Simplifying your home and your life are great ways to combat feelings of overwhelm and stress. When our homes and lives are cluttered, busy and chaotic, it’s hard to find time to relax, enjoy our families and find time for the things that make us happy. There are many easy actions and routines you can use to simplify. Here are 11 easy ways to simplify your home and your life in order to improve both!
1. Simplify by owning less
The most important part of simplifying your life is removing everything that unnecessarily complicates it.
The more you own, the more “stuff” you have to manage. Your stuff must be cleaned, picked up, stored, organized, maintained, repaired, etc.
When you own less, you simply have less to manage. The less you own, less of your time is taken up managing your stuff. Instead, your home is easier to clean and keep clean. And you end up with more time available for the people and activities that are most important to you and bring you the most happiness.
For a complete guide to walk you through the process of decluttering your home and your life to embrace minimalism and simplify, click here.
2. Simplify by finding a place for everything and keeping everything in it’s place
Clutter first builds up in your home when you have too much stuff. But clutter can also build up when items don’t have a home or a place to keep them. That’s when items get left out on floors, counters, tables, etc.
Combat this by finding a designated home for everything you own. The first stage of this is getting rid of anything you don’t use regularly or love. It’s hard to find a spot for everything when you simply have too many items for your space.
The key to making “a place for everything, and everything in it’s place” work, is ensuring each item’s spot is easily accessible. If it’s not easy to put something away, the likelihood of it being put away consistently isn’t very high. For example, if you have to move 3 things to put an item away, you’re less likely to put it away and maintain your system. However, if you simply have to put the item in it’s spot on an open and uncrowded shelf, it’s easy to put it away and maintain a tidy house.
3. Simplify by tidying as you go
The first steps are decluttering your house, and finding places for everything you’re planning to keep. The next step is maintenance.
Even with less stuff in your home, if you don’t have a routine in place to tidy up and return items to their spots throughout the day, things will get messy. A simple and quick way to maintain a tidy, simplified home is to tidy as you go.
Make it part of your daily rhythm and routine to pick up and put things away after you’re done using them.
Also, as you move around your house throughout the day, watch for anything you can pick up and put away. For example, as you leave a room, take a quick glance around and see if there is anything you can take with you to put away in the room you’re heading to.
Another good habit is getting in the routine of tidying the house at certain times during the day. Before lunch and before you go to bed for example.
It will only take a few moments to tidy as you go. But it will keep your home from becoming messy and overwhelming. Making it easier to maintain a tidy house.
4. Simplify by doing a 10-minute reset of your home every night
Although tidying as you go will help maintain a simplified and clutter-free home, sometimes life happens. You might get busy, or just haven’t tidied up much throughout the day.
If you get in the habit of tidying your house at least once a day, even if you haven’t been keeping up with the tidying as you go, you can still stay on top of any messes or clutter. I call this resetting your house.
I like to do our reset before we put the kids to bed at night so the whole family can help. It’s so nice to start the next day fresh, without having to deal with yesterday’s mess.
Pick a time of day that works for you. Then everyday at that time rush around for 10 minutes and reset your home. Pick up everything that’s out and put it away, and tidy your house. Get everyone working together and work quickly. You’ll be surprised how little time it takes. Especially as you get in the habit of resetting every day and tidying as you go throughout your day. You will easily be able to reset your home in 10 minutes.
5. Simplify by practicing the one in, one out rule
A great way to keep your home simplified is to practice the one in, one out rule. Whenever you buy or bring something new into your home, find something to get rid of in it’s place. Either something to throw away, donate, give away or sell. This will ensure the volume of “stuff” in your home stops growing and will maintain a simplified amount.
If you are still working on decluttering and simplifying your home, you may want to try using the one in, two (or three!) out rule. For each new thing you bring in, find two or three to get rid of. This will help you not only maintain a simplified home, but actually reduce the amount of stuff you have in your home. Which will help further your decluttering efforts.
It takes some practice to remember to remove something from your home every time you buy or bring in something new. It helps to find something to get rid of as soon as you get home with something new so you don’t forget! Eventually it’ll become habit to look for something to get rid of as you bring in anything new.
6. Simplify by keeping a donation box handy and accessible
In order for decluttering to become part of your routine and a habit, you need to make it very easy to declutter. A great way to do this is to have an ongoing donation box set up in your home. When you come across something you no longer use or love, you can simply add it to the donation box. When the donation box is full, grab the box and drop it off at your local donation center. Or plan to drop it off at set intervals of time (i.e. weekly or monthly).
Keep the box somewhere handy and accessible. This will make it easy to add things you no long use or love, rather than having to make a special effort to add something. It can also be helpful to keep the donation box in a place where you see it often. Then it will be a visual reminder to look for things to declutter.
