When we reach the stage in our life where the kids are grown and off pursuing their own lives, when the career is behind us or we’re getting close to retiring, when life theoretically slows down and becomes magically simpler…sometimes it doesn’t.
So, taking the time to ponder some simple living tips might just help you take a deep breath, focus, and get a fresh perspective on what you’re doing with each day.
As I spent time creating this post, I realized a couple of important things:
- A simple life doesn’t always mean that you become ‘one with nature’, get rid of almost everything, and never spend money again. It could mean that you invest a little bit of money and time into creating the environment that will allow you to fully enjoy living each day.
- Living simply is about making wise choices and decisions that are thoughtful, purposeful and healthy.
Why is this so important? What is the point of these simple living tips and suggestions?
Simple living is the knowledge that you have what you need and what is most important to you, around you every day. You don’t accumulate, upgrade, switch out, replace, etc. just because you can.
Continuing to do the same things, make repetitive decisions, frequent the same locations, are habits that we perpetuate because they are comfortable and ‘safe’, and many times give us the result that we expect. But they may not be what we really want, or need, in our life.
Separate out the want vs the need. What would happen if you didn’t have that thing you ‘need’? I mean, really. What would really happen? If we’re honest, the answer in many situations is, nothing.
Nothing terrible would happen. And in fact, it might just be one more thing among many, many things (I call them ‘things‘; you can give them a name as it pertains to your particular lifestyle) that we already possess.
If you are satisfied with yourself, inside and out, you are more likely to be satisfied with what you have.
Simple living is saying, “I have enough”, and really meaning it, from the heart.
10 Simple Living Tips
In Our Home
We can accumulate LOTS of stuff as the years go by. At one time, my husband and I owned a 3,600 sq. ft. log home in Michigan and a 2,400 sq.ft. vacation home in Florida. Was it awesome? Yes, in many ways. Did we have a huge amount of furniture and all that goes with it? Absolutely.
As time passed, our circumstances changed. Fast forward about 10 years and we lived a very simple life, in one home that was much smaller than our previous residences.
But we had everything we needed, and wanted. We had each other. That was enough. And, we didn’t miss all of the stuff.
1 | Organize and Declutter Your Surroundings
How about your home? Look around you…really look at what you live with day in and day out.
Do you really need all that? Really? This first simple living tip is to step back and clean, declutter and downsize where needed. You can read much more about downsizing and simplifying your home here.
Taking the time to organize, declutter, remove, donate, and otherwise clean out your home will take you back to a simpler, less stressful form of daily living that is actually more satisfying.
You’re not always thinking about what’s coming next, what to purchase, what to change, how to make it ‘better’.
One of the benefits of reorganizing, purging, donating, and decluttering is that it gives you an opportunity to do some freshening up in your home decor and create an environment that is relaxing, comforting, safe, and expresses your individual lifestyle.
A multi-functioning stylish shelving unit can give back in many ways, with storage, organization, and style. Here are some interesting suggestions for you.
LookBook – Shelving Storage
So much of how we see the world is filtered through the perception of ourselves, including self respect, self-confidence, and self worth.
Sometimes, our filter works the other way, and we see the world through the focus of ‘ME’. We want more, we feel that we need more, and may even think we’re owed more.
This simple living tip can be a tough pill to swallow for some, but it is an essential component of taking the simpler, quieter road through life.
2 | “I have enough”
One of the many truths I’ve learned over the years, and the next simple living tip, is to recognize when I have enough. Yes, I’m in my 60s now, so am not at the point when I’m starting a family, searching for the better job, the larger home, the vehicle that houses everyone, etc.
Even so, we can still continue to think in “if only” terms:
- if only I could move to that climate
- if only I could meet the right partner
- if only I could get the remodel done
- if only I could join that club
- if only I could play (name the sport) more often
- if only I could afford that subscription service
Of course, some purchases and decisions are necessary and should be undertaken. But, if you find yourself thinking more about what you don’t have, or where you don’t go, or what club you don’t belong to, or other ways that you’re missing out, stop and think about what would happen if you didn’t get those things.
Hmmm. Probably nothing terrible would occur.
3 | Simplicity in the Wardrobe
If a philosophy of simple living is truly a goal that you desire, take a look into the closet and see what’s in there. Is it wrong, or bad, to have lots of clothes? No. It depends on what you want out of life.
If you put your mind to it, paring down the wardrobe can be absolutely freeing and invigorating, and, you might surprise yourself with how little you actually need from day to day.
You might find that spending some time and a few dollars (maybe more) on a closet organization will give you a clearer picture of what you have, keep the wardrobe more visible, and overall help maintain that simplified lifestyle.
