I've been cutting all sorts of things out of my life lately: excessive weight and animal products in the form of veganism, as well as clothing and unnecessary duplicates in my attempt at a more minimalist lifestyle. I've already discussed a few of the benefits that I found and some of the lessons I've learned, but here's a few more things to consider if you're feeling a little crazy lately.
Carefully consider who is part of your life. Early on in my journey to better health, there were some critics of my choices. Some of the people that were the closest in my life supported me while others flat out didn't. I feel like I've conquered all of my goals already, but there's one thing I did learn from this experience: No matter what the challenge is that you are facing, if someone does not support you, too bad. They are out, even if it's just a temporary thing. I hate to be blunt, but the last thing you need while facing a health crisis or making a lifestyle change is negativity.
Committing to every event you're invited to is overrated. Make sure you are spending your time the way you want to. I have a problem saying no to anyone, so that can quickly catch up to me if I'm not careful. Although I would love to do anything and everything that I have been asked to do, sometimes you just have to know when you need down time. Most people will understand because they are probably just as busy as you.
Cleanse your closet and kitchen of any nonessential items. I know this sounds silly, but chores suck! My husband and I despise doing dishes, so I decided to pare down to the essentials. The result? A cleaner kitchen since almost everything that gets dirty can quickly be tossed into the dishwasher. Less clothing in your closet also means you can't allow laundry to sit around. When you're out of jeans, you really have no choice but to toss them into the washer. It's forced me to stay on top of our chores and I don't have to stress as much about keeping the house clean.
Cut out the white noise in your social life. I'm sure there are people on Facebook who really don't care if I make another #vegan dish. (My husband even says OMG#VEGAN all the time just to make fun of all my posts!) I keep in touch with nearly all of our family on social networking sites and I try to keep my friends list trimmed to those who matter most to me. In college, you were the coolest kid in class if you had 400+ friends. Now in simplifying my life, I have reconsidered all of my personal connections. Better yet, permanently delete your Facebook profile and scale back on social media.
Consume less and free up more of your money for goals. No matter if you are ready to save up for a vacation or just trying to get a hold of your credit card debt, one of the best ways to accomplish these goals is to consume less. And by "consume less", I mean buy less stuff, use less stuff and live with what you have. I started to use small washcloths that I toss in with the laundry instead of using a paper towel every time I wiped my kitchen counters. I can't even remember the last time I bought a large package of paper towels!
January 2015 Update: We accomplished two of our goals by paying off $17,000 in student debt in less than 18 months and saved $16,000 in less than 7 months to purchase our first home.
In short, find ways to live simply and happily. These are a few that have worked well for my life, but I'd love to hear how you've simplified yours!
Looking to embrace a minimalist lifestyle? Check out my posts below!
Cutting the Clutter: The 5 C's to More Happiness
5 Lessons I've Learned by Decluttering
Top 5 Reasons for Cutting the Clutter
Cutting the Clutter: Kitchen Revamp
Sell your crap. Pay off your debt. Do what you love.
Embracing a Minimalist Lifestyle