Change your life little by little, streamline things, and you’ll be making things easier for yourself before you know it. Here’s a collection of over 30 brilliant ways to simplify life easily.
One of the main things myself and ALL my friends seem to say is that we wish life was easier…..
Less stress, less to do – more time and more energy.
It would be lovely, wouldn’t it!
Now, I consider myself a pretty organised person (otherwise this blog wouldn’t exist!), but I still have the urge to simplify things even further.
How about you?
So – I’ve decided to help us both out by putting together a list of ways to simplify life.
Whether you want to use any as your new years resolutions, or it’s a different time of year when you read this and you just want to get started with something specific, then this is the list for you to get inspiration from.
You may find that you already do some of the list (congratulations!), but I’m sure that there will be a few that you don’t (I know there are for me…), so just start by picking one and giving it a try.
You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make to your life.
After all, it’s about taking those small steps – and you’ll get there in the end.
Good luck with whichever you choose, and without further ado, let’s get going…
31 Amazing Ways to Simplify Life
#1 – Declutter Your Home
Probably not a shocking start to the list, given what this site is all about(!), but I really do have to start here because clearing the clutter is key to more simple living.
I’m pretty much addicted to a good declutter session, as it works on so many levels to simplify things: –
- You know what you have so you buy less
- You have less to clean and maintain
- You’re more content with your home because it’s not such a mess
- You often find that you do have enough storage, and a big enough home as well…
#2 – Declutter Your TO DO list
Often people just think of decluttering as getting rid of “stuff” – but it’s so much more than that….
Your TO DO list can be a place that is so overwhelming you may have stopped even looking at it anymore. It feels out of control and never gets any smaller.
If you can declutter this – imagine how much more effective a tool it would be to make life easier?
So – grab your TO DO list and really take a look at what’s on there.
There are bound to be a few things that you can get rid of straight away, because they are out of date, or have already been done.
Then start to take back control over the rest…
For some great tips, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this so you can tackle that unending list (finally!).
#3 – Tackle those little Annoyances
By this I mean all those things that you take time to do each and every day that you really shouldn’t have to.
They may be a little thing that’s slightly broken that you have to work around, unorganised spaces that mean you spend too long finding things, never being able to find your keys because you haven’t got a designated space for them…
Whatever they may be, you may be surprised at how much time and energy they are taking from you each day.
Just spend half a day fixing each one, and you’ll reap the rewards over and over again.
#4 – Create a Uniform For Yourself
Let’s face it – we all have to get dressed every day, and I have no doubt that the majority of us have quite a few clothes to choose from.
If you have a lot of clothes, you end up having a lot of choice – which can be a bad thing when you’re trying to simplify things.
Think about a time when you had a uniform to wear each day – maybe at school or in a specific job.
How nice was it not to have to think about what you were wearing?! – It made it easier, didn’t it?
Well – I’m proposing to have that same feeling for your wardrobe right now.
By having a UNIFORM – I really mean that you have a set style of clothes you wear for a usual day. For me, it’s jeans, a nice jumper, long boots and a chunky long necklace.
I know each day that these are the items I am going to wear, and I therefore have a set of each that I can quickly go to and grab which I want to wear.
Adding this to your morning routine makes everyday life so much more simple than having to think about it every time.
#5 – Use the 2 Minute Rule
Do you leave things until the weekend to get done in one go? Or until the evening?
What if you could simplify that workload, and take a lot of pressure off – would that work for you?
Well, I want to introduce you to the 2 minute rule as it may well change your life!
The basic idea is that if a task takes 2 minutes to do – GET IT DONE THERE AND THEN.
You don’t have so much building up for another time, and you really do barely notice that you’re getting things done as you go. It’s an amazing way to make things easier – so give it a try…
#6 – Add Extra Time To Your Diary For Appointments
We’ve all been there – overbooking each and every day and running around like a headless chicken.
This doesn’t make for an easier life….
My little trick for changing all that is to block out time for each appointment/meeting in your diary – but also to block out time for travel there and back, AND prep time.
You’ll be amazed at what a difference this makes to your life, as you’ll feel less rushed.
The other bonus is that you can actually start to see ways to group appointments so you are spending less time travelling to and fro, and you can prep for things in one go as well (such as wrapping all presents and writing all cards that need posting that week in one sitting).
#7 – Say ‘NO’ More
I have no doubt that you are doing things at the moment that you don’t have time for, or have agreed to because you feel you should rather than because you really want to.
This is a hard one (I find it almost impossible), but if you can learn to say NO to these sorts of things – even just a little more often – then you will make your life more simple and leave more time for what you really DO want to be doing.
#8 – Create A Meal Plan
Meal planning is seen by many as less than glamorous – but it really does simplify life at home more than anything else.
Think how much time you spend looking in the cupboards trying to get inspiration for tea, or dashing to the shops because you need something specific.
It’s also tiring – creating what’s known as ‘decision fatigue’ every day when you have to think about it all the time.
If you create a simple meal plan for a week then you can shop in one go, use less food, think less each day about what to cook, and generally have more space in your head for the important stuff.
