There’s not too much we can do about the pace of modern life. It’s busy, chaotic and overwhelming at the best of times. But what we can do is to simplify the aspects of life that we do have control over. It’s something I have been committed to doing for quite some time now. You might have read about my start to a minimalistic journey over on the blog. Here’s some quick hacks that will bring immediate calm to your life, it’s worked for me, so I’m sure it will work for you too:
1.) WARDROBE PURGE:
Your clothing cupboard is a great place to start. Throw out clothes you don’t wear or that doesn’t fit you (also those that you think might fit one day!). Donate or sell these clothes immediately. I tried the project 333 Challenge, where you wear 33 pieces of clothing for 3 months. This might be extreme for some but it is also massively liberating. You won’t believe how much time we spend (waste) on deciding what to wear every day.
2.) DIGITAL DETOX:
This is a biggie. Because our digital clutter is restricted to mostly two physical spaces (it’s all inside our computers and smartphones) we often don’t see it as clutter because it doesn’t take up physical space, but it doesn’t take up plenty of brain space. Start by deleting old emails, archiving outdated documents and unsubscribing from promotional and marketing emails that you never read. Only have one personal email account and close the rest. Find a system that works for you and keep it as simple as possible.
3.) BANISH THE BLUE LIGHT:
There is a growing amount of research on the harmful effects the constant notifications on our phones have on both our psyches and our physical health. Turn off notifications on your phone that keeps interrupting your life. If something is really important and someone wants to ask you something or get a hold of you, then they can call you.
4.) DAILY DOWN TIME:
It may seem counter-intuitive to schedule down time, but just as you need to plan for work things, you need to make a point of taking time off every day. Schedule an hour into your day where you do something relaxing. I like to take this time to read, meditate or listen to a podcast. Don’t spend this time looking at a screen, we do too much of that on a daily basis and it is generally not relaxing.
5.) DECLUTTER DECLUTER DECLUTTER:
In my experience nothing simplifies your life as much as getting rid of your clutter. There are many ways to approach it. I loved the 30 Day Minimalist Challenge, where you get rid of one item on day one and continue to do so until you reach 30 items on day 30. I took photos every day and uploaded it on Instagram with the hashtag #MinsGame. Warning – it can be addictive! Once you get into the habit of decluttering it also becomes easier to refuse new clutter. You’ll think twice about bringing things into your home that you actually know you’ll never use.
6.) FOOD PREP:
Much like thinking about what to wear every day (see point 1 above), deciding what to eat every day can be rather time consuming. Doing meal prep a week in advance works a charm, and it’s also a great way to waste less. I like to do my weekly meal plan on a Sunday morning and then I do the shopping the same day. First look at what you have in the fridge and food cupboards, so you don’t end up buying doubles or unnecessary items. You can also plan your meals around what you have in stock and save some money.
It’s amazing what a big difference small changes can make. The thing will simplifying your life is that it allows more time for the things that really matter.