You’re wondering, “How to simplify Your Life and be Happy?” Learn actionable strategies for creating a simple life filled with happiness.
Life is already chaotic, and you’re drowning in the rat race of daily survival, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from what truly matters – your happiness.
Let’s backtrack a little;
If I take a peek at your life right now.
Would I find a list of unpaid bills, unhealthy notifications popping on your phone, your email cluttered with newsletters you never get to open, your home filled with possessions you have no use for, and toxic relationships draining your energy?
Finally, if your mental health is taking a hit, then it’s time to simplify your.
When you eliminate all unnecessary baggage, you create room for only what’s essential, helping you simplify your life.
And by simplifying your life, you bring calmness, peace, and a sense of control into your life.
Hence, in this blog post, I’m sharing no-nonsense tips on how to simplify your life and be happy.
You’ll also discover things you should get rid of ASAP to create a clutter-free life that allows you to perform at your highest level.
But before that, what does it mean to simplify your life?
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Simplify Your Life Meaning?
To simplify your means, take actionable and intentional steps to cut out the unnecessary and only focus on what truly matters to you.
It’s about decluttering, both physically and mentally, to reduce stress and make room for what brings you joy and fulfillment.
When you simplify your life, you use simplicity as a lens to live each day.
Basically, you’re intentional about creating a more balanced and straightforward lifestyle where you have the time and space to appreciate the things that truly matter to you.
Without further ado, let’s dig into how to simplify your life and be happy again, as well as things to get rid of to create a simple, happy life. This list includes both tangible and intangible things.
How to Simplify Your Life and Be Happy
These are bite-sized, actionable steps to take if you want to learn how to simplify your life and be happy.
1 . Declutter Your Possession
Decluttering your physical possessions is one of the most crucial steps to creating a clutter-free life that allows calmness.
I digress a little; can you remember how you felt when you decluttered an aspect of your life?
It could be removing old clothing and tidying your home, purse, and even closets. Refreshing, right?
Decluttering is like taking weight off your shoulders and opening yourself up while leaving space for the only things that matter.
While decluttering is great, we tend to attach too much emotion and value to possessions, making it difficult to eliminate these items that no longer serve us.
Also, a clutter-free life makes sorting, finding, and organizing your things easy. No more rummaging through heaps of unnecessary stuff.
Here’s the truth: you cannot simplify your life while holding on to possessions you no longer need or having a home that doesn’t create a sense of peace and mindfulness.
“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then, take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle,” Marie Kondo.
In a nutshell, decluttering is more than just tidying up; it’s about creating a happier, simpler life.
Okay, good point, Faith. How can I declutter my possessions when I have a knack for gathering things I don’t need?
- Define and set your goals – are you decluttering to create a more organized living space, reduce stress, or create a minimalist environment? If this is your goal: you want to simplify your life, you’re going down to the bare minimum.
- Sort into categories and start small – First, create different categories for all your possessions, such as books, clothes, makeup, emotional items, etc. Next is to divide and sort your items into keep, sell, donate, recycle, and discard.
- After sorting, take actions – Avoid having three or more variations of an item with the same functionality. For example, keeping more than two hairbrushes.
- Be ruthless and practical.
After decluttering, stick with having a simple minimalist lifestyle and conquer the temptation to fill up those empty spaces again.
2. Get Rid of Bad Habits
Habits serve as the building blocks for our personality.
Your habit reflects “the kind of person you’re right now and the person you’ll become in the future if nothing changes.”
If you want to simplify your life, start by working on the habits holding you back. Bad habits such as;
- Envy and Comparison
- Being a hoarder
- Overcommitting and always saying yes
- Poor quality routines
- Bad morning habits, etc
How can I eliminate bad habits holding me back from simplifying my life when I don’t know them?.
To uncover your bad habits, start by asking yourself these questions on a paper or journal;
- Who is this person I want to become?
- What kind of lifestyle would this person live?
- How would this person handle their day-to-day activities? Will it be cluttered, simple, organized? Will this person go on a shopping spree without planning? Will this person have a good morning routine that promotes wellness?
- Do my habits reflect the kind of life this person would live? If yes, you’re on the right track. If no, list those habits that don’t reflect how someone living a simple life would live and start working on them.
For instance, I was a night owl.
