9 Hacks to Simplify Your Life Today

Danielle McKee
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Life can be so incredibly complicated and complex. So many responsibilities, so many chores, obligations, and to-do’s. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back, evaluate your life objectively, and ask yourself:
 
How can I simplify – how can I de-clutter every aspect of my life – literally as well as figuratively?
 
The goal is to rid your life and your mind of the unnecessary complexities that cloud your thoughts, overwhelm your lifestyle, and overcrowd your physical habitat.
 
Here are 9 simple steps to simplify your life, make it a little LESS COMPLICATED, and make you feel MORE IN CONTROL:
 

Plant a seed and watch it grow

Take some time to plant a garden. Don’t have a green thumb? YouTube it! Cross some of those everyday fruits and vegetables off of your grocery list and grow them yourself. Sustainability is a big part of living simply, and a vegetable or fruit garden is a great step in that direction. Throw some wildflower seeds in there too while you’re at it!
 

Clean out your closet

Inevitably, we accumulate things we don’t ever use and certainly don’t need. When you start to feel the clutter overwhelm your home, it’s time to purge. Take a look in your closet, go through the items that you haven’t worn in the last year, and get rid of them! Less it truly more in this sense, and the feeling of space and openness in your dwelling will spill over into your mind.
 

 

DIY beauty and home products

Cross some more of those grocery items off your list and check out these recipes to make your own beauty and house cleaning products. Making your own products simplifies the list of potentially harmful ingredients that you are exposing yourself to.
 

Sample the ‘from scratch’ approach

Along with simplifying your home and mind, simplify your diet too. There is so much junk in everything we eat these days. How satisfying is it to instead prepare your own meal, from scratch, watching every ingredient as it goes into the finished product?! Avoid using stirring utensils – get your hands dirty! Cooking from scratch is a therapeutic, mindful exercise that helps reduce stress.
 

Make room for the new

When you decide to make a purchase – whether it be home décor, new yoga pants, or anything else – get rid of something old that you no longer use or wear. This is a good way to avoid accumulating clutter (see #2).

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Write letters

Sit down and make a list of people you feel hostility toward. Now, write a letter to each person, kindly (if you can) expressing how you feel, while simultaneously meditating on the concept of forgiveness. Sit with your hostility toward them and imagine that you are able to forgive each person. Even if you can’t actually forgive, IMAGINE forgiving. Continue to meditate on the idea of forgiveness and drop the letter in the mail, or destroy it. Either way, it’s a good purge of hostility. If you let these feelings fester, they will take you over and inhibit you from any sort of spiritual progress and simplification of your life.
 

Cancel your plans

Make time in your week or weekend to DO NOTHING. Sometimes I find myself looking ahead and filling my weekends so mindlessly that I end up with a full calendar of to-do’s. Even if they are just plans with your friends, cancel! Allow yourself AT LEAST one weekend a month of NO plans. Sit on your back porch, sit by the fire and read a book, SLEEP, do some yoga, go for a walk. Have no plans, no expectations, and no agenda – simple!
 

Use your phone for good

There is nothing like watching the highlight reel of other people’s lives to make you feel like you’re not living your own to its full potential. Instead of taking a break from your day to scroll through your Instagram feed, use your phone the way it was originally intended for a reach out to someone to say hi. Don’t spend all of your free time comparing your life to others. Use it to connect to the outside world – keeping relationships alive and reminding yourself that you are loved and not alone.
 

Map out your bank account

Sit down and list all of your monthly bills. Then make a new list with your monthly bills in order of priority (mortgage/rent, car payment . . . all the stuff you HAVE to pay). IF you can, get rid of some of the financial clutter. Have a gym membership that you hardly use? Cancel it and exercise at home or look into free YouTube yoga/exercise channels. Have a credit card you need to pay off? Write down a plan of how you can pay it off within the year. Paying for cable that you hardly ever watch? Cancel it and read a book instead. These unnecessary financial burdens only complicate your life.
 
It’s so easy to get swept up in the complexities and the clutter of life. We are all guilty of it. Take some time and reflect on each of these tips, and see if it’s something you can incorporate (or remove) from your life. The tiniest steps lead to big results. Life is too short to burden yourself with cumbersome and unnecessary messes. Use some (or all) of these tips to de-clutter your mind and spirit.
 
Simple is better. Less is more. As Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
 

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Danielle McKee

Danielle is a Northern California girl from the Sacramento area. She works at a Legislative Advocacy firm, enjoys yoga, meditation, writing, drinking wine and cooking for the ones she loves. Her yoga ventures have taught her to live more mindfully on and off her mat.

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