I am not an expert on living a simpler life, but moving eight times in two years gave me a crash course and humbled my soul.
I hope that I learned what is really important and what is not. However, I feel that “things” will always be a struggle, but it’s a battle worth fighting. I would like to call myself a minimalist, but seem to fall flat often.
Here is my list that continues to help me on my path to living a simpler life.
- De-clutter your home: Ask yourself, “Do I need this?” Go through each room in your house and de-clutter them one by one. If you have a lot of stuff it may be necessary to de-clutter one closet at a time, or one drawer at a time. Clear all surfaces of clutter. Get rid of dust collectors or knick-knacky things. Question everything in each room. “Do I still want this,” if not, get rid of it. Remove all the plastics and keep things made of metals or wood. Donate it, have a rummage sale, recycle it or just trash it. Don’t wait to donate it, drive it in that very day if you can. That way you can’t change your mind.
- Stop watching Television/cable: Cut the cable. The average American spends 5 hours on television per day.
- Get a basic cell phone: Americans spend an alarming amount of time checking social media on their phones-a staggering 4.7 hours per day. If you have a basic phone it will help keep that urge at bay. Learn to turn your phone off. It will still take messages.
- Get rid of your credit cards: It is extremely freeing not to be chained down to credit card debt and remembering to pay bills. If you must have one, pay the balance off every month. Use a cash budget for everyday purchases.
- Limit or No social media: Get rid of all your social media accounts or keep only one. Limit the time you spend on social media to less than one hour a day. Limit the time spent on email.
- Get rid of unnecessary expenses. Pick the same day or days each month to pay your bills. Make a budget. Designate a place to put your mail /bills. Throw away junk mail the minute you receive it.
- Pare down your wardrobe & shoes: donate everything that hasn’t been worn in the past year. Decide to limit your outfits to 10 complete outfits at a time. Buy cloths that can be mixed and matched.
- Cut down your beauty products by half. Work on your inner beauty and stop worrying about how you look on the outside. Just be yourself.
- Reduce the amount of motorized things in your life. Everything that takes gasoline requires a lot of up keep.
- Plan your meals in advance. Stop eating after 7pm each night. Make a rule that the kitchen is closed. Only go shopping once a week with a list of things needed and stick with your list. Make a meal planning binder.
- Clean as you go. If you are cooking or doing a project clean up as you work. Don’t leave it for latter.
- Limit the amount of pets or animals that you keep. Pets can be a joy, but also a huge burden.
- Only keep items you use.
- Get rid of things that nag on your mind or remind you of painful events from your past life.
Be Thankful-and make space for only what matters in your life.
Let it go. You won’t regret it.