Are you tired of things unnecessarily taking up space, time and energy in your life? Read along to find out about 6 ways to simplify your life right now.
A little over half a year ago, I moved from the Netherlands to the United States with my husband. We put our whole life in a few suitcases and left. It was strange to go through our stuff and decide what was important enough to take with us.
Moving abroad turned out to be a real eye-opener for me. It showed me what is truly important in life and what I need to be happy. (Spoiler alert: you don’t need a lot to be happy).
Everything in your life takes up space mentally or physically, whether it’s things you own, people you engage with or content you consume. By simplifying those things in your life, you can save time, money and energy that you can use on other things instead. It gives you space to focus on the things you love and people you care about. You’ll be amazed by the things that start flowing into that space that will make you and your life better.
Here are 6 ways to simplify your life right now to create space for new, amazing things.
1. Watch Less TV (And Yes, That Includes Netflix)
How often are you watching TV or Netflix? Probably a lot more often than you think. I bet you’d be in shock knowing how much time per week you actually spend looking at your screen.
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching a good movie or series once in a while, but you have to find a balance in consuming it or it will start to consume you (your precious time and energy!).
The past few months, I’ve really put an effort into reducing my time watching TV and Netflix. To be honest, I’m barely watching TV anymore because the amount of advertisements in between TV shows and movies seems to be increasing every year. This is taking up time that could easily be spent on something else.
And while Netflix is great to avoid all the advertisements, it brings the risk of binge-watching your favorite series for hours. That’s why I try to watch one episode of a series instead of binge-watching on a whole season and only watch movies on the weekends.
Reducing the time in front of the TV allows you to spend time and energy on other things, such as being with family or friends, exploring new hobbies or going to the gym. It is such an easy way to simplify your life!
2. Control Your Time – Organize Your Life
Organizing and planning are great ways to simplify your life. It allows you to take control over your time and deliberately choose how exactly you’re going to spend it.
Time is the single most valuable resource in your life. Being aware of how you use your time and energy helps you to make better decisions, dedicating more time and energy to the things that matter the most.
With a well-thought out planning, comes an organized mind and life, preventing you to waste your valuable resources and keep more space available for things that are important to you.
3. Spend Less Time on Social Media
Social media: another example of an activity that can take up a lot of your time and energy if you let it. It can be mentally draining, increase stress levels and waste a lot of your time each day. That’s why, decreasing the time you spend on social media and controlling the way you use social media, can help to simplify your life.
To break the habit of spending time and energy on checking your social media, try doing something else instead, such as listening to a podcast or reading a book. What also helps me is to put my phone in a different room from where I’m working, so that I don’t immediately look at my phone when I get stuck for a minute.
Another way to reduce the energy it takes to use social media, is to take control of what you are consuming. What I mean by this is decluttering your social media accounts, so that when you use them you are only confronted with content you actually WANT to see and consume.
What has really helped me and what I like to do once in a while is going through the list of people I’m following. I try to ask myself if the content this person is putting out there is valuable to me or is making me happy. If it does not make you happy, it is time to unfollow!
4. Learn to Say No More Often
Do you find it hard to say ‘’no’’ to things? Speaking from experience, you’re not the only one! Perhaps it’s because you don’t want to let other people down, don’t want to disappoint someone or you feel like you might miss out on something.
If we agree to more things than we can handle, we are actually only adding more clutter to our lives. Next time, before you say ‘’yes’’ to something, try to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it make me happy/spark joy?
- Are the benefits/outcomes greater than the costs/input for me?
- If I say yes to this, does it go at the expense of something else that is more important to me or that gives me more joy?
If you find yourself answering no to most of these questions, it may be time for you to start saying no more often in the future. This will leave you with more time and energy to focus on things that do spark joy and that are making you happy.
Before moving the USA, my husband and I gave up our apartment and decided to move everything we owned into a big storage container.
It was the perfect time to declutter!
I decided to throw a little bit of Marie Kondo in there. Before mindlessly placing all our belongings into boxes, I would ask myself if the particular item sparked joy. There were a lot of things that did not have value (anymore) or that I hadn’t used in a long time that I could get rid of. It felt good to sort things out and I know that I’m going to be thanking myself once we move back home. I’m thinking I may even do a round two of decluttering when unpacking, who knows!
Now I know that my example is a little bit extreme, but it doesn’t really matter what situation you’re in: you can always start decluttering!
You may be wondering how exactly clutter affects your life? Clutter can overstimulate your brain and result in stress and anxiety. It may also attract your attention, making it harder to focus and hence decrease your productivity. It is needless to say that eliminating clutter can significantly improve and simplify your life.
6. Evaluate Your Relationships
Similar to social media, having toxic people in your life can consume your time and energy. Being around people who are constantly negative or complaining can take up a lot of space in your life.
That’s why it’s important to evaluate your relationships and friendships once in a while. I’m not saying you should cut ties with people because they are going through a bad time and need your help, but you have to set a limit for yourself.
By evaluating your relationships you will create space to spend more time with the people you love and care about the most. And ultimately, that will make you a lot happier too.
Just one more thing…
I’m curious how you feel about simplifying your life. What are you currently doing or what have you done in the past to simplify your life? How are you keeping things simple and avoiding the clutter? Which of the things on this list are you going to apply to your own life?
I’d love to hear from you down in the comments below!