How Simplicity Could Help You Live a Happier Life

How Simplicity Could Help You Live a Happier Life

If you’re the type that’s always busy or if you feel like you’re constantly behind the eight ball, you’ve probably wondered if there’s a way to rise above all of it.

You’re not alone. In the 2010 film 180° South, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard said (likely paraphrasing Confucius), “The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex.”

If you’re looking to simplify, here are a few changes you can make that can help.

Get Organized
Nobody likes coming home to a mess, and those piles of clutter add to your to-do list.

Instead of letting things pile up, find ways to stay organized that you’ll stick with. And, especially when these are new habits, keep in mind that it’s easy to say “I’ll deal with it later,” but that’s often how those piles creep up. By dealing with things “now,” it’s easier to stay organized and keep the clutter to a minimum.

Donate What You Don’t Use
Go through your belongings and see if there’s anything that you don’t use. Go through the entire house – including your closets and junk drawers. William Morris, one of the primary designers of the British Arts and Crafts movement once said, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Likely, not everything you own will fit into one of those two categories, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind when you’re deciding what will stay and what will go.

Once you’ve boxed up those “to go” items, donate them. Perhaps someone else will find them beautiful or useful!

Consume Just a Little Less
If you consume less, you’ll have less “stuff” to manage.  Having extra space or money doesn’t mean you have to fill it – or spend it on – “things.” Think about one thing you purchase each day or each week that you could cut out without negatively affecting your quality of life.

Keep Your Kitchen and Workout Area Ready for Activity
The kitchen and your workout space/home gym are two of the primary areas in your home that you use to get fit. By keeping these ready for you to just jump in and get busy, you make it even easier to achieve your goals.

If you don’t have a separate workout room, consider dedicating a corner of your house as “The Workout Corner.” Organize it so that you can just jump in easily to your workout with your mat, resistance bands or weights, and any other equipment you need at the ready.

The same should go for your kitchen. Have you ever avoided cooking because the kitchen is a mess? Or because the sink was full of dirty dishes? Make your kitchen a space where you want to cook.

Prep Your Meals
Just think how convenient it would be to have all your meals prepared for you so don’t have to think about cooking after a long day. One or two days a week, prep your meals for the next few days. Chop your veggies, cook your proteins, and put your dishes together so all you have to do is pull them out of the fridge and enjoy.

(For sample shopping lists and meal prep inspiration, check out our Meal Prep Mondays series).  By doing this, you’ll reduce the temptation to eat out or cook unhealthy foods because you’re feeling exhausted.

For a more detailed account of how to improve your meal prep, here are 5 tips that make meal planning easy and fun.

Refocus on What’s Important to You
What is most important to you? Take the time to make a short list of the things that you find necessary and those that make you happy. Are you achieving all of these? What parts of your life to do you need to reorganize to make more of these possible?

For example, if you love reading but find that you use up your free time at night watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook instead, make a conscious effort to break that habit and refocus your mind on activities that actually give you pleasure, instead of those that just pass the time.