7. Simplify by shopping with intention
As you are working to declutter and simplify your home, shopping with intention can be a big help. When you shop with intention, you make purchases carefully and thoughtfully. Rather than mindlessly buying more than you need.
Slowing the incoming flow of “stuff” into you home will go a long way in simplifying your home. And prevent you from undoing all of your hard work decluttering.
Changing your shopping patterns and behaviour can be tricky. Here’s a list of strategies to help you stop mindless and unnecessary shopping and become more intentional with your purchases. Eventually, the more you embrace minimalism and simple living, your whole mindset shifts. And it becomes much easier to shop with intention.
8. Simplify with a meal planning system
Meal planning goes a long way towards simplifying your life. Not only will you tend to eat healthier, save money and waste less food. But you’ll also save yourself so much stress by not having to decide what to cook at the last minute. Especially when everyone is tired and hungry.
We call the hour or so before supper the “witching hour” in our house. Everyone is hungry and cranky. Without a meal plan in place, the whole night usually feels a lot more stressful and chaotic.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be complicated or add stress to your life. Follow my easy method to simplify meal planning and make your life easier and your days go more smoothly.
9. Simplify by following a simple cleaning schedule
Creating and following a simple cleaning schedule will go a long way towards simplifying your life. A cleaning schedule will help you keep on top of and keep up with the household chores. When you keep up with the chores, nothing in your home ever gets out of control or overly dirty. Which makes cleaning become a lot easier and faster.
The great thing about minimizing and decluttering is the more you get rid of, the easier and less time-consuming cleaning becomes. And the more you stay on top of the house cleaning jobs, the less time and effort cleaning requires. Because things don’t get that messy or dirty.
Your cleaning schedule doesn’t have to be complicated or intense. It can be a simple guide you follow to make sure the house cleaning is done consistently. Figure out what works for your lifestyle and make a schedule.
For example, I like to do one house cleaning job a day during the week and leave weekends for fun, family time. In our current house, I spend about an hour to an hour and a half cleaning per day. I loosely follow Clean Mama’s schedule, and my cleaning schedule looks like this:
Monday – clean the bathrooms
Tuesday – dust
Wednesday – vacuum
Thursday – wash the floors
Friday – wash towels and sheets, and change the beds
I also do one or two loads of laundry a day, as well as my daily chores. My daily chores include unloading and loading the dishwasher, washing the dishes and wiping the counters, sweeping the floor, etc. Our house is always fairly clean, I know what I need to do each day to keep it that way and I don’t feel like I spend the majority of my time cleaning.
A seasonal cleaning schedule for deep cleaning is another great way to stay on top of cleaning chores and household maitenance. I aim to deep clean our house once or twice a year, doing one or two deep cleaning tasks a week. This allows me to stay on top of household maintenance and deep cleaning, without having to try to get it all done at once.
10. Simplify by creating a “landing zone” in your home
This is another way to create a place for everything and keep everything in it’s place. Specifically for things that we use often as we come and go from our homes and tend to clutter our spaces.
Your landing zone should be somewhere centrally located, that is convenient as you enter and leave your house. Find places to put things that often get set down as you come in your house and quickly clutter you space. Things like keys, purses, backpacks, shoes, coats, phones, hats and gloves, mail, etc.
Creating a landing zone to house these items make it easier to keep your home clutter free. But also, you will be less likely to lose things, like your keys or your purse, when you always put them in the same spot as soon as you get home.
11. Simplify by decluttering regularly
Making a point to declutter and purge regularly will go a long way to simplify your life and home. Despite our best efforts, “stuff” inevitably seems to find its way into our homes. Whether we want it to or not!
Schedule designated times to declutter your house regularly. This will ensure you regularly minimize and simplify the amount of stuff in your home. And ensure clutter and “stuff” doesn’t build back up again after you have decluttered and minimized.
In the beginning of your minimizing and simplifying journey, you might want to schedule decluttering sessions every week when you have a lot of decluttering to do. The further you move towards minimalism, you might be able to schedule decluttering sessions monthly or seasonally to easily keep on top of any clutter. For more information, check out my complete guide to declutter your home and embrace minimalism.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be a chore, there are many ways to make decluttering fun. And check out this list of questions to help you declutter more effectively. Don’t worry if your life is busy and full. There are many ways to declutter, even if you’re short on time.
I hope this list has given you some ideas and tips to start simplifying your home and your life today. Simplifying can help remove feelings of stress or overwhelm from your life. Which helps to improve your life and gives you the time, space and freedom to enjoy your life more.
What are some ways you have found effective to simplify your life? Leave a comment below!