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Simple Living: Getting by with Less

For many people, simplification can feel like an overwhelming task.  It is completely understandable that you would not want to even get close to this task.   Why would you want to start something that could feel awful and you might not succeed at?

There are so many different areas; there are many different places to look.

Maybe now is the time to ask the question; Can you get by with less?

Let’s be clear right from the start, you don’t have to simplify all at once.

You can take it one-step and one day at a time until you’ve conquered the mountain. You’ll get there eventually, and you may even enjoy yourself along the way. In the end, you’ll discover that a simple life can be the most fulfilling!

Where do you start?  Try these strategies:

  1. Prioritize. Create a small list of the most important two or three things that you want to accomplish in your life. What are your priorities? Where do you most want to devote your attention? Keep this small list with you at all times so you never forget where you want to be. Once you have completed items you can add more or change them.  This list is always evolving with you.
  2. Kiss your commitments good bye. Find a commitment that takes up your time without giving you much value. Perhaps it’s something you dread doing or simply no longer enjoy. Take action today by dropping that commitment from your load. It is really that easy, if you can find two that is even better.
  3. One drawer.Choose a single drawer or shelf in your home to begin your purge with. Empty everything out of the area into a single pile; then select only the important stuff you really want to keep. Get rid of everything else, either by throwing it away or donating it.
    • Clean out the drawer, simplify it, and organize it, and then you have your foundation for a simpler and more organized life. Ensure that everything remaining is put back in an orderly manner. From here, you can try another drawer or shelf.  Immediately remove the items that you are throwing out or donating so that they don’t find their way back to the drawer.
  4. Simplify daily routines. Take a look at your daily routines and to-do list. If you’re trying to fit more than 10 tasks into your list for a day, then there are probably ways for you to simplify things. What can you eliminate, delegate, or even ignore? Shorten your list as often as you can by focusing on what really matters.  Seriously, the vacuuming can wait while you spend quality time with your kids!
  5. Find time for YOU. Simply put: Find at least 20 minutes each day when you can sit down clear your mind, try meditation or prayer.
  6. Clean desk, Clear Mind. A clean desk can completely change how you’re feeling, and this is a simple task to complete, as well. Clean everything off your desk, creating a pile. Process your pile from the top down, one object at a time. Deal with each item individually. File it, route it to somewhere else, note it on a list of to-do items, or trash it.
  7. Slow it down Sister! Stop rushing through the day and start living at a slower pace. Work on simplifying your life by doing less and living much more consciously. Walk, drive, eat, and even work more slowly. Learn how to live in the moment, to be present, and to think simply.  I like to say I am living in Zen, it is the concept of taking each moment and living it to the fullest.

You can begin taking small steps toward living the simple life today. Know that you can learn to get by with less than what you have, and you can live well in the process – perhaps even better than you did before!


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photo credit:By Alexander Steinhof

6 thoughts on “Simple Living: Getting by with Less

  1. Great post on getting things to be more simplified. I like the idea of starting with one drawer and then going from there. I just know that once I get started, the rest will come easy. Thanks for the great tips. Living Zen is definitely a good thing!

  2. Lori these are all fabulous tips. I love that you say that you do not have to simplify all at once, since that is what trips up so many people.

    When my students go through our Certified interior Environment Coach (CIEC) course, we stress taking things a step at a time in a systematic approach, with the goal of creating lives on purpose, and homes that support us in every way (that support our goals and what we want from our lives).

    Prioritizing is crucial–knowing what is first on your list of importance and starting there.

    I also applaud you for saying, ” Find a commitment that takes up your time without giving you much value and kiss it goodbye”. SO TRUE. We yuck our lives up because we think we have to do something, or because it impresses someone else without impressing ourselves!

    These are wonderful words and tips for living a life that is simpler yet much more empowered!

    Love and hugs,


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