If you’ve read the name of this blog, you know I think that simple living is important. I don’t like busy and complicated unless they’re for something that’s a priority.
Simple living can feel like a vague concept or something that’s unattainable.
Well, if life is feeling too busy or complicated for you, I’ve come up with 16 actions that might help simplify your life, and they all can be done in 30 minutes or less.
They’re meant to help you declutter, slow down, unplug, and enjoy life more.
Update: Scroll to the bottom of this post of grab your free printable of all of these ideas!
19 Ways to Simplify Your Life Today in 30 Minutes or Less
1. Purge 10 Items
I bet you can find 10 items in your house within 30 minutes that you don’t need.
Less stuff to clean, less stuff to organize, less clutter!
If you want to declutter your home and aren’t sure where to start, be sure to sign up for my declutter challenge below:
Start The 4 Day Declutter Challenge!
A beginner's guide to a clutter-free life: Delivered straight to your email with practical homework (and extra credit) for each day.
By the way, you can easily make some money from your decluttered CDs, DVDs, books, video games, cell phones and more by sending them in to Decluttr.com.
2. Write Down Some Goals or Priorities
Sometimes we get so busy with random tasks that we don’t make time for things that matter or will make a difference in a few months or years. The daily busyness keeps us from focusing.
Set some goals or priorities. Write them down. Make sure you’re doing something each day that will get your closer to accomplishing your goals.
3. Stop Multitasking
For 30 minutes, just do 1 thing at a time.
I feel like all day, every day, my mind is in 10 places at once. I’m listening to a book while washing the dishes and keeping the laundry going and planning dinner.
I’m all for being productive, but I’ve noticed that if I take a short break from multitasking here and there, I feel less frazzled.
Even if it’s just watching a show on Netflix without also looking at my iPad and riding our exercise bike. Sometimes it’s just good to slow down and do one thing.
4. Get Inspired
Being inspired gets me motivated to take action. Just pinning some neatly organized and decorated rooms on Pinterest can motivate me to finally tackle the closet under the stairs.
Spend some time getting inspired to live simply. Look at recipes for super easy meal plans or helpful calendar systems, or photos of organizational solutions.
5. Plan Super Simple Meals for the Day
Plan out your meals for the next 24 hours and make them super simple.
We’re talking yogurt and a piece of fruit for breakfast, a sandwich with carrots for lunch, spaghetti with a jar of sauce and frozen meatballs for dinner… Super easy foods like that.
Then enjoy having less meal prep and cleanup for the next day. Simple food = more time for other things.
By the way, if you want to save time and money, meal planning is most-definitely the solution! My simple meal planning method has helped hundreds of people already!
6. Say No
If your schedule is overwhelming, find something that you can cut out. Or when you get asked to add something new to your schedule, politely decline.
If you’re super busy and frazzled and running on empty, you won’t be able to give that task 100%, so they’d be better off with someone else anyways. Lighten your load where you can.
7. Listen to an Uplifting Podcast
Podcasts can be so inspiring! I’ve been listening to a few different ones lately.
My favorites are ‘Happier with Gretchen Rubin’ for happiness and habit tips and ‘Young House Love has a Podcast’ for fun chats about home decor (I loved their blog back in the day, so I’m happy they have a podcast now!).
Find a podcast that inspires you.
8. Take a Walk
Get some fresh air and nature time.
Here’s the catch: leave your phone at home.
No texting, no music, no phone calls. Just enjoy the walk. Simplify.
If you’re listening to music or talking on the phone, you’ll miss out on the birds chirping and the sound of the wind through the trees. Walking is so healthy and can be an excellent way to relax.
9. Enjoy a Simple Treat
Treats don’t have to be expensive or complicated. We like to get a chocolate dipped ice cream cone from McDonald’s in the summer, or I’ll treat myself to a latte in the colder months.
It’s just a few bucks, but it feels special.
10. Make a List
I am a list making addict! If it’s on a list, I don’t have to remember it in my head.
Simplify your day by making a list. Here’s a list of all of the things you could make a list of 🙂 :
- Grocery list
- Projects to do around the house
- Appointments that need to be made
- Ideas of Christmas presents to buy for people
- Clothes to look out for that your family will need soon (write down sizes too)
- Fun activities to do this Fall
11. Turn Off All Screens
I sometimes feel like I’m looking at a screen or hearing noise for every minute of every day. It starts to get to me.
