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.
Ditch one thing on your calendar
Whenever I tell this to people, most people instantly know something they would take off their calendar. Unfortunately, we can’t easily scratch off all of our commitments, but this is me giving you permission to get started now.
Look at your last month’s calendar and decide what felt like your biggest time consumer. Something you really didn’t enjoy doing. Now, make a plan for how to get that off your calendar for good.
In some cases removing pesky tasks from your calendar could be as simple as making a phone call or sending an email. Other things may take time, but you will be happier once you get to delete that event from your calendar!
If you’re struggling to juggle all of the different things on your calendar and to-do list, it might also be worth it to look into a Simple Planner that helps you keep everything in one place!
Remove one app from your phone
Let me tell you, I used to get so sucked into the wide world of Facebook, it was almost frightening. I would spend hours just scrolling mindlessly and when I managed to pull myself away, I felt like crap.
Don’t do this!!
If you have an app on your phone that is distracting you from actually living your life, delete it for a week. See how you feel at the end of that week.
Make a note of how many times you reach for your phone! Once that app is not available you will become highly aware of how much you actually rely on it!! 5 Tips for Less Phone Time This summer
Automate your tasks
Are there certain tasks that you feel like you have to cram into your day or certain things you dread doing? Consider finding a way to automate them.
Of course, I understand not all of us can just flip the bill for a full-time maid. But, what about a Roomba? Yeah, most of us can’t afford that either!
While your budget not be crazy high for paying for help, consider paying a neighbor kid to mow your lawn or start picking up your groceries!
Taking the time to automate these small time-consuming tasks can make your life so much easier. And, if it’s saving you time and sanity, it might be worth it it costs a little extra cash. Get my best cash-saving tips!
Enjoy your night in
Let’s face it, sometimes a night out feels impossible when you are balancing work, family and your sanity. Trying to get out of the house can suck your time, money, and energy in a big way.
So whether or not you are planning a date night or just wanting to treat yourself to a night-in to relax, try making an event of it.
Doing something like having a Gobble meal delivered that you can make with a glass of wine can be a lot more fun and relaxing experience than Netflix and Chill. But you can still do it in your PJs! (wink, wink)
Empty your junk drawer
Ok, so no one really sees the junk drawer and maybe you’re happy to just have all the crap in there hidden away without giving it a second thougt.
However, the junk drawer holds a superpower in your home that you’re probably not aware of. It has the power of spiraling you into getting motivated to declutter a little more.
Starting with easy-to-clean spots in your home can encourage you to keep going and help you get psyched about the idea of having less crap piling up in your home! How to Downsize Your House One Room at a Time.
Ditch screens one hour earlier
Just like clutter itself, too much screen time can up your stress levels in a big way. Especially before bed.
Movies, TV, social media and screens in general can mess with your sleep patterns and increase that before bed anxiety.
So make it easy on yourself and try cutting screens one hour earlier than you normally do! That means if you fall asleep with the TV on, try intentionally turning I off at a certain time.
Not sure what to do with your spare time? Studies show that reading 6 minutes before bed can improve the quality of your sleep in a big way! So, you could give that a try! And I mean, 6 minutes…that’s pretty simple.
Create a donate bin
Instead of trying to have big moments of decluttering and cleaning, why not have a permanent donate bin?
This way, as you go through your day, when you come across something you no longer want, you can toss it in the donate bin. By the end of the month you’ll have one bin already prepared for donations!
Don’t stress, a donate bin doesn’t have to be a big eyesore in your home either. Here are some great examples of aesthetically pleasing donate bins that you could use.
Great time-saving posts:
- How to Stop Running Errands and Get Time Back in Your Day
- 5 Tips for Less Phone Time This Summer
- Create a Co-op to Reduce Your Budget and Save Time
- 26 Ways to Get More Time Back in Your Day
Rotate your clothes
If you are someone (like me) who tends to be crazy indecisive when it comes to what to wear every day, try rotating your clothes seasonally or trying a capsule wardrobe like Project 333.
Simplifying your wardrobe can declutter your closet space and reduce the time it takes you to get ready in the morning!
This can also be a great way to experiment with getting rid of certain clothing items. You don’t have to commit to donating right away. Try living without certain items for a while and then see if you miss them at all! If not, you can add them to your donate bin!
