

Tips to Consider

  • When scheduling commitments, think about your priorities and goals and only schedule things that align.
  • Keep at least one free day a week.
  • When scheduling recurring commitments, schedule out a chunk of weeks at a time (I do 1 month) and then reassess those commitments to make sure they still align with your goals and priorities before you schedule the next chunk.
  • Be available to the people who mean the most to you. 
  • Know your limitations and don’t overschedule yourself.

Benefits of a Decluttered Schedule

  • More time for the things that are important to you.
  • More time to be spontaneous.
  • Less time rushing from commitment to commitment.
  • Less stress.
  • More time to relax.
  • More time to be present.

Remember 

You plan your day. You get to decide how you spend your time. Before you say “yes” to new commitments, take time to think about the time you are trading in and make sure it’s worth it.

Challenge

Write a list of your goals and priorities and then take a look at your calendar for the next month. Does each of your commitments align with a goal or priority? Are there any commitments that you can cancel?

What do you enjoy most about keeping your schedule clutter-free?

15 Ways to Make Your House Less Cluttered (Without Getting Rid of Anything)

  1. Make your bed as soon as you wake up each morning.
  2. Open your curtains and let the light in.
  3. Keep your dresser in your closet.
  4. Put your belongings away when you are done with them instead of just setting them down. (example: Shoes)
  5. Don’t store your things in tight spaces like hallways.
  6. Hang pictures on the wall instead of having them sit on end tables or bookshelves.
  7. Find a home for your belongings that are always laying around.
  8. Combine half-used bottles of cleaners or lotions.
  9. Have designated spots for your electronics so the wires don’t end up randomly left in outlets throughout the house.
  10. Make sure to shut cabinets and drawers.
  11. Keep your countertops clear.
  12. Store toiletries in bins that you can keep in a drawer but easily pull out to use.
  13. Keep a lid on your trash cans or store them in a closet/cabinet.
  14. Have a set place for hobbies or toys so they don’t take over your whole house.
  15. Fold blankets and straighten pillows after sitting on the couch.

Have you found any other ways to make your home feel less cluttered without getting rid of anything?

Tips to Successfully Add Yoga to Your Routine

About 3 months ago, I added daily yoga to my routine to help clear my mind. I was surprised by how quickly I noticed an improvement! You can read about all the benefits I found by clicking here: Declutter your Mind with Yoga.

Practicing yoga has challenged and improved my mind and body so I’m thankful I found a way to successfully add it to my daily routine.

Below are 5 tips that I feel helped me to add yoga to my routine. I hope they help you too.

Set a goal for how often and how long you want to practice.

Think about your schedule and how you handle new routines before setting your goal. You also need to consider how much you know about yoga. Committing to a lot of time when you don’t know any poses wouldn’t make much sense. 2 days a week for at least 5 minutes may be a good starting place or perhaps 5 days a week for at least 30 minutes. Be realistic. I set my goal for 7 days a week for at least 15 minutes a day. 

Find a way to track your progress.

I have other daily goals that I track in my Happy Planner so it made the most sense for me to add a yoga section there. You may choose to keep a notebook or a calendar that you can check off near your mat or in an office area that you utilize daily. The important thing is that it is accessible and somewhere you won’t forget about it.

Find a time of day that works for you but be adaptable.

I started out practicing my 15 minutes of yoga in the evening right after I put my kids to sleep. After practicing daily for a few weeks, I started noticing that I was getting urges to practice at different times of the day. As much as possible, I sneak away for 15 lovely minutes whenever the urges strike. 

Keep your mat visual.

When I first set my goal, I put my yoga right in the middle of my bedroom floor so I saw it as soon as I woke up and right before I went to bed. It was a visual reminder for me. After I developed a routine, I moved my yoga mat to a quiet corner in my office space.

Add variety

Join a class periodically so you can experience guided instruction. There are options in-person or virtual (live or recorded) so you can pick whatever works best for you.

I take an hour class at least once a week. 

Through the classes:

  • I have learned when to inhale and exhale.
  • I have discovered how to flow from pose to pose.
  • I have learned a variety of new poses. 

All of this has helped me tremendously when I practice on my own. 

If you are trying to add yoga to your routine, I hope you have found these tips helpful.

Simplify Cleaning with these 5 Tips

Do you like to clean? You may be surprised to learn that I don’t. Obviously, I just can’t skip cleaning altogether, so instead, I have found ways to simplify it. Check out the 5 tips below to see how you can spend less time cleaning but still keep your house clean.

Clean as You Go

Instead of keeping a cleaning schedule, clean as you go. The clean as you go strategy is self-explanatory. 

  • After taking a shower, close the shower curtain and hang up your towel.
  • After brushing your teeth, put away your toothbrush and toothpaste and wipe up the counter.
  • After eating breakfast, wash your dishes or put them in the dishwasher.
  • After working on a hobby, put your supplies away. 
  • After tracking dirt into the house, sweep it up.

You get the idea. If you let these small things pile up, your house can turn into a mess quickly and you’ll end up spending at least a half of a day cleaning to get everything back in order. Rather, if you clean up your messes as they happen, it will just take a minute or two. 

Avoid Specialized Cleaners

Instead of searching through a variety of cleaners and reading to see what surfaces they work on, keep it simple. A rag with some dish soap and water will clean up most messes. 

Declutter

Less stuff means less to clean. Check out 4 Tips to Help You Start Removing Clutter for some advice on getting started.

Find “Perfect for You”

Don’t strive to have the perfect house. If cleaning a certain area feels like a never-ending battle, change your idea of perfect.

For a while, cleaning fingerprints off my windows was draining. It felt like every time I wiped down my windows they only stayed clean for a few minutes. I decided to choose to not let it bother me and now I clean them about once a week. I have even started to enjoy seeing the tiny handprints. I know one day I will miss them.

Reset

At the end of the day make it part of your routine to do a quick walkthrough of your house and reset. This might consist of straightening up the chairs in your living room, folding a blanket, or putting shoes away. This 5 to 10-minute reset will help you to catch anything you might have missed throughout the day. It will also help to make the next day run more smoothly.

Do you plan on implementing any of these tips? Which one is your favorite?