8 Ways to Live a Simple Life

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If you long for a less stressful life. One that is not quite so chaotic and overwhelming, then this list of 8 Ways to Live a Simple Life might be just what you need. Use this practical list to pare down, cut back, and streamline how you run your home and live your life.

Use one or all of these simple living tips and get closer to a life of peace and productivity.


It seems that life has become so complicated and, at times, completely exhausting. We live in a world of over-scheduling and multi-tasking, running ourselves ragged.

Living a simpler lifestyle has many positive side effects that can effect both your mind and your body.

  1. Alleviate stress
  2. Improve mental health
  3. Improve physical health
  4. Give a feeling of contentment

And with so many positives this may be an easy decision, adding more simplicity to your daily life. But how do you make it happen?

Simplifying is easier than you may realize, and to get you started, I have eight tips that will cover your home, your schedule, and your outlook.

8 Ways to Live a Simple Life

This list is a great way to start; consider it your jumping-off point. Tackle one at a time before moving on so you can transform your chaotic lifestyle into one that is more peaceful and enjoyable.

1. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter

Many experts will tell you that clutter is bad for your mental well-being. This not only includes stuff lying out, giving your rooms a chaotic look, but also clutter hidden in closets and drawers.

Clutter in the home, whether you can see it or not, can affect you, and that means it is time to clear it out.

Step #1. Set up a sorting area

Have four boxes or containers set up labeled “Keep,” “Donate,” “Put Away” and “Trash”.

Step #2. Sort

Choose an area to work in first and start sorting. Pick up one item at a time and choose a container to put it in.

  1. Keep – will stay in this room.
  2. Donate – you no longer want to keep.
  3. Put Away – belongs in another room of your home.
  4. Trash – is broken, stained, torn, or cracked.

Step #3. Take the next steps

As you fill a box for donation, stop and take it to your car, replacing it with a fresh box that you can fill up.

Decluttering is a task that should be on your daily to-do list. This will help you to always be working through your things so you can keep what you have in your home to a more reasonable amount. Use this tip to help.

Gradual Decluttering

If you have little time to spend decluttering for hours each day, you can try this tip.

  1. Set a donation box in any room you want to clean out.
  2. As you find things to donate, stop and toss them into the box.
  3. Make a goal to put 5 items into the box every day.
  4. At the end of a month you will have removed 150 items from the area you are working on.

I call this Gradual Decluttering, and you might be surprised at how great this tip works to clean out some of the extra stuff in your home.

woman putting items into a box labeled donation in a cluttered attic.

2. Declutter Digitally

Do you feel overwhelmed by your email inbox, social media pages, and constant phone notifications? Then it is probably time to reduce some of your electronic clutter. Digital clutter can be as bad as physical clutter, and these tips will help.

  • Unsubscribe from emails you no longer wish to receive. Don’t just move them to the trash folder; they’ll keep coming and keep cluttering your inbox. Unsubscribe and be done with them.
  • Dedicate a specific time each day to check and respond to emails then turn off notifications, so you’re not constantly distracted.
  • Silence social media and instead set aside time in the afternoon to read over new notifications. You may even want to delete the apps from your phone so that you can only access the sites from your computer. This tip will help you to be more present in your life and limit the chance of losing hours of your day watching pet videos.
  • Take a look at the apps on your phone. If there are ones you don’t use, delete them.
  • Set “Do Not Disturb” hours for your phone so that you don’t receive any notifications during that time. This can be helpful during work hours, dinners, or sleeping.

3. Reduce Screen Time

I am a TV junkie. There is nothing I love more than sitting on my couch watching a great show or binging on a favorite movie. But too much time in front of the TV can leave you tired, frustrated, and unmotivated.

And, if you’re like me, you may find yourself snacking on junk food while vegging on the couch. Cutting screen time alone will have many positive side effects for not only your mental health but your physical health as well.

Things to do instead of watching TV

• Read – If you are not a fan of reading, you can set a goal of reading one page a day, upping that as you go along. Before you know it, you will have a new and healthy habit that you look forward to. Set up a cozy reading area in your home to help entice you to open your book.

• Do a puzzle – Puzzles are a great way to calm your mind and center your emotions after a stressful day. Set up a table in your family room or a guest bedroom so you can leave the puzzle out all the time.

a holiday puzzle on a table with baskets around the side with pieces in it

• Bring back game night! Dedicate a night each week or weekend for family game night.

• Take up a hobby. Hobbies are a great way to unwind after a stressful day. Creativity can help you relax and detox build-up stress. Starting a sewing project, doing woodworking, needlepoint, or paper crafting are all great outlets to try.

• Write a letter. Spend time writing a letter to a friend and sending it by mail. This benefits you and is a treasured gift your friend will love to receive.

If you have grown children, send a note by mail letting them know how proud you are of them. I love to do this out of the blue, and it has been a positive project for not only myself but also my boys.

woman next to a little white dog working on a puzzle

4. Don’t Spend What You Don’t Have

It seems we’re always trying to keep up with the latest things, upgrading our devices, buying new cars, shopping for new clothes, or eating out multiple times a week. This may sound okay on the surface, but actually, what we are doing is creating stress by going into debt.

Living a simpler life brings more joy and can help you create more financial stability by reducing debt. Set a weekly no-spend goal. Task yourself to find ways to use what you have instead of buying what you think you need.

Here are a few more money saving ideas to try out.

