Life can get so cluttered without you even realizing that it’s happening. Here are habits that will help you to simplify your life and get rid of the clutter for good.
Habits That Will Help You Simplify Your Life
If you are on a journey to simplify your life, it’s important to look at the habits you have that are helping or hurting your goals. In order to live more simply, you’ll need new habits that will help you to simply your life.
The idea of starting a new habit can seem intimidating or challenging. It doesn’t have to be though. Simple small changes in habits can lead to big results. Habits can be simple when we don’t overcomplicate it.
1. Clarify your purposes and priorities
One of the important habits that will help you to simplify your life is clarifying your purposes and priorities. When you are very clear on what you do and don’t want in your life, it is easier to simplify.
Write down your simplifying goals. Create a habit of reviewing them. You’ll find that the yes’s and no’s become easier and more clear once you’ve solidified those goals.
2. Wait to say yes to commitments
You’ve written down your goals and have created the habit of reviewing them. Next is creating a habit of waiting to say yes to commitments.
For some people this will come easily. For others, particularly people pleasers who’ve had a habit of saying yes, it will be more challenging.
Your schedule and life can quickly get cluttered and overwhelming when you quickly agree to things. When you’re asked to do something, give yourself time to think before responding.
You may need to reassess your current commitments as well as read those goals again. Your life should align with your priorities. Start saying no to reclaim your life.
3. Practice daily decluttering
One of the habits that will help you simplify your life is decluttering. There are certain areas in the home that attract clutter. Take a little time each day to declutter them.
Start with the easy high impact areas that can be decluttered quickly. Make a habit of decluttering the high traffic areas each day.
When your home is simplified, your life is simplified. You’ll be more easily able to find items and can use your space as it was intended. There are many benefits of having a decluttered home.
4. Take time to decide on purchases
One of the habits that will help you simplify your life the most is waiting to buy things.
Advertisers and marketers are great at making you want to purchase things right away. They use scarcity tactics to try and prevent you from thinking it through.
As you become more intentional with shopping you’ll not only end up with less clutter in your home, but you’ll save more money. It’s amazing how just some time and distance from sales tactics will help you to think more clearly.
Look back at your goals again and make sure what you want to purchase would fit with it.
5. Create boundaries with technology
In the journey to simplify, it’s essential to look at technology use. For many people devices become addictive and lots of time is wasted using them.
On average people are spending 8 hours and 41 minutes per day on media devices, which is more time than they spend sleeping! That amount of media usage doesn’t help simplify anyone’s life.
Consuming too much media lends itself to creating mental clutter. If you want a simpler life, look at your usage. Create boundaries with how much you use it as well as when.
Consider making family meal times tech-free. If you have kids and are working on their usage, modeling healthy phone use yourself is helpful.
6. Evaluate relationships
While it may initially seem harsh or unkind to evaluate relationships, it really is a way to think through your emotional health and the factors that contribute to it.
Some people have a tendency to hang onto unhealthy relationships for far too long. They hope the person will change or blame themselves for beating treated poorly.
Simplifying your life isn’t about just the excess stuff. It’s also about who is in your life. Mostly you get to choose who these people are or at least how much access they have to you.
Emotional clutter is often tied to relational clutter. These can be tough things to work through where additional support and therapy can be really beneficial.
7. Create routines that you stick to
When you lack routines, the house feels more chaotic. Routines are a way to systematize things that need to be done.
Once the routines are regular they become habits. When it’s a habit, your mind doesn’t have to work so hard to think about it. It does it by memory.
Having routines is one of the habits that will help you simplify your life because it frees up your mind to focus on other things. You aren’t trying to constantly organize your time and the people in your home.
If you need help creating routines I wrote a 2 part post on how to simply schedule your life. I also created the Simply Scheduled workbook to walk you through it.
8. Stop multitasking
It’s tempting to think that you can get more done by balancing multiple tasks at once. The problem is, multitasking doesn’t work.
Splitting your attention leads to poor results. You aren’t as productive and the quality of the work isn’t as good.