I would go to bed late, wake up late with a headache, and only achieve some of my daily tasks.
Most times, I would procrastinate; in the end, I had a pile of unfinished tasks and goals.
When I decided to change this, I learned to wake up early and create a morning routine that allows me to practice self-care (I journal, pray, and read every morning before work).
And my life became so much easier because I switched my sleep routine.
But let’s be honest, forming bad habits is easier than breaking them, so be kind to yourself during this time.
Instead of focusing on changing your habit as a goal, focus on becoming the person with that habit.
3. Build A Better Daily routine
Like habits, your daily routine plays an important role when simplifying your life.
An organized daily routine helps you prioritize tasks and allocate and spend your time efficiently.
A consistent routine makes it easier to include healthy habits in your day.
Whether regularly exercising, eating healthy meals, or getting sufficient sleep, these habits contribute to your overall well-being and simplify your health.
Creating a better routine removes the feeling of being overwhelmed, helping you create a less chaotic schedule you control.
Imagine you wake late in the morning, shower, rush off to work, and return in the evening exhausted after saying “yes” to practically everything at work.
And you return, take off your clothes and toss them in a corner, get in comfortable clothes, have junk for dinner, scroll through social media, or watch TV until late in the night, and you repeat the next day.
Now imagine you go to bed early, wake up at 5 am, and spend an hour alone practicing self-care and a slow morning routine (It could be reading, journaling, self-care, praying, or meditation).
Afterward, shower, have a healthy breakfast, and go to work.
You return home in the evening, shower, eat a good meal, plan activities for the next day, schedule 30 minutes to organize your home, enjoy a good night routine, and go to bed early.
If you choose any of these routines, which would you go for?
Yes, life can be overwhelming, but you should intentionally create a simple routine that prioritizes your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Whether you’re single or have a family to care for, scheduling 30 minutes to one hour daily “Me time” will improve the quality of your life.
4 . Switch The Long To-do List
Are you keeping an ever-growing to-do list with no end in sight?
To-do lists are great for tracking and accomplishing daily tasks but can also make you procrastinate when they are too long and overwhelming.
When you simplify your to-do list, you focus on essential tasks, allowing you to manage your workload more effectively.
I keep my to-do list simple and easy to accomplish. How can you simplify your life when your to-do list triggers you? lol
Here’s what I do to create a realistic productivity list instead of a long to-do list;
At the end of the previous month, during my monthly reset day, I always list goals for the new month.
My main goals are usually 2-3, then I break down these main goals into actionable tasks and spread them throughout the month.
Then, I’ll include additional essential tasks from business to self-improvement, relationship, personal, and relationship goals.
With this, daily, I achieve tasks that align with my weekly and monthly goals, and my monthly goals align with my yearly goals.
5 . Quit Toxic Relationships and Friendships
Toxic relationships and friendships can be draining, both financially, emotionally, and physically.
In most cases, toxic relationships pull you back from becoming a better version of yourself.
You cannot simplify your life when holding onto relationships that overwhelm you, complicate your life, and disrupt your peace. Both romantic and non-romantic relationships.
Over the years, I learned to choose my peace of mind over complicated things.
When you love and care about a person, nothing is complicated; it’s either they’re in with you or not (there’s no middle ground).
Always trust your heart. It doesn’t lie.
So search yourself; if you have friends or relationships that exhaust and overwhelm you, discuss the situation with them, set boundaries, give space if needed, or let go entirely if there’s no way to work around it.
6. Decrease and Regulate Screentime
In this age, where we practically live our lives off technology, breaking free from the grasp of your screen requires intentional effort.
I’m equally guilty of this since I live a laptop lifestyle (I work from home and online).
To curb my Screentime, before my devotion, I read a book for at least 30 minutes in the morning.
After that, I turn on the TV to join prayers for 30 minutes and turn it off immediately before proceeding to other activities.
During the day, I take breaks from my laptop, lie on my bed, sit, do nothing, and maybe sleep.
After sitting or sleeping, as the case may be, I return to work. Thus helping me spend some time alone off my phone.
Another hack I use is turning off my phone when going to bed.
I never leave my phone on because I hate waking up to a ringing phone or alarms.
Decreasing screen time helps you create a more balanced routine and makes you feel powerful and in charge of your life in a world where technology dominates life.
