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  • Writer's pictureHeatherAnne Norbury

5 Areas of Your Life to Simplify to Be Happier

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Simplifying is a great way to reduce stress and increase happiness. Not only can it help you save time and money, but it can help you focus on the things that matter most to you. Today I'm sharing five areas of your life where simplifying can help make you happier.

One: Simplify Your Schedule

Does your Google calendar look like a rainbow puked all over it? We use a different color for every one of my family members so ours can get pretty colorful. Is there any white space on it? Oh, wait. Is that a free hour at 3:00 AM?!

Simplifying your schedule frees up more time for yourself. This allows you to spend more time on the things that matter the most to you.

One way to start simplifying your schedule is to make a list of all your commitments. Look back a couple of months on your calendar to catch everything that is taking up your time. Once you have a list, review those things.

Is each one of them moving you toward your goals? Does it bring you joy? Is it allowing you space and time to be with your family, with your friends, and with yourself?

Think about how important each one of those commitments is, and whether it is worth your time. Remember, saying “yes” to one commitment means you have to say “no” to something else. Work toward eliminating the commitments that don't bring you joy, take up a lot of time, and aren't beneficial to you, your family, and your goals.

 Two: Simplify Your Home

Every item that we own has a price tag that is more than the price tag that was on it at the store. Everything has to be maintained, kept clean and takes up real estate for storage. If it's clutter, it's also creating this loud, silent to-do list in your head - “Deal with me!” Even if it is out of sight, it is not out of mind.

Less "stuff" frees you up to spend your time where it matters most - doing things you love and spending time with your loved ones.

Clearing away the physical clutter creates a more inviting, welcoming, and calming environment. That's going to bring you peace of mind at the end of the day and help make you happier.

Three: Simplify Your Wardrobe 

The average American throws away 85 and a half pounds of clothing every year. Yet most people are still standing in front of their closets claiming they have nothing to wear. Then, resort to wearing the same 20% of their wardrobe every single day.

Simplifying your wardrobe makes it so much easier to get dressed. It's better for the environment. It's better for your pocketbook. And no one will notice!

Simplifying my wardrobe was one of the first things I did when I started decluttering. It is a joy to open my closet, reach in, grab something, and know it's something that I am going to love. And you know what?! No one has said, “Didn't you wear that shirt last week?”

Four: Simplify Your Technology

Even before I read the research, I had the casual observation that more screen time equals less focus. Big Tech makes big money by exploiting our attention. The attention economy is very real. But you can balance being a Luddite with having your focus hijacked.

You need to be intentional about your technology use. Make sure that you leave space in your day to be technology free, to get off the screens, and to let your mind wander. Research shows that daydreaming and mind wandering actually help with focus.

Simplifying your technology by reducing the amount you use and having dedicated screen-free time does wonders for your state of mind and focus - and can help make you happier.

 Five: Simplify Your Diet

We are in the middle of a nutrition crisis as more and more of our food is factory farmed and over-processed. The Standard American Diet is SAD.

Poor diet leads to a whole wealth of bad health: obesity, heart disease, you name it. We all know that we need to do better. One of the easy ways to do that is to simplify.

First, try to eat foods that don't have so many ingredients on the list - foods closer to their original source. That can mean eating fresh fruits and vegetables. It also means avoiding packaged foods with long ingredient lists, full of things you have never even heard of and can’t pronounce.

The second way to simplify your diet is to simplify your meal options. Plan out a set of healthy, pre-planned, go-to meals. These should be things you like, are seasonal, and are easy to prepare. Keep the ingredients on hand. You can still have variety when you go out to eat or if you want to cook a special meal when you have more time. A list of easy meal options will be quite welcome when you're tired, you have serious decision fatigue, and you have to feed yourself and your family.

I coach around the idea that small, consistent actions have a big impact. When decluttering and simplifying, you want to build solid habits and shift your mindset. Trying to do too much can backfire in a lot of ways.

Pick one of these areas to start. It could be the one that you need the most work in. It could be the one that you're most excited about working on. It could be the one that you feel most drawn to. Pick one and get started with the smallest possible action.

 If you need more guidance on your simplifying, I invite you to join the Decluttering Community, a private Facebook group I host. The group is for anyone looking for motivation and guidance to reduce the clutter in their homes. You will find friendly support and advice from me and from others who are on the same journey.

Remember, small, consistent actions add up to big changes. Declutter your life today.

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