Keeping your life simple is a daily process. It is about prioritizing your needs, making goals (no matter what they might be), and continuing to focus on those goals even in the face of adversity. It is also about accepting that if you fall off the wagon, you can, and will, eventually get back on.
From paring down your stuff to nurturing your spirit to living well on less, here are 15 ways that real women like you are making the effort to simplify their lives.
Paring Down Your Stuff
For today, I plan to simplify my life by paying bills and balancing bank accounts. That should get rid of the mounds of paper all over the dining room, which in turn will make it easier to vacuum!"
I pared down half a roomful of junk yesterday. I cleaned up my computer/sewing room and got rid of bags and bags of junk. What did I throw out? Old fabric that I know I will never use, computer program disks that are out-of-date and tons of paper. It even feels better sitting here because I don't feel so claustrophobic!
Today, I got rid of my daughter's crib. She is eight and hasn't slept in the crib since she was one. How's that for clutter?
One thing I've done is purge my closet. I got rid of most of the "trendy" stuff and kept the plain and simple things that will never go out of style. Everyday I think, Simplify, simplify. And it's working!
I cleaned out all of the markers, school papers, folders, construction paper, etc., today. I also got rid of old Play-Doh and crayons. We have millions. They are my weakness. I am the ultimate pack rat and procrastinator.
My nurturing activity is to paint my nails (fingers and toes). It's the first time in months. I always seem to put off looking after myself because there are so many other "more worthwhile" things I should be doing. Not anymore!
I run for 15 minutes or so in the morning. The idea of getting up before 6am is a real hard one for me! But when the sky is clear, it is a great start to the day. Just looking at the stars is a wonderful experience; it's a reminder of the sheer beauty in the world. I don't always manage to stay that upbeat, but sometimes…
To really indulge and nurture my spirit, I take the radio in the bathroom, light a lavender-scented candle and tell my DH (dear husband) that I am "invisible" or "not available." Tomorrow, I'll go to the grocery store to buy some cut flowers for myself. I just might buy a few groceries while I'm at it!
How do I plan to nurture my spirit? Put jewelry on, read my email, write in my journal. Unfortunately, if I want to have more time to myself, I would have to take the time away from my daughter. I realize that when she is older, I will have more time for myself. Sometimes I wish that I had more time now. But I know that in the end, giving her my free time will all be worth it.
Living Well on Less and Meeting Your Goals
I'm always running around, on the go, nonstop working, cooking and cleaning, and helping my husband prepare grad school applications. The list never ends. I'm so focused on what I need to get done next, that I don't take satisfaction in what I just accomplished. So today, I will let myself feel SATISFIED when I accomplish things. What a concept! If I let myself feel good about all the things I get done, I'll be more motivated for my next project!
I live outside the Washington D.C. area, which is a very expensive place to live, so on my salary, I need to keep expenses down as much as possible. The best solutions I've found are: bring my lunch to work, go grocery shopping with a list (alone!), and no longer keep cash on me. (There's no $10 bill burning a hole in my pocket as I walk by Starbucks!) This is an ongoing process.
Well, I am taking my grandmother shopping today. I am not going to buy anything except what is on my list. But the key is this -- for each new thing I bring in the house, I am going to get rid of two things. And we are having a garage sale in our housing area soon!
Simplifying All Areas of Your Life
Here's what I'm doing to simplify my life. They're little things really. (1) Make my bed every day (even though I leave at 5:45 in the morning!). (2) Keep up on the dishes, that they're washed and put away every day, all day! (3) Take time to walk for 10 minutes, and do stretching and breathing exercises. It does actually make me more energetic and feel better!
I'm thinking that this 21-days-to-a-new-habit thing really works. It seemed silly to be working on such simple goals (doing dishes immediately, doing at least one thing to further my job search and appreciating nature), but I think it kept me on track and encouraged.
I'm just getting started, but here are the ways I'm going to simplify my life: (1) Make the bed. (2) Do one unpleasant thing. That will be dusting the top of the television. (3) Write in my journal. To nurture myself, I'm going to take the dog for a walk. These little things may sound so mundane, but I know they will make a huge difference in my life if I just do them every day.