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Simplify Your Life for a stress-free, happy existence

Updated on November 27, 2014

Living the Simple Life is Easier than you Think

Most people want to live a simple life, but feel overwhelmed when considering how to get to that place from their chaotic, stress-filled lives. The good news is that organizing and simplifying your life is actually much easier than you think and only takes a few small, incremental changes. I have lots of ideas for things that you can do to simplify your life and reduce your stress. Read on and be inspired to make some changes to your life today!

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simple-living.jpg

Stop Buying Things in Order to Simplify your Life

The main thing that you need to do in order to simplify your life is to just stop buying things. Try going for 1 or 2 months with only spending on the necessities such as food, and transportation to get to work. Stop going out to eat, buying clothes, or spending money for entertainment things. You'll be amazed at how much simpler your life is when you're not bringing more and more things into your living space. The more stuff you have, the more time and money you'll spend on maintaining, and fixing things when they break.

When do you buy something new, have a 1-in, 1-out policy. If you buy a new pair of shoes, you must give away, or sell another pair that you have.

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Ruthlessly Decluttering your House is Necessary to Living Simply

If you're like most people, you have a lot of stuff. Sure, you use some of it on a regular basis but there is probably a lot that has gone unused for more than a year. In order to simplify, ruthlessly go through your living space and put everything into a pile that you haven't used in more than a year. You don't need it.

Then, further divide this pile into things to give away, things to sell and things to throw into the garbage (hopefully not that much!). Hold a garage sale or look into selling the more valuable things on Craigslist or Ebay.

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dried-beans.jpg

Eating Simple Food is key to Frugal Living

If you want to live simply, it's necessary for this to encompass your whole life. Many people eat way too much packaged, processed, convenience food. It's very expensive, and not good for you. It also takes up a lot of room in our fridges, freezer and cupboards.

Instead of this, try to eat only natural, unprocessed foods. Buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meats. Make your own bread with a breadmaker. Make your own pasta sauce with the fresh vegetables. Cook a lot of stir-fries with rice. Make mashed potatoes with real potatoes instead of out of a box. Making homemade soup is really easy to do once you learn how. Cook dry beans from scratch. It's easier than you think to make simple, delicious food that is not processed.

Your grocery bill will be much lower and your life will be much simpler. Your body will thank you as well.

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library.jpg

Simplify your Entertainment: Use the Library

A solution to having so many books, magazines, newspapers, music and DVD's around the house is to get rid of all this stuff and simply use the library. Most libraries have excellent selections of all these things. Make it a point to go every couple weeks to replenish your entertainment. Or, make it a cheap family outing once/week.

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small-apartment.jpg

Living a Simple Life: Downsize your House

This is one of the more radical options for those looking to live simply. Most people live in houses that are way too big for them. Who needs a garage for 4 cars, or 2 extra bedrooms? Most people don't. But, if you have a house that is too big for your family, you'll end up spending significantly more time and money on maintenance and upkeep than a smaller house. And for those that have huge yards, this just adds to the problem because it takes a lot of time (or a lot of money to pay someone) to keep the lawn mowed, and sidewalks shoveled.

Why not consider renting a small apartment? You'll have no outside maintenance to do and your landlord will take care of much of the indoor maintenance. You'll be forced to simplify and sell much of your things in preparation for the move. And, you'll likely consider space before buying anything.

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too-much-mail.jpg

How to Simplify: Streamline your Finances

It's hard to live simply if there are pieces of paper that require your attention coming into your house every day. Most companies have online statements, you just have to go into your account to sign up for it. And if you have investments in 4 or 5 different account, it's very hard to keep track of everything, so why not see if you can transfer, or sell some things and streamline everything into 1 or 2 accounts that you can easily manage.

Another way to simplify your finances is to reduce the amount of things that you have to pay each month. Cancel the magazine, newspaper and movie rental subscriptions. Get rid of most of your credit cards and just stick with one or two. Try to just buy a car outright instead of buying it on credit. Pay cash for things like furniture and electronics. If you can't do this, you shouldn't be buying it.

The less pieces of paper you have coming into your house each month, the easier your life will be.

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Live Close to Work

Life is much easier when you live closer to work. Try to live so close that you can walk or ride your bike to work when the weather is nice. This will save you lots of time, money, stress, and hassle. Plus, you will have lots more time for other things like hobbies, cooking, or organizing if you aren't commuting for hours a day.

Spend time with like-minded people

If all your friends are consumers, and their idea of quality time is shopping at the mall, it's going to be very difficult for you to live simply. Instead, seek out and spend time with like-minded people who are also committed to living simply. You'll have a built-in support network for the changes that you're trying to make. And, you can perhaps even share things like books, tools, or DVD's.

What can you do to organize and simplify your life?

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    • turtleface profile image

      turtleface 6 years ago

      About 7 years ago when I was downsizing from a huge 3-bedroom to a studio I posted on Craigslist for people to come and empty my home for free. That way I was able to get rid of things as quickly and as easily as I could. It was one of the easiest and best things I could have done. One of the greatest ways to purge things from your life. It also made the move quite easy and I got to start all over and fresh.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Just stopping back by to simply sprinkle some angel stardust. Thank you for promoting quality of life through simple living. **Blessed**

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A lovely and a thoughtful lens for simple living. A great reminder to cut down of excesses. Thank you.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      It really is the simple things in life which matter most but unfortunately we sometimes forget this. Your lens is a wonderful reminder.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      This is a great lens. So many practical tips that will make such a big difference. I like the one in-one out idea. I'd like to sell about 80% of what I own. It will be liberating.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      I like your suggestion to live close to work! I used to spend a minimum of 10 hours a week commuting to work. Decided to quit and it's much less stressful. Want to find something closer to home. Great job on this lens - thumbs up

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Trowing away all the unnecessary staff which gather with years is another pretty essential thing that will make your life easier.

      Regards rent holiday apartment london

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great idea! Thank you for this now i can have a simple life plans :D

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 6 years ago

      I always feel like I have too much stuff, yet I have a hard time giving things up or can't find the time to go through them. I love houses that have a lot of space and some furniture but not so many other objects laying around... I have cut down on buying things, but I have a long way to go...