Ten easy ways to simplify your life

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Image: eldar nurkovic/Shutterstock

With the new year in full swing, there’s no better time to start fresh and declutter your life, both literally and figurtively. We often forget that we need to detox more than just our bodies via the latest juice cleanse. Detoxing our homes, contact list, fridge and mind are all important to creating a stable environment for ourselves. Simplifying your life isn’t just about making everything a heck of a lot easier on your everyday life, but it’s about your mental health and strength, too.

Here are ten easy ways to simplify your life this year.

1. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries

Setting boundaries is the first step in getting what you need out of life. With or without bad intentions, many people have the tendency to take, take, take without much consideration to how it might be affecting you personally. Setting up boundaries in all aspects (and I do mean all) is the only way to be certain that you won’t get burned out.

Setting boundaries can look different and varies greatly on just what you are placing the boundary on, but here are a few examples just to give you an idea:

  • Limiting the amount of time you let a toxic family member visit/call
  • Sticking to a spending budget (limiting how many times you go out for drinks with friends after work)
  • Turning off your work phone after work (or at least at dinner/after 9 PM)

2. Delete all those old alarms on your phone

I don’t know about you, but the alarm section of my phone looks like a long list of variations of 5 AMs and 6 AMs, with the occasional 4:45 PM from last month’s power nap. Every night when I go to set my alarm for the next day, I dodge between the old alarms just to activate one I had previously set for the next morning’s rise and shine time. This, my friends, is phone clutter at its finest. We do not need 8 alarms all in the 6 o’clock realm, nor do we need the random alarms that still exist in our phones from months prior. So take approximately three minutes out of your day and just edit/delete all those alarms that you don’t use.


3. Purge your contact list

You do not need to have your high school boyfriend’s cousin’s phone number and you do not need to be Facebook friends with the creepy guy you met on your way to Vegas. You just don’t. So purge. Not just your contact list on your phone, but your email, Facebook, etc. Declutter from people who you don’t need to be in touch with. It will feel freeing, and also make scrolling through your contact list trying to find your mom’s number a lot more efficient. Plus it gives you the opportunity to reply “who dis” when your ex decides to contact you.


4. Give to goodwill

I’m assuming you’re like me and you don’t wear those clothing items you have had stashed in your closet for the last five years now. Go through your closet and downsize. If you haven’t worn it in over a year, chances are you won’t be wearing it ever again so toss. 


5. Set up a weekly budget and actually stick to it

The best way to simplify your life is to really practice minimalism. The more you purchase, the more you complicate (and clutter) your life with unnecessary products. After paying all the bills for the month, set yourself a weekly budget and stick to it. Without impulse buys, you’ll find you really do need less than you imagined. Don’t fall victim to consumerism – fight the good fight!

6. Make a gratitude list

Actively acknowledging what you are grateful for is a great way to put priorities back into alignment. You have food, shelter, clothes, Wifi. Take a deep breath, and thank the universe for all that you do have.


7. Detox your fridge and pantry

If you only keep healthy and whole foods on hand, guess what? You will only consume healthy and whole foods. So go through your fridge and get rid of anything that is either expired or just not good for your overall health. While you’re at it, consider donating some nonperishable items to your local food pantry and help make another person’s life a little simpler, too.

8. Limit digital media intake

Take a break from your phone, tablet, TV, and stereo and just be still for a little bit. Let your mind wander easily without being numbed by the many distractions we are surrounded by on a daily basis. Take a day to just take in the peace and quiet, allowing your brain some rest from the constant stimulation.


9. Learn to say no

By now we are all very aware that saying “yes” to everyone makes you essentially two things. One, a people pleaser. Two, exhausted. You have to be able to just say no to some things in life – to the shot of tequila the annoying man at the bar bought you (without asking), to the invitation to have coffee with that toxic person you purged from your life long ago, and to the blind-date proposal your mom conjured up.  For your own health and well being, learn to say no and watch as your life gets remarkably simpler.