Last Updated on May 5, 2022
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Do you wish you could simplify your life? With things like staying on top of work, keeping up with friends and family, paying your rent on time, and making your home seem like it’s clean (all while trying to trick people into believing that you’ve got your life together), life just isn’t easy sometimes.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement and wondering whether you’ll ever get a break from this balancing act, you’re in luck! I’ve got a few tips up my sleeve that will help you simplify your life.
Before we get to the good stuff, I want to point something out that I’ve realized lately. Simple doesn’t always mean easy. You can come up with a solution that simplifies a problem, but following through with that solution isn’t necessarily going to be easy. It still takes some willpower and effort. That’s why I tried to include tips that are easy enough to implement relatively quickly and don’t require a massive amount of effort from you.
So, without further ado, here are 25 tips to simplify your life that will save you time, money, and energy all while you become healthier and more productive! Let’s simplify!
25 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Life
1. Set simple monthly goals.
Instead of New Year’s resolutions, set yourself 1-3 goals each month. I’ve been setting three goals each month since January, and it’s allowed me to start new habits, break down larger goals into manageable chunks, and achieve things I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.
2. Carry a water bottle everywhere.
We all know staying hydrated is super important, but it’s so much easier to do it if you keep a water bottle with you at all times. I have one like this that comes everywhere with me.
3. Declutter your closet.
You know that feeling when you have too many clothes and nothing to wear? Yeah, it’s time to get real honest with yourself and get rid of the skirt you’ve had for a year that STILL has the label attached (we’ve all been there, I know). Free up some precious space with this Simple Guide to Decluttering Your Closet.
4. Write your email to-dos on paper.
If you’re overwhelmed by all of the emails in your inbox, start at the top and write down any requests you’ve received or action items that need to get done. Seeing these tasks on paper helps you prioritize and help you be more efficient with your time (instead of flicking back and forth between emails deciding which one to tackle next).
5. Follow a quick morning routine.
Not everyone has time for an elaborate morning routine! Make things a little simpler and incorporate these 5 healthy habits into your mornings instead.
6. Create an on-the-go kit.
You know when you have to make an unexpected overnight trip and need to pack in a hurry? Instead of worrying about whether you’re going to forget something, keep a pre-packed kit of products under your bathroom sink so you can grab it in a hurry. Think sample sachets of shampoo, mini toothpaste, and that cleanser you got in last month’s Birchbox.
7. Use the 50/30/20 budget rule.
When it comes to budgeting money, most of us are pretty clueless. I was never taught this sort of stuff in school! But I’ve learned that a good rule of thumb is to spend 50% of your monthly income on living expenses, 30% on lifestyle, and 20% should go to savings. Here’s a free budgeting spreadsheet to make it easier for you.
8. Invest in a crockpot.
Okay, it’s not even really an investment, is it? They’re around $30. But crockpots can make even the worst of chefs into Jamie Oliver, and you get to come home to a meal that’s ready to eat immediately.
9. Start a capsule wardrobe.
A simplified wardrobe comprised of clothes you absolutely love means less money spent shopping AND less time getting ready in the morning. Want to start your own? Here’s a step-by-step guide!
10. Bulk unsubscribe from emails.
You know what takes up unnecessary time? Emails you don’t care about.
See how many lists you’re subscribed to with Unroll.me (you’ll be SHOCKED at the number). Get that nonsense out of your life!
Update as of 4.26.21: I’ve since found out that Unroll.me unfortunately isn’t a safe option as they’ve been known to sell data. Here are some alternatives for cleaning your email subscriptions.
11. Make your lunch the night before.
If you make your lunches ahead of time, you’ll a) make healthier choices, b) save money, and c) have the option to pack yourself some dark chocolate-covered raisins as a snack – what could be better than THAT?
12. Get a purse organizer.
I don’t mean one of those cringe-worthy As Seen On TV purse organizers. I’m talking about a little bag that you can keep easily-lost necessities like chapstick, hand lotion, bobby pins, and pens. No more wasted time emptying out your bag just to find a hair tie.
13. Save digital files to the cloud.
Instead of constantly losing your work in the abyss of your desktop, start saving your documents to OneDrive or Google Drive (here’s how to do this). You’ll be able to access your files anywhere, plus you avoid those duplicate files that drive you crazy because you don’t know which one is the current version.
14. Plan your workouts ahead of time.
If you go to the gym without a plan in mind, you’re either a) not even going to make it out the door or b) get frustrated because you don’t know where to start. Scheduling workouts into your calendar really helps with accountability and making sure you feel prepared.
There are tons of awesome workout calendars you can follow like Sydney Cummings’ 30-day programs.
15. Always have vinegar in your pantry.
Do you know how many things you can do with vinegar? A MILLION. You can clean your house with it, clean your jewelry, prevent running colors in your laundry, remove stains, remove candle wax, unclog drains, remove bumper stickers…the list goes on! Talk about a product that makes life easier.
16. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks.
You get to learn ALL THE THINGS while doing stuff that might otherwise be wasting your time (i.e. commuting). Sometimes I find that I’m able to process information a lot quicker through audio rather than reading. Libby is a great app for getting free ebooks and audiobooks from your library.
17. Keep your browser tabs to a minimum.
Want to be more productive? Close some tabs. I went a whole month with only one tab open, and it massively increased my productivity. Is one tab a realistic goal for everyone? Maybe not. But you can see how I did it here. You can even group together tabs on Chrome now to become a tab minimalist.
18. Fold your clothes so they stand up.
Here’s a little tip from Marie Kondo: Instead of folding your clothes and laying them flat on top of each other, fold them and store them standing up. This way, you can instantly find what you’re looking for, and you don’t make a huge mess trying to pull something out from the bottom of the pile.
19. Create a follow-up email folder.
Instead of letting read emails pile up in your inbox because you don’t know what to do with them, move them to a follow-up folder. Pick a day of the week and check your follow-up folder to knock those emails out.
20. Keep healthy snacks at your desk.
Most offices have an unlimited supply of chips and m&ms that you probably tend to gravitate towards during the afternoon. Instead, keep a stash of healthy snacks at your desk to perk yourself up and feel less defeated during the workday. Nuts, energy bars, dried fruit, and dark chocolate are all great options.
21. Buy multi-tasking beauty products.
Why buy a makeup brush cleanser AND soap when Castile Soap can do BOTH for you? I also love buying cream blushers that double-up as lipstick like this one from Honest Beauty.
22. Use IFTTT.
Otherwise known as If This Then That. This genius creation allows you to automate processes that you would usually do anyway. For example, I use a recipe that automatically tweets my Instagram pics as soon as I post them. You can also program recipes like ‘backup your phone contacts to a Google document.’ AH-MAZING.
23. Have these 10 items in your closet.
Want to know how you can put together an outfit in 0.2 seconds? Get these 10 basic pieces in your wardrobe, pronto. You’ll have a ton of outfit options, but not so many that your choices become overwhelming.
24. Write your to-do list before bed.
Instead of taking 10 minutes to prepare your to-do list in the morning (when you have more important things to do), write your list before bed. This way, those pesky to-dos will be out of your head, and you’ll have much a more peaceful sleep.
25. Take a breath and slow down.
So many of us are rushing through life, trying to get a million things done at once while attempting to absorb as much information as we can at the same time. Take a few minutes to think about the areas of your life where you’ve been rushing, and come up with a plan to slow down and be a little more deliberate.
These are all so great! I love this list. I’m a huge vinegar addict (#17) – I stock up when it goes on sale. I don’t know how people survive with out a crockpot (#8). Really I’m pretty sure my daughter would be fed corndogs and strawberries way more often.
The greatest tip I’ve learned lately is to set time aside to do nothing, yes I schedule free time. I try to make sure that nothing starts before 8 on weekends, so I have some time to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee on my deck. I look forward to it every week.
Haha a crockpot is a life necessity! ;) I love that you schedule free time, more people should do that! We are all so busy being busy that we forget to take care of ourselves.
Thanks for this useful list. I put many on my own list to incorporate into my life. The one I did right away was to clean out my inbox. Man, unroll.com was so easy to use. I was shocked at how many email subscriptions I had.
I agree these are great tips. I live by the last one. I tell myself “if you slow down, you’ll be faster” as opposed to rushing through and making simple mistakes in turn taking more time.
Yes, that’s SO true! You make things harder for yourself if you have to go back and fix mistakes that could have been avoided in the first place.
I’m loving how practical your tips are! Of course you know I already agree with them– though I’ve yet to go through the work of choosing a podcast to listen to… ;) I spend at least an hour in the car each day driving to/from work and sometimes I’d like to listen to something substantive. Other times though I just let my mind wander where it may.
I know – we think very much alike, Daisy! My commute is about the same, and sometimes I get bored with the same old music so I have to switch it up!
Such wonderful tips! I’ve been upping my water intake and I have never felt better! Thank you for insight and positivity, your posts always fill me with such joy and inspiration! xxxxxx
Good job with the water, Shoug! You are so sweet, I’m glad these posts are helpful to you :D xx
Thank you, Claire! <3
LOVE IT! So streamlined and helpful. Saving this for when my days get frazzled and I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Yesss thanks, Laura! Frazzled days are no bueno.
That folding tips is my new favourite thing!! I can’t believe I’ve never thought of that before. It makes so much sense though. I love all your posts. Thanks for all the awesome tips!
It’s magical, especially when you use drawer dividers as well! Thank you my dear, I always love when you leave me a comment :D
Amazing tips!! Things that are so simple + easy to change, but we don’t make the time to do them. I’ve started the podcast + audio book trick while I’m doing something else and am working on cleaning up my closet! I definitely need to work on the multiple tabs open… as I have about 25 open right now. Thanks for sharing Catherine! ;)
Thank you, Devan! It’s so true that they’re pretty easy things to add or remove, but it just takes a teeny bit of effort to do them! I know there are some other posts out there about simplifying your life that just seem so daunting.
