When people think about downsizing, they often imagine it as decluttering or minimalist living. In reality, there are so many ways you can downsize and simplify your life that have nothing to do with your stuff. However, it’s important to remember that clutter plays a huge roll in your mental health and can be crazy helpful when you want to simplify all areas of your life. Today I have got 18 practical ways to start downsizing and simplifying your life without stressing you out.
*This post contains affiliate links through which I may make a commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Chances are you have areas in your house that you want to declutter. You can start to downsize and simplify by just focusing on one area per week.
This doesn’t have to be a big, massive KonMari style downsize. It can be as simple as keeping a minimalist basket next to your door. When you pass an item that you feel like you no longer need, toss it in the basket. At the end of the week, donate all of the basket’s contents.
Downsizing is often seen as a material problem, but really it can be downsizing your wasted time as well.
The days I spend wasting my time in front of a TV screen, phone or laptop are the days that I’m more likely to be angry and accomplish less in my life.
Unplugging for one hour per day can help declutter your brain and get time back on your plate for more important things.
This is a great time to move your body a little, take a bike ride, do some yoga, or even quiet your mind with guided meditation.
There’s an app for that!
The Aaptiv app was designed to give you access to personal trainers 24/7. You can get guided yoga sessions, coaching for marathon running, biking or kickboxing and there is access to several guided meditations as well! Click here to get 30 days FREE on the app!
Starting a gratitude journal is a very simple thing to start. All you really need is a notebook. Each day when you wake up think of 5 – 10 things that you are grateful for. Doing this starts your day off on a positive note and encourages you to remember all of the great things you have in your life.
Have you ever had those days where you just can’t decide what to wear? You go through your closet, try on 8 different shirts and then leave your house feeling frustrated?
Try a capsule wardrobe!
This can reduce the options you have to choose from first thing in the morning and allow you to only keep items that you truly love.
There are many ways to create a capsule wardrobe and at the end of the day, you ultimately get to choose what goes and what stays.
My best recommendation is to create a new capsule with each changing season. That means you’d have clothes for summer, fall, winter, and spring.
Paying off debt is pretty much the greatest way to downsize your life. There is nothing more freeing than financial freedom. Paying off your debt will allow you to have all of your money back so that you can do the things in your life that you want to do.
Like I said, debt freedom is life-changing. I believe in it so much that I created a course that teaches you how it’s possible to increase your income and pay off debt while still enjoying your life! Click here to check out The Bucket List Budget.
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If you dream of downsizing your life so that you have the freedom to do more things like travel, then it’s so important to make sure you are saving for those dreams.
Saving $100 per month is such a simple amount and is more easily done than people realize.
As soon as you get paid, have money automatically transferred to a savings account. The Savings Builder account from CITBank is by far the best one available. By saving $100 automatically each month, you are able to take advantage of a 2.45% interest rate. That means you’ll actually get paid every time you save money! Click here to open a Savings Builder account.
There are two things that are no good: being a quitter and being someone who tries to do it all.
The most important thing is knowing when to quit and when not to. If you are feeling stressed, overworked, and overwhelmed, there is a good chance that you have something in your life that you need to quit.
Saying no to commitments that cause you to stress can be one of the best ways to downsize your life and simplify your time.
There is no doubt that when you start to say no, it’s going to rub some people the wrong way. Don’t let the influence you. Stay true to you and stick by your guns.
Here are some simple ways to quit:
Don’t apologize for your feelings when it comes to turning something down or quitting. Saying yes to your mental health and your life needs no apologies.
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Life can get busy and a lot of times those things we are obligated to do can drain us physically, emotionally, and financially. A great way to downsize your life is to find ways to upsize your time. (Like we just talked about).
These days, one way you can do that is by having someone else do your grocery shopping for you.
Shipt is a company that will do your grocery shopping for you and they say that their services save the average person between 6 – 8 hours per month by using Shipt.
Not only that, but I am a firm believer that by skipping the grocery store aisles you will wind up saving yourself a ton of money by avoiding impulse purchases.
There was a study done recently that says just 2 hours outside per week has a drastic impact on mental health.
Depending on where you live, it might be tougher to actually get outside in nature. What I think, however, is that any way you can get fresh air and sunlight intentionally is going to do you some good.
