How does your life feel at this moment? Is your life as you had hoped for or is it too complicated, messy, and full of drama? If it is anything less than what you hoped for and this busy world makes you feel drained and chaotic, then you need to simplify your life.
My life was complicated and full of drama at one point in time. It is the reason I had to drop out of college, but this phase was what helped me come back to my senses and made me realize that things had to change.
When I came back home depressed after being a dropout that is when I decided I had to take control of my life and simplify my life.
Fast forward till now and so much has changed. I have achieved my goals, still continue to work on achieving new goals and I am more at peace with myself.
There is no drama and no useless things revolving around my life anymore. If you want to know more, here are 27 years of my life so far (my first blog post).
50+ ideas to simplify your life
Table of Contents
Simple living in its essence is simply to clear out the unessential and add the essential.
Simple living is a way of life and there are endless ways to start simplifying life.
So here I present to you this manual for simple living, which if you really apply even in tiny bits one by one you will be rewarded with more peace, calm, satisfaction and get to experience true simplicity in your life.
1. Be intentional with your life
Our life is complicated because we are too unaware, too unconscious about how we are leading our lives.
In order to simplify your life, you need to be intentional.
Evaluate your life and see what kind of life you envision, what kind of self you envision yourself become and work on that. Every change first starts with an intention to change. Without intention, absolutely nothing is possible.
2. Set goals for yourself
Life becomes complex and full of drama because we let meaningless things take our focus and space in our heads. To simplify your life, be clear on what you want to achieve in life and set clear goals.
A life without goals is meaningless and you will end up focusing on things that are truly not worth your energy. So set goals because you believe in yourself and in your potential.
3. Cut down on your goals
Once you are clear on your goals, I suggest you cut down on your goals and keep only one or at most three. This will allow you to narrow your focus and downsize your life.
If you are determined to achieve your goals, first make sure you set goals the right way. Don’t make these 5 common goal-setting mistakes.
4. Declutter your spaces and rooms occasionally
I remember when I felt ‘enough is enough, now I’m going to change’, and the first thing I did the next day was clean my room which had been in a mess for so long!
It took me one whole day. I decluttered so many things in my room that when it was done, my cheeks were red with sweat with all the work but my room so felt spacious and light.
And not only that, my head and heart both felt light and I actually felt, “yes, now I’m ready for a change!” Decluttering is the essence of simple living. Declutter everything you don’t need.
5. Cultivate one good habit at a time
The more good habits you cultivate, the simpler your life becomes. My life became simpler when I cultivated the habit of waking up early, reading, writing, exercise, and prayer. These are my 5 main pillar habits.
Here is a guide on how to form new habits that stick
6. Create a simple daily schedule
Creating a daily schedule gives you a structure to your day and brings stability in an otherwise messy and directionless day. Here is a guide on how to create a simple daily routine that sticks.
7. Quit staying up late
Once I eliminated this toxic habit of staying up till late at night using my phone it greatly helped me on my path to a simpler life. I now sleep latest by 10:30 pm and I have become a morning person. Becoming a morning person has by far given me the greatest positive impact on my life and has made my life simple.
8. Create a morning routine
To simplify your life, first, create a morning routine for yourself and include at least 3 habits from these 5 sacred ingredients for a powerful morning routine. Creating a morning routine helps you start your day on a positive note and helps you to simplify your life.
I am not exaggerating at all. Here is my morning routine before 8 am.
9. Eat lunch, breakfast and dinner on time
Little habits of ours are all culprits for complicating our lives. One such habit is not eating our food on time. Even just deciding and eating lunch, breakfast, and dinner on time can simplify your life. Here are some meal plans you might love.
Reading helps you to see life beyond the current confines of your own lives and learn the perspectives of great people. I love reading autobiographies. Some of which I loved were the Diary of a Young girl, I am Malala, Story of my life by Hellen Keller, Long walk to freedom by Nelson Mandela, Born a Crime and Man’s search for meaning.
11.Cultivate a journaling habit
Journaling allows self-reflection and self-discovery, both of which are essential to lead an intentional life. Here are 5 powerful benefits I gained from journaling.
12.Learn to do whole tasks
The reason why our days feel cluttered and our minds feel burdened is because we keep on switching from one task to the next.
Give each thing its due time and avoid multi-tasking. Focus on one whole task, whether it is a simple task of eating, washing the dishes, sending emails, clearing your closet, or anything. Do one thing at a time
Pray for strength, pray for courage, pray for clarity to transform your life. What you pray for, you become. Send out your intentions to the Universe and believe that they will be true. Read more- how to pray and why I pray every day.
Exercise is not just for the body, but also for the mind. Exercise really uplifts our mood and allows us to be focused. When we exercise, all thoughts go away and it is one habit that has the ability to simplify life too.
