It seems that during the holidays and the beginning of a new year, everyone takes time to be with the people they care about, and to rest. Yet near the end of January, life already seems like a whirlwind of busyness. Let’s do ourselves, our families, and anyone else we come in contact with a favor by spending just a bit of time working to simply our lives. We were created for far more than surviving in the chaos of our schedules, tasks, and homes. We were meant to thrive. Discipline in this brings so much freedom.
- Identify what is important to you. Work to eliminate everything else.
- Physical clutter = Mental clutter.
Reducing stress and mess around you can give way to a simpler and happier you. Your spaces can be transformed from annoyances to havens.
Most tasks that can help achieve this can be done in 20 minutes or less. Try one (or a few!) today.
- Slow down. Not everything has to be done today, at this very moment. Sit down and spend time making some goals, and writing down what makes you happy. Let it be just a few things, no more than 2-3 goals. Work toward those things.
- Walk your home with a trash bag (or three!). Be ruthless. Papers. Receipts. Tags. Empty boxes. This is not a donate bag. This is a throw-it-away-immediately bag.
- Unsubscribe to advertisements, email newsletters, and blogs that fill up your in box and you don’t truly intend on reading. If it causes you stress because there are one too many emails that have little value in your inbox, but are bogging it down- get rid of them. There are some great services who will do this for you, some that will even consolidate them into one email.
- Set a reoccurring alarm for every weekday. Give yourself time to meet the morning without being rushed. Workout. Take a walk. Get ready for the day. Quietly read with a cup of coffee. Maybe even start a load of laundry. If you’re letting your kids wake you up, set the clock for one hour earlier. This will give you a fresh start and a leg up on the day’s “to-dos”.
- Put your phone number on the Do Not Call list. Call 1-888-382-1222.
- Clean up your phone. How many times a day do you look at your phone? Make that lock screen something that brings you joy, and change your wallpaper to something simple. Delete old contacts and unused apps. Move less frequently used apps and “timesuckers” to the back. This may take awhile, but it will save you time and energy going forward.
- Clean out your fridge. Check expiration dates and throw things away. Wipe down the shelves. Now you are ready for all those delicious and fresh foods from the store.
- Quit something. Just say no. Quit that things you’re involved in, but don’t love. Quit something that’s keeping you from joy and simplicity.
- Restock the bathroom. Soap. Toothpaste. Cotton balls. Shampoo. If you don’t have extras, make a list. Set yourself up for calmer days. (Because nothing brings PANIC like running completely out of toilet paper!)
- Meal plan. Unhealthy eating and chaotic dinners typically happen due to a lack of planning. Make a list of meals you’d like to make this week. Then do it for another week. Go to the store with confidence and a list. This will keep you from disordered eating and reduce a bit of stress.
- Clear your bedside table. You should have a lamp and an alarm clock. Now find two other things that make you happy (Bible? Photo? Photo?). While you’re at it move your phone charger to the bathroom or kitchen. Not having instant access before bed or first thing in the morning can facilitate a clear mind to rest well, and an open heart each morning. Emails and FaceBook can wait.
This is a great starting place! Check back for Simplify [Part 2].
You can do it. Take control. Simplify.