We all want more, right? More time. More vacations. More pretty dish towels, all lined up in a drawer. And more (of course)…money.
Here’s the problem with wanting more. You’ll never get it. When you get what you thought you wanted, it won’t be enough. Because you didn’t want that thing. You wanted…more.
So. What if we turned the tables and decided to pursue…less? Can you do it? Will it make you happier? Let’s explore living with less, the true heart of simple living.
Make your life simpler by reducing clutter and commitments. Not to have more of something else. Just to have…less.
Strategy 1: Learn to Love Having Less (But Really.)
Have you ever felt weighed down by everything you own? Are your unused rooms piled with empty boxes, and you aren’t sure why? There’s a way out.
This mindset shift doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey. Start small, maybe with a single room or a specific category of items. Notice how each decision to let go makes you feel. There’s a good chance you’ll feel lighter, and more in control.
- Less stress. Having fewer things can reduce clutter, which lowers stress and anxiety levels. A messy house is aggravating!
- Less expense: Spending less on things you don’t need helps you save money and reduce stress.
- Less to maintain and clean. Less time spent on cleaning, organizing, and maintaining possessions.Less mental chaos. A decluttered space can lead to a decluttered mind.
- Greater Appreciation for What You Have. Living with less helps you love what you keep.
- Easier Decision-Making. Fewer choices in clothing, gadgets, and other possessions can simplify daily decision-making.
- Increased Mobility and Flexibility. With fewer possessions, it’s easier to move, travel, or adapt to life changes.
- Enhanced Quality of Life: Experiences over things. It will give you a beautiful life to remember.
Strategy 2: Decluttering Your Space
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Let’s talk about decluttering your space. It’s the first, and arguably most satisfying, step in your journey to living with less. But…. why declutter?
It’s simple: the less clutter you have, the less chaos you have. Making your home look tidy is one benefit. You also want to create a space that feels calm and simple. A quiet physical surrounding that lets you breathe.
The Art of Letting Go: Tips for Effective Decluttering
Effective decluttering is an art, and it starts with the art of letting go.
First, be honest with yourself. You don’t need six different frying pans or a shelf full of unread book. You don’t.
It’s okay to let go of things, even if you spent money on them or they hold sentimental value. The key is to keep items that serve a purpose or bring you joy.
Don’t try to declutter your whole house in one day. Start with one room or even one drawer, and work your way through your home. Don’t overthink about what goes where. Most things belong in the trash.
A Simple Home Environment
Once you start decluttering, you’ll notice a shift in your home environment. Each cleared space brings a sense of calm and order.
Remember, a minimalist home doesn’t have to be stark or bare – it should reflect your personality and what makes you feel at peace. You can have decorative items and be a minimalist. But you have to love them. You don’t just keep them because you have them and don’t want to waste them.
Keep things that are essential or make you happy, and clear out the rest. The key question to ask yourself: If saw this at the store full price, would I buy it again?
Strategy 3: Simplifying Your Wardrobe
Simplifying your wardrobe is a game-changer. Why? Your clothing is something you interact with all the time. First, you have to pick it out. Then you have to…you know… wear it. And at night, you repeat the cycle with pajamas. And then you have to wash it!
Clothing is a heavy subject because people see it as a way to express themselves. But think… is that overstuffed drawer of socks with holes in them how you want to express yourself? Is it the essence of you?
I challenge you to throw out or donate at least 50% of your clothing. Pull out all your shirts. Count them. Get rid of half. Do the same with every other category. One a day.
Here’s what to look forward to:
- Less Laundry. A smaller wardrobe naturally leads to less laundry, saving time, energy, and resources.
- No Need for Complex Closet Organizers. When you simplify your wardrobe, you don’t need fancy closet systems.
- Saves Money in the Long Run. Instead of always buying new, trendy items, investing in a few quality pieces can save you a lot of money.
- Easier to Keep Tidy. Fewer clothes mean a neater closet space, reducing clutter and making it easier to find what you need.
- Encourages Mindful Purchasing. With limited space, you become more thoughtful and intentional about new clothing purchases.
- Enhances Personal Style. Having a smaller wardrobe helps you focus on what suits you and define your personal style.
- Eco-Friendly. Reducing clothing consumption contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle, lowering your carbon footprint.
- Travel Becomes Simpler. Traveling becomes simpler with a smaller wardrobe, meaning lighter bags and less worry.
- Greater Appreciation for What You Have. You tend to value and care for your clothes more when you have fewer items.
I know 50% is harsh. You can do it. You’ll be glad.
Strategy 4: Reducing Time Commitments
We say yes to everything – social gatherings, extra projects, volunteer work. A full life is good, right? Maybe.