Automate your savings
Saving money automatically every month can help simplify your life in so many areas and reduce stress. Some of the biggest benefits of setting up automatic savings are:
- Build an emergency fund
- Create a vacation savings
- Stress-less about spending
- Avoid temptation of spending instead of saving
- One less thing on your to-do list!
Our family personally has several CapitalOne360 savings accounts set up. However, if you struggle with saving, the Savings Builder account through CITBank can be incredibly helpful. When you set up automatic deposits every month, you get to take advantage of their highest interest rate!!
*Side notes: set up a savings separate from your current bank and be sure to take advantage of ones with higher-paying interest rates so you make money while you save! The best savings accounts to have.
Have a card for fun money
If you struggle trying to keep all of your budget numbers in check or are terrible at estimating how much you’ve already spent, I highly recommend opening a Cash App account for your fun spending!
When you spend money with the Cash App, you can easily check the app to see how much money you have left to spend! This can prevent you from having to constantly add up your spending, or worse yet, spend too much!
Do this for the areas of your budget that you love to spend on (and maybe go a little overboard)! Like shopping, dining out or even treating your friends!
Rotate your subscription services
Just like with clothing, having too many options to watch on TV can add way more stress to your life than you might know!
Instead save yourself some time, stress and cash by rotating your subscriptions. Try hanging onto Netflix for 3 months, then switch to Hulu, after that try Disney+.
This way you have less shows you feel obligated to watch and more money in your pocket!
Get rid of doubles
One of the fastest and easiest ways to get rid of clutter (and fast) is to start by getting rid of any doubles you have in your home. What I mean by doubles are things like:
- Pots and pans
- Crock pots
- Coffee mugs
- Bathroom products
We tend to hang onto a lot of extras in areas where we just don’t need to. Chance are, you have “favorites” of these things anyway. Why not try selling or donating your least-used items instead?
Turn off notifications
When we hear a little “ping” message notification from our phone, our brains get a quick shot of endorphins. Like a quick drug high. This of course means, we stand the chance of becoming addicted to our phones!
Not only do we run the chance of becoming dependent on our phones, but every time we hear and answer a notification, we are taken out of the present moment.
Being present in everything we do allows us the opportunity to fully appreciate the now.
We allow ourselves to be fully present, slowed down and uninterrupted when we take back our air space. Here’s how to turn off iPhone notifications.
Practice once-a-day gratitude
If you are someone who loves the idea of journals and gratitude but just can’t seem to get the hang of it, try simplifying it!
Instead of jotting down all of your feelings and emotions, why not try one single sentence each day that reminds you of one thing you are thankful for.
Stop texting. Start talking.
Instead of just typing out that next text, why not try talking it out instead? No, I don’t mean send your spouse a talking message reminding them to pick up the milk.
Next time you think of someone out of the blue or want to send a thoughtful, kind message via text, try sending a voice memo instead.
Voice memos can be a much quicker way to spread a little love through someone’s text message inbox. It’s more thoughtful and it takes less time!
Adopt a simplifying habit
Simplified life habits could be things like:
- Drinking more water
- Making your bed
- Washing your face
- Putting clothes in the hamper
- Taking walk with your dog
So often we look at things like this as burdens. They become something more we have to do on top of everything else. I challenge you to flip this mindset a little.
If you are struggling with your digestive system or lack of energy, making a habit of water could save you from constant Google searches, making coffee throughout the day or even some serious doctor appointments.
Putting your clothes in the hamper will prevent you from that before-work panic where you can’t find anything because your room is such a mess.
Simple habits can be life-changing and how we can change them is actually pretty interesting! If you are curious about how to start changing, I highly recommend you read, The Power of Habit.
Declutter one area
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the clutter throughout your entire house, consider just decluttering one spot at a time. This doesn’t even have to be one room at a time!
Start with your dresser drawers, make your way to the closet. Then, try under the bed. Decluttering doesn’t have to be a grand day-long event. It can be something that you dedicate 20 minutes to each day.
Doing this will still drastically change your day to day simplicity.
Avoid energy-sucking people
This one might be the hardest thing on the entire list but it can be the one that has the greatest benefit!
Clearing our lives from negative people allows us to take back our own lives, freedom, and energy!
I’m not saying you need to go cold turkey and just start ignoring or blocking all of the people in your life that you don’t like. But, you can set healthy boundaries, and you definitely don’t have to go out of your way to spend time with those who syphon your energy.