The real beauty of simplicity is found in an ordinary day. When you get rid of the clutter, the obligations, the notifications, and all of the pressure, you are free to make choices based on how you want to feel and who you want to be. Finally, you don’t have to live the way you are expected to live, or the way you think people want you to live. Simplicity makes room for you to be you.
If you had told me 5 years ago that I would have time to meditate, workout, read or be creative in my work everyday, I wouldn’t have believed it. By decluttering, editing, and streamlining, I made time and space that I didn’t know existed, and it’s in that time and space that I am most grateful for living simply.
Last night my husband and I went out for a bike ride and a huge thunderstorm rolled into the city. We took cover until the storm passed, and had a really nice evening. Just having that time to take a bike ride on a week night without worrying about all of the other stuff I used to worry about is why I’m so crazy for a simple life.
It is those moments that inspire me to continue to live simply and look for other ways to streamline. Things have a way of quietly getting complicated and stealing time, but if we are paying attention to what’s most important, we can continue to experience the joy of simplicity.
3 ways to streamline for simpler days
Instead of trying to make everything fit, or constantly organizing your stuff, the real key to streamlining is letting go. Get rid of it. Delete it. Dump it. Say goodbye.
2. Put it away
Where do your things belong? Where does your work belong? Where do your ideas belong? Those are questions I’ve been asking lately especially for my work. This is what I did to streamline my business:
- I used to sell my books everywhere, but now they are only available here. The Kindle app is available for free on almost any device, so it seemed silly to be selling through multiple channels. It was just more to manage.
- I started a new simple affiliate program for my microcourses. It’s simpler for people who want to recommend my work, simpler for me, and makes the process better for everyone, especially people purchasing the courses.
- I’m moderating comments. Until recently, anyone could leave a comment on this site and that came with a daily dose of comments that I had to delete. I’ve considered closing comments all together, but like to make room for conversation. For now, all comments will be moderated so I can review them on my time and not worry that you’ll have to read spammy stuff until I have time to manage them. I know this can slow down a conversation, but we are all about slow and simple here.
- I started using Evernote for creative planning, business brainstorming and blog writing. I use Evernote on my phone and computer so everything is connected. If I get a crazy idea when I’m out and about, I can easily document it in Evernote, and then develop it further when I have more time. P.S. The crazy ideas are always the best … don’t dismiss them.
Putting physical, digital and mental stuff where it belongs gives you the freedom to consider new ideas and projects, and gives you room to breathe and enjoy. If you can’t find a place for your stuff, maybe you don’t really need it.
Who do you want to be and how do you want to live? If the stuff/work/people surrounding you doesn’t support that, change it. You don’t owe your past a thing and creating something new often requires a new environment. If you are stuck, tired, fearful, sick or sad, it’s time to reassess.
Once you start the process, you realize that while it may start with a closet or a junk drawer, simplicity is so much more. Simplicity is a bike ride in the rain. Simplicity is time. Simplicity is space. Simplicity is love.