In this post, you’ll find 7 simple living tips and ideas to help streamline and simplify your life.
Some of the simple living tips are practical, actionable steps you can take and start implementing today. Some of the other tips are mindset shifts that require time, reflection and practice to adopt. And finally, some of the simple living tips are new habits you can embrace to simplify your home and your life.
What is simple living?
Before getting into the simple living tips, it’s important to touch on what simple living even means.
It’s a term that is quite fluid in its definition. Meaning different things to different people. And has no definite right or wrong definition.
At its core, simple living is intentional living. It’s a life focused on your goals, priorities and values.
Exactly what a simpler life looks like will vary from person to person, based on what their individual, unique and personal goals, priorities, preferences and values are.
However, regardless of what a simple lifestyle looks like for each of us, the goal of simple living is more universal.
The goal of simple living is voluntary actions you can take to remove the excess, the distractions, the physical clutter and the mental clutter from your life. Creating more time, space and freedom to live a life you love, focused on your personal values, goals and priorities.
Simple living is not always simple
Surprisingly, simplifying your life is not always simple!
In today’s world, it’s often the norm for our lives to be busy, complicated and full. And taking steps to simplify your life often goes against this norm. Requiring you to take intentional steps and efforts to slow down, simplify and restructure your life.
But the benefits of embracing a simpler lifestyle are definitely worth it.
When you create a simpler life, you can give yourself more time and energy to focus on your goals, priorities and what you value most. You can help alleviate some sources of stress from your life. And simplifying can even help you feel more content and fulfilled when you remove the distractions from your home and life and can focus on your priorities instead.
A simple approach to these simple living tips
There is no one size fits all approach to simple living. Instead, it’s about figuring out what works best for you, your family, your lifestyle, your goals, your priorities, your values, your preferences, your schedule, etc.
Use these simple living tips and ideas as jumping-off points for different ways to explore simple living. Treat each tip as a way to experiment with simplifying to figure out what will work best for you.
Don’t make simplifying a complicated or stressful process. Life is already complicated and stressful enough!
Instead, use these tips to uncomplicate your life and help reduce stress. Go slow and try adding and adopting one or two tips at a time.
A slow and steady approach is a great way to create a simpler lifestyle for you and your family.
Give yourself time to adjust to each new habit you’re adding to your life. Pay attention to how it works for you and tweak each change you’re making until you feel comfortable with it. Then try implementing another simple living tip.
7 simple living tips to help simplify your life
With that being said, let’s get to it! Here are 7 simple living tips to help you simplify your life.
Simple living tip #1: Have clear values and priorities
If simple living is living intentionally focused on your goals, values and priorities, it only makes sense that an important step to embracing simple living is knowing exactly what your goals, values and priorities are!
Identifying and getting really clear about your goals, values and priorities helps you know why you’re simplifying and what you want to achieve.
Your goals, values and priorities will be your compass to help you stay on course as you’re simplifying. Helping you make decisions about your home and your life moving forward. And reminding you exactly what you are working towards. And what obstacles you need to clear that are adding clutter to your home, your mind, your heart and your time.
Write your goals, values and priorities down. Take some time to think about them and get really clear about what you want to achieve.
Then ask yourself if each new thing, opportunity, request, etc. is moving you towards your goals, values and priorities, or adding more clutter or another obstacle to your life.
Simple living tip #2: Clear the clutter
When you clear the clutter from your home and simplify your space, you go a long way towards simplifying your life as well.
The more stuff you have, the more time, energy and attention it takes from you to take care of and manage it all. Not to mention the stress having too much stuff can add to your life, and the obstacles clutter puts in your path keeping you from your goals, value and priorities.
When you clear the clutter, the excess and the distractions from your home, you give yourself more time, space, energy and freedom to focus on what you value most (your goals, values and priorities).
Your home becomes a place you love and enjoy being in. Your retreat from the stress of the outside world. Rather than another source of stress in your life because of the clutter, mess and distraction it causes and the time and effort it takes to manage and maintain.
Clearing the clutter is often not a quick or easy thing to do. But the benefits of doing so are definitely worth the effort to help simplify your life!
You can learn more about how to start decluttering your home here.
Simple living tip #3: Use routines and rhythms to help your home function more smoothly
No matter how much you simplify and declutter, there are still things you will need to do to manage and maintain your home and the stuff you own. But the good news is, the less stuff you own, the simpler it is to manage and maintain your home!
Using routines and rhythms is a great way to stay on top of managing and maintaining your home. Allowing you to spend less time and energy cleaning and maintaining your home because you stay on top of these normal household tasks. And they don’t get completely out of control in the meantime.
Here are a few examples of routines and rhythms you can use to help your home function more smoothly:
Weekly cleaning routine or rhythm
Having a weekly cleaning routine is a great way to simplify maintaining your home.
Your weekly cleaning routine can be flexible, where you just aim to get the basic tasks done each week as time allows. Or more defined, where you plan to do a certain task each day. Like cleaning the bathrooms on Mondays, dusting on Tuesdays, vacuuming on Wednesdays, etc.
It doesn’t matter how your routine looks, as long as it works for you. You’ll know it’s working if it helps you keep up with regular household chores and tasks, so you can complete them relatively quickly and easily.