• Start a savings jar in your home for dinners out. Put any loose change you find into the jar until you have enough. Waiting to go out to eat allows you to put more emphasize on the night out making it an event. Not only will this make the night special but the you will find yourself focusing more on the food, how it tastes, and the company you are with.

• Go through your closet and look for any pieces you no longer wear or enjoy wearing. Take them to a consignment shop or sell them online. Use the money to invest in quality pieces you love and feel good wearing.

• Learn basic home repair skills or DIY projects to help you upgrade your home, garden, or barn.

More Money Saving Resources:

5. Plant a Garden

Whether it’s a big vegetable garden in your backyard or a patio garden right outside your kitchen door, growing your own food is a great way to simplify and enjoy nature. Digging in the dirt, and growing something have all been shown to increase joy and reduce stress.

a table patio vegetable garden with a ceramic frog in the front

You can grow vegetables you love to eat, start a tabletop herb garden, plant your favorite flowers, or plant a fruit tree.

If you do not have the time or the room for a traditional backyard garden, there are some great options you can try instead. These are what I like to call easier gardening methods, and they all work great if you are short on time, have limited space, or suffer from physical limitations such as chronic back pain.

Easier Gardening Options:

#1. Grow Bags – Grow bags are lightweight bags that come in a variety of sizes. They are porous, allowing excess water to flow out, giving a healthier environment for roots to grow. They come in a variety of sizes, and you can grow anything inside, from potatoes to peppers, flowers, and herbs.

a zucchini plant growing in a black grow bag

#2. Recycled Containers – Give new life to an old bucket, empty flower pots, a ceramic bowl, or other container, transforming it into a portable garden. Be sure to add holes in the bottom for drainage, position in a sunny location, and fill with your favorite plant.

Recycled containers are a great way to give new life to an item that might be taking up space in your home.

a woman planting flower pots with a young child

#3. Table Garden – You can purchase a table garden and use it to grow flowers, vegetables, herbs, or a combination of all three.

Table gardens are a great way to grow the food you love in a small space. Be sure to place the table in an area that gets at least 6-8 hours of sun a day and is near to water for easier care.

a table top herb garden full of fresh growing herbs

#4. Straw Bales – A more rustic option, straw bales are a great way to grow a garden. Compost the interior and plant with your pick of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. At the end of the growing season, put the ball in your compost area.

Straw bales are an easy and inexpensive way to grow a full vegetable garden right outside your back door.

a straw bale with tomato plants growing inside

Once you have your garden started, spend some time there every week, pruning, weeding, and watering. Enjoy the lovely fragrances, the vibrant produce, and the beautiful plants. It’s a great way to relax and unwind.

More Gardening Resources:

a woman in a blue shirt and flower gloves planting a flower into a small pot

6. Stop Multi-tasking

The truth is, no one can actually multitask. Physically, you can only do one thing at a time, and mentally, trying to manage too much only makes you feel scattered and unfocused.

Multitasking has the opposite effect, often leading to stress and preventing productivity. If you want to live a simple life, stop. Take a breath. Put your focus on just one task at a time, giving it your full attention. Not only will this reduce unneeded stress, but it will also encourage you to do things right the first time, eliminating the need to redo a project or fix a mistake.

• Focus on one task at a time and give it all of your attention before moving on to the next task.

• Use time blocking to organize your daily schedule. Mark off a certain amount of time for a task, then don’t do anything else but that task during that time.

• Remove unnecessary distractions while working on a project. Set down your phone and turn off the TV.

• Keep your focus centered by wearing headphones and listening to music or an audiobook.

When you can remove unwanted distractions, you can put all your attention and care into the work at hand. These simple tips will increase your productivity, allowing you to get more done in less time.

7. Set Realistic and Reachable Goals

When goals are vague, it’s hard to know when you’ve reached them. For instance, “eating better and exercising more” is a goal that’s hard to track. But, “adding vegetables and fruits to your daily eating plant” is a goal you can track and follow through on.

When you want to achieve a goal, it will help to have a plan that you can follow along to.

• If you’re trying to reach a goal, set one that’s realistic and attainable.

• Break a big goal down into smaller chunks to make it easier to reach. For example, a goal of decluttering your kitchen can be broken down into four areas, allowing you to focus on one area for a full week and complete this goal in a month.

• Revisit your goals routinely to ensure you are staying on track. I like to do this quarterly as this gives me enough time to make progress on each goal I have set.

• Reward yourself each time you reach a level of your goal and when you reach the final goal. This will help to keep you motivated and moving forward. You can promise yourself a shopping trip, a meal out, or a trip with your spouse or family.

Read more tips on Making Goals You can Reach here!

8. Practice Gratitude

Being thankful for what you have may also have one of the most significant impacts on your life. Not only does it bring attention to the little things it helps you to focus on the things that matter most bringing you joy and comfort when you’re feeling stressed.

• At the end of each day, take a few minutes to focus on three things that day that made you smile.

• Say them out loud or write them down inside of a journal. Add in any other notes from the day you want to give voice to.

• Look back on past lists to remember how a beautiful sunset made you smile or how much you enjoyed a delicious meal.

an open note book with the words "life is good" written on the page
Live Now Keep Smiling Concept

Keeping track of things you love will help you to live a more intentional life rather than going through your days on autopilot. Giving voice to the things that make you smile will help you to be more open to even more happy moments.

Living a life of simplicity is an easy way to find more peace and joy in everyday moments and focus on the things that matter most.

Try one or all of these 8 Ways to Live a Simple Life and add a bit of peace and joy to your days.

More Simple Living Resources:

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