Many of us have goals that revolve around making our lives a little simpler and easier to manage both around the house and everyday tasks. Our schedule and our family time in this day and age are things that can get complicated easily.
So how do we go about making things simpler? Well, there are definitely many ways to go about this and there is not a one size fits all formula. However, I have seen this path that certainly helps along the way. Let’s go over those steps today.
Step 1: A Positive Mindset
First and foremost, we need to work on our mindset. Many people skip this when it comes to decluttering and simplifying and I really don’t see it talked about a whole lot, but this can really make all the difference in you being able to accomplish what you set out to do.
The first thing I wanted to mention around mindset is to have realistic expectations. If your goal is for your house to go from a total mess to Pinterest perfect overnight, it is probably not going to happen. And even if you do get it perfect, if you have kids, it’s not going to last that long.
So come up with a realistic expectation of what you want your home and your life to look like in this season. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you can’t pile on ridiculous expectations of yourself because we only have 24 hours in the day and pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion and overwhelm is not going to help anybody.
And that brings me to the next mindset area of positivity. So it’s easy to look at all of the things wrong with our house and our life. But keeping a positive mindset is going to help you make more changes than a negative one. You can focus on the positive and still have goals to better your situation.
You can work on cultivating a positive mindset through personal growth, the books, spiritual resources, mantras or meditation.
And finally, practicing gratitude is a great way to have a positive mindset. Gratitude deserves its own mention in of itself because having an attitude of gratitude can really change your whole perspective.
When your focus is on what you do have and are thankful for it, it helps squash that negativity and helps you move forward with a more positive mindset.
Step 2: Time Management and Planning
All right, the next step on our path to simplicity is managing our time and planning our days. Now there are many ways to do this and I could talk about this topic for hours, but for today I want to mention three important things.
The first one is time blocking, which is really just a list schedule of telling your time where to go and what you’re going to work on during that time frame.
Next is batching and this is just doing those same tasks all at once, like sitting down to get all of the bills paid or take care of financial matters. Or maybe it’s a meal prep day where you can get a whole bunch of cooking done at once. There are many ways to batch tasks, but it is a strategy that can save you a lot of time in the long run.
And finally, find a good planner. I love having both a paper planner and some digital tools that I use along with it. There are lots of options out there, but just it takes some trial and error, but you will eventually find what works best for you.
Step 3: Declutter
Next up is decluttering. Now that you’ve got that positive mindset and you know how to manage your time well, it’s time to take action on the decluttering portion of simplifying. Let’s talk about three important areas to declutter.
First of all, is our home and it may be a big job or it may be a small job for you depending on how much stuff you have. But just break it down into those small tasks and once you start making that progress it will be a lot easier to keep going.
Another thing about decluttering I wanted to mention goes back to our mindset discussion because having the mindset of “Do I really need this stuff?” And as you go through your days you will start finding things that you can let go of next.
Let’s also talk about some digital decluttering because we have such a digital world these days that also gets cluttered. So look at your apps, your programs, your files, your email subscriptions and figure out what you need to declutter there as well.
Finally, even though it goes along with our home discussion, I wanted to mention decluttering paper because a paper can easily get out of hand – and I know this from experience. So it’s always good to first to go through and save out all of those important papers that you need to store in a fireproof box or safety deposit box and from there sort, purge and organize your paperwork.
Step 4: Organize
And that brings me to step number four, which is organize and the main thing I wanted to mention here is a lot of organization has to do with everything having a home.
So once you’ve got that covered, it will go a lot faster when you can give everything a home.
Step 5: Focus & Goals
Lastly is focus and working towards our goals because even if our life is a lot simpler, we can still have goals, even big goals. In fact, having a simpler life will give us more room to work on those goals. In order to do that, we need focus and have a good system for breaking down the goals into manageable tasks.
So there are some great books on focus like Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt. The One Thing by Gary Keller and Essentialism by Greg McKeown, just to name a few and I highly recommend looking at those books.
And then for breaking down at your goals, I like to use a digital system like Asana or Trello.
To recap, a path to simplifying your life includes cultivating a positive mindset, managing your time and planning your days, decluttering your home and life, organizing and giving everything a designated place and finally getting focused and working towards your goals.
Now, there are many ways to go about simplifying, but this is the path that I have found helpful in my own simplifying journey.
If you would like to follow this path with me, be sure to check out my brand new Simple Living Society membership where we will be going through all of these together to simplify our homes and our lives.