Simplify your life today!

Slow Your Home imageAs the parent of a young child, I find myself frequently wishing that my life was a little simpler. After a particularly hectic morning (toys strewn everywhere, lunches that needed to be packed, animals with requests, and of course all the immediate needs of my charming, energetic two-year-old) I happened upon the blog post we are sharing today. I loved Brooke McAlary’s approach of sharing a very tangible list of 21 voluntary simplicity actions that I could take starting right then. Having participated in NWEI’s Voluntary Simplicity discussion course not once but twice, I have a solid background in simplicity, but this quick refresher was just the reminder I needed! I hope that you find an action or two that speak to you, and that your life becomes a little bit simpler as a result.

21 Quick Actions You Can Do Today to Simplify Your Life, a guest post by Brooke McAlary of Slow Your Home {The Simpler Life You Want}

You want to live a simpler life, I know. That’s why you’re here, right? To create a life of simplicity, contentment and optimism.

But can I tell you something? Your life will not change, you will not be able to create that life you want unless you take action.

Take action. And take it today.

I want to make it easier for you to take action and move ahead on your journey to a simpler life. So all you have to do is set aside some time – anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour to tackle one of the 21 simple actions below.

Just one is enough.

More is better, but one is enough to start living a simpler life today.

You just have to take action.


Action #1: Perform a Clutter Bust (10-45 minutes)

This is hands-down the best way to tidy and declutter a space in a short period of time. You can apply it to just one room at a time (strongly recommended), or if you’re feeling ambitious or particularly over-run with clutter – tackle all the main areas of the home.

Whatever you choose – speed is the key here.

How to clutter-bust your home:

Grab an empty laundry basket.
Choose a room to begin.
Moving quickly – pick up each and every item in that room that does not belong, or is out of place. Place them in the laundry basket.
Every single thing.
Once full, empty the contents of the laundry basket on the dining table or a clear space on the floor.
Sort items into piles – according to where they belong, as well as a pile for rubbish/donations/items that do not belong to you.
Working through one pile at a time, take every item back to its rightful place.
Complete for each pile and whenever you feel the clutter begin to take over your home.

Action # 2: Practice Gratitude

Recent studies have shown that those of us who are regularly grateful for the good in our lives are likely to be more physically active, feel more content in our day-to-day lives and suffer less health problems.

Sound good?

How to Practice Gratitude and Reap the Benefits:

Once a week, spend ten minutes writing down 5-10 people/acts/events/things you are grateful for. Just one sentence per entry is enough.

That’s it. Just ten minutes a week will have truly positive impact on your happiness and well being.

Is That All? Ten Minutes a Week? What if I Do More? Will I Be Happier?

The Gratitude studies have shown that over-doing the gratitude journalling may have the opposite effect. Over time we become immune to the feeling of well-being gained through gratitude and lose the positive benefit.

Although I personally tend to think it would take a lot to over-do this. I can see no harm in thinking on the positives each morning or as you go to bed at night.

Action # 3: Rearrange Your Living Room (1-2 hours)

I’m not entirely sure when “living room” came to mean “room where we watch television”, but that seems to be the purpose of most living rooms in most homes.

But really, you want the living room to function in a number of ways, not only as a space to watch television.

In fact, you really should take the emphasis of the room away from mindless television viewing and instead encourage lingering conversations, nights spent reading books and listening to music.

How to Reclaim Your Living Room for Living:

Look at the furniture you own and decide if it all needs to stay. Are you able to wall mount your TV? Get rid of the entertainment unit?
Try moving the television to a side wall, rather than the main, focal wall.
Arrange your lounges or armchairs to face each other, rather than the television. This helps to encourage conversation.
Bring a selection of your book and music collections out to encourage you to read or listen rather than automatically reaching for the remote at the end of the day...

The key to making many of the actions above work for you is to do them consistently. Like with any major life changes, many of them need to become habit before you reap the biggest benefit, but starting with the actions above will get you well on your way to a simpler, slower life.

And as I said at the beginning, you don’t have to do everything on this list, just pick the ones that will work best for you right now.

The key is to take action. Try something and let us know how it works for you.

*To read Brooke’s full post and try her 21 actions to simplify your life, click here.



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