Simplifying your life? Not so simple.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about become un-busy, a minimalist and simplifying your life.  The concept is fantastic and what many people need to think about right now, but I think the application of it is not that easy.

If you’re like me, simplifying your life just isn’t that simple.  Considerations to start: 2 kids, 1 husband, 1 pet, several jobs, spending time with family, investing time with friends. Add in time for exercise, sports, fun activities, managing family finances and it becomes a little tricky.

Based on in depth research (which means reading some articles) here are my 5 pieces of advice to simplify your life the practical way:

  1. Quit – That’s right, just quit. There is a freedom in saying “we’re not signing up for soccer this year.” Plus you’ll have an extra $100 that you could spend somewhere else.
  2. Purge – Purge unwanted belongings when you don’t have time to sort everything out by focusing on small slots of time.  For example, don’t try to tackle the whole closet, but do try to clean out one shelf in the closet.  That’s it and you can do it in 10 minutes.
  3. Make a home management binder – I started my binder 3 years ago and it’s really been a game changer.  I have one binder, with 4 sections – money, calendar, bills and quick reference.  Once a week I review the mail, take action, then throw out the statement.
  4. Auto Pay – EVERYTHING. Yes, everything. I am a banker and can attest to the fact that Auto Pay with eStatements is one of the easiest way you can simplify your life. Set up auto minimum payment.  Set up text alerts for card activities. You will never miss a payment, have a late fee to contest and then when you have more time, you can always dig into the details.
  5. Write down a plan – Every 3 months, on a Sunday or Saturday morning, stop to assess your life. Where can you slow down and re-prioritize? Where should you be focusing your attention more? Then, pick 5 activities you will do to improve. That’s it.  You’ll be amazed how well you did when you sit down for your next plan.

That’s it! Now that you know my plan – what’s yours?

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