What is the most important thing in the world to you?
Let me guess… it’s to spend time with your family and do the work that means the most to you as a creative, right?
After becoming a parent and working to become a freelance writer, I learned I needed to simplify a lot of things in my life. And I also learned that if distraction is the enemy of productivity, clutter is the enemy of simplicity.
Why make things harder than they have to be? Right? I’ve been working to remove unnecessary steps, items, and practices in my daily life and, you know what? It has really, really helped me focus better on the things I care about and eliminate the things I don’t.
This life-changing shift in thought process has been awesome for us and I wanted to share five tools with you that have helped my husband and me simplify our lives.
Watch the Minimalism documentary on Netflix
Y’all. TONIGHT. You need to watch this tonight. If you have plans, cancel them. I mean it. If you don’t have Netflix, watch it on Amazon.
I love being an American, but I do feel that we are ALL trapped in pursuit of the “American Dream” of always reaching for more than we need. It’s like we are stuck in a sick cycle of trying to accumulate, accumulate, accumulate and achieve, achieve, achieve without ever stopping to think about what is actually making us happy. Way too many of us are in debt and living paycheck to paycheck just so that we can pay for stuff. Sure, stuff is great, but what if we lived our lives to be happy instead of to keep us with the Kardashians?
Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle
I’m a very big fan of the Ultimate Bundle company. I was able to successfully start my blog because of the Ultimate Bundle Genius Blogger company (it only sells October 4-9 in 2017, click to sign up), but there are a lot of different bundles sold throughout the year. It’s one heck of a deal and Ultimate Bundles works to get quality resources so that their bundles can really help out their users.
I recently purchased the Conquer Your Clutter Bundle and it. is. awesome. There are a ton of resources including to help simplify your life in all areas. Whether it’s making cleaning & chores easier, decluttering, help with family organization, managing your time, meal planning, organizing paperwork & digital files, or even access to new planners, this bundle has it all.
There are 5 ecourses (worth $219), 15 planners (worth $224.38), and 18 ebooks ($215.15). That’s $658.53 worth of items all for $47. If you’re cheap(LINE) budget conscious like me, it’s a double win to get something for a deal and to get something that is life changing for a discount. Right?
I just got my copy, but I’m most excited about the following resources:
- Organizing Life As Mom by Jessica Fisher ($12.00)
- Never-Ending To-Do List: A One-Hour Solution for Busy Parents Who Want Less Stress And More Fun by Kelly Holmes ($4.99)
- The Home Management Binder & Family Planner by Helena Alkhas ($47.00)
- 30 Day Guide to a Clean and Organized Home by Rachel Jones ($27.97)
- The Ultimate Guide To Freezer Cooking by Crystal Barton ($10.00)
- 10 Steps To Organizing Photos & Memorabilia by Lisa Woodruff ($3.95)
- Spend Your Days: How to Control Time with Rocks, Bullets, Chisels, & a Boat by Tsh Oxenreider ($8.00)
- Chaos To Clutter-Free: 16 Realistic Steps To An Organized Home by Davonne Parks ($4.99)
Use the KonMari Method
There are links between feeling overwhelmed by stuff and the inhibited creativity. That’s why my husband and I have started to try to reduce the number of items in our home. I really have enjoyed employing the KonMari method in certain areas of our life, like our closets, our books, etc.
She recommends pulling every item out and putting into a pile to organize and then deciding on whether or not to keep the item based on whether or not it brings you joy. As we saw in Gilmore Girls, that can be rather subjective depending on what is going on in your life, so we ask ourselves the following questions:
First: Have I used/worn this item in the last two years?
Second: How many times would I use this in the next year (honestly)
Third: Does this benefit me/look good on me RIGHT NOW?
Fourth: Would I buy this in a store today?
Based on these answers, we have gotten rid of a lot of things!
I’m actually considering doing the 333 method with my closet, even though I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things already. If anyone has any insight on doing it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Consider starting a routine
Having a baby changed my life in a lot ways. I know. I know. That’s the most “duh” statement ever. BUT I will tell you that one thing that happened that I didn’t expect was that having a baby FORCED me to get into a routine… and I’m shocked how much easier things have become! I used to do things as I thought about them/made time for them. However, now that I have a morning/afternoon/evening routine, I’ve found that I waste far less time on menial tasks and I feel far less overwhelmed in general.
If you have a daily routine, I’d love to hear about it!
Implement a System to Reduce Purchases
My husband and I have started using a new system in our house to try to reduce the amount of stuff we buy.
This may look different for every household, but we have noticed that we’re really bad about impulse buying on Amazon. Whenever we feel like we need something, we go right to Amazon and buy it. However, when it arrives two days later, we often feel like we didn’t really want our purchase–or we didn’t really need it as badly as we thought we did.
So here is what we do:
- Make a list of the things you want. (Excluding food, diapers, things like that)
- Instead of making the purchase, write it down on the list and rank it among the other items on the list.
- Wait 24 hours.
- If we still want/need that item and it’s at the top of the list we buy it. If it’s not, it stays on the list or sometimes gets removed.
We often find that we would rather spend our money on one really nice sweater, kitchen appliance, Apple accessory, (or whatever item), instead of having a bunch of random, less nice items. This visual list helps us focus on what we actually want and prevents us from accumulating a bunch of random crap.
I’d LOVE to know how you’re simplifying your life! Please feel free to comment or message me with your ideas!
There may be affiliate links in this post or on this page. Please click here to read the disclosure policy for The Creative Mom Collective.