This doesn’t mean running from your work to the Chinese take out place on the corner. It means an intentional stroll through the park. Sitting out on your front step or just walking around the block.
If you are paying money for something that you barely use, it’s time to stop. Simplify your life and budget by cutting ties with those expenses that aren’t serving you.
Does anyone really need cable today when we have Hulu Live, Netflix and Amazon streaming? I don’t think so. These services alone can save you a ton of money each month.
There are phone plans starting at $10 per month. Don’t pay $50.
I love the gym. My memberships is worth every penny. But, if you are not using it, it’s time to part ways. The average gym membership costs $69 per month. Ditching that monthly expense is a great way to downsize your life for the better. Try the Aaptiv app FREE for 30 days instead.
Get some clutter out of your life by going through your kitchen and bathroom. There might be other places as well, but these two are the most common.
If you have cupboards stacked full of pots and pans, clear out the ones that are the least used. Get more kitchen decluttering tips.
Just by getting rid of doubles can free up so much space it makes you feel a little…uncomfortable. I say, just embrace this. Let go of any obligation that you feel to re-fill this space with more stuff.
You know that constant pinging you hear from your phone? It’s time to make that stop.
With your phone, you should be easily able to turn off notifications for social media and even your text messages and phone calls. I’m not saying you need to avoid these notifications at all times, but there are definitely times when ditching the distractions is a great way to downsize your life so you can focus on more important things.
Another great practice to get in the hang of is avoiding checking your email first thing in the morning. Most people do this by habit and it can quickly turn into a clutter-filled, chaotic day. Set a designated time for emails each day after you’ve had a chance to practice gratitude and wake up a little.
At night time, at least an hour before you go to bed switch your phone to Airplane mode. This will help you unwind before bed and help you avoid distractions throughout the night.
Sure, we just talked about ditching social media apps and avoiding notifications, but have you ever considered everything else on your phone that might need purging?
Since our lives are pretty much all on our phones it’s fair to say that by downsizing your phone clutter, you can easily downsize your life.
Some times we get bored with our same old routine and our same old stuff and we find ourselves looking for ways to change things up. This can quickly lead to shopping sprees or adding more clutter in our homes.
Instead, try choosing a few old pieces of art, decor or furniture and giving them a new life by repainting or repurposing them.
Giving old stuff new life could be as simple as giving an old dresser new paint, making a pair of old jeans into some cutoff shorts or using your used candle jars as a cute storage idea. If there is an item that needs some TLC but you aren’t ready to get rid of it, see if you can come up with some creative ways to keep it around longer.
It sounds challenging, and in fact, it might be, but keeping a daily log can be very telling of how you spend your time.
When you take the time to pay attention to how long you played on your phone or how long you worked before taking a break, you might begin to see some bad habits come through. And of course, you’ll notice some good ones too!
Most people don’t want to carry around journals all day. Thankfully we all have our phones on us almost at all times. Why not shoot yourself a text message throughout the day. Even something as simple as:
This can be a quick and effective way to be more intentional about how you spend your time and only takes a few seconds out of your day to track.
If you are a big book worm or find yourself always buying new books but never reading them, try getting yourself a library card.
This can be a simple way to expand your horizons and downsize your life from excess book clutter. By accessing all that the library has to offer you have the potential to learn new things, find new authors, and avoid spending money on books you don’t really like.
As great as it is meeting new friends, it’s so much easier to maintain the friendships we already have. So many times the best way to downsize your life is to just not add anything new to it and instead maintain and care for what you already have.
You could reach out to an old friend just by shooting them a text message or giving them a call but there are so many other great ways to show our friends that we care.
Sending a voice message through text, having a little gift delivered to their house or even sending a good old fashioned card.
What better way to enjoy life than on vacation? I won’t lie, my main purpose for saving money is so that we can go on more worry-free vacations.
Planning a vacation is a great way to keep your sites set on the future and keep you motivated in the present.
Taking a vacation doesn’t need to be an expensive thing. There are so many ways to save money and still have a blast. Here are some of my best tips:
Whatever ways you find to downsize or simplify, just make sure you’re being true to you and sticking with your ultimate life goals. Take it easy on yourself. One thing I know for sure, there more pressure I put on myself to enjoy life…the less I seem to enjoy it!