I don’t know about you, but I have been feeling overwhelmed lately. Overwhelmed with schedules, routines, and just STUFF. It is a problem we are lucky to have, really. Having so many things we don’t know what to do or where to put them all? But this past month has really caused me to reflect on what we WANT versus what we NEED. Keep reading for some easy ways you can simplify your life RIGHT NOW. There are so many quick and painless ways to simplify your life, that will have you breathing easier almost immediately.
Purge Your Closet
This may seem like a no brainer, but nothing feels more liberating than cleaning out your closet. I can count on one hand the number of items I have gotten rid of and then regretted. Most of the time, it is just a breath of fresh air to make space and get rid of those items that no longer fit, or are out of style, or just never get worn. I break items down by whether they are to sell, donate, or trash. I list my higher quality items on Poshmark, and love knowing items in good condition are finding a new home!
One of my biggest weaknesses is dresses; I buy a dress for almost every special occasion. I love it so much that to be honest, most of my dresses only get worn once, MAYBE twice. So instead of holding onto them for years, I will either sell or donate my dresses after the special occasion has passed. Tell me, have you EVER gone back into your closet and worn that old prom dress or cocktail dress you just HAD to hang onto? I am guessing the answer is NO! Spend less time and energy holding onto items just because you liked it once upon a time.
Clean Out Your Pantry
This is another one that is SO EASY to do and will do wonders for your soul. Especially with little kids, I find that we end up drowning in snacks, half empty boxes of crackers that go stale, you get the picture. Make it a point to do a ‘clean out the pantry’ week where you plan your meals based off of what you HAVE and not what you NEED. It feels so good to use those items that have been sitting on the shelf not getting eaten, and we often end up with new and delicious meals we would have never thought to make if we weren’t forced to get creative.
Also, make it a point to go through and THROW OUT old items. Do you hold onto boxes of cereal that are stale and almost empty? Is there a box of crackers that keeps getting pushed to the side and forgotten about? Make space and get rid of the stuff you know will never get eaten!
Donate, Donate, Donate
One of my favorite things to ever come out of Facebook is online garage sales. We live out of town, so a garage sale has really never been all that feasible in terms of payoff. However, I hate when I replace an item or upgrade something and feeling like I need to store old things. Again, this is where it pays to go through the storage closet and look at all of the items collecting dust. I am becoming more and more confident we are done having children, and have finally started to come to peace with saying goodbye to some baby items.
Find family or friends who are expecting little ones and treat them to your bassinet, or even crib sheets. We have an ENTIRE CLOSET filled with bins of baby clothes. I have one bin that I am saving, you know, just in case. But aside from some select items, it is not worth it to hold onto every single onesie my boys have ever worn. Make space, and simplify! Going through old items is also GREAT perspective on how much we buy our children versus what they actually need 😉
Clean Up Your Products
One of the best changes we have made in our home this past year is cleaning up the products that we use. Tell me, how many different household cleaning products do you use? Have you ever put any thought into the chemicals in those products? In all honesty, I rolled my eyes at ‘all natural’ people for years. And then we had kids, and the thought of putting products with known carcinogens on their little bodies made me sick.
By cleaning up the products in our house, it forced me to go through and throw out SO MANY items that I never used, but also never thought to throw away. Safer, cleaner products are often a bit more of an investment, but I find we end up purchasing only what we NEED versus buying lots of items off the shelves that we truly DON’T need. We use lots of Young Living products for our household (the Thieves line can clean ANYTHING), and all of our beauty, skincare, and body products are from Beautycounter. Again, these are more of an investment up front, but we have drastically cut down on having a LOT of low quality products, and a few high quality products we trust and love.
Cut Down on Television
This is one we are in the process of doing in our home, but it is SO liberating. We currently pay for internet, satellite television, Netflix, and who knows what else. And when we sit down and think about how much we use each, it makes me cringe. I know in this day and age we cannot say goodbye to the internet, and Netflix really is the best thing ever. But you guys, we have satellite TV for ONE show we like to watch that is not on basic TV channels. ONE SHOW. As much as I love my zombie shows, the price we are paying for all of those extra channels is mind boggling. We do not need to be hooked up to every possible technology out there, and quite frankly, we shouldn’t be.
Cutting out cable will not only free up over a THOUSAND dollars a year, but it will also free up time and energy you spend mindlessly surfing the channels. If you cannot say goodbye to television entirely, look into going down to the simplest plan they offer!
What are some ways you have attempted to simplify your life? Are there things you realized you definitely DID NOT need after you decided to get rid of them? I would love to hear from you!