15. Have a notebook to organise your life
Do you spend half of your time searching for something, trying to remember lost passwords when you need or are unclear about your goals, the things you got to do and so you end up procrastinating them again and again?
You say you don’t won’t forget it next time, but you do. That is why it is essential to have a notebook to organize your life. It greatly saves time, energy and simplifies your life.
16. Do your everyday things slowly
Stop the rush, the constant urge to do something. Allow yourself to get bored sometimes or just do your everyday things slowly. Learn to slow down by taking your time as you walk, as you eat, as you drive, or any mundane task. Take your sweet time and see how you cultivate patience.
17. Be aware of your old patterns
It’s not easy to change yourself and build good habits and simplify your life. Whenever you try to bring your life a new direction, the past, your old habit patterns will definitely come up and try to hinder you, but instead of being discouraged, simply just notice them and see how it tries to put excuses, aversion or craving in you. Do not judge, but simply be aware of them.
18. Go for a 10 day vipassana retreat
Vipassana is an ancient meditation technique taught by the Buddha. Vipassana simply means to see things as they are and it is a mental purification process. Vipassana centers as taught by S.N Goenka can be found all around the world.
I have gone two times and the experience has been life-changing when it comes to knowing our minds and our thought patterns. If you can, I strongly suggest experiencing it at least once in a lifetime.
19. Make bed first thing
Once you wake up in the morning, don’t keep lingering and laying in your bed scrolling your phone. Make your bed right away and keep your bedroom tidy. Here are more 9 things you must never do in the morning
20. Come back to the present moment
Whenever tension and anxiety creep up to complicate your life, simply come back to the present moment. What are you doing at this present moment? Sitting down? Washing clothes? Eating food? Focus on what you are doing and feeling in the present moment and come back to it.
You will see the source of your complications is actually only your thoughts about the past or future. In the present moment, in whatever it is that you’re doing, is there anything wrong? You will find that the answer is actually a no. So simply come back to the present moment
21. Take breaks in between tasks
Don’t crap up yourself with one task after another. Take breaks between your tasks. Complete one whole task. Do it fully whatever it may be and before you move on to another, take small breaks and slow down.
22. Be intentional with what you consume
In this digital age, the number one cause that burdens our mind is our mindless consumption of social media.
In order to simplify your life be intentional with what kind of things you see in your day-to-day life, how much you consume, and be aware of how it affects your mood.
Consumption is okay as long as it is limited, mindful, and intentional.
23. Create something
To be on the path to simplicity, be a creator instead of a consumer. You don’t have to create anything grand but just create something.
You don’t have to turn it into a money-making endeavor. You can just create something because you love it or want to learn how to do it. Become a creator more than a consumer. You were born for that.
24. Allow yourself to be a beginner
Being impatient makes you aggressive and brings chaos and complexity. You become hard on yourself and you don’t give yourself enough time and credit to learn something.
Start something new, learn something new. Anything which you feel compelled to do deep within your heart and then, allow yourself to be a beginner.
25. Do things to keep your inner child alive
What are the things that keep your inner child alive? For me it is painting, writing, playing with my boyfriend and I love it. They keep my heart active and healthy and spending time with them greatly simplifies my life.
26. Simplify your relationship with social media
Simplify your relationship with social media by being intentional with who you follow, what you follow, and how much time you spend on it. Limit your social media consumption and don’t use social media first thing in the morning. Here are some ways you can build a healthy relationship with social media.
27. Simplify your finance
Life will always feel messy with never-ending debt and unmanaged finances. Simplify your finances by being clear and noting down each amount of debt you have due and make a plan on how you want to clear them. Automate your savings and recurring expenses and keep 20% of your income for fun expenses.
28. Simplify your closet
Sort out your closet and keep only what fits you and what you’re absolutely going to wear. Here are some great ways to simplify your closet
29. Go for walks
Go for walks for at least 30 minutes a day. I love walking and it is my best way to gain clarity and feel at peace.
30. Learn to say no
We add unnecessary complexity when we end up saying yes to the things we want to say no. If you want to simplify your life, learn to say no more often. There is no need to feel guilty. Here is what you gain and what you lose when you learn to say no.
31. Stop complaining
Complaining drains your energy without you even knowing it. For some of us, it has become a habit. Start noticing how much you complain unconsciously.
Ask yourself, ‘Was it really necessary to complain?, ‘Can I change anything about it?’ Notice your self-talk and take a challenge to not complain for a week. Be aware of yourself but don’t feel discouraged.
32. Organise your phone and laptop
Keep separate folders on your phone and laptop. Organize it occasionally. Delete all your unnecessary screenshots, unnecessary photos, and files.
