How To: Simplify Your Life- Without Being Overwhelmed

Does simplifying your life sound interesting to you, but seems like a daunting task? You’ve come to the right place. When shedding layers of “stuff”, to figure out what is really important in life, many people feel overwhelmed. It probably means that they are taking on too much at once.

If you’re confused about what minimalism is, then check out my breakdown of it here, or watch Jenna Mustard’s video on what minimalism is to her. (I love her breakdown!)

When I take on a new challenge, like incorporating more minimalistic values and practices into my life, I break things down into smaller sections, then tasks, to complete. Otherwise, my mind spins out of control in a tizzy of frustration and reluctance. I’ll either procrastinate, or quit altogether. But, when I break things down and think of one section at a time, I can get specific and discover what tangible actions or steps I can take. That means I’m taking small steps that will add up to big changes in my life.

This method of thinking may help you integrate minimalism into your lifestyle. Instead of getting overwhelmed by everything you have to get rid of, consider simple categories. We will start with what is immediately around you, right now. I’m guessing that you’re probably wearing clothing, right? How many pairs of pants do you own? Shoes? Shirts? How many do you actually wear, week to week? For the ones that you do not wear often, do they add value to your life? Do they enrich your life to make it better? If not, donate them! If you have multiples of the same thing, donate the extras!

Take the shoes on my feet, for example. I have many different types of shoes, for different things like work, leisure, and exercise. I currently own two different pairs of sneakers… one for walking and standing at work, and one for running, dancing, etc. I will not be buying any more sneakers until these two pairs don’t support my feet anymore. I wear them every other day, and they are both incredibly useful to me. If I had more tennis shoes, they would probably never be used. With that said, I probably need to take an honest look at the rest of my shoe collection. There are definitely a few pairs that would be much more valuable to someone else.

Here’s another example. How many journals do you own? I currently own about 6. I know that I do not need to write in all 6 at one time, but have done that in the past and now have no idea where to find my past notes from class, work, and creative projects. Talk about scatter-brained! What I have done, since last February, is keep a notebook for work related things, and keep a notebook for class and school. The others are in my bookcase as backups, as they are still of value, but do not need to be used right now. Just simplifying this one element of my life has greatly eased my anxiety of knowing where I wrote something down. I can just flip back through my two notebooks and easily find the answer I was looking for. It’s made a huge impact on my creativity and productivity.

So, find the immediate and obvious areas of your life that need simplifying, and start there. There is no time limit on improving your life, but you will find that there will be huge improvements in no time, if you start small and simplify, one piece at a time. Best of luck, and I can’t wait to hear about your new found freedom.



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