Welcome to The Color of Souls. I’m providing here a quick reference of tips that I’ve discussed in past posts that will hopefully give you some practical ideas about how to properly declutter your home and life.
There are distinct steps you can take to ease you into a life of simplicity.
Step 1: Imagine your life lived simply.
Where do you live? What sort of furniture do you have? What do you do throughout the day? If you imagine specific moments during your perfect day, including what sort of items you use, you get a better understanding of what is important to you, and you can use the next step to weed out the unimportant things. Here is what my perfect day looks like right now.
Step 2: Simplify your Stuff.
This has several substeps.
- Garbage first: old newspapers, magazines, receipts, broken toys, empty bottles, etc. You cannot simplify a home that has trash lying around.
- Extras/Things you don’t use: All of us have unnecessary multiples. The fewer things you have, the easier it is to find a home for them. During this step, it is easier to be more ruthless than not; you can always pick up something later if you find you really did need it, but you’ll be surprised how rarely this happens. (I’ve been doing this for two years and I’ve never missed anything I’ve donated.)
- Things you use and things you love: This is a positive step, as in it requires you to think about the things you want to keep, rather than what you want to get rid of. Be intentional about each thing you decide to keep. If you use it regularly, make sure it has a home. If you love it and find it beautiful, display it; don’t let it sit in storage.
- Maintain the flow of your home. Once your home is de-cluttered and filled with things you love, resist the urge to bring more and more Stuff back in. Every time something new is brought in, make sure something old goes out.
Step 3: Simplify your Schedule.
How often do we run around from one activity to the next, frazzled and unsure why we even try to do it all? Your time is precious and should be spent doing precious things. Allowing downtime in your schedule is just another way to bring you closer to that “perfect” simple day. Weed out time-suckers: whether it is TV, the internet, or some other mindless activity, purposefully limit that time to allow time for more important, meaningful activities.
Step 4: Simplify your food.
Simplicity pervades almost every aspect of your life, even your health and the way you eat. When we try to eliminate unhealthy consumption from our buying and scheduling habits, nutrition naturally follows. The simplest foods are also the healthiest: pure, whole foods with minimal to no processing. These foods, water, and exercise fall right in line with simplicity. Not only will you be healthier in the long run, these things can help you lose weight.
Step 5: Keep Simplifying and Enjoy it.
There are so many things in our lives that need simplification: our homes, our offices, our computers, our schedules, our wardrobes, the list could go on and on. But we can’t do them all at once. It would be counter-intuitive to let simplicity overwhelm us, so remember to take a lot of deep breaths and move slowly. Go at your own pace and enjoy the journey.