Hi friends! I hope your week is off to a great start! Yesterday was definitely a Monday, but I’m feeling good because I got great sleep over the weekend, had a killer Monday workout, and got lots of those to-do’s checked off, including giving my office a much needed clean-up!
For the past two years, I’ve been intentionally working on simplifying my home and life. It often felt like I was running around in circles, trying to do all.the.things, taking care of all.the.things, while working, raising two kids, exercising, and being in a relationship.
It’s often all too much, so simplifying has been more of a survival strategy than a decor preference. It’s a work in progress, but I feel like things are running much smoother lately.
Today, I’m sharing 10 things I’ve done to simplify my life, and hopefully, they give you some inspiration for your own life.
10 WAYS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
1 • Brain dump
If you’re like me, you have a million things running through your mind at all times and it’s hard to concentrate on your present task with all those brain tabs open. One of the best ways to clear your mind is to do a big brain dump onto a piece of paper. Don’t worry about organizing the list- you can do that later. For now, just write down every.single. thing on your mind that is taking up that valuable brain space.
It’s amazing how much clearer and focused you can be after doing that! Once you get all the things onto paper, you can work on organizing them or putting them in categories or scheduling a time to get them done.
I keep a piece of paper handy while I’m working at my computer too. If a thought pops into my head, instead of switching gears, I just write it down and keep working.
2 • Declutter & Keep a Donation Box Handy
If you feel like your life and your home is overrun with clutter, the best way to deal with it is to get rid of it! I’m ruthless in this area and actually feel like I have a pretty good handle on my stuff (or lack thereof) now. I love opening cabinet doors and drawers and having them half full or empty!
I keep a donation box in my mudroom and as I come across things we don’t need, I drop them in. Whenever the box gets full, we make a donation.
3 • Keep Your Counters Clear
If you saw my Kitchen Organization post, you know I’m big on keeping our counters clear. I do this in my bathroom too and it makes a world of difference not having that visual clutter to distract you all day. I feel so much more peaceful when my counters are clear!
4 • Put your bills on auto pay
This one is a no brainer, but has been a game changer for me. It took some effort on the front end to set everything up, but in the end it saves lots of time and mental energy.
Now, I never stress over, “did I pay this bill on time?” because it’s on auto pay, I also don’t have to go through the logistics of writing a check, making sure I have a stamp, and getting the payment in the mail on time.
5 • Get into the Habit of a Daily morning and evening routine
Daily routines are essential for simplifying your life. And I have found that not only having a routine, but doing things in the same order helps too. Whether it’s the way you unload the dishwasher, wipe your kitchen counters or sweep your floors. If you always do it in a certain order, it becomes mindless and helps simplify your life in that way.
I make my bed every single morning right when I wake up.
At night, the dishes go into the dishwasher and it’s started, the counters get wiped clean, the floors are vacuumed and I prepare Jordan’s lunch for the next day. This evening ritual helps calm me down at the end of the day and I always wake up to a fresh, clean kitchen.
6 • Dedicate a specific time each week to meal planning and grocery shopping.
If you’ve followed me for long, you’ve heard me mention how I like to meal prep every week. When I make meals in advance, it helps me eat healthier and I don’t spend so much extra energy wondering what I’m going to eat each day. I plan for that ahead of time and then I have meals ready to go for lunch and dinner.
It’s also so helpful to order groceries online. I highly recommend using the Walmart+ membership to order your groceries and have them delivered to your door.
With Walmart+, you can: (1) shop online and get Walmart+ FREE shipping, with no order minimum on items from Walmart.com (excludes oversized/freight & Marketplace items); (2) get items from your store to your door ($35 minimum, restrictions apply); (3) shop inside the store with the mobile scan & go in the Walmart app for a contact free checkout; and (4) get member prices on fuel.
You can sign up for Walmart+ HERE.
I’ve been ordering my groceries online and it keeps me from making those impulse purchases that tend to happen when you’re inside the store. I’m have such a sweet tooth, and I’m liable to pile loads of treats into my cart when I’m in the store. But, when I order online, I tend to make healthier choices.
If you do head into the store, you can take advantage of the mobile scan & go you can access with your Walmart+ membership. It’s a contact-free checkout process that saves you so much time!
You can shop in the store, open the Walmart app, go to the menu and select your Walmart+ account. You tap “mobile scan & go” to get started.
Then, as you’re shopping, you scan each item, and when you’re ready to pay, scan the code at self-checkout and pay with your phone.