Here’s my meal planning post that I would start with if you’re new to meal planning, and if you’re a dab hand at it already my tip for you would be to have 4 weekly meal plans that you can rotate, which means you won’t get bored of the same meals ever.
#9 – Automate Bill Paying
Nothing simplifies better than taking it away from your workload completely!
Can you set up automatic bill paying / direct debits for anything?
Just swapping to this can save so much time and make your life easier.
#10 – Create Routines For The Housework
Having routines for all those jobs you do daily/weekly etc… can be such a life saver when it comes to making life easier.
If you know when you need to do things, you don’t need to think about them constantly.
#11 – Have 1 Diary For Everything
You are only one person, so it makes sense to have one central place to organise your life from.
Don’t fall in the trap of having a work diary and a personal diary, or a family diary and a personal diary – you’ll complicate things too much.
I always use my diary to track everything related specifically to my life and my time – and it works a treat!
#12 – Have 1 Place At Home For All Information
All the paperwork in your home can make things more difficult when it comes to knowing what’s going on and where to find everything – so set up a paperwork area somewhere and have everything there.
Use it for inboxes for everyone in the house, filing, your Home file, where you keep your diary etc….
I set mine up in our kitchen a few years ago and it works a treat. Also, on the wall close by we’ve got a monthly calendar for one off things, and my daughters weekly schedule so she (or anyone who’s looking after her) can see what she needs each day.
#13 – Buy Presents and Cards In Bulk
I’ve got a LOT of people that I want to send birthday cards to, and some of those have presents as well.
Then there’s Easter, Anniversaries, Christmas etc…
It makes no sense to keep going to the shops to get each card/present when I need it – so I bulk buy when I’m already out and this works like a dream.
I have a list of the whole year’s dates, and I always try and stay 2-3 months ahead.
It means I can grab all cards in one go when I am already in the card shop, I pretty much never have to rush out and waste time on extra errands. AND I can then have time to get the perfect present and make good of sales so that the recipient actually gets a little more for my budget.
#14 – Don’t Try And Change More Than 1 Thing At A Time
Over the last couple of months I got overwhelmed. BIG TIME.
I tried to do too much in terms of work, I wanted to change my fitness routine and eating habits, AND spend more time with the family.
But I found myself getting more and more stressed, and ended up doing less of each thing rather than more.
Basically – I suffered burnout.
I’d tried to change too much in one go and my brain wasn’t coping with all the new thinking.
As such, I will only change one thing at a time going forward as that really will make things more simple. I can concentrate on that and make that a habit, then move on to the next thing.
I’d definitely recommend this new way of thinking and learn from me if you’re trying my old way!
#15 – Update Your Diary Weekly And Check It Daily
We’ve talked about having one diary for everything, and the next step to making your diary truly work for you is to put everything you need to do/remember etc… in it.
If you get into the habits of updating your diary each time something needs adding, making sure each week that you’ve checked what’s coming up as an overview, and then checking it each evening for the following day, you’ll learn to trust it and it becomes a simple way to make life SO much easier….
#16 – Have Home Meetings At Least Once A Month
I am a huge fan of having home meetings – basically a fancy name for getting everyone in the house to sit together and chat through how things are going.
It helps to ensure that everyone’s on the same page, there are no problems with schedules, everyone knows what’s coming up over the next few weeks – and there are no surprises.
I would highly recommend adding one to your weekly or monthly schedule asap!
Need help with getting started? – I have a Home Meetings printable in my Friends & Family planner (part of the Home File)}
#17 – Ask Friends For Help
It makes no sense at all for everyone to be doing the same school run each day, or taking kids separately to after school classes etc…
Start looking at sharing lifts with other parents, and you may end up being able to halve the time you spend as the kids taxi service!
#18 – Unsubscribe
Whether it be too many emails, too much mail through your door, endless catalogues or sales calls – our lives are FULL of information that people want us to look at.
It can be overwhelming to say the least – and it can take ages just to sort things so you can see what you actually need from it all.
As such – spend a few minutes each day unsubscribing from things you really don’t need anymore.
Over time you’ll reduce that information overload, and make your life easier…
#19 – Avoid Drama
Whether it be friends, family, colleagues – you don’t need to get involved in any dramas as these can really sap your energy and make you feel bad.
Even just having all that extra noise in your head each day can be enough to make life harder than it needs to be…
#20 – Set Priorities And Live Accordingly
This took me a LONG time to do, because ironically I didn’t think it was a priority!
If you can set your priorities in life and keep them front of your mind at all times, you’ll be able to make decision on how you spend your time and what you do with it much better.
Life really is more simple when you take away what really doesn’t matter…
#21 – Only Buy What You Truly Need
This is the next stage to do after you’ve decluttered.
If you’ve spent all that time sorting out what you don’t need anymore, then it stands to reason that you don’t want to let things build up again.
Simplify things by creating a good spending habit or two.
Create a 1 in 1 out policy, or start using the 2 weeks buying rule (where you take note of what you want to buy, but leave it 2 weeks to ensure you really want it) for bigger purchases – and you’ll find that you bring less stuff into the house naturally.
