I've started a process of editing + simplifying my life in a bid to live more with less. I'm embracing what it means to live a simple, less complicated life where I'm clearing clutter with the intention of creating space where things that are no longer useful are not taking up energy or time.
I realised that having so much stuff (both in the literal sense and figurative sense) was taking up too much space in my home and my life and was weighing me down, adding unnecessary clutter.
I've moved 3 times in the past 18 months and with each move I've managed to cull down my belongings to a bare minimum. Initially this was driven out of necessity because I downgraded from living in a house to a small inner city apartment, but now after getting rid of a lot of stuff and cleaning the clutter I'm feeling lighter and so much more free.
This week I took a major step and sold my car. I worked out it was a false economy that was not only draining my finances, but that also was adding a layer of unwanted complexity to my life. My car has always been a bit of a security blanket - the freedom to be able to drive anywhere I wanted to at any time has it's appeal. But given I only drove on weekends, it was clear that owning the car was limiting my freedom as the cash and energy it was taking up in my life was preventing me from pursuing other things I really want to do.
It's an easy habit to fall into of holding on to things for no other reason other than believing they'll provide us with a sense of security. Being able to let go of financial drains or items that are no longer serving us and that are limiting us from bringing a natural flow and rhythm in our life, feels extremely liberating.
Here's are a few other ways I'm simplifying...
Giving away or throwing out clothing and belongings I've not worn/used in the past year.
If it's a classic or something irreplaceable I will hang on to it, but by letting go of an emotional attachment, I've learned, is the best way to part with items that are no longer serving me.
Creating an orderly system for my personal admin + finances.
Keeping on top of personal finances in a timely manner means having a good system in place so you can spend as little time on it as possible. I use Evernote to store a lot of items digitally instead of hanging on to physical paper which reduces a lot of space and have a neat little filing system for things that I need to keep hard copies of.
Cooking simple meals with whole foods.
Healthy doesn't need to mean complicated; after I've come home from work the last thing I feel like doing is cooking, so simple meals like omelettes, roasted veggies and salads are on high rotation during the week.
Staying away from shopping malls.
Shopping malls are time-sucks - have you ever noticed that every time you set foot in one you always end up buying stuff that you hadn't planned on, just because it was there? Or that you always get lost in the endless shopping mall maze, which leads you to making other unnecessary purchases? I now do 95% of my shopping online which saves time + money. Plus, it's always nice to get a package delivered!
Not buying magazines.
I used to be a magazine junkie, never missing an issue of my favourite titles - I have a collection spanning many years to prove it. Not only are magazines expensive (the cost adds up very easily!) they take up so much space and create unwanted clutter.
Everyone seems to be in a rush these days, short on time and hurrying you through to get on with the next thing. I'm bucking the trend and am actively taking the time to savour the moment and being present in everything I do.
Now that I'm car-less I'm embracing walking as my new mode of transport. I'm lucky I live to the inner city so I can get around fairly easily; I just lace up my Cons and off I go :)
Enjoying home cooked meals rather than eating out.
I love home cooked meals; not only is it likely to be much healthier than what you'd normally eat out, it's lovely and intimate to be able to visit someone's home and share a meal with them.
Putting a hold on purchasing anything major + impulse purchases.
I have a rule that I don't buy anything on impulse as generally these items are not 'needed'. Avoiding shopping malls + magazines also helps ;)
Limiting television consumption.
I have a television but haven't even set it up in my apartment, so for the past 18 months the only television I've watched have been shows online that I've intentionally wanted to see. It's amazing how much time you suddenly have when you stop watching television!
Reading more books, digitally.
In light of reading less magazines, I've been embracing digital books. I save money as they're in a digital format which is always cheaper, and I save on physical space because I can download them straight onto my iPad.
Not upgrading technology or any other items.
I'm making do of what I have already until it becomes absolutely necessary that I replace something, rather than upgrading because a new model or something shinier has just been released.
I feel like I'm just getting started with this list and am sure there will be loads more to add over time, so stay tuned to see how this progresses.
Have you ever felt the need to simplify parts of your life? Would love to know any tips or things you have learned along the way.