33. Be thankful to be mindful
Simplicity begins with mindfulness. When you are mindful about what you are doing, you clean out the mess and focus on one thing. The easiest way to be mindful is to be thankful. Here is a post on why thankfulness is mindfulness.
34. Take rest without guilt
When you are working, work and when you are resting, rest. If you’re tired and you want to rest, rest. Take a rest in between your bigger tasks and savor them fully. Rest without any guilt. This will help you to recharge and give more enthusiasm to your work.
35. Don’t force connections
How simple our life greatly depends on the kind of relationship we have. Stop forcing connections that don’t feel true from the heart. Be yourself and those relationships which don’t align with your heart will fall off naturally and there’s no need to feel sad.
36. Sit in silence
Bring in silence at least once a day. Noise complicates, silence simplifies. Simply stay with yourself, close your eyes and sit in silence. Notice your breath, your thoughts, and don’t try to manipulate anything. Only watch and keep watching without judgment. Envision yourself, your future, and be thankful. In true silence, we connect with our true selves.
37. Listen to your intuition
Our intuition is our superpower and we all have this superpower. But for this power to be active, we need to make space for silence, be true to ourselves, and truly listen to our hearts.
Start listening to your silent inner voice. It always draws you towards simplicity. Our life becomes complicated because we stop listening to it.
38. Have a sacred space
Create a space that is neat and tidy where you can spend most of your time. This can be a small corner in your room, your desk, or anything. Keep this space uncluttered at all times. Let yourself return to this space and feel calm.
39. Spend more time with loved ones
Increase the time you spend with your loved ones or if you can’t, for the time you are with them, just be with them. Keep away from your phone and just be with them, listen to them, and talk with them. The ones who have a simple life are always the ones who give priority to their loved ones.
40. Be intentional with who you follow on social media
If watching someone’s life on social media makes you feel less about yourself, then unfollow them. Given that we’re mostly on social media, make an effort to follow people who add inspiration and knowledge. I love Yung Pueblo, Sister Cody, Kayla Itsines, Cup of Jo, and many others on Instagram.
41. Delete shopping apps
Delete those shopping apps that make you scroll endlessly searching for things you don’t need. They are time-consuming and you only use them to fill the boring space of time. You don’t need them in real. Try to do offline shopping as much as possible.
42. Declutter your phone regularly
Organize your phone and declutter it regularly. When I do this, it not only makes my phone’s space light but my mind also feels light. I try to clear my phone, the photos, screenshots, WhatsApp chats, files occasionally once every week.
43. Unsubscribe from email lists
Give one whole afternoon or day if you can to declutter. One thing to declutter is emails. Unsubscribe from emails that you don’t read and keep only the ones that you actually read and love to receive.
44. Keep your inbox clear
I like to keep my phone clear these days. Whenever I see a red (1) popping in an app, I like to get rid of it instantly. Whenever I see a red in my inbox, I open it immediately and if I want to read it, I read it otherwise if I don’t I delete it instantly.
This is one thing I got influenced by my boyfriend who is even more particular and organized than me. Have clean bedsheet
45. Change your curtains and bedsheet
When days are messy and complicated, even little things like staying in a clean bedsheet and changing to new curtains can really ease our minds and feel soothing. See how greatly it affects your mood.
46. Quit multitasking
Multi-tasking is a myth of productivity. It keeps your mind engaged with too many things and burdens it. Quit multitasking if you want to simplify your life and learn to do whole tasks
47. Drink more water
Always have a water bottle with you and drink water at all times.
48. Be conscious of your choices
Be a conscious consumer and be aware of your choices. Work on avoiding as much plastic, carry a bag where ever you go, always keep your own water bottle, eliminate single-use plastic and educate yourself more on leading a sustainable life. Sustainable living is simple living.
49. Learn how to truly relax
It’s not just your body that needs rest, but your mind too. Don’t let in any information for a while when you relax. Learn to do nothing for some while. Disconnect from the world and leave your phone. Let go and allow your mind to slow down.
50. Adapt the pace of nature
Look at nature more closely and see how it never rushes and yet everything is accomplished on time. If you are aiming for simple living, learn from nature and don’t rush anything. Allow yourself to finish a thing slowly and savor the journey.
51. Be more grateful.
Life isn’t complicated on its own. It is complicated because we focus too much on complaints. Cut this negative pattern in your life. Deliberately take out some time, even a few minutes to sit in silence and focus on things you are grateful for and feel thankful. The more gratitude you show, the simpler your life becomes.
So these are some of the main important ways you can lead a simpler life. Just because some of them are too tiny a habit and change, do not underestimate them. All of these 50 ideas if you follow them one by one can greatly move you toward simple living.