Do you like what you’re doing? Or are you doing it because you want people to like you? Be honest. No one will like you because you waste your own time volunteering for dumb things at your kid’s school. Sorry.
Does this mean you should always say no to these things? Of course not. But recognize that your time is valuable and finite. You don’t have to do things because you’re asked. The decision is always yours.
Learning to Say No: Balancing Your Social and Personal Life
Saying no can be hard. Here are some ways to say no.
- I’m sorry, I wish I could.
- I can’t make time for that this month.
- Thank you for thinking of me, but I can’t
- Absolutely not (while laughing).
Try it. Just say no.
Making Time for What Truly Matters
What truly matters. Deep. A lot of pressure, right? When you read this, do you think you should now be filling your time with deep tasks like meditating? You can. Or you can enjoy a quiet day.
- Sit in the sun and enjoy your coffee
- Lay down next to your dog and cuddle
- Cut some wildflowers and put them on your windowsill.
- Go to the library
- Open all the windows in your house
- Take one of your children out for ice cream, just the two of you.
Remember, the decision is always yours.
Strategy 5: Mindful Consumption
Mindful consumption is all about being aware of what you’re buying and why.
In reality, buying things. is a part of life. You can even spend a lot of money on things and not be in a consumerist mindset. You might have a lot of things that you need. You can even buy things. just because they want them and still not be wrapped up in consumerism.
Here’s the difference. The consumerist trap tries to convince you of one thing, and it’s this: If I buy this, I’ll finally be happy.
Is that thought lurking in the back of your mind when you buy toilet paper? No. It is there when you click “add to cart” for that new butter yellow Coach purse? Maybe. Be careful. That’s the difference.
This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy shopping or appreciate nice things. Truly. It’s about that lie. If I buy this, I’ll finally be happy.
Instead of collecting things just because, focus on what brings you genuine happiness. Enjoy your new, calm, empty closet. Enjoy the less of it all.
More strategies for buying less:
- Set a Waiting Period. Try waiting for 30 days before making non-essential purchases to see if you still want or need them.
- Use a Shopping List: Stick to a shopping list when you go out to buy things, to avoid impulse purchases.
- Practice Gratitude. Remember what you have and be grateful for it; this reduces the want for new things.
Remember that boredom is another huge spending trigger! Stay busy. Go throw out your clothes or something 😉.
Strategy 6: Cultivate minimalist habits
Adopting minimalist habits is like planting seeds in a garden. At first, it looks like nothing is happening.
It’s about making small changes in your daily life that, over time, add up to a big difference.
So, what do I mean by minimalist habits?
- Declutter: Set aside time each week to declutter a specific area of your home.
- One In, One Out Rule: Whenever you bring a new item into your home, let go of something else.
- Digital Detox: Set aside certain times of the day or week to disconnect from digital devices.
- Meal Planning. Plan your meals for the week to reduce food waste and simplify grocery shopping.
- Practice Gratitude. Take time each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for, focusing on non-material aspects.
- Limit Social Media: Set specific times for social media use.
- Mindful Eating. Enjoy your meal without distractions.
- Daily 10-Minute Tidy-up. Spend a few minutes each day cleaning to keep your space clutter-free. It makes a big difference.
- Quality over quantity. When you buy new things, pick high-quality items that last longer, even if they cost more at first.
- Simplify Your To-Do List. Do the essentials. Forget the busywork.
By doing these simple tasks every day, you can create a simple home and easy schedule. They take your focus off the pursuit of more…and onto appreciating what you have.
Strategy 7: Find Joy in Simplicity
Finding joy in simplicity is what living with less is all about. Instead of looking for happiness in things, we can find it in simple moments. This is different from strategy 1, which is the practical side of having less. This one is deeper.
Stop chasing the next big buy or life milestone. Stop blindly working for that next thing.
Stop living your life in the spirit of “When this happens, then I will do that.”
Where are you now? What are you doing with your time now?
You won’t look back fondly on the wanting, or the buying, or the getting.
All you have in life is the present moment. It is so easy to wish it away because you want the next thing. But I hope you don’t.
More resources you’ll love:
I know, I know. I used the M-word 😉.
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This book is a classic in the decluttering space, offering practical advice on simplifying your stuff.
- Simple Living For Beginners. A look at what simple living is… and what it is not.
- Becoming Minimalist by Joshua Becker: A blog that offers a wealth of information on decluttering, simplifying life, and embracing minimalism.
- Declutter in Minutes. A blog that helps you declutter your home, room by room.
- The Art of Letting Go by The Minimalists: A TED Talk that explores the emotional journey and benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle.
Remember, minimalism isn’t about having nothing; it’s about having exactly enough. So, take a deep breath, embrace the less, and prepare to enjoy a life that’s so much more.