A Year of Simple Living
My New Year’s Resolutions usually involve a few goals that center around simplifying. One of my hobbies is pursuing a simpler life. In fact, I’ve even written a book about simplifying your home! Each year I think of a few (or many!) new ways to bring more peace and simplicity to my schedule, home, or habits.
Do you get that? Do you ever feel that urge to simplify, to live more intentionally, to shed possessions and anything else that weighs you down?
There are lots of ways to approach simple living, but I’ve found that the best methods involve breaking it down into manageable projects and goals. Think of what a year of simple living could look like for you! To give you a some ideas for simplifying this year (which you are free to use, tweak, or discard) I’ve assigned a project or goal for each month.
For each month, I’ve linked to a post on simple, intentional living to inspire you! These posts were written by members of one of my blogging groups, Alternative Living Network, throughout 2014. For more blog roundups on other topics, check out the links at the bottom of this post!
Take a look at your weekly schedule and pick a day–and time of day–that you can dedicate to simple living. Use that time each week, or even just once a month, to simplify an area of your home or to brainstorm how your family is going to live more intentionally.
To read: The Best Time to Simplify @ Richly Rooted
I tend to think of simplifying in terms of physical space–areas of my home that I can declutter. But simple living includes more than that! It encompasses how we organize our schedules, the vision we set for our home, our processes and ways of doing things. This month, set some goals for different areas of your life that you’d like to simplify. Make a written list, and post it somewhere that you’ll see frequently, like on the refrigerator or above your desk.
To read: 26 Habits, Recipes, and Things That Simplify My Life @ Richly Rooted
Sometime this month, revamp your cleaning cabinet! Simplify the cleaners that you keep on hand, and look for more frugal, sustainable ways to clean.
To read: Cloth – not paper – Towels @ Nourishing Simplicity
Clean out and freshen up your wardrobe this month! Love what you wear, and only own what you love. You’ll be more intentional about the way you dress, and a simple, uncluttered closet will give you a good start for each new day.
To read: Rule of 10: An Easy Formula for Simplifying Your Wardrobe @ Richly Rooted
Fresh produce is in abundance now, and there will be even more come summertime! It’s one of the easiest times of year to revamp your eating habits. Start by adding lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to your menu, and go from there.
To read: A Journey To Real Food: 100 Days of Real Food @ Simplifying Family
This month, evaluate your screen time and media usage–and try to cut back. Enjoy some slow days in the warm sun. Get outside and enjoy the rhythm of summertime.
To read: Recovering the Lost Art of Analog Living @ Richly Rooted
Devote a little time this month to serving others. It doesn’t take a big budget (not at all!) to bless other people. If your family has more time together in the summer, this is a great opportunity to serve others as a family!
To read: 10 Outreach Ideas for Under $10: FREE Printable @ I Believe in Joy!
Use this month to simplify a few specific physical areas in your home. Think of high-traffic areas that get cluttered easily. If you simplify these spaces, you’ll really notice the difference!
To read: How to Start Simplifying Your Bathroom @ Nourishing Simplicity
Begin a new season and a new school year with a better, less busy schedule than you had last year. Intentionally build margin into your schedule and use that breathing room for self-care, doing things you love with people you love, and going at a slower pace.
To read: Two Ways to Create Margin in Your Life for a Simpler Schedule @ Richly Rooted
What can you be a “minimalist” in? Minimalists are the hardcore simplifiers amongst us. They don’t just get rid of a few items here and there–they purge an area until it contains just the bare essentials. This month, decide if there are any areas of your home or life where you can “go minimalist”!
To read: My Minimalist Makeup Routine @ Richly Rooted
Be proactive about your health this month! Don’t wait til January–work on healthy habits that can be part of your daily routine now, and spend some time in self care each week.
To read: 5 Tips for Living Radiantly @ Simplifying Family
Spend some time this month thinking about how you want to approach Christmas as a family. Decide on ways that you can simplify the season so that you can bring the true meaning home.
To read: Why We Don’t Celebrate Santa @ Serving Joyful
Do you want lots more simple living ideas? Check out my book! Your Simple Home Handbook will help bring breathing space to your home! Click here to learn about my book!
For more “Best of” roundups from the Alternative Living Network, check out the posts below!
I have been striving to live a more simple life. I have gotten rid of a lot of items already. I don’t like cutter at all. Probably the (extreme) opposite of a horder. Not always a good thing. I am learning to keep things. Earlier this year I purged holiday decorations. I have 1 tub and after this season, I’m ready to get rid of more. I have a very simple wardrobe as does two of my children. I’m working with my eldest child and husband to simplify theirs. I will have to learn to say No to even free clothes. Our bathrooms are simple as well and our rooms. The more I cook homemade from scratch meals, the more kitchen items I buy. But there is a place for them all. One area I need to work on is time. I need to combine more trips into town, we’re 45 minutes from the grocery store we use. I make list but when I take my children, I forget things and then have to go back. Ugh. So, this coming year, I will take one child or none to run errands. I intend to also find free things to do as a family. More family time will also make life better. Thanks for this post. Blessings to you.
We had a huge “purge and shred” party in March. I ended up with a banker’s box full of empty file folders.
I cannot emphasize how important it is to leave spaces in one’s schedule for emergencies, or just a little time to breathe. When I was younger, I would run errands back-to-back for hours. No more! Of course, I don’t shop nearly as much, either.
Agreed. Especially now that I have a son, I’m realizing the benefit of breathing room in the schedule!
Im loving your blog specially the simplifying and home making
But I think that as a person who talks about clutter free and simplicity is a bit annoying reading the posts with such clutter of adds and pop ups I get thats how you make money but goes a bit against your topic and frankly it can be annoying
🙂 i just thought id share my thoughts as a reader and maybe get you thinking about “simplifying” the ads a bit
Thanks for the feedback. Excessive ads and popups annoy me, too, and I’m definitely willing to reconsider the amount I have on my site. It would be helpful to me to know what device you’re viewing through. I like how everything looks on my laptop, but I think more ads might show up on other devices, and I can look into that! There shouldn’t be any popups except for my newsletter subscription box (which doesn’t come up every visit), so I’m a little confused about which popups you mean!