Updated on May 07, 2011
L.P. asks from Uniontown, PA
18 answers

What ways do you *simplify* your life? (any or all realms ~ relationships, household, duties, spirit, kids, etc.)

I love the idea of living simply ~ or simplifying the life I live, but over and over, I find myself feeling bogged down by things, or chores, or stress, or whatever. Then I'll try to regroup, refocus on what's important ~ and eliminate what's not ~ but I feel like I'm only scratching the surface.

How do you *simplify*?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Denise, yes, as a matter of fact, I do! Perhaps I'll partake. LOL I'm just really bored, can you tell?

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

I think it's about identifying "needs" not "wants" and fulfilling them.
How many clothes, toys, etc. do I (and son and husband) really NEED? A lot less than ya think!
So "stuff" is a big issue with me (think George Carlin's "stuff" schtick) but saying NO when you have to in order to preserve sanity goes a long way, too.
L.--do you have a Xanax? You might want to go ahead and take that today! LOL

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Roanoke on

I'm on a diet, and I don't simplify but my granddaughter does. Shes nearly completely a meat eater! (Hardly any veggies, but tons of fruit) and she also hates things like soda. She will remove any soda and sugary sweets (other than my low fat ice cream) from the house.
She did this as a child to her mother, her mother smoked. One day GD threw the whole carton of ciggarettes into their backyard fire pit! Made my daughters choice of stopping smoking easy!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Dallas on

I find that even the process of simplifying becomes tedious! haha!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

Getting rid of clutter...When I was very young I became very attached to "things" was worried about "things" heck I was such a mess ( and I am talking Young!) I would carry big bags of my stuff around with me because I was so so afraid something would happen and I did not want to lose sight of my treasures. Now I am much older, 3 kids and clutter just makes me crazy...I was still clinging to things and then between watching the show on A&E ( Haorders) and also finding The FlyLady, I discovered that things really do not bring me happiness...and that you cannot clean clutter and ever since I have been so much more happy. I pair it down...I used to be a "saver" now I would say I throw it away. I keep very few cards...I enjoy them for a while then toss them. I used to think this meant I was no longer sentimental, but I still am...I just value my space, and I cannot enjoy my home and have it filled with "stuff"
I sometimes think how great it would be to have someone come in and do a clean sweep and start from scratch, but since that can't happen ; ) I just ask myself do I like it? do I love it? do I need more than one?
When I am feeling anxiety I step back and make a list and ask myself questions like is this my problem? can I realistically do anything to help the situation? if I can't then I try and relax and pray and try not to worry or agonize over it because that is wasted energy. = ) Love the question!!! Looking forward to others answers...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

For me it's all about routine & pre-planning. I get as many things ready the night before as I can (ensure sport uniforms are clean & dry, get the coffee pot ready & set the alarm so it starts automatically, etc.). I also do my big food shopping every 2 weeks when I get paid & completely stock up on all essentials so I don't have to constantly be running to the store after work every day. We have a small chest freezer in the garage so I buy 2 weeks worth of meat, separate it into dinner size portions, pop it in ziploc bags & freeze & then I can just pull out whatever I want that night before I leave for work in the morning.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Well, in realizing I was divorcing at age 39 and age 40 right around the corner, it really hit me how short life is and how I was not going to waste it doing things I didn't want to do and feeling obligated to people I shouldn't be obligated to. So after doing some soul searching, I decided to eliminate every single negative thing and person in my life...and I did. It has made a huge difference!!! And i also am now with a man who gets rid of everything and I'm a pack rat! So I have been downsizing and it feels great! so much easier to keep the house clean and organized. And speaking of cleaning...frankly, its not a big priority. I don't clean every minute of the day but we tend to 'keep up' with it. I'm not embarrassed if anyone pops over and feel good that our home is welcoming and "lived in". My hubby and I live comfortably, don't overspend a bunch of money, pay cash for everything and really don't do anything we don't want to! I think its all in your attitude. So that's what I do. :o)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

worry about things that matter and dont dwell on things that dont

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Don't buy anything until you've needed it three times. Throw out anything that isn't useful, meaningful, and/or brings beauty to your life.

I will get caught up in all that I "should" do each day - clean and pick up the place, school work, work, relationships, money... Then I'll think about life in a bigger way - who will care if I do X, what is the outcome if I don't do Y - and I realize that most of it doesn't matter. I then pick the one thing that does matter most right now, and do it.

And then I go for a run, have sex, or drink a beer...or even better - all three!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Hi, L.:
The first thing is awarness: 50%
Next thing is to apply.
Change in thinking.

