Simplify Your Life for a stress-free, happy existence
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!
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.
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.
Is Simple Living for You?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.