10 first steps for a simpler life

When I surveyed readers, one of the tops subjects women wanted help in was simplifying their lives. Here is a simple post to help you make some progress fast!

10 quick ways to simplify life

1. Turn off notifications. You do not need an email every time someone tweets you. Or follows you. You do not need an email every time someone mentions you on Facebook. Decide the things that ARE important for you to know, and turn off the other notifications!

2. Close email, twitter and facebook. When working on a project, close your social media windows. They constantly distract you from what you are doing. Focus on the issue at hand.

3. Institute the clean as you go plan. Clean up and put away things as you go and teach your children to do the same. And your spouse, if he is trainable! 🙂

4. Process bookbags and school papers as soon as kids get home. Sign papers, get homework done, and get everything back in the bookbags and bags in place ready for the next day.

5. Get ruthless about throwing stuff away, and teach your kids to do so as well. Also be ruthless about what you let in the house in the first place.

6. Reduce the amount of toys your child has access to. Today’s kids have way too many toys, however, if you are not ready to reduce them yet, at least pack some away and rotate. Also, things that have little pieces, don’t let them have open access to those. Only when they have cleaned up everything else can they play with those. And they must put away as soon as they are done.

7. Reduce the number of clothes your children have (and you!) This can totally change the status of their closets, floors and your laundry. For the better.

8. Create a schedule for your kids and work to keep them on it, including a decent bedtime.

9. Turn your computer off an hour earlier and GO to bed yourself. A simpler life includes taking better care of you!

10. Keep ingredients for a few off the shelf easy meals in your pantry. Also consider meal-planning.
Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

20 comments to 10 first steps for a simpler life

  • ellen

    I would suggest instead of throwing more away we all recycle and pass things on in the form of children’s clothing clothing swaps with other families and toy swaps. These are a great way to keep things out of landfills and more money in our wallets. Cooking with a friend means you each make two meals worth of a dish and share one with a friend who supplies your family with one of theirs. half the work too!

    • Bernice

      I definitely agree that recycling and donating is the best way to go. However, if a woman is extremely stressed, I don’t want her to be held back from simplifying because she feels she “has” to sort and deliver, etc. Eventually it is a good place to be to, but at the beginning they sometimes just need the momentum of clearing stuff from their surroundings.
      Sharing the cooking is a great idea too!
      Thanks for your comment!

  • #9 is the hardest one for me, but I’m trying to be better! Great post.

  • Thank you for mentioning the bedtime issue. I am not a parent but I have frequently witnessed bedtimes at the homes of close friends. The ones who enforce bedtime well have amazingly smooth, calm bedtime routines. The ones who don’t enforce it have chaos that literally goes on for hours. It is exhausting just to watch it. It’s remarkable what a big effect this one thing can have. And a stricter bedtime is probably good for adults, too!

  • This is just what I needed to hear – less is more!!! Great points thank you for sharing! 🙂

  • I have to agree with the first comment here. There isn’t a need to do complicated sorting beyond trash and items suitable for donating. Often those who struggle with true cluttering issues are incredibly grieved at the thought that their items are trash while they can be comforted with the thought that their items will serve someone else well. A focus on living simpler needs to be about having what we need and love in our homes, not on how much stuff we can trash on a regular basis.

  • This is great, Bernice. I pretty much do what was posted, except for the part of the children, as we are empty nesters, lol. I use to do all that when my kids were younger, it made life a lot simpler. Thanks, for the wonderful reminders 🙂

  • Great list. May I add an hour to #9? 🙂

  • This is great! Exactly what I’ve been doing all week… cleaning out the clutter & noise in my fb, twitter, linkedin, apps, inbox, etc…. So loved your post. x0x
    Norma Doiron @ the LEARNED Preneur

  • Having just gone through a move in which my mother in-law moved ino our home, I particular resonate with getting ruthless about throwing things away. And yes, i agree to recycle or donate where possible, but in the end no excuses for clinging to pure junk that has not been seen, used or touched in years if not decades. I have a garage and a third bedroom full of that stuff that makes room access treacherous and must admit it makes me nuts. Gently as I can, sometimes admitedly with more frustration than I’d like, I am pushing for it all to be sifted and sorted. I know it is hard, have been there myself, but it really is freedom when you let it go! Guess you can tell I’m frustrated by the clutter..hehe!

  • Thanks so much for sharing…great tips that we can all learn from 🙂

  • Great article! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Ingrid

    #4 is the easiest, but #2….is the hardest! Great ideas!

  • Points 1, 2 and 9 I think you were especially directing at me (are you in my computer watching me?!). Great post – definitely need to take more steps to simplify.

  • Love it!! I already do some of these tips,but I must definitely reconcile my children’s clothes and toys!! Thanks for the advice!!

  • These are great ideas, why can’t I seem to do any of them!? I need to hire someone to follow me around and “clean as I go” . . . If I could get that done and organize all the toys and papers in my life, I’d be good to go! Thanks for your tips, I’m inspired to keep trying.

  • Pam

    You know with some careful planning I could probably let go of several email notices!

    thanks, what a great post

  • The Simply Living Challenge

    Hi again,

    Love the new site! For the clothing swap it isn’t a deliver issue but rather a fun gathering of friend and acquaintances you might not otherwise have time to see. You set aside a Sunday afternoon of a weeknight evening and everyone brings their closet cast offs and a snack or drink to share. You get some new to you items (if you chose to)you get to “shop” with friends, save money while enjoy the “dining out” benefits with friends and have time for visiting and catching up. My high school friends and I do this twice a year and it has grown and gets more fun each time! It is fun to see a friend wearing something that was languishing in your closet afterwards. It simplifies, and adds enjoyment! A win/win

  • Kelley

    I do get rid of kids toys constantly…however, I have yet to figure out how you get past the feeling guilty when you are getting rid of toys that people have bought for your kids. Any helpful advice would be appreciated!