LookBook – Closet Oranization
You’ll find some specific direction with the wardrobe evaluation as well as discovering your personal style in midlife, with The Fashion Cure. It’s affordable, fun, and presented in a private way via an email series. You might find a whole new perspective on clothing and fashion, as well as renewed self confidence!
Some women couple simple living with a goal of slow fashion, committing to making future purchases from companies that practice sustainable fashion.
4 | Simplicity with Personal Care
Think about how you approach hair and skin care. We know that there are gazillions of products out there, including specialties for mature skin. How often have you decided to try the latest and greatest, then another, then another.
I’ve gone down that road a few times myself. But having made the decision to keep life simple, control the expenditures, and settle on just a few quality products, I don’t find myself checking out each and every new thing that pops up on the Facebook feed.
And, my life is so much simpler and more cost effective since I decided to go to my natural gray hair. It’s the real me, it doesn’t cost anything to maintain the color, and my only expense is the periodic haircut. I love it.
How about you? Is it time to simplify personal care in your life? It really can help maintain balance.
5 | Clean Eating
How we choose to live includes our diet – the foods we choose to eat on a daily basis. If the goal is a simple style of living that celebrates all that is natural and healthy for us, the menu of food choices jumps up high on the list, my friend.
Not only will choosing clean, healthy foods be beneficial to your body and your overall health, you might find that it also simplifies the question of what and where to eat.
And, as we get older and into our 50s and 60s, what we eat can have a significant impact on how we feel, including the belly fat, bloating, and overall weight management. It becomes more challenging as we age!
6 | Active Lifestyle
What does an active, healthy lifestyle have to do with these simple living tips? Well, staying active as a woman over 50 is essential to our health. Regular exercise not only keeps us fit and strong, it helps to relieve stress, clear our mind, and I believe it can ultimately help us focus and maintain the simple style of living we desire.
If you’re feeling like things aren’t as cohesive for you as you’d like them to be, consider giving yourself the gift of the Fresh Start Challenge. It’s a very affordable 7-day email series course that will help you refocus your mind, body, and spirit, and help you move forward with purpose.
Feeling confident in ourselves is the foundation to how we live our life.
What We Have
Have you ever felt like you were being judged as a person by what you possess, what you wear, and where your address is located? We can get caught up in that scenario without even realizing it.
7 | Don’t Compare
Comparing ourselves to others can have catastrophic effects on our psyche, relationships, and can take over our life if we allow it to happen.
Even though it sounds logical, and simple, and of course you’d never do that…comparing and keeping up is exhausting.
If you find yourself always checking out what someone else just bought, or where they went, or what type of car they just purchased, or whatever else it might be, just stop for a moment. Stop.
Take a look around and see what you have already, including loved ones, and I’m going to guess you have more than many could ever imagine.
Be happy with what you have.
8 | Repurpose if Possible
If you determine that a simple life will include a thorough review of all that is in your home…yes, everything…chances are you’ll end up with a big pile of stuff that needs a new home.
Whenever possible, try to find that new home, whether it’s donating, consigning, garage sale-ing, family gifting, or any other kind of ‘ing’.
Our choice to downsize, declutter, and simplify can give someone else a wonderful opportunity to extend the life and function of that piece of furniture, or clothing, or jewelry, or decorative item.
It takes more time and effort to repurpose, but it is so worth it in the long run.
Where We Go
The last two simple living tips suggest that we ponder what we do, and why.
9 | Simplify the activities
When you think about simple living, it doesn’t have to mean that you sit in your house all day and crochet scarves. But, consider how you spend your time, and why you do what you do.
Maybe you’ve always taken a vacation at a certain time of year, and although it’s enjoyable, there’s the stress and pressure of what to do next, where to go now?
Think about changing the pattern, keeping the time away a bit simpler. You don’t have to stop traveling or taking vacations, just give them some thought and think about alternatives that might give you just as much, if not more, satisfaction.
We talk about the importance of exercise, for example. It could be at the gym, or the club, but it could also be a brisk walk. It doesn’t cost anything, it gets you out in nature, breathing fresh air, and is wonderful for your health.
Now it’s up to you…
10 | Take the Focus Off of Yourself
One of the most effective ways to step back and refocus, is to be kind to others. Here’s a suggestion: Do one thing every day for someone else. Just one. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate gesture. You might just open a door for someone, or pay a sincere compliment, or offer to run a quick errand.
Simple living tips to help us keep our life in balance. We could probably use a bit more of that these days.
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