There’s a reason the slow living, simple life movement has taken Instagram and Pinterest by storm. Most people are looking to find a way to slow down and simplify their days. Once you realize that your life is just an amalgamation of days, you begin to realize that how you’re feeling and approaching living right now is shaping your life. No, you’re not just going to live this stressful, busy, crazy existence for one year and then have all your goals accomplished and then be able to chill out. That’s not how life works. If you want to be calm in five years, you’ve got to start practicing being calm now. It’s a skill, just like anything else. And milestones like paying off your debt or getting that dream promotion aren’t going to suddenly make you good at it.
The following will explore some simple and easy steps you can take to simplify things in your home. The goal here is to make the transition into slow living easier and more comfortable for you, your household, and any pets you might have.
The Landing Strip Is Key
The most important items in our day tend to travel with us. This is our keys, our phones, our phone chargers, our wallets, those important bills we need to pay this week, or that receipt we need to return the lamp that arrived broken. When you get home from a busy day at work or from a few chaotic hours running errands before the shops close, you’re tired, and you’re often not thinking about where you’re putting these crucial items. To save yourself the hassle of having to look for them again and again, designate an area right beside the door you use most often as your landing strip. You’ll need a wall attachment, a bowl, or even a little table with enough space for your mail and everything else to be set on it. After a few days of reminding yourself to put the important items there, you’ll be shocked by how much more relaxed your days become. It also makes those mornings when you’re running behind and just trying to get out the door much smoother.
If you have little ones, you might want to expand the landing strip to include cubbies or hooks for backpacks and coats. Make the spot your kid’s shoes go the easiest place to kick them off.
The more stuff you have around, the faster your home gets messy. The faster your home gets messy, the more time you need to spend tidying it up. Decluttering is something that can be emotionally draining, so often, people put it off for a rainy day. The only problem with that is that we constantly accumulate new items as time goes on. The longer you wait to declutter, the harder it’s going to be.
Once your space is decluttered, it is much easier to maintain and alter as needed. If you’re setting up a baby’s room, for example, and the room is near empty to begin with, that’s a lot more simple than if you’ve got to go through years’ work of stuff in the space first. If you make decluttering a habit (maybe a biweekly or monthly project), you’ll find things don’t accumulate to the point that you feel overwhelmed by them. This is a great process as well because it can help with those pesky “maybe” items—the things you should get rid of but are too attached to or feel guilty donating because they were a gift. If you’re unsure, you don’t need to spend too much time agonizing over it; you can deal with it next decluttering session. Slowly, you’ll notice that there are certain items that come up four or five or six times before you’re ready to get rid of them. That’s okay. It’s all part of the process.
Buy One Type Of Sock Per Person
Think about this for a second. If each kid’s socks are all the same, you don’t have to spend any time matching them up. They all match.
Storage Space Is Key
Fitting in with the idea of keeping things less cluttered so you can find things that you need, and so your home stays relatively easy to maintain, sorting out some solid storage space can make your life infinitely easier. This might mean getting another bookshelf because your current one is overflowing. It might mean looking into closet storage solutions so you can actually see everything that’s in your closet at one time. It might mean finally getting some garage shelving or a box specifically for jewelry or throwing away all those Tupperware containers with no lids and getting a new set where everything matches and you don’t have to waste thirty minutes digging through the junk drawer trying to find a lid for your leftovers.
Always Have Maintenance In Mind
Whenever you’re thinking about making a change to your home or buying something new, ask yourself what taking care of this addition is going to look like. Be honest about your household and how hard you are on items. If you have toddlers, don’t get white carpets. Save yourself endless hours spread out over the years, scraping crayons out of the white carpet. Don’t get things that have to be dry cleaned (it’s also horrifically toxic to wear dry-cleaned clothes, by the way). Don’t buy cups that you can’t get your hand in easy to clean. Avoid non-native plants that will need a ton of care and attention if they’re going to thrive in an environment they haven’t evolved/weren’t designed to handle. Once you start looking at items based on the work it takes to keep them looking pristine, you’re suddenly going to find yourself avoiding a whole lot of hassle.
Have A Designated Cord Spot
Choose an area in your home where cords and chargers go. Every night, plug everything in and charge it up if it needs it. Help everyone avoid the dead-battery issues that come with modern living.
The above tips should get you started on simplifying your home life. Once you see how much easier your days are when you make one small alteration, you’ll be on the hunt for more ways to slow down and inject ease back into your life.