7. Debts and Borrowing
I consider debts as borrowing from your future to fund your past. Although some countries encourage a credit lifestyle, that doesn’t mean you should make it your reality.
5 years ago, I made this decision: “If I don’t can’t afford it, maybe next time,” and I have been living debt-free, I owe no one.
Become intentional about your finances, create a budget, spend less, and save more.
Before buying something, ask yourself, is it urgent? Can I live without this until I can afford it?
When you scale the things you spend money on based on this, you will reduce impulse buying and spending.
You can’t learn how to simplify your life and be happy when your finances are a huge mess.
For some countries with credit systems, sometimes debt may be unavoidable.
However, not all debts are beneficial. It’s crucial you borrow wisely and for purposes that contribute positively to your life. You cannot become financially free if you’re in debt.
8. Unsubscribe and Declutter and Simplify Your Email
A cluttered email is always overwhelming. I mean, you have so many things to look at.
And one of the biggest culprits of email clutters is “newsletters.”
If you’re in the online space like me, you’re subscribed to many newsletters, which can be overwhelming and cause information overload.
Recently, I deleted over 3000 emails and organized my inbox into 5 categories: work, newsletters, courses, login emails, and emails from people I don’t want to miss.
With this, I can bulk delete the emails in the newsletter folder with a single click.
If you don’t have time to do this manually, you can use Native Unsubscribes and Clean Fox to bulk unsubscribe from newsletters.
Also, creating a daily email to-do list will help you prioritize requests, sort through what’s essential, declutter, and delete irrelevant emails.
9. Set Clear Goals
Always remember that being busy doesn’t equate to productivity. In the same way, setting a long list of goals doesn’t mean you’ll achieve them.
Goals help you figure out what really matters to you. It’s like highlighting the crucial stuff and putting the less important things on the back burner.
So instead of setting “ambiguous goals,” set SMART Goals and follow them through.
10. Quit Saying “Yes” Everytime
If you’re a people pleaser who doesn’t know how to say “NO,” you can’t fully simplify your life.
Because even after making efforts and steps to create a simple life, you’ll only pick up more baggage from others.
In return, you’ll be back to square one, “a complicated life with toxic friendships, excessive possession, and engaging in energy-draining time-wasting activities.”
Understand that it’s okay to say “No”. You don’t need to lie about it or make silly excuses.
You can simply talk to this person, set boundaries, say No when you feel uncomfortable, etc.
I used to be a people pleaser when I began my self-improvement journey; learning to Say no and loving myself were the first two life-changing lessons and decisions I made.
11. Simplify Your Meals
To simplify your meals, first, reduce or totally get rid of the unhealthy foods you consume.
Create a simple, healthy meal plan instead of “cooking a storm” daily.
By doing this, you’re simplifying your life and prioritizing your health.
I eat homemade food daily and rarely eat out, except when I’m out with my partner or friends.
Instead of shopping weekly, I set a monthly budget for food and groceries and shop for them once every month.
Also, I cook in bulk, mainly the traditional meals I consume daily, and store them in the fridge.
This helps me save time and money and also reduces the stress of cooking daily. Plus, I make healthier meals since I control what I cook and eat.
12 . Shun Negative Self Talk
Negative self-talk is mentally draining, and often, it doesn’t stop at you talking down on yourself.
It can ruin your self-confidence and ability to appreciate and see the best in yourself and others and keep you stuck in a slump.
If you’re constantly putting yourself down, it’s time to let go of the past and focus on becoming better, and only then would you be mentally ready to simplify your life.
So instead of saying things like,
- I am not a morning person
- I cannot simplify my life
- I am worthless and can’t set boundaries with others.
- I hate myself
- I hate my life
- I am ugly
- I am overweight
Every day, look at yourself in the mirror and constantly replace your negative thoughts with positive ones, such as;
- I am a morning person
- I prioritize my well-being and take steps that align with it.
- I can do anything I set my heart to
- I am beautiful
- My life is excellent, although I may not see it now. But things will work out for me.
- I am working to become my best self.
I admit that this doesn’t work instantaneously, but if you keep speaking positive affirmations about yourself, you’ll become that person over time. It’s all about topping your self-love.
During this process, be kind and love yourself; you can make a list of things you love about your life, speak self-love and lucky girl affirmations, and believe you’re the best thing that can happen to anyone.