Turn off all screens and music for 30 minutes.
Read a book or play a game with your family. Enjoy a simple activity without distraction.
My in-laws have a cabin on a river about 15 minutes away from us (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen lots of pics of Mozzie by the water) and we love to go out there for some peace and quiet.
12. Decide What You’re Going to Wear Tomorrow
I always pick out my clothes the night before, even though I’m usually not leaving the house the next day. It takes too much brain energy to pick out an outfit first thing in the morning.
I do a quick check of the weather for tomorrow and lay my outfit on our dresser. It makes the morning so much easier.
I have to wake up like ten minutes earlier if I don’t have an outfit picked out. Let me tell you, ten minutes more in bed is amazing in the morning.
13. Pick a Small Area to Declutter and Organize
Tackle your entryway or junk drawer or the Tupperware cabinet or a bookshelf.
First, declutter it to get rid of what you don’t need. Then organize it.
If you’re like me, that small area of the house will make you smile the next time you see it looking all neat and tidy.
14. Plan a Simple Morning and/or Bedtime Routine
Having a good morning or evening routine can help you feel more organized or on top of things.
It doesn’t have to include a particular wake up or bedtime. It’s just a series of tasks to do when you do wake up or when it is bedtime.
Plan out a simple routine to try tonight or tomorrow morning. Don’t forget to write it down. It might take a few days to get in the habit, but it will help simplify those parts of your day.
My current morning routine is short and easy:
- Let Mozzie out
- Wash Face
- Put contacts in
- Do something with my hair
- Let Mozzie in and feed him
- Eat breakfast (it’s always chocolate mini wheats)
- Feed Mozzie again (he eats like a hobbit in lots of tiny meals)
I highly recommend taking the Make Over Your Mornings class by Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom if you struggle with getting your day started on the right foot.
The advice in this class has been making a big difference in my entire day (not just the mornings). I used to have a hard time getting going in the morning, and now I wake up ready to tackle my to do list. I’ve been so much more productive all day long since taking this course.
The class is inexpensive and 100% worth it. You can read my full review of the course here.
15. Write Down Your Top 3 for Tomorrow
I simplify my life by trying to focus.
Write down the top three things you need to get done tomorrow. They should be the three most important things.
You can have another list of other tasks you’d like to get done, but these three are the priority.
Your day tomorrow will be simplified because you know where to focus your energy and attention.
Don’t forget to consult your list of goals when writing down your top three. Work on something each day that gets you closer to your goals.
Side note: How amazing and adorable is this daily planner? It’s going on my Christmas list! (Mom, are you reading this? 🙂 )
16. Pick Up One Room and Then Enjoy It
When I’m overwhelmed, I like to hang out in my bedroom. I can pick it up and make the bed in about 5 or 10 minutes. Then I sit on the bed and enjoy the tidy and organized space. It’s a calm area to read or watch a show on my laptop.
Pick a room that can be picked up fairly quickly. Take a few minutes to tidy the space and then enjoy it!
17. Create a Uniform
I love the idea of daily uniform! Some majorly successful people, like Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama, use their own daily uniform to help eliminate decision fatigue. Less decisions to make each day = a simpler life.
Spend some time deciding what you’re ideal daily uniform would be and if that’s something you could make happen. Commit to trying for a week!
I’ve got a basic uniform for when I leave the house and have to socialize 🙂 Read about it here.
18. Automate It
Think of a bill that you can automate through your bank online. Or set up an automatic transfer to your savings account or retirement account. It’s one less thing you have to think about and is sure to happen regularly.
We’ve used Betterment to automate our retirement savings and they make it insanely easy.
19. Take a Social Media Break
In 30 minutes, you can log out of every one of your social media accounts. Stay logged off all day long to give yourself a social media break.
I can waste so much time and energy scrolling through Facebook instead of using my time and energy to live my own life!
If you actually take the time to log off, it’s a barrier to you getting back on, which just might help.
Update: I made a free printable for you so that you can remember all of these ideas whenever you have 30 minutes (or less) to spare! Just enter your name and email address below and I’ll send it right over to you.
The concept of a “simple life” can seem vague or just not possible for real life. These are some concrete actions that you can take today to help create a simpler life. A life where you are free from clutter, have time to think straight, and can enjoy your life!