Monday, August 5, 2013

Simplify Your Life This Week!

National Simplify Your Life Week is August 1-7, and it’s a great opportunity to unclutter, get organized and gain new perspective on your life. Whether you hire a professional organizer or choose to do it yourself, simplifying can lead to less stress, greater efficiency and an overall better quality of life.

Minimalist room


Why simplify?


Voluntary simplicity is a trend that began back in 1981, according to webmd.com. Since then, individuals have been adopting simpler lifestyles at increasing rates.

Adopting a minimalist approach to life encourages individuals to slow down, live a more balanced, deliberate and thoughtful life. Many doctors believe factors such as having less consumer debt and job stress result in lower blood pressure and chronic health problems. In addition, mental health professionals believe simpler living can alleviate tension-related reactions such as insomnia, nervousness, anxiety and chronic fatigue.

Yet, the extent to which simplifying is taken is a personal choice. For some, decluttering and organizing is adequate; others look to do a complete life overhaul, adopting a minimalist approach in the process. The choice is yours.

Color organized closet

How to simplify?


The first step in simplifying your life is to unclutter, organize and reevaluate possessions. While this might seem overwhelming, it is achievable if broken down room by room.

Start with the home office:

Eliminate loose papers, files and reading material from desktops and storage surfaces.
Utilize files, bins, binders and containers to create a system that will encourage you to remain organized.
Continue the office purging by cleaning out old emails from your computer. If you don’t already utilize a folder system on your computer, start doing so.
Clear out and organize messages on cell, home and office phones.

Any practice or routine that will encourage you to stay organized and simplify your life is a great tool to utilize. Visit www.napo.net/get_organized to view a video with other great ideas for organizing.

Some suggestions:


OHIO:  Only handle it once—this pertains to mail, both snail and electronic, reports, periodicals and other documents. Immediately take care of correspondence that requires your attention, then file or discard.
Add color: Using a color-coded system allows you to quickly locate a specific file or document as needed. This system also adds a cheerful element to your office, encouraging you to keep it going.
Consolidate: Look for effective ways to minimize time and energy. You might consider consolidating email accounts, limiting subscriptions to social media outlets or reading fewer industry publications, for example.

Apply the principles for decluttering the office to other rooms in the house to quickly organize and simplify your living space. But, the process doesn’t stop there. In fact, simplifying your life often means removing people, activities and commitments that no longer fit your priorities, values and lifestyle, according to Psychology Today.

Clean organized desk

Whether it pertains to information, possessions or life in general, here are a few considerations:

Don’t overextend yourself   Time, money and energy are valuable resources. Use each of them wisely.
Prioritize   Only choose people, activities and material goods that fit your current goals.
Reevaluate often   Decluttering and simplifying your life should be done often for maximum results.

As with any other lifestyle change, simplifying your life only works if there’s an ongoing commitment to it. Similar to incorporating an exercise regime or new eating habits, be persistent with these changes for 30 days and a simpler way of life should become a natural part of your lifestyle.

Kathy Rembisz 
Contributing Writer

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