I will continue to add to this list. But these are the ways I have drastically simplified my life. These are just ideas for you; leave the ones you don’t like. In this day and age, simplifying takes a lot of work because everything in our society tells us the opposite. Add, add, add. Add debt, add books, add bedrooms, add movies, add makeup. It’s time to fight back and take our stand. Live life the way it should be lived – simply.
Do not keep manuals. Only warranties.
Do not keep a vision board, just an online Pinterest board, if you must.
When doing tax write-offs, keep a general list of your previous tax year’s write-offs.
Only use one credit card. I use CitiBank 2% cashback card only. I compare credit cards here.
Do not buy a car without looking up the reviews for that car.
Do not buy a house quickly. It takes years to know what you really want.
Wipe your tub and sinks frequently, right after you use them at night. This keeps cleaning extremely easy. Do this for microwaves as well. Saves you from scrubbing and all that grime in the interim.
In the same vein, doing laundry weekly or bi-weekly makes laundry extremely easy.
Keep an over-the-door paper towel roll holder in every bathroom, along with an all-purpose spray. You can wipe down counters and sinks quickly.
Buy a cordless vacuum.
Keep one brush solely for dirty drains. I use a dish brush for just this purpose. You do not want to spread what’s on drains all over your sinks or tub.
Hang brushes with a hole at the end with Command clear hooks inside cabinets.
Do not use a toothbrush in place of a great grout brush. Don’t waste time on subpar products.
Do not make your own cleaning products. Rather, simplify your cleaning products down to just a few. It is not worth your time or space to store all the things it takes to make products.
Buy meat in bulk and freeze the excess. There is always frozen chicken, fish, and stew meat in my freezer. I can pop the stew meat or chicken in the Crock-Pot and make a delicious meal at any time.
You can freeze many vegetables and coconut milk. Always look up if you can freeze something before you throw it out. Meat should never waste!
Substitute almond milk for regular milk instead of buying milk for baking, if you bake. For half-half, use 3/4 cup almond milk and 1/4 cup canola oil for 1 cup half-half. For buttermilk, 1 cup almond milk and 1 Tablespoon of lemon or vinegar juice for 1 cup buttermilk.
Get rid of all that excess in your refrigerator door! A lot of it is bad for you. Keep dressings as simple as possible (oil and vinegar). Do not buy sugary drinks. Be ruthless with your fridge door.
Keep celery and carrots in your fridge door.
Eat dairy as little as possible. Not only is it expensive, but it’s unnecessary. Asian cultures have done well without dairy.
Use a dish brush instead of a sponge in your kitchen. Sponges are not necessary in the kitchen.
Own few items that you need to wash by hand. I only own one item that I must wash by hand – chef knife. I stay away from cast iron and wooden spoons.
Stay away from specialty appliances.
No matter how much you cook, do NOT keep things on the counter. I cook every day, and there is only a microwave on my counter (because I rent). You will wipe the counters every chance you get when it is always clear. Convenience to cook is not as important as convenience to clean because you have to eat, you don’t have to clean.
Do not use dull knives or can openers. Blades need to be sharp. Invest in one quality chef knife (Wusthof), and you won’t need any other knife.
Keep recipes simple. You don’t need to try everything or constantly change things up. Variety is not important, like magazines tell us it is. This also applies to your smoothies. Do not try to change up everything frequently because then you’ll end up with a lot of ingredients that are just taking up space.
Eat only two meals a day, if you can. Studies now show that those who eat breakfast do not lose weight like those who skip them. Simplify your life by only having to make two meals.
Use your Crock-Pot frequently.
Buy baked goods out. I rarely bake at home because I do not want those things in my house. I also only buy steak out. Because of this, I only use the oven for fish, so the oven rarely gets dirty. I can also keep my baking pans to a minimum. Win-win.
Wash and cut off the ends of green onion and celery as soon as you buy them. Store in a Ziploc with a paper towel to soak up the moisture. This will make it last for a month.
Use paper towels instead of rags.
Use Ziplocs instead of containers. (simple living > green living)
Eat the same side (I always have brown rice). No need to get fancy with sides.
Grow whatever you can, herb and vegetable-wise.
Live more like the Amish. Have one night where you don’t use technology, for instance. Have days where you don’t wear makeup and just keep your hair up. Have a day a week where you just rest.
Realize that owning many books does not make you smart, a lot of makeup does not make you beautiful, and a lot of clothes do not make you more popular. We buy into ideas, more than the actual things themselves, so it is hard to let the ideas go. Do not buy into ideas advertised by friends and companies. Keep everything as simple as possible.
Use modules so everyone can find anything quickly. First aid things all go in a shoebox labeled First Aid. Supplements all go by supplements. Office supplies, all in the same place. Bulk toiletries, all in the same place.
Clean and cook for yourself. This is the number one thing. You can get exercise and satisfaction at the same time.
If you have bad habits – tobacco, entertainment, eating out, overeating, caffeine – eliminate them one by one. Bad habits are expensive.
Animals are expensive and a lot of work. Really weigh if it is worth the extra things, money, effort, and less mobility. We rush into life-changing decisions too often, and it doesn’t affect just us.
Consider if something really is worth the extra space to store the excess. Do not just buy the biggest because it is the cheapest.
Buy in bulk for things you always use (especially canned goods and toiletries).
Always use your Target debit card for Target purchases, then you can throw away your receipts as soon as you enter the door. For a return, you only need your card. For Whole Foods, you do not need a receipt.
Whenever buying something over $50 or something large (furniture), always hesitate. Think it over for a while. Getting rid of furniture and expensive things is a lot of work. You usually want to resell it or just keep it because you spent so much. Do not fall into the trap of buying unnecessary expensive things! Try to use what you already have. Paint over a dresser, for instance.
Be careful of DIY projects and craft/hobby supplies – really weigh if they are worth the time and storage space.
Stay away from coupons; go for sales instead when it comes to items that aren’t absolutely necessary (i.e. most of what’s in our pantry).
Keeping your hair up means you do not have to waste product and extra time styling. The Amish bun is good enough for most days.
Because I do not care about what is modern, I can also cut my own hair easily, saving me a lot of money and time in a chair. (The key is to cut upwards with your scissors once you get it to the right length, so the edges are more jagged, not perfectly straight.)
Stay away from magazines, malls, TV, and any other notorious outlets for advertisement. Also, do not be moved by advertisement on Facebook or Google. Realize that movies and magazines advertise, even when they are not paid to – they advertise ideas.
Go walking, biking, hiking, and rollerblading during the warm months and buy an elliptical that doesn’t use electricity for the winter months. They are small, cheap, and get the job done.
Do not buy clothes that need to be dry cleaned. I own one item that requires dry cleaning, and it is costly and an extra errand.
Invest in Nippies Pasties. Then you won’t need an array of bras for different cuts. You can wear any dress with pasties, and they last a year.
You do not need variety in your wardrobe when at home. There is nothing less complicated than a shift dress.
Do not worry about your appearance. We spend so much on makeup, jewelry, shoes, bags – whole industries built from our superficiality. A man can be a CEO without makeup, but more is expected of women. Only do the bare minimal. Do not waste more money and time on just the outside than is necessary; we are already at a disadvantage from having to focus on this at all. We can fight back and redefine beauty. Beauty that is inside never dies.