That means less to buy, less to clean, less to maintain – so it makes sense you’ve simplified life by buying less!
#22 – Tackle Your Weekly Schedule To Make It Work For You
My week is pretty weird to say the least.
Yes, I work about 35 hours, I sleep 7-8 hours a night, I get to the gym or do exercise 4-5 times a week, I keep on top of the housework, and I am there for my daughter.
So far, so normal!
But what if I said that I do a lot of those working hours after 8pm?
What if I said I don’t go to the gym in the evening after work, because my hubby works away so I end up there at midday a lot instead…?
What I’m trying to say is that my schedule is unusual, but it works perfectly for me and my family. We have learnt to adapt to make the week fit in the stuff it needs to – NO MATTER WHAT TIME OR DAY THAT NEEDS TO BE.
As soon as I allowed myself to change things around, I made my life easier. I created a life that works for me and means I can kind of do everything I want to – while still getting the other stuff done as well.
I don’t resent being stuck at home, or having to work 9-5 every week day, and I know that I actually work best at night – and that’s amazing!
Why not take a look at your own week, and see if it makes sense to swap things around a little?
#23 – Make Saving Money A Priority
Saving money really does make life more simple because you end up being able to have choices, and you’ll be more savvy with what you do spend.
You can save for specific things (holiday, starting a business etc…), or even save a little to allow you to get help around the house once a month etc…
Whatever you use your saved money on – make it count!
#24 – Go Paperless Where Possible
This is one area that I haven’t fully tackled as yet, but I can see so much savings on my time if I do.
There’s FAR too much paperwork in most of our homes – so having less sounds good, doesn’t it!
Why not sign up to paperless statements from your bank?, you can even save a little on some bills if you opt for statements online instead (for example – at time of writing I know that Virgin charge £1.75 for a paper statement now to try and get people to stop having them).
#25 – Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive
Do you find yourself agreeing to go to places only to find that you have to rearrange half your diary to make it all work?
What a headache!
If you can be more proactive then you can simplify life really quickly.
Think about planning ahead as much as possible, and making those plans work for you as well as possible. What about visiting several people in one area in the same weekend so you save travelling several times?, or have a party for a group of friends if you’re struggling to find time to see them all separately.
Taking charge really makes a difference!
#26 – Appreciate What You Have
If you’re not happy in your life, then you’re always going to be looking for the next thing to do, the next thing to buy, the next goal to achieve – and that can be exhausting to say the least.
If you are always feeling you need more, it makes life more complicated as you never stop and see what you’ve already achieved.
Take a step back and learn to acknowledge what you’ve already got. You may be surprised at how much more satisfied you are with your life, and things will naturally simplify as a result.
#27 – Tidy As You Go
Around the house – leave a room and scan it to see if you can take anything with you. This saves a big tidy at the end of the week which is always more of a struggle (not to mention having to look at the mess building up…).
Simple, but effective.
#28 – Organise Your Home For How You Live
Don’t worry about what the norm is in terms of home layout, or where things are put. Look at your home and your life, and set out your home so that it really supports you.
This post will help you start to layout your home in the right way for you – hope it helps!.
#29 – Stop Spending Time On Things That Don’t Matter
Wasting time through habit by watching TV, using Facebook etc… means that you automatically have less time to get the important stuff done.
Be realistic about what time you have, and use it well. If you do this, you’ll rush around less because you’ll have more time to do it in!
#30 – Create ‘GO’ Bags For Activities You Do
When you have to go somewhere, you usually have to pack a few things to get ready.
This may be as simple as checking your handbag is good to go, or as complicated as packing for a long holiday – but it could be for any part of life really.
You can really simplify life by getting these bags packed ready to go – so you don’t have to think as much each time.
For example –
- Have a gym bag ready to go with toiletries, towel, kit etc… – even keep it in your car.
- Have a bag ready with kids activities and snacks so you can leave that bit quicker.
- Have an emergency pack in the car in case you breakdown or are caught out etc…
You could also have a list in each bag so you can simply see that you’ve got what you need without having to spend time and energy thinking it all through (I do this for holidays now and it makes things SO much easier!)
#31 – Get Everyone At Home Helping Out
Whether they’re willing or not, the fact is that if you are doing everything around the house – you should share the load a little more.
After all – everyone lives in the house, so everyone should help clean/cook etc…
Children need to learn these skills for adult life – so you are helping them, and you can work out with your partner a fair split (depending of course on what you both do in terms of work).
It’s amazing the difference some delegation can make to life! ;o)
Out of all these ways to simplify life – the main takeaway is that you need to enable yourself to make less decisions.
If you can set schedules, create good habits, and understand what will help you most – then you really will make your life easier, and that sounds good to me!
None of the list above are that complicated to do – so pick one and give it a try, see what works for you and what a difference it can make.
By this time next year – life will be more streamlined.
P.S. Are you ready now to create some new habits to go along with simplifying life? After all, they go hand in hand! – click here to see my top 52 (1 for each week of the year).