In today’s post, you’ll find 11 easy ways to simplify your life and your home, helping you improve both!
Simplifying your home and your life are great ways to combat feelings of overwhelm and stress. When your home and life are cluttered, busy and chaotic, it’s hard to find time to relax, enjoy your family or find time for things you enjoy and value.
But the good news is that there are many easy actions and routines you can use to simplify your life and your home. And today’s post gives you some great ideas to get started!
11 easy ways to simplify your life:
1. Simplify your life by owning less
One of the most important ways to simplify your life is to remove everything that unnecessarily complicates it.
The more you own, the more “stuff” you have to manage. Your stuff must be cleaned, cleaned around, picked up, taken care of, stored, organized, maintained, repaired, etc.
When you own less, you simply have less to manage. The less you own, the 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 roadmap to walk you through the process of decluttering your home and simplifying your life one manageable step at a time, check out my complete decluttering guide, Your Clutter-Free Home.
2. Simplify your life by finding a place for everything and keeping everything in its 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 and float around on floors, counters, surfaces, etc.
A simple way to avoid this is 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.
After you’ve gotten rid of the clutter, find designated places where each item you’re keeping can live. Making it easy to find everything when you need it. And put it away when you’re done with it.
The key to making “a place for everything, and everything in its place” work, is ensuring each item’s spot is easily accessible. Make it as easy as possible to put things away where they belong. 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 inside a cupboard to be able to put an item away, you’re probably going to be less likely to put it away and maintain your system.
However, if you simply have to put the item in its spot on an open and uncrowded shelf, it’s easy to put it away and maintain a tidy house.
3. Simplify your life 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 quick and easy way to maintain a tidy, simplified home is tidying 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.
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 your life by resetting your spaces
Although tidying as you go is a great way to 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.
Another good habit is getting into the routine of tidying the house at certain times during the day. Resetting the house back to baseline.
If you get in the habit of resetting your house once or twice a day, it’s a lot easier to stay on top of any messes or clutter. Simply because things don’t have a chance to get completely out of control before the next reset.
I like to do two resets in our house. One in the morning to reset the bedrooms, make the beds and tidy up from breakfast and the morning rush.
And another reset in the evening before the kids go to bed 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 every day at that time quickly spend 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 your life 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 its place. Either something to throw away, donate, give away or sell. This will ensure the volume of “stuff” in your home stops growing and stays at a manageable 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 things 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 a habit to look for something to get rid of as you bring in anything new.
6. Simplify your life with a handy and accessible donation box
The best way to clear the clutter from your home is by making it really easy to declutter. And a great way to make it easy to declutter is by having an ongoing donation box set up that’s handy and accessible.
Any time you come across something you no longer use, need or love, you can easily add it to the donation box. Then when the donation box is full, simply drop it off at your local donation center and start again! Or plan to drop off the contents of your donation box at set intervals of time, like monthly or weekly.
Keep the box somewhere handy and accessible. This will make it easy to add things you no longer use, need or love, without requiring any special effort from you.
You can choose to keep your donation box somewhere you see it often. Acting as a visual reminder to look for things to declutter.
Or keep it somewhere accessible, but a bit out of sight to avoid you or other members of your family seeing items in the donation box, second-guessing your decluttering decisions and undoing all of your hard work!
7. Simplify your life by shopping with intention
Slowing the incoming flow of “stuff” into your home is important when you’re working to declutter and simplify. Helping prevent you from reaccumulating more stuff and undoing all of your hard work decluttering.
Even when you’re choosing to live more simply, there will still be things you need or want to buy. But learning to shop with intention is the key to making purchases carefully and thoughtfully. Helping you avoid adding unnecessary clutter to your home, buying impulsively or buying more than you need.
Changing your shopping patterns and behaviour can be tricky. It can be hard to avoid impulse purchases or stop yourself from buying “stuff” to treat yourself. But the good news is, with a little practice and a little help, you can become more intentional with what you purchase and why you purchase it.
Over time, you might even notice your mindset shifting and it becomes even easier to make thoughtful and intentional purchases.
8. Simplify your life with a meal planning system
Meal planning goes a long way towards simplifying your life.
Not only can it help you eat healthier, save money and waste less food. But it can also help you avoid a lot of stress when you’re not scrambling to figure out what to cook at the last minute each night. Especially when everyone is already 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 flow more smoothly.
9. Simplify your life by following a simple cleaning routine
Creating and following a simple cleaning routine is a great way to help simplify your life.
A cleaning routine helps you keep on top of and keep up with the household chores. When you keep up with the chores, your home never gets completely out of control or overly dirty. Which makes cleaning a lot easier and faster, and easier to keep up with too.
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 tasks, the less time and effort cleaning requires. Because things don’t get that messy or dirty before you get around to cleaning them again.
Your cleaning routine doesn’t have to be complicated or intense. Figure out what works for your lifestyle and preferences, and make a routine that works for you.
It can be a simple guide or schedule you follow to make sure the house cleaning is done consistently.