Laundry routine or rhythm
Another example of a routine you can follow to help your home function more smoothly is a laundry routine.
Again, it doesn’t matter what your system looks like. All that matters is that it’s working for you and helping you avoid mountains of laundry you can never seem to catch up on.
This could mean doing one load of laundry a day, doing all the laundry one day a week, or something else completely. The key is figuring out what works for you, then sticking to it.
One of my favourite rhythms to help your home function more smoothly is doing daily resets.
A reset is a designated time when you quickly tidy and clean your space, returning it to normal or your preferred baseline.
It’s not deep cleaning. Instead it’s quickly picking up, tidying, putting things away, doing some surface cleaning, etc. to reset your space.
When you get in the habit of doing daily resets once or twice a day, staying on top of keeping your home relatively tidy becomes a lot easier. Resets allow you to stay on top of tidying, so things don’t have a chance to get completely out of control before your next reset.
Simple living tip #4: Add white space – to your home and your schedule
White space in your home
When you add white space to your home you give yourself room to breathe, space to live and space to enjoy your home.
Not only does white space give your eyes and your mind a place to rest, which in turn allows your whole body to rest and relax. But it also means you have more space to live!
As you’re simplifying, aim to keep floors and surfaces as clear as possible to add white space to your home. Not only will your space be easier to clean and maintain. But that white space will give you the opportunity to fill your home with more living instead of more stuff!
White space in your schedule
As you become clearer about your goals, values and priorities, you can remove the clutter and distractions from your schedule as well.
Not only giving yourself more time for what you love and is important to you. But also, more opportunities to rest, relax and recharge.
We live in a time where busy is often not only the status quo, but almost a badge of honour. As though busy signifies importance or success.
But if you’re ready to embrace a simpler life, stepping away from being overly busy or overscheduled is important.
Practice saying “no”
Creating white space in your calendar requires deciding what is most important to you and what you want to prioritize.
Then, it requires saying no to things that don’t align with your priorities, so you are able to say yes to the things that do.
Saying no isn’t always easy. But it does become easier with time and practice. Especially when you use your goals, values and priorities to guide your decisions.
Stop over scheduling
And a big part of adding white space to your calendar is being mindful of not overscheduling or allowing yourself to be pulled in too many directions.
Leaving open and unscheduled space in your calendar is important too. Both for the sake of having the opportunity to rest and recharge. But also, to be able to say yes to things that align with your values and priorities as they come up.
Look for ways to reduce your workload
Probably not all of your current workload is within your power to simplify or change. But there are likely some things within your power to simplify or change with a little creativity and thought.
For example, are there household tasks that you can delegate or share with someone else in your family? Or is it possible and feasible to outsource some of your household tasks to help simplify your life?
Another way of simplifying your life is by automating as many tasks as possible. Even something as simple as setting up automatic bill payments will save you time and effort.
And finally, as you are assessing and reviewing your schedule, look for any tasks you can let go of or eliminate completely.
Simple living tip #5: Practice gratitude
A big part of embracing a simpler life is finding contentment with your life and your home as it is. Instead of always wanting more, newer, bigger, better, etc.
And practicing gratitude can be one of the best ways to find contentment with what already fills your life – both tangible and intangible things.
Whenever you find yourself wishing for something you don’t have, take a moment to stop and appreciate what you do already have.
Those few minutes of gratitude may be the perspective shift you need to bring you back to a place of contentment, one of the keys to simple living. Helping you notice and appreciate all the good that already fills your life.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
~ Melody Beattie
Simple living tip #6: Simplify your wardrobe
Simplifying my wardrobe has been one of my favourite and most impactful simplifying projects to date. I didn’t realize the burden a closet full of clothes, many of which I didn’t wear, need or like, added to my life. Until I got rid of most of them.
Not only does a smaller, simplified wardrobe feel freeing and makes getting dressed quicker and easier. But it also means starting your day and deciding what to wear can be a pleasant experience rather than a stressful one.
If you’re looking to simplify your life in a way that you will notice and appreciate right away, clearing the clutter from your closet is a great place to start.
Simple living tip #7: Slow down
And finally, a wonderful way to embrace a simpler life is to intentionally and deliberately slow down.
Take time to do something you enjoy and give it your undivided attention and focus. Limit distractions, work slowly, focus on what you’re doing, and savour the slow moments.
It could be cooking a dish you love from scratch. Taking a walk outside and really paying attention to and noticing your surroundings. Sitting down and savouring your morning tea or coffee. Or simply taking time to sit and do nothing, something quite rare for many of us in this fast-paced, always connected, always on world.
Not only can slowing down your pace of life help ground you and allow you to be more mindful. But intentionally slowing down is an important part of embracing a simpler life.
Begin exploring a simpler life
I hope these tips will help you find ways to begin exploring simple living.
Remember, just as slowing down is an important part of simple living, so is embracing and adopting changes to simplify your life slowly. There’s no race to the finish to simplify your life.
Experiment with and try these simple living tips slowly and thoughtfully. See what works for you. Keep what works, ignore or tweak what doesn’t.
Each of our simple living journeys will be individual and unique. Embrace that as you experiment with different ways of simplifying your life. And remember, in the end, it’s about creating a life focused on what you value most. Whatever that is for you!
What is your favourite way to simplify your life? Leave a comment and let me know!