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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Road to Simplification in your Life: Some areas to start

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There is a trend you can identify very quickly when you are casually watching TV, or take a look at the types of new businesses opening in your neighborhood. It is all about bringing simplification into your life, getting back in touch with nature, relearning the art of making things and living better with less material attachments.  Be artisan coffee, organic food, sustainable clothing or reclaimed building materials, taking a conscious approach to what we eat and what we use allows us to understand why simplifying not only reduces stress in our lives but helps little by little to take care of our environment.

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The following are a few suggestions to inspire you in your own road to simplification for a less stressful and more rewarding daily life.

 

  1. The art of de-cluttering

 

Living with only what you need sounds like a very sensible and easy approach to adopt, but in reality most of us tend to accumulate possessions and in many cases we let them get out of control taking over our space and sanity.  The recent popularity of the KonMari Method for tidying up your environment, has brought to the forefront the idea of reviewing everything we own, big or small, and looking hard at how much we really need  (and love) those things.

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Not everyone needs to become a minimalist to regain some tranquility but reducing the amount of things that cause us stress, it’s a goal most of us can get behind. A few key things to consider to get started in the road to de-cluttering:

 

  • There is no better time than the present to de-clutter. As it usually is with difficult things to do, the appropriate time doesn’t present itself, you have to make the time. Make the hard choice, clear up a weekend and do it all in one sweep. It is as hard as it sounds but once you are finished, the reward will be right there greeting you for a long time to come.
  • Keep only the things that make you happy. Take a hard objective look at every single thing, most of us keep things because they remind us of the past or to use them in the future. But asking yourself if the memories will disappear if the object is not there or if the future we imagine them in is still the one we want, would help let go of things which no longer speak to us.
  • Do it alone. It is always tempting to have a friend or a family member for support during a purge, but many times we end up thinking about what that person thinks about what we are keeping or letting go.
  • Respect what you have and what you keep. Respecting your environment and the things you own shows how much you really need them, if something is gathering dust in a corner it may not be very important to you. If you give something a place in your space, treat it like it deserves.

De-cluttering can be a draining experience because hidden among the things we are purging, we find feelings or memories that need to be confronted, it can become much more than cleaning your home and having a tidy house. It can give you the training to do some mental tidying up after you are finished with your clothes.

Once you have what you own under control, why not take the next step with a couple of slightly more radical ideas to consider:

 

  • If you work at an office, consider wearing the same outfit (or at least same color) every day. It can help reduce the amount of clothes you keep in your closets.
  • If you master de-cluttering and can comfortably live with the basics, take the next leap and jump on the Tiny House trend.

 

  1. Eating better

 

Improving your eating habits is not only about better ingredients, locally sourced organic food has undeniable benefits both for you and for the community, but it is also about learning the joys of simple cooking and how much a homemade meal can be enjoyed. Some of us are not naturally gifted in the kitchen, but there are so many easy to make healthy options for all levels of expertise available online you can always find a quick delicious meal you can cook.

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Image source: Pixabay

 

A few ideas to get us started:

  • Plan the meals for the week, keep them simple and quick to make. Making food at home can morph from being a chore to being a creative moment every day. Start simple and in no time you may find yourself improvising with flavors and ingredients.
  • Have all the ingredients at home for all your weekly meals, farmer’s markets are a great source for ingredients and you are supporting small producers. A great book that has been around for a while, The Art of Simple Food is a full of great ideas to get you started.
  • Eat slowly and enjoy your food, it is not only healthy but also rewarding.
  • Use technology to help you simplify, nothing better than Pinterest  to keep track of all those recipes you will try.

 

  1. Find a creative outlet

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It can be writing, painting, pottery, knitting, designing websites, dancing, skateboarding, doing yoga or anything else. We all have a need for self-expression and finding what allows you to do that, can make everything else much more rewarding. With all the time you can free up by taking control of your space and the energy gained by eating better, there will be time for you to explore what makes you happy.

 

With more simplicity and less stress, life doesn’t become boring, focusing on these areas will give you time and peace of mind to focus on bigger, maybe more adventurous projects and it can become more rewarding.

 

 

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