13. Manage Your Time Better
How you spend your time reflects in the overall quality of your life.
Spending your time unproductively will reflect in your work, home, relationship, health, etc.
For example, if every day you spend at least an hour doing self-care activities, you’ll become a person who appreciates her body, mental, and emotional well-being better.
In the same way, if you spend your time shopping weekly for clothes, you’ll become a person with a house filled with clothes you rarely wear. Do you understand where I’m going with this?
To simplify your time;
- Set clear goals and daily tasks (home, work, and other tasks)
- Focus on priority task that increases your energy
- Use time blocks and trackers
- Get rid of time-wasting activities
- Say NO when necessary.
- Know when to let go – when you master the art of letting go, you’ll find peace and be content.
Focusing on high-priority tasks first will reduce mental clutter, anxiety, and worries.
14. Let Go Of Emotional Baggage
When you keep holding onto the past, it stops you from taking meaningful steps in the future.
Emotional baggage clutters the mind and can cloud your judgment, affect your relationship, and even affect your self-esteem.
It also leads to physical clutter; you’ll find yourself holding onto many sentimental possessions, people, and relationships that are toxic for you because you can’t let go of the past.
While this is not as easy as it seems, you must forgive yourself and others.
Kindly Note: Forgiveness does not mean reconnection.
If someone hurts you deeply, you forgive them for you so you can find peace and let go. It doesn’t mean you want to rebuild with them.
By letting go of the past, you consciously create a peaceful and soulful lifestyle that centers around your self-improvement.
Understand there’s no going back in time, so learn to love the present moment.
I’ve been hurt deeply in the past. One thing I can assure you is that time heals. When you release yourself from the past, you open up yourself for true healing.
15. Practice Gratititude
Building a grateful lifestyle will help you simplify your life and be happy, find peace and contentment, and quit complaining.
When you appreciate the little things in life, you’ll discover that life itself is beautiful and worth living.
Being grateful for your little things helps you quit comparison; you feel good with your simple possessions and don’t want to clutter your space.
It’s an antidote to a materialistic lifestyle.
16. Quit Impulse Buying
Impulse buying is one of the biggest enemies of minimalism. How many times have you gone out and returned with more things you don’t need?
Ultimately, you’re unhappy and probably experiencing buyer’s guilt because you have something you probably don’t need or have a substitute for.
For me, it wasn’t material possessions; I always look at things I purchase through “the lens of simplicity.”
Do I need this right now? Can I do without it? Did I budget for it?
Despite being able to control my impulse to buy physical possessions, I have a knack for buying courses and tools for my business – I mean a bunch of courses I may never have the time to take because of FOMO.
To quit impulsively buying courses, I made a list of essential courses, got them, and focused on implementing all I had learned.
And until I see growth, I won’t buy new courses. And This has been a game-changer.
If you struggle with impulse buying, first,
- Identify the things you buy impulsively and declutter. For me, it’s courses; yours may be shoes, bags, clothing, and even food Items.
- Always ask yourself, do I need this? What happens if I don’t have it right now (because if it were a necessity, it would be on your list)
- Focus on mindful spending.
- Let go of the need for instant gratification.
- Get rid of shopping apps with products always on sale.
- Unsubscribe from newsletters that always cause you to spend
- Build a contentment lifestyle.
17. Simplify Your Clothing
How much time do you spend each morning looking for an outfit? The clothes in your closets, how many did you wear this year? How many new pieces did you buy this year?
Avoid buying clothes you can only wear occasionally.
Another way to simplify your clothes and be happy is starting a capsule wardrobe – you’ll only have a smaller, intentional collection of clothes, like having a closet with a few key pieces that you love and can mix and match easily.
18. Quit Unmindful Consumption
When learning how to simplify your life and be happy, being conscious of the type of food, drinks, music, videos, and information you consume is crucial.
First, evaluate your life and ask yourself, “What type of content would the kind of person I want to become consume?”
If you want to become a person who prioritizes her mental health, she lives a slow, peaceful life with an absence of chaos.
This person will likely avoid following social media accounts about parties, smoking, drinking, and free living.
The person you want to become will likely follow motivational accounts encouraging wellness, exercising, self-improvement, good books, etc.
