Do your efforts to live a less hectic life sometimes look like this?


Although it’s a continuous effort to get better, I think the last few years have been a turning point for me — so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned about living with more calm and tranquility.

#1 (and #2 and #3!): Simplify. Start with physical stuff — get rid of it. Be brutal, absolutely brutal. You don’t need it. And if there comes a time when you really need it, you can always run to Target. (But don’t actually go to Target because you’ll just come out with more stuff you don’t need.) This is SO IMPORTANT to living a sane life. You simply can’t misplace things if your house doesn’t have much in it.

#2 Get rid of more stuff: unhealthy or expired food in your kitchen cabinets, clothes and shoes you don’t wear in your closets and drawers. Magazines, books, be brutal! Be heartless. You will regain your heart and it will smile so big at the newfound joy of living with less crap. It will be so much easier to decide what to wear if you can actually see your clothes and have less choices.

#3 Get rid of even more stuff. In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, author Marie Kondo suggests starting with categories (like cleaning products or medicines) instead of locations (because we have similar things scattered all over our houses).  She says to make it an event rather than trying to do little by little. And she says to make sure everything has a place to live. There should be no “holding grounds” until you find a place for it. Deal with it right away or give/throw it away.

#4 Automate. Four words will change your life: Amazon Subscribe and Save. Toilet paper, shampoo, baby food…whatever you find yourself running out of often. You buy in bulk, it gets delivered to your door, it’s automatic and you get an additional 15% off if five or more things arrive on the same day. I also love US Wellness Meats which ships really-good-for-you meat to your door in a cooler. Add a veggie-coop delivery and you’ll rarely have to go to the store, which is great because you’ll always walk out with more crap than you need (See #1 – 3).

#5 Rituals and Routines. This is related to automate in that it helps to take out some of the effort of deciding on basic things. Monday dinner is chicken and brussles sprouts, Tuesday is salmon, squash and salad. I know this sounds overly regimented but things like this save time and energy. And when you have small children it’s really nurturing to structure their environment so they know what’s coming. I have two sets of keys and a badge for work. Everyday when I come home, I put them in the same exact spot in my purse. So every morning, they are there. These are routines. Rituals are more fun, like pancakes and family time every Saturday morning. They make life less hectic and more enjoyable.

Author Kim Payne says that hectic days are inevitable. But balance hectic days with slow, relaxing days. If Saturday is booked up with lots of things, don’t book anything on Sunday. Stay home and relax.

Do you have some tips to share? Post below.


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