For example, you might aim to do one house cleaning task a day during the week and leave weekends for fun, and family time. Using this example, your cleaning schedule might look like this:
Monday – clean the bathrooms
Tuesday – dust
Wednesday – vacuum
Thursday – wash the floors
Friday – wash towels and sheets, and change the beds
If a strict schedule doesn’t work for you, you can also try more flexible rhythms and routines where you pick and choose which tasks to tackle each day based on your time available and schedule.
A seasonal cleaning schedule for deep cleaning is another great way to stay on top of cleaning chores and household maintenance.
If you aim to do one to two deep cleaning tasks a week, you’re able to stay on top of household maintenance and deep cleaning, without having to try to get it all done at once.
10. Simplify your life by creating a “landing zone”
Another way to keep clutter from piling up and help your home function more smoothly is by creating a landing zone.
A landing zone uses the same “a place for everything, and everything in its place” idea. But specifically focuses on creating a place for the things you use often as you come and go from your home. Things that can easily end up causing clutter in your home if there’s not an easy and specific place for them.
Your landing zone gives a home to the things that often get set down as you come into your house. Often quickly causing clutter in your entryway, on your kitchen counters, on your dining table, etc. Things like keys, purses, backpacks, shoes, coats, phones, hats and gloves, mail, wallets, spare change, etc.
Ideally, your landing zone should be somewhere centrally located. Somewhere convenient as you enter and leave your home. And if possible, in the place where these kinds of items naturally tend to land. Giving them a designated, orderly spot, rather than just letting them get dropped on any available surface.
Creating a landing zone to house these items not only makes it easier to keep your home clutter-free. But also makes it easier to find those things when you need them so you’re not causing yourself unnecessary stress and frustration as you’re trying to get out the door!
11. Simplify your life by decluttering regularly
Making a point to declutter and purge regularly really helps 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 declutter and simplify the amount of stuff in your home. And ensure clutter and “stuff” don’t build back up again after you have decluttered and minimized.
At the beginning of your decluttering 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 a clutter-free home, you might be able to schedule decluttering sessions monthly or seasonally to easily stay on top of any clutter. Doing quick decluttering sessions to maintain your home and keep it clutter-free.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be a chore, there are many ways to make decluttering fun. And using key questions can help you declutter more effectively, so you can get it done faster and easier. Even if your life is busy and full, there are many ways to declutter, even if you’re short on time.
Easy ways to simplify your home and life
I hope this list gives you some ideas and tips to start simplifying your home and your life today. Simplifying can help reduce feelings of stress or overwhelm in your life. Giving you more time, space and freedom to enjoy your life more and focus on what matters most to you.
What is something you do to help simplify your life? Is it on this list or have you found another helpful tip to simplify and make life easier? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below!
Wednesday 11th of January 2023
How about decluttering a desk with lots of paper, mailings, statements, what's important to keep... help
Simple Lionheart Life
Tuesday 17th of January 2023
I would suggest having an action pile, a pile to file, a reference pile and a recycle/shred pile. Start by sorting through every thing and put it into the appropriate pile. Once that's done, start decluttering within each pile, deciding what's necessary to keep and what you can let go of. I hope that helps! Thanks for reading :)
Monday 12th of November 2018
Hi there.... I have waaaay too much clutter in my home. Yes, it causes a lot of stress and anxiety for sure. It’s so overwhelming that I pick a box to go through and become so inundated with doubt and anxiety that I end up just shoving the box back on top of the others in defeat. Any suggestions with how to make it through one box or corner at a time?
Simple Lionheart Life
Tuesday 13th of November 2018
First, I think your approach tackling one box or one corner at a time is a great approach to take. It helps prevent the idea of decluttering your whole house from feeling completely overwhelming.
A few tips I would suggest: 1. Set a goal for yourself before you start decluttering each box. For example, it could be to find 10 things to get rid of. Or try to finish the box before a 10-minute timer is done. Or even to get rid of half the amount of stuff in the box. Setting a goal gives you something more concrete to focus on while you're decluttering to avoid getting overwhelmed. 2. If you're feeling really anxious about getting rid of things, you could try giving yourself a safety net of sorts. For example, keep anything you're deciding to get rid of in your garage or basement for a week or two before getting rid of it. Doing this might help take away some of your anxiety and make letting go easier. Sometimes a little time and space away from the things we're ready to let go of can help make letting go easier. 3. Get really clear with yourself about why you want to declutter and simplify in the first place. As you're decluttering, keep reminding yourself of why you want to declutter. Keeping this "big picture goal" in mind can help keep you on track while decluttering.
I hope that helps! Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any more questions!
Monday 20th of August 2018
Great tips! If religiously followed, this might keep the space from ever getting cluttered, especially with the donation box handy.
Simple Lionheart Life
Monday 20th of August 2018
Yes! So often it’s these small, simple changes we make in our homes and our habits that add up to make such a big difference overall in our lives! Thanks for reading!
5 Easy Ways to Simplify & Improve Your Life – Shelly Lan
Sunday 12th of August 2018
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Sunday 30th of July 2017
Really good pointers. Unfortunately no7 is almost impossible for me, I always end up buying things I don't need or use
Simple Lionheart Life
Sunday 6th of August 2017
Thanks, I'm glad you found it helpful. It definitely takes time and practice to change habits, but the great thing is the more you practice, the easier it gets! Thanks for reading!