Let’s be honest; what you hear, see, and listen to feeds your subconscious.
If you keep consuming negative information that does not align with who you want to be. Soon, you’ll find yourself doing those things.
19. Turn off Unnecessary Phone Notification
2 years ago, I started muting notifications, and I don’t miss them. My laptop has no notifications, except essential ones from Windows.
On my phone, all app notifications are on mute except my bank app and SMS messaging app (I don’t subscribe to things that prompt messaging. If I notice a service keeps popping up messages, I turn them off).
Every other app is on mute, Including WhatsApp.
Turning off pop-up notifications is genuinely liberating. I feel less anxious. It reduces distractions and gives me a sense of control.
I go to my phone when I want to, I check what I choose to check, and I’m not on a pedestal, being forced to open an app I don’t want to open.
20. Declutter and Simplify your Digital Life
If you want to truly create a simple life and be happy, never mirror your life based on what you see on social media.
Because no matter how “real” you perceive someone on social media. You only have access to a glimpse of their lives – Only what they want you to see.
If you follow accounts that don’t help your life improve or encourage you to fall back into your bad habits, they may be a source of distractions.
Then, it’s time to unfollow them.
Another culprit of digital clutter is WhatsApp groups. I dislike being in multiple WhatsApp groups, especially those that don’t add value to my life yet are a source of distractions, drama, and negative energy.
We live in a world of technology, so organizing and making your digital space less cluttered, simple, and calm is essential.
Also, use good, motivational wallpapers on your laptop and phone to inspire, motivate, and keep your device aesthetically pleasing.
21. Get Rid of Unnecessary Accessories
Do you have a pile of skincare and beauty products and fashion accessories you rarely use?
Or you’re a “collector” and enjoy having a pile of unnecessary things you may not use. It’s time to let them go and create a free space.
Look around you. Do you have a cabinet filled with makeup tools? I know someone with a whole section for perfumes and would continue buying.
Always remember why you yearn to learn how to simplify your life and be happy. This will guide you whenever you want to “collect” things you don’t need.
22. Practice Soulful and Slow Living
Soulful and slow is when you connect with your inner self and understand your values, passions, and purpose.
This helps you gain clarity, focus on what truly matters to you, and let go of unnecessary distractions and commitments.
Practicing soulful and slow living helps you maintain a simple lifestyle, create a deeper connection with yourself and your surroundings, and be in the present.
To create a soulful and slow lifestyle
- Reflect and journal your thoughts daily
- Quit materialistic habits
- Build gratitude lifestyle
- Practice mindfulness
- Unplug regularly
- Embrace slow foof
- Connect with nature
- Be you and be happy
- Take it slow and avoid always being in a hurry.
What Happens When You Simplify Your Life?
When you simplify your life, you gain clarity, find peace, and control the kind of energy and people you have around you.
You also have fewer things to worry about, allowing you to focus on what matters with fewer distractions.
When you create a simple life, you’ll learn to savor these moments, whether small or insignificant. You’ll find pleasures in the simple things of life.
You’ll also cultivate a deep sense of satisfaction by aligning your actions with what truly brings you joy.
Final Thoughts on How to Simplify Your Life and Be Happy
Finally, there’s no right or wrong way to simplify your life. You’ll have to pick what works for you and run with it. The only thing that matters is sticking to a simple lifestyle.
Additionally, it uses simplicity as a lens through which to live daily.
Simplifying your life is more of a habit, and it takes time to build habits.
So, “Instead of focusing on achieving a simple lifestyle, focus on being a simple person.” I.e., identity-based behavior. This way, it becomes difficult to fall off.
And on days when you fall off, be kind to yourself and get back to it. Always remember to be kind and gracious to yourself.
More Blog Post On Living Intentionaly
- 100 Easy Ways to Organize Every Aspect Your Life
- How to Get Out of Slump & Feel Motivated Again (Ultimate Guide)
- 100+ Things That Make Me Happy & Bring Simple Pleasures
- How to start over: 22 Simple Ways to Have a Fresh Start in Life
- 15 Easy Monthly Reset Routine Steps to Take Charge of Your Life
- 15 Best Steps on How to Journal for Self Growth & Better Yourself
- 12 Insanely Toxic Habits to Quit to Improve Your Life & Be Happier