Our society does not promote simplicity so you will
be going against the current.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

We're about to do some major simplification-
-moving to the country to a smaller, quieter neighborhood
-lessening our square footage and need for stuff (ie furnishings)
-going room by room over the next 2 months while we pack and if we don't wear it, use it, or need it on a regular basis-it's getting sold or donated
-planning to cook outside on the grill for at least 50% of our summer meals to save energy and be outdoors more
-we've been having board game or domino nights where we turn off the tv and play a game and just visit, sometimes playing with my son or with extended family on weekends
-we've stopped driving one of our cars almost completely-saves on gas and saves on needless running around town and buying stuff we don't need
-I joined a book group earlier this year which has helped me stay on track with reading at least a few books in the year
-stopped giving gifts to anyone but immediate family-saves money and hassle and really focuses on just celebrating the occasion be it birthday, anniversary, etc
-been leaving my son with in-laws for 4-5 hours on a weekend day and instead of DH and I having a date and going out, we stay home and just hang out together, talk, have sex, cuddle and watch a movie, whatever....
-going for a walk and taking our son the park every evening

I guess that's a lot of things, but I've really been on a simplification, frugality kick lately, so we're doing a lot!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Declutter!! And I'm currently reading and following "Organized Simplicity" and "Simplicity Parenting". Check out http://simplemom.net/ Have fun!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

For me, I 1st have to identify what's important, then prioritize that over everything else. I focus on the big picture and fill in the details as I go. It also helps for me to plan loosely. I try to think things through, get a plan of attack, but be flexible enough that if that isnt working we can adapt. I see rigidity in my friends' lives causing them grief. It helps to not overbook myself. I dont make a whole lot of promises or future plans set in stone, becasue I dont know what life is going to throw at me. So, a lot of what we do seems very spur of the moment, but it's actually controlled chaos. I know what my parameters are so far as budget and time and will go nuts within those boundaries. So, there you have it - lack of planning, thats how I simplify!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I get so stressed trying to get all the have-to's done so that I can spend time with my kids, then I realized that as long as I am engaged with them it doesn't matter what we are doing. I try really hard to just do what we have to do and engage the kids along with it. Wether it is grocery shopping, cooking dinner, or cleaning up we can all do it together.

I need this taped and glued to my head so it will play over and over, but I try...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

I am constantly trying to find ways to simplify my life. Sometimes I have the strategies, sometimes I don't.

Some things to do though:

1. Declutter, declutter, declutter
2. Live within your means
3. Plan your life
4. Budget and stick with it
5. Buy only groceries you NEED not like or want

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I think no matter how much you try to simplify, life just gets complicated! We used to live in a 1 room cabin in Alaska and that was the simplest my life has ever been. But I did have to haul water and go pay to take a shower at the laundromat or gym, so in some cases it was not so simple. These days we try to keep it simple by being happy with what we have, only owning one car, and not having a television. But we have laptops and still watch movies on Netflix, so it's probably not that much different. I have a friend who tries to prepare much of her meals for the week on Sunday. So for Sunday you are busy and crazy, but the rest of the week you feel relaxed. I like that idea in theory. We do family night once a week (games). Our son only signs up for one activity at a time and our daughter is not old enough yet for that kind of thing. It's hard...life just gets hectic no matter what you do!!! As far as household chores go, we try to keep up with it day by day so we don't usually have to do a big cleaning day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Personally, I abhor "collections" of things. The only thing I collect is books. I have tried to make it clear to my family and friends that I do not desire more "stuff" in my life, and at Christmas I ask them to please give me the gift of not wasting time and stressing out over buying me presents.
Getting rid of stuff, donating it to Goodwill or whatever, is a big stress reliever for me.
We simplify dinner by prepping as much as we can. It looks like an old-school cooking show with our little bowls of spices and stuff, but it's great because we just toss it all together. Sure, our dishwasher gets run about three times a day, but it makes cooking together more fun.
Good question! I'll chime in again if I think of anything else. Oh, wait, I know, be willing to say "no" to social obligations that suck your spirit dry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

With meals I was cooking ready to eat stuff after having my triplets for several years. Made life easier. I'm going back to more homemade stuff but I still cook ready to eat things like frozen pizza after a baseball game or just toss something in the crock pot.

We've moved a lot and recently moved again. With things sitting in boxes and us not needing them I've found that if I don't use them then I don't need them so out they go! Gives me more storage space. If I don't use something with a year, out it goes!

Chores are split up between the entire family! As soon as they can walk they help out by throwing away their own diaper and tossing their dishes in the sink or on the counter. The point is, a family is a team and everyone must pitch in to accomplish the cleaning. EVERYONE! Make a chore list for each person.

Holidays aren't about expensive gifts and big decorations. It's about what you do for each other. We focus on time spent together like watching more specific movies, playing board games and such. Why spend hours in a store or online shopping. Spend that time together just hanging out and laughing!

When I'm going to be home all day, why get all dressed up? Just throw on some sweats and a tee and do your thing. Relax!

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions