Since becoming a mother, and really even since becoming an adult, I have been seeking ways to make my life simpler. Life is so busy and there is always so much to do, or remember, or be part of, that it gets a bit overwhelming to stay on top of it all.
So, over the past few years, I have really found some great ways to make my life just a little bit simpler. These aren’t huge changes by any means, but they really do play a big role in making my life a bit easier and more organized.
So, here are my 8 tips for simplifying my life!
Meal Plan / Prep
This is one thing I am focusing on myself. I find my life is so much easier when I plan out and prep my meals. I don’t do hard core meal prep or anything, but I try and make my meals so that there is left overs. I also try and prep what I can on Sundays. For example, cut up veggies, make something in the crock pot that I can eat a few times that week, etc.
Even only planning meals for the week can simplify your life drastically. I find even if I don’t prep meals, but I still plan out my meals, my week is still much easier. Just planning out what I am going to eat saves me from having to decide last minute what is for lunch or dinner. This also saves me money because it prevents me from eating out as often. I also have a grocery list when I go to the grocery store, making my life easier because I know exactly what I need and I spend less because I am not buying random things or getting home and realizing I didn’t actually get the things I needed.
Use a Planner
Using a planner has simplified my life in a huge way. I buy planners that have a monthly weekly and daily layout, and has lots of room to write down my daily tasks. I also love planners with additional productivity tools like meal planners, goal tracking, habit tracking, etc.
Each Sunday or Monday I go through my whole week and write down what I know is happening. For example, if I have a meeting, or a conference call, I wrote all that in. If I have deadlines, I wrote those in. Then, throughout the week, as things come up, I add those into my planner as well. By doing this, I simply have to spend 30 minutes once a week to stay organized. I can stay on top of everything and keep track of my important tasks and what needs to get done. This simple habit simplifies my life a great deal.
Organize the Night Before
This is something I strayed away from, but have recently gotten back into, and I forgot how much of a difference it makes in my life. Organizing things the night before simplifies my mornings SO much. And for someone like me who will always choose a little more sleep over almost anything else, this is a game changer!
I pick out my outfit, put together my lunch, and set up my coffee machine every night. One of the tasks that takes me the longest in the morning is choosing an outfit and/or finding what I want to wear. So, by doing it the night before, I am saving myself about 15 minutes in the morning, and it just makes getting out the door so much easier!
Something I learned and started to follow recently is that everything in your house / office / etc. should have a designated spot. When things do not have a designated spot, they become messy and your space started to become very clutter-y. The other aspect of this is actually putting said thing BACK in its designated spot.
Next, do a big ol’ declutter. Do you really need those 20 gift bags you saved from last Christmas or those 12 pairs of black leggings? How about those condiments on your fridge door, how long ago did they expire? Or maybe your children’s toys, why not donate a pile they no longer play with? I bet if you really go through each room you will realize how much stuff you do not need! Donate or sell what you can, and ditch the rest!
Minimize Your Wardrobe
Speaking of decluttering, how many items of clothing are hanging in your closet that you do not wear? I recently donated 3 full bags of clothing. My body changed after having a baby, and I was holding onto clothing that I believed I would fit into comfortably again someday. But you know what, my body is different now, and it was time I started buying clothing that fit me properly and that I felt good in! I got rid of a good chunk of my wardrobe, and then I bought so high quality, staple pieces that I could wear to in multiple ways (at work, on the weekend, out to dinner, etc.). I stuck with neutral colours and tried to build a wardrobe that was flexible and could be dressed up or dressed down.
Doing this has made my life much simpler. I am not overwhelmed by my closet anymore and I have less laundry! I have less decisions to make when trying to choose my outfits for work everyday, and even though I have minimized my wardrobe I am able to mix and match different pieces to create different outfits!
Figure Out Your Priorities
Sit down and really think about what you value in your life and what your priorities are. Once you have this clear, it simplifies what is really important. By knowing this you can focus your time and energy on those priorities and not on things that may be a lower priority to you. You start to notice how exactly you are spending your time, and when you are more aware of how you want to spend your time and where your priorities are, life and decisions become much simpler.
Stop Saying Yes to Things You Don’t Want to Do
An easy way to simplify your life is to simply stop doing things you do not want to do. We are so quick to agree to events, or dinners, or attending things we don’t really want to attend, all to please other people. If your friends invite you out to dinner and your not really feeling up to it, don’t go! If your work is putting on an event on your day off and you were really looking forward to relaxing, well than stay home and enjoy your day off! When we stop doing things that we don’t want to do, our schedule simplifies and so do our lives.
Obviously sometimes there are going to be things we have to do that we don’t want to. I don’t want to go to work everyday, but I’ve got bills to pay (unfortunately). And maybe you don’t really want to go to your cousins 3 hour graduation ceremony, but you love her and want to support her so you go.
It is all about balance. You can reschedule dinner with a friend for another day when you are feeling more in the mood for it, but you can’t reschedule a graduation that will only happen once. See what I am saying?
Automate Where You Can
This is such a time saver and an easy way to simplify your life. I automate all my bills and payments to come out on the same days every month. I don’t have to worry about it and the only thing I need to ensure is that the money is in there! I also use a feature in my online banking that automatically pulls money from my account and puts it into my savings every month. I automate lots of different aspects of my blog (email sequences, pinning to Pinterest, etc.). Basically anything I can set and forget it a great time saver that I will usually take advantage of.
Use Apps or Phone Reminders
A great way to simplify your life is by using apps or phone reminders to keep track of your busy life! There are so many great scheduling apps or to-do list apps that can really help you stay on top of everything! It takes the work out of trying to remember and simplifies your life by having a tool do it for you. I use to to-doist app and it has been great for reminding me of upcoming appointments!
So there you have it! Even implementing a few of these tricks into your life will have an impact and simplify your life a great deal! Which ones are you excited to try? Let me know in the comments below!