Healthy Vegan Meal Prep
I was getting a little bored with my typical meals, and I stumbled upon Rainbow Plant Life on YouTube. She had a new take on meal prep that included a healthy sauce and spiced nut mix. The addition of those two components is a game changer!
The sauce is an herbed tahini that can be used as a topping, thinned out as a dressing or as a pesto.
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The spiced nut mix added crunch, texture and flavor to your meals.
Herby Tahini Sauce
- 1/4 cup (60ml) Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Cup (112g) Smooth Tahini
- 1/2 – 1 Teaspoon kosher Salt
- 2 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Cumin
- 1 1/4 cups roughly chopped parsley
- 3-4 Tablespoons ice water
- Add all ingredients except water to food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Slowly add cold water until smooth and creamy.
Spiced Seed Sprinkle
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
- 1 Tablespoons Coriander Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 Tablespoon Sumac Optional
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat Pan over medium high heat. After a minute or two, add olive oil and sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer to plate and spread out with your hands so that everything is evenly coated. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Roasted Broccoli and Cannellini Beans
- 2 broccoli crowns
- 1 (15 0z) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, and dried well
- 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or regular/light olive oil
- 1/4 – 1/2 Crushed Red Pepper Flakes( more if you like spicey)
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 425
- Cut broccoli into florets
- Add the broccoli and beans to a large baking sheet ( you can line with parchment paper for easy clean up ) Add oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat the broccoli and white beans well.
- Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes, flip broccoli and toss around beans. Roast for another 10-15 minutes.
- If desired add a bit of lemon zest on top. Squeeze lemon juice over top before serving.
Spiced Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds Ground
- 2 teaspoons Coriander Seeds Ground
- 1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds Ground
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 1 (150z) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried well
- 2 to 2 1/2 Tablespoons avocado oil or Olive oil
- 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425
- Cut cauliflower into florets
- Add the cauliflower and chickpeas to a baking sheet, add oil, salt, and pepper to taste, spices and toss to coat the cauliflower and chickpeas well.
- Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 minutes, then flip the cauliflower and toss around the chickpeas. Roast for another 10-15 minutes for a total of 20-30 minutes or until cauliflower is browned.
These meals can be eaten on their own, or you can add them alongside fish or chicken. I’ve been layering the veggies onto spinach and kale mix and eating it as a salad. It’s truly delicious and so healthy!
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7 • Unsubscribe from unnecessary mail, email, and social media
Oh man, this is a big one! We get too much email and social media can be a drain. Can I tell you a secret? I scan my email daily for important messages from you guys or people I’m working with, but all the other email doesn’t get dealt with until I decide.
I don’t like to feel like a slave to when a message comes in, so I set specific times for checking email each day- and it’s not first thing in the morning!
I also signed up for Unroll.me to unsubscribe from unsolicited email subscriptions.
8 • Set routines and schedules for your kids
My 5 year old daughter is so much easier to handle when we keep things on schedule. It helps her know what to expect and she’s way less moody. Same goes for my son and he’s at an age where he can help develop his own routines and checklists. Y’all that have been here for long might remember the “I can get myself ready for school” chart I created when he was in kindergarten.
If your kids have routines and can take responsibility for themselves at age appropriate times, it takes some of the heavy lifting off of you. Plus, it helps prepare them for adulthood when you won’t always be there to remind them to brush their teeth!
9 • Single Task
In Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog, he says, “the ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status and happiness in life.”
I often find myself distracted or thinking of other things I need to do when I sit down to write a blog post. It can take hours to write one single post, so I force myself to sit down, set the pomodoro timer for 25 minutes and work on the blog post and nothing else for that time. Then, I take a five minute break. Repeat until it’s finished.
When I concentrate on the one task before me, the outcome is better and the task gets done more quickly.
10 • Give yourself 10-15 minutes of quiet time each day
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” According to philosopher Pascal, we fear the silence of existence, we dread boredom and instead choose aimless distraction, and we can’t help but run from the problems of our emotions into the false comforts of the mind.
Is there any quiet time in your day? Try incorporating a few minutes at a time and see how it feels. I bet you’ll start to like it!
I hope these tips help get you started with your own simplified life. It’s hard to slow down, so making things easier on ourselves is critical to our well being and sense of peace and calm.
I’d love to hear some of your tips for living a more simple life in the comments below.
Have a fantastic day friends!
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