Simple Life, Greater Joy: 3 Ways To Simplify Your Life Right Now

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woman relaxing at home

Have you thought about learning how to simplify your life?

Wouldn’t it be great to remove anything that was overcomplicated from your life and keep things as simple as possible?

When you have a simple routine to follow, it’s easy. You can do it, feel good about it, and move on.

Life would be simple — and you would be available to dedicate the remainder of your time to the things that bring you joy.

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Here are 3 organizing tips to simplify your life so you can experience greater joy.

1. Identify what you're keeping and why.

Only keep the things in your home that you use and need to support the way you live and love. This is a simple strategy, and yet, not so easy to implement.

Some things can have a strong pull on your heartstrings. You keep them, thinking that the object holds the memory for you.

Other problems arise when you keep things because they were a gift or just because you've always had them. Maybe you don’t know what to do to move them out of your life.

For example, keeping things for the memory. Think about this: People hang on to many things because they remind them of a positive time, event, or person.

Often, they don’t really care about the object itself. They care about the memory the object evokes.

You can simplify and reduce the collection by taking a picture of the object and writing about the memory. Once you have the picture and the story written down, you can usually release the object.

The pictures and stories can remain in Dropbox or any other cloud storage platform. Or you can make a book, which is a nice option if you want to revisit the memories often.

Do you keep things you don't want because someone gave them to you as a gift?

It’s always lovely to know someone thought enough of you to get you a gift. Once you thank the person for the gift and the thought, you may do as you wish with it.

You may exchange it for something else, give it to someone else, donate, or sell it. You may even keep it, if you like the gift, and try to incorporate it into your home.

The problem arises when you don’t like the gift and don’t know what to do with it. It becomes clutter.

If you want a simpler life, avoid cluttering up your home with things you don’t want.

If you keep things because you don't know what to do with them and the object has no purpose in your home, it needs to leave.

Don’t hang onto things just because you’ve always had them. If you don’t use or love it, maybe someone else would benefit from having it. Take it to a consignment store, sell it yourself, or donate it.

Keeping things for no good reason adds to clutter in your home. The more clutter you have, the more time you spend dealing with it.

Simplify your life by reducing the collection of things in your home and keeping only the things you use or love.

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2. Have home organizing strategies.

Examine your home organizing strategies. Once you know what you’re keeping and the reason why, the next step is to create organizing strategies and routines that fit your lifestyle.

It’s important to recognize that organizing is never a "one and done" task.

Create routines that help you maintain the organization. Be willing to tweak the organization to suit your life as circumstances change.

Create a regular and light cleaning schedule, even if you're lucky enough to have someone help you with the heavy cleaning. This enables you to stay on top of things like dusting, vacuuming, and laundry.

Set a timer to see how long it takes you to empty the wastebaskets, dust a tabletop, or clean a kitchen counter. You will find that it takes less time than you think.

Remember to close the loop. Household chores have a beginning, middle, and end. When you start a household chore, don’t leave it in the middle. Close the loop and finish the chore.

Take laundry, for instance. You put your laundry in the washer and then the dryer. When the dryer stops, you take the laundry out.

Be sure to close the loop by folding or hanging your clothes and putting them away. The laundry chore is finished when the laundry is put away.

3. "Rightsize" your activities.

Simplify your life by removing any activities that no longer fit your vision for the way you want to live your life.

"Rightsizing" your activities means engaging only in activities that feed your soul or that serve a clear purpose. Also, remove activities that no longer contribute to the vision you have for your life.

Remember to take time for yourself. When your activities allow you to take time for yourself, you will have more patience and a better ability to give of yourself.

This is particularly important if you are the primary caregiver in your family.

If you want to experience greater joy in your life, reduce what you own to make taking care of your belongings and your home easier.

Create organizing strategies that work with how you live and maintenance routines that enable you to enjoy your other activities.

When things are simple and easy to do, you feel less stress and more joy.

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Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer®, a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC, and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization. Diane has recently co-authored a book with Jonda Beattie titled: "Filled Up and Overflowing."