I love all your tips, especially writing email tasks on paper. I have never thought of that but it sounds so useful! And I’m definitely checking out the Make it Happen podcast. I have a list of podcasts to listen too, but I’ve never gotten around to listening to them yet!
Thanks, Brittany! I tried explaining the email writing thing to my boyfriend and he just didn’t get it, so I’m glad you thought it was helpful haha! I also like the Smart Passive Income podcast by Pat Flynn because he interviews lots of inspiring entrepreneurs, and a lot of them are bloggers or created tools to help bloggers
Always love reading your blog! I do about 70% of these already, but listening to podcasts, setting monthly goals and decluttering have made the most impact in my life x
Lisa Villaume | Where Women Dream Big + Master Their Careers
I love this! I know I’ve been moving in a million directions while going nowhere. Fingers crossed implementing these changes will help!
I really hope it helps, Ann-Marie! xo
This is amazing. I cant count how many of these thing I’m gonna start doing
These are great tips. Personally, the one I’ve found most helpful in my life is #24, writing the next day’s to-do list before head. It helps me relax, knowing I’ve got a plan in place. Getting started the next morning is then smoother and easier, too. Happy to connect through the #letstalksocialparty.
That’s a great tips, and thank you for your kind to share that. Wishing useful.
This post is so helpful! I instantly used the Unroll.me app–I had never heard of it before. I’m excited to start getting your newsletters sent to my inbox. Thanks, Catherine!
Wow! So many great tips here that I’m going to start using! Really like number 4, 17 and 18! Thank you so much, I’m bookmarking this post! #letstalksocialparty
I loved this post. I love all your posts! I stumbled across your site and this has been a godsend.
I love this post so much!!! Found you on Pinterest and now I want to read more of your posts! <3
To do list before bed – one of my all-time favorites, also helps relax your mind for sleep by transferring the next day’s worries to paper.
Hi catherine. Thank you for this list. What category would tithe be in for the budget? Thank you.
Fantastic tips, and I use quite a few of them already! Love the water tip and the morning routine. They are huge and get the day going in the best way. Thank you!
Saving 20% is a nice starting point, but saving 30-40% is much better (split 50-50 between retirement, and cash/investments) – that is save 30-40% of gross. The freedom this provides after 10 or so years, is unbelievable!
Great Article , Thanks
Great Article! Thank you!
Amazing tips!! Will try and implement all of these. I’m addicted to planning and podcasts, so I got those down haha. Thanks for sharing Catherine x
These are simple and doable ways to simplify our life. Thanks for sharing. I would like to add one more – gratitude practice. It brings contentment and helps simplify the mental clutter :)
Good and creaive Tips. I am trying from today..
There are 3 main things I do in my life to help me stay sane and healthy (mentally).
1. I meditate 10 minutes every day
2. I try to go outside every day, even if it’s for 5 minutes. Normally I run or walk, depending on my mood.
3. I read beautiful words and quotes about simplicity, life, happiness, etc.
Here are a few I “use”:
Learn to be indifferent to what makes no difference. Marcus Aurelius
Happiness is a function of accepting what is. Werner Erhard
You can only have bliss if you don’t chase it. Henepola Gunaratana
“Plan your workouts” this one! After the workout, I am feeling like my body cells are developed (I couldn’t have the word to explain how I feel) After the gym. You covered the core of topic dear thanks a lot for sharing this amazing content with us.
Amazing tips..! These are really great and simple ways to simplify our life. Such a great and informative article. I would like to thanks to you because of this helpful content you have shared with us. I hope to hear more interesting topics from you. Keep updating. Thanks again.
Thank you for your post. I definitely agree with the goal setting. It’s important for us to set targets in every area of our lives. That’s how we know that we are growing and improving in a certain area. I have my personal goals, work goals, etc. I am a result-oriented person. Whatever I offering my time to I need to know for a fact that I haven’t been wasting my time. Life is too short!
Thank you for your post! I woke this morning after yet another stress dream. I hate those! I opened my laptop and googled “ways to simplify my life” and your post popped up. What a great list of actionable things I can implement! Thank you from Edmonds, WA
So glad this was helpful, KP!
thank you so much for sharing this wonderfull and informative article this very useful for me
I’ve been a bit late getting to this in my in box but wow, I’m glad I kept it. Many of the tips I actually do which did surprise me but there are some that I could do. I have started decluttering my whole house which has taken 8 months so far and it’s amazing how that helps your mind but the areas decluttered have stayed ‘decluttered’. I learnt to do it in 10minute chunks and that was a game changer for me. I love you advice in your emails. I’m a bullet journaller so alot if this makes sense. Thank you.
These tips will save your life! Thanks for sharing