“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius
It seems that I spent most of my adult life trying to obtain stuff; a house, a car, gadgets, tools, widgets and trinkets. And now I find ways to get rid of things. Sometimes these are physical things like computers, books, clothes, junk and sometimes mental like projects on a to do list. Over the past few years I have found that taking active steps to simplify your life can have profound effects in relieving anxiety and removing stress. It frees your energy and mind which you can now focus toward your new found path to enjoying your journey.
- Take small steps
- It may take a year or so before you are comfortable and proficient at consuming and collecting less physical and mental stuff.
- The key is to remove more things than you accumulate.
- Create a system that works for you and your family.
- Remember this is a lifestyle not a fad.
Simplify My Life
Here is a list based on what I have done, what I have seen from others and where I plan to go that might just help you.
- If you are moving into a new house think long and hard about the size you need. Bigger is more costly, more work, higher taxes and by no means guarantees you a return on investment. Also you may be foregoing a certain closeness you can get with your family from a smaller house.
- One income family. You may say this is impossible but if you change your lifestyle this is attainable.
- Get rid of cable and get an antenna. Watch less, channel surf less, free up time and spend it doing something more satisfying. If you need a bit more then get a box\/device that gives you Netflix and\/or Hulu.
- Organize your stuff once in a while into permanent locations with nice, out of the way storage. Keep it there. Don’t find yourself to busy or lazy to put things back. Put things back every time.
- Organization is equally important for non tangible items like to do lists and documents. Go paperless. Use something like Evernote or a to do tracker. Simply keep everything here. Take pictures of one bill from each account to collect and save the details and pay and discard all other monthly bills. Scan or take pictures of important documents and send them to Evernote. If you prefer to keep the paper then file by category in a file box or cabinet once a month. Don’t keep piles.
- Create rules that help; one thing in and one out.
- Have a purge weekend. Schedule a weekend every 6 months or so to at least go through your accumulations and organize or get rid of those things you no longer use. EBay is an excellent source to get some money for you things that would otherwise be worthless in a few years. You can turn thousands of dollars of old stuff into hundreds. Which is better then $0 if you wait too long.
Whatever the system is it must be simple for you to adopt and stand by and it must get you closer to that place you seek when you Journey Simple.