To simplify your life, create a habit of focusing on one task at a time. You’ll be able to think more clearly and you’ll do a better job on the task at hand.
9. Declutter your wardrobe
Decluttering your wardrobe is one of the habits that will help you simplify your life. When you go to your closet and it’s packed full of clothing, it’s hard to find anything.
You get to a point where you don’t remember what all you own. Often when the closet is full, it has items that are no longer worn. A study showed that only 20% of clothes in a closet are worn regularly.
It’s also deflating and frustrating to have to sift through clothes that no longer fit or aren’t in great condition anymore. You can create your own confidence-inspiring wardrobe by decluttering what you no longer use and love. It will simplify your mornings.
10. Reduce your wants
In a world that is often focused on consumerism, the idea of reducing your wants may not sound so easy.
How do you reduce your wants? You focus on what you are grateful for instead. Make a habit of choosing to be grateful every day.
Studies have found that people who are more grateful are happier. It doesn’t take having a lot to be grateful. It’s a choice of focus.
There are so many benefits of gratitude and ways to practice it in your life. When it becomes your focus, your wants will be reduced too.
11. Adjust your expectations
One thing that may not work with living simply is your own expectations. You can’t embrace a simple way of living and maintain a crazy busy schedule at the same time.
Your own expectations for how you will use your resources may change. You may want to reconsider how living more simply works for things like birthdays and Christmas.
Sometimes it isn’t just your own expectations that need to change, but also those of other people in your life. Have open conversations with friends and family letting them know how your life has changed and what that means for celebrations and holidays.
Adjusting your expectations is one of the habits that will help you simplify your life because it allows you to re-calibrate for your new goals.
12. Unsubscribe and unfollow
In a journey to simplify life, you may gain a greater awareness of the messages put in front of you. You start to notice advertising more as well as things that conflict with the life you are working toward.
I found myself unfollowing Facebook pages that didn’t align with living more simply. It was also important to me to follow the pages that did encourage and inspire simple living.
The messages that you read impact you, so it’s important to control who you follow and subscribe to. Declutter your inbox and unsubscribe from senders that tempt you to buy things that don’t fit with your simple living goals.
13. Schedule time to slow down
A key part of living simply is slowing down and having more balance in your life in a world that tends to be fast-paced. As you work to live more simply, create a habit of rest.
Take time to slow down. There are lots of great ways to do that. Choose what works best for your and incorporate it into your daily routine.
Embrace self-care into your life so that you are taking good care of your body, mind, and soul. Simple living allows you the time and space to create a healthier balance.
14. Become a master planner
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy!” -Brian Tracy
The more that you plan ahead, the more you free up space in your schedule and mind to live your life. As you think through the next day in advance it will give you fewer things to worry about as you get ready.
As you prepare for a trip or vacation, the more that you’ve planned in advance the more you’ll be able to actually relax while you’re there.
The same is true for meal planning. When you take the time to plan the meals and your grocery list in advance, the less stress you’ll feel on a daily basis when it comes time for dinner.
You’ll feel like you get more time back and stress less as you plan more and further simplify your life.
15. Say yes to less
Deciding to live more simply is counter-cultural. Choosing to live simply when others are focused on consuming does mean you’re going against the grain.
When you decide to live with less stuff and be less busy it may not be easy for everyone in your life to understand immediately. It takes time and a continual commitment. It’s a process and a journey where you get to decide what amount is right for you.
As you make decisions that go along with living more simply you’ll find you also end up with more. You’ll have more money, more time, and more balance in your life.
If you have kids, you’re also setting an example for them for what matters most in life. You may feel that you’re swimming upstream at times, but the benefits are worth it.
If your goal is to live more simply, these habits that will help you simplify your life.
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Thank you for these useful tips. I love ideas 5, 6, and 7. I need to work on idea #8. Sometimes I feel like a squirrel running around trying to do too many things.
Great article! I would add that we need to declutter our digital world as well as our physical.
Excellent point. I have a different post on that topic: https://www.thesimplicityhabit.com/how-to-get-rid-of-digital-clutter-and-save-time/