Here are the things that I gave up that changed my life:
If you have no problems with self-control, this is the easiest way to simplify your life. It is more sanitary and more simple. I cannot remember the last time I used cash. Definitely, though, examine your spending to see what is excessive and what is not. But once that is sorted, there is no need to use cash. It is easier to track your spending when you use a credit card, and you get free money back for doing so.
Dust is a game you can’t win. The thing about dust though is that it settles. So if there is a shelf or furniture piece blocking the floor, it will not settle on the floor, and that is extra work for you. A vacuum can collect whatever falls to the floor, but something extra is needed for what is caught in between.
I threw away my chore chart and clean a little every day. Everything gets done. Perhaps if I were pressed with kids, I would need to put 1-5 things on a list to make sure they get done weekly/monthly. But with just one or two adults, no list is necessary. Clean the tub while you’re in it (throw a sponge on the floor and just move it around with your foot in the shower). Wipe down the shower quickly upon finishing. Everything is as simple as you make it.
Don’t make anything more complicated than it needs to be. A perfect bed is not necessary. I make the bed, but don’t focus on perfect edges. The last 10% towards perfection in any task takes more than 30% of the work. It’s not worth it. Good enough is good enough.
I have no desire. They sit around and collect dust and are eventually forgotten. My coupon stack is two high at any given time. Unless I need something from Bed Bath or Pottery Barn or Kroger specifically, I will not save what I receive in the mail. What a load off! Most of the thing on sale anyway usually are not things that match up with my values (minimalism, ethics) or things that I needed. If I have to buy 6 of something, that doesn’t match my lifestyle.
Whether it’s on YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, stores, or any retail site, my life dramatically improved when I stopped browsing. Reading a blog here or there, checking Facebook quickly every other day – this is the right balance for me. We get sucked into habits without realizing they’re a bad habit.
We can be content in whatever we choose, even hard work. The more I worked hard and the more I shifted my attitude toward esteeming working hard for family and community, the more I began to love it instead of having the “work smarter, not harder” mindset toward everything. Everything is mindset. We can be happy without technology. We can be happy in silence. We can be happy in the kitchen. We just have to learn to like it. Anything, no matter how bitter, we can adjust to if we open our minds and taste and read about it every day.
Believing Advertisement – no matter how innocuous or subtle
I believed baking and cooking elaborate meals was the ideal, so I embodied that. I outfitted my kitchen for that. I researched every type of recipe and modified them. Recently though, I have begun to cull my recipes to the best ones and keep a much smaller, more simpler rotation. The ones that require specialty equipment or ingredients were the first on the chopping block. My life did a 180 when I applied simplicity to the kitchen. The sun shines a little brighter.
This can apply to anything, whether it be the highest education, a muscular body. Question what is necessary, what is real, or what is just a want you manufactured yourself out of subtle advertisement in the home, magazines, or TV? I always thought there was nothing wrong with being a Martha Stewart Jr. It’s a perfectly wholesome goal, especially for a millenial, until I realized that it was something that I just made up out of thin air, complicating life and providing minimal value. What do I accomplish by being able to cook every kind of muffin and meat? Sticking to only the essential is true peace.