Forget rushing from home to work, and back, picking up kids, going to the gym, cooking dinner, day after day. Instead simplify your life by finding the truth that less, really is more.
Simplification is a lifestyle choice it’s not about waking up one day and deciding to have a less hectic schedule. It involves commitment and mindfulness and honestly assessing, “Is this going to simplify or clutter my life?”
First know what makes you happy. Is it quality of life, money, a great social life, healthy living or space for the kids? And prioritise that.
“Have nothing in your home which you do not believe to be beautiful or know to be useful”, says William Morris.
Feng Shui decluttering consultant Raymond Catchpole says, “Our immediate physical space directly relates to our inner energy and attitudes. The most important aspect of Feng Shui is clutter clearing at every level: physical, mental and spiritual.”
- Aim for less rather than more and learn to be content with less.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Be in bed by 9 p.m. one night a week, recommends Elaine St James, author of Simplify your Life.
- Don’t try and do too much muti-tasking at home or work. Do them tomorrow or schedule them at a later date in your diary.
- Learn to live with less information: Cancel half your magazine subscriptions and stop watching TV news which will also immediately reduces stress.
- When you come home from work sit down with a cup of tea for five minutes before making dinner. Don’t rush straight from task to task.
- Don`t be afraid to say “NO”. One person can only do so much.
- Take a deep breath and look around, why are you rushing today? Is it really necessary or just habit?
- Do any activity whole heartedly with all your senses engaged and you can find inner peace in almost any situation. This is the basis of mindfulness and meditation.
- If you feel overwhelmed, write a to do list so you stop over thinking, then prioritise what is most important and schedule tasks in to your diary, or decide if they really need to be done.
- Eat mindfully – Instead of talking or reading while you eat instead savour every morsel and give thanks for all the people who brought it to you.
- Remember to breathe.
- Take 20 minutes out for yourself every day.
- Walk barefoot on the grass in the park.
- Walk in nature and use all your senses to absorb the full experience.
- Exercise at least three times a week.
- Do some emotional release work like Emotional Freedom Techniques Pillow screaming/pounding, going for a run or to the gym, even having a good cry releases pent up emotions.
- Encourage honesty and openness in your family. Talk about what’s bothering you don’t bottle your feelings up.
- Have a relaxed meal with your lover or game with your children.
- Get rid of the TV, get out board games, or play charades.
- Get a wall planner with all commitments on it so you can see how your year is looking, plan in romantic holidays or family holidays.
- Have friends round to eat, do pot luck, so you don’t have to cook everything.
- Plan romantic evenings to give proper time to lovemaking and savour each moment.
- Involve the whole family in cooking dinner. Enjoy it by candlelight — without TV — and encourage everyone to share his or her experiences of the day. Or pick topics of interest to the family and keep everyone involved in the discussion,” suggests Elaine St James.
- Take a walk with your family. You can make it a nature hike, or watch the sunset together,” suggests Elaine.
Raymond says that everyone needs two areas of space in their lives. “One is the bedroom. It should be a beautifully calm, precisely ordered space. It’s where you retire to” The other space, is where you work. When everything is crashing around you, you need one place where you can see only desktop. Get rid of piles of things to do in front of you, put them behind you or better still, do them”.
Judith Ann Kirk, Simplification specialist and founder of Organizing Resources says “Clutter hides the treasures that actually bring forth delight and inspiration. There is a direct correlation between the environment and well being”.
- Have a clear out in every room, is it useful or beautiful, do you need it? Be ruthless.
- Give books you don’t want to a good home, sell on Amazon, or Ziffit www.ziffit.com, or take to charity shops.
- Get rid of anything from computers to dolls houses on Ebay, www.ebay.co.uk
- Buy goods with less packaging, buy less. Buy good quality everything from furniture to basic clothes and cheap fashion items which date. Good quality will be cheaper in the long run and it needn’t be expensive if you use second hand shops.
- Take clothes you don’t wear to a charity shop. Only wear clothes that flatter you now, don’t hang onto clothes sizes too small to encourage you to loose weight.
- Find the colour and style of clothes that work for you and build a simple wardrobe around this. Most large department stores have personal shoppers, who can be objective and help you create and accessorise a flattering look. Or invest in an independent and holistic image consultant like Laura Berridge owner of the Goddess Collection.
- If you find it difficult to keep rooms tidy, is it because you don’t have enough storage? Ikea and Argos have good storage containers.
- If you have lots of loose photographs, put the special ones in albums and scan the rest onto your computer.
- Keep copies of addresses and phone numbers on a computer so you don’t need to keep an old address book. Remember to back it up.
- Return junk mail RTS and get your name off mailing lists.
- Always loosing keys or glasses? Get a bleeping key-ring from The Gadget Shop or always leave them in same place.
TURN YOUR HOME INTO A SANCTUARY
“After clearing the physical clutter, clear the space more subtly. Negative energy can linger from a previous occupation, or build up from negative thinking. So choose a day when you feel strong and together. Go to where negative energy has been most noticeable and say a prayer. Make a clear decision that you are now in charge of the space and will look after it exactly as you wish without influence from past associations. Then clap your hands, sing, or ring a bell in each corner of the room or home. This confirms your decision and charges the energy. Leave a lighted candle, ‘smudge’ the space with use sage or play clearing music. Repeat as necessary, advises Catchpole.
Judith Ann Kirk OrganizingResources- https://judithkirk.com/
Book, Simplify Your Life by Elaine St James. Read her column at: http://www.uexpress.com/simplifyyourlife/?uc
Holistic clothing consultant, The Goddess Collection – Laura Berridge: 020 7372 8691
The Feng Shui Society: 07050 289 200, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Raymond Catchpole, Chairman of Society and Feng Shui Consultant:01728 660 562, email@example.com
EFT, Emotional Freedom Techniques www.emofree.com can be done by phone.
Originally published in The Wyndham Centre Newsletter 2004.