Finally, kid-friendly and real ways to simplify your life! I'm going to work on #1 and #7 this month!

Simplify Your Life

Wouldn’t it be nice to simplify your life? There’s no end to blogs, books, and theories concerning minimalism and simplification of our ever-complicated lives. But what if you have kids? What if you’re busy? It feels ironic to pursue minimalism or simplifying when it makes you more stressed. Or is that just me?

I haven’t been on a direct pursuit for all things minimalist, but interestingly, a lot of the books I’ve read this year have touched on that topic. Since they’ve approached it from very different vantage points, I’ve begun to realize that all of us could stand to simplify our life here and there. And the best part is we don’t have to toss everything out and move to a sparsely decorated high-rise apartment. (Up until a few weeks ago, I thought minimalism and cozy couldn’t go together. Thank you, Myquillyn, for changing my thoughts about that!)

Okay, onto the ideas! Here are seven thoughts you can take with you about simplifying your life.

7 {Pretty Easy} Ways to Simplify Your Life

1. Choose your ONE thing.

After reading Gary Keller’s book, The ONE Thing, earlier this year, I decided to choose my focus for the year for my blog, family, and personal life. This is what goal-setting is all about, but Keller is almost brutal in the amount of focus he encourages for your “one thing.” In other words, he’s pretty much against multi-tasking. I’m sure I’ll write a more in-depth post on my experience with this process, but I will say this: having a primary focus makes it really, really easy to make decisions. You’re either fueling the one thing or you’re not.

2. Know your priorities.

Similar to choosing and living by your “one thing” is to take the time to consider your priorities, and at the end of that time, choose which activities are not supporting those goals. This can be difficult since we tend to get locked into commitments or traditions that we’re only doing because we think we’re supposed to, but oh, it’s so worth it. Removing some commitments from your plate will instantly make you feel your life is simpler. Because it will be.

3. Ask yourself that question.

“Is this a need or a want?” Ugh, I don’t really like this question. Mostly because pretty much everything is a want. That said, if you are wanting to simplify your life, more stuff is not the answer. Taking this question seriously and thinking through the implications of adding another item to your life or home is worth your time. After all, you’re the one who’s going to take care of this thing for a long time.

4. Consider going paperless.

I’m not quite there yet, but if you’re curious about what it would be like to go paperless and simplify your life, my friend Abby and her husband Donny have written a book on their process. What would your life be like without piles of paper sitting on the counter? Much simpler (and neater too.)

Finally, kid-friendly and real ways to simplify your life! I'm going to work on #1 and #7 this month!

5. Get organized.

Similar to going paperless, but not quite as extreme, getting organized will instantly simplify your life (and your mind.) There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing a document you need is “somewhere in the house” but nowhere to be found. Being disorganized might seem simpler but it’s stressing you out. Taking the time to learn simple systems for organizing your life are well worth it. And don’t feel like you need to organize your entire life at once. Choose one area that really needs help, learn all you can on how to organize it and get it under control, and then move on.

6. Rent or borrow items you don’t really need.

I used to buy books like they were going out of style. Every time I saw a book that remotely interested me, it was purchased and added to my collection. Now, I love to read so I’m not going to give up the book part. But the actually buying of books? That has been replaced by our beloved library. In fact, our library also has a catalog of things you can rent, from ice cream makers to violins. (Not kidding.) Check your library to see if they have similar offerings. Also, ask around if you’re looking for something you just want to use for a short time.

7. Try a no-spend month.

This is a challenge I’m going to try this year because I’ve read sooo many articles about it. Also, I really like challenges. A no-spend month is exactly what it sounds like. You don’t spend money for an entire month other than to pay for your ongoing bills like rent or your house payment. The money you save during the month can be used to pay down debt more aggressively or to go on a vacation with your family.

Ruth Soukup has a book called, “Living Well Spending Zero” that I’m going to use as a guide for our no-spend month. (P.S. If you’ve completed a “no-spend month”, give me your best tips in the comments! I need all the support I can get.)

I’m a big fan of starting small and working your way up to real and lasting change. If you only choose one of these things and implement it into your life, you will find your life is more manageable. As I said at the beginning of this post, I’d love to hear your tips for simplifying your life and home as well.

Hope you have a great day!






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6 responses to “Simplify Your Life”

  1. Debbie Kitterman Avatar

    Jennie – WOW, I like some of the points you brought up, and some of them had me cringing thinking “i can’t do that” lol I am not sure I could do the minimalist thing, but I know a lot of people who are, I sure could use with some simplification in my life. Thanks for this seriously thought provoking and challenging (in a good way) post I am your neighbor over at Paula’s today.

    PS.. if you are looking for another place to link to on Thursday’s I would love if you would consider joining my new linkup #TuneInThursday – it opens Thursday 3am PST and runs through Sunday night. you can find it at (Please feel free to delete the link if you think it inappropriate).

    1. Jennie Avatar

      I recently took Myquillyn Smith’s Cozy Minimalist course, and she gave me great hope on the concept of “minimalism.” Rather than being sparse, it just means things have a purpose. I have a little kid so we’re not exactly minimalist! haha But taking her course really, really helped me. P.S. Congrats on the book offer! I went over to your site and saw your video! Sooo awesome!!! 🙂

  2. Maggie Avatar

    I’ve heard so much about the book “The ONE Thing,” and really want to read it! I love it when I can get up the courage to actually say no to something in order to simplify my life. It is SO rewarding! Hard, yes, but worth it.

  3. Lisa Lowe Avatar
    Lisa Lowe

    It is amazing how creative I became when it came to meal preparation, I used up things in my pantry that had been overlooked and it was fun not to spend money on groceries. My husband wasn’t as keen but he survived the month! LOL

  4. Jennifer - Before Theyre Grown Avatar

    I like the idea of renting and borrowing items instead of buying. That makes life a lot simpler and saves money too! Thanks
    visiting from eighteen 25 show and tell

  5. LydiaF Avatar

    We don’t do no spend months per se, but three or four times a year we have no grocery months when we eat the stuff that has accumulated in the freezer and pantry. It’s like a perpetual Chopped Challenge, hahaha. Thanks for sharing these great ideas with us at Creatively Crafty #ccbg 🙂 I also believe that “stuff” causes too much anxiety.

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