4 Benefits of Simplifying Your Life

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you've probably noticed my attempts at simplifying my life (such as here & here). For me it's been an ongoing task that requires frequent reminders and resets. But that's okay! That's life.

I've been thinking about it a lot again (maybe that urge to spring clean?). Not only in regards to physical objects, but also in regards to my business and obligations, as Jennifer mentions in number two below. Danielle Dowling recently asked, "Of everything on your to-do list, what could you live without?" that really made me stop and think.

So I'm excited to have Jennifer Scott from Spirit Finder on the blog today reminding us of the invaluable benefits of simplifying your life, plus plenty of tips to help us get there.

Many people tout the benefits of simplifying your life. On the surface, living a minimalist lifestyle may not sound appealing to everyone. But the many benefits to be gained from simplifying your life might just change your mind.

1 | Simplify Your Life to Save Money

Some people decide to simplify their lives due to financial stress. The many things and luxuries we indulge in only increase financial strain for those who are already financially crunched. By skipping luxuries we don’t really need, such as expensive vacations, frequent meals at high-priced, fancy restaurants, and the latest brand-name fashion trends can save substantial amounts of money that you can save for a rainy day or put to a good use, such as paying off credit card debt.

Skipping these luxuries doesn’t mean you have to give up the benefits of them, however. Instead of buying new clothes, shop at a used clothing store to snag trendy clothes and accessories without the brand-name price tag. Keep in touch with family and friends through conference calls and video chats instead of springing for a plane ticket for a family reunion. There are many ways to realize the end goals of the things you spend money on without the high cost.

2 | Simplifying Your Life Can Reduce Stress

Simplifying your life is about more than just “stuff.”

It also means minimizing your commitments and your schedule, as well as learning to say, “No,” to the things that you don’t truly have time for. By choosing to commit only to what you can realistically fit into your schedule, you’ll reduce stress and have more time to dedicate to the areas of your life that are most important to you.

For example, by avoiding over-committing, you’ll have more time to prepare healthy meals, get adequate sleep, and even exercise, all of which contribute to your overall health and well-being. When you take good care of yourself, you’re better able to cope with stress.

[further reading >> 38 Ways to Simplify Your Life + Feel More Peaceful]

organizer with pink flowers

3 | Be More Present by Simplifying Your Life

When you simplify your life – both your environment and your schedule – you’ll find that you’re able to be more present in the moment, attentive to the people you’re conversing with, and able to devote your full attention to whatever task you’re focused on. Being present allows you to develop mindfulness.

Being present can have dramatic impacts on your life; in fact, people who are more present tend to have greater charisma. Charisma, of course, is beneficial in many ways, from allowing you to excel in the workplace to enhancing your social life and opening doors to fantastic opportunities that you might otherwise miss out on if you were marginally focused, inattentive, or distracted.

4 | Gaining Time to Focus on Your Health and Personal Life Creates Balance

One of the biggest struggles adults face today is the challenge of balancing family and career. We wish for more time to spend with our children, more time to rest and recharge, and more time to pursue our career goals. There never seems to be enough time in the day, but simplifying your life can help to solve these challenges.

By simplifying your schedule, you can devote time to the various facets of your life that are most important. Decide to unplug every weekend, for example, and devote Saturday and Sunday to quality family time. When you make the decision to prioritize what matters and schedule time for it, you’ll feel less stressed and more balanced overall.

There are many benefits of simplifying your life; the four discussed here are merely a few of the major areas of life that reap rewards when you decide to live a simpler lifestyle. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of small, seemingly insignificant benefits that contribute to the greater sense of well-being and balance you’ll achieve by opting for a simplistic lifestyle.

About Jennifer

Jennifer Scott is a lifelong sufferer of anxiety and depression. She created her website, SpiritFinder.org, as a platform for advocacy on opening up about mental health. Through the site, she hopes to share the types of steps and success stories that can help others realize their own power. When she isn’t working on her website, she enjoys traveling, working with animals, and seeking out new friendships and adventures.

7 Ways to Recycle Old Clothes + Goods

If you read my post on the "Throw Out 100 Things Challenge," you know I got rid of quite a big of clutter recently (especially clothing). I've also posted about my goal to focus on quality vs. quantity when it comes to buying new clothes. While I'm working on simplifying my apartment, I don't like to actually throw anything away if I can help it. I've donated 3 big boxes to Goodwill lately and have a feeling I'll be doing another round of simplifying soon.

I've been testing out different ways to recycle clothing + unwanted goods:

Donate to Goodwill or other charity

  • Always a good option. There is no shortage of people who could use help.

Sell on Craigslist 

  • This is a good option for big items, like furniture + appliances. When we moved into our current apartment, it already had a washer and dryer, so we had to sell our beloved units. (I was quite attached to that hand-washing option!) Just be careful using Craigslist- talk with the person on the phone first and don't let them inside your home if you can help it. We've never had a problem with the site, but we've all heard about the movie.

Trade items on Freecycle.org

  • I've never used this site personally, but I know friends who have. I absolutely love this idea. "It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and keeping good stuff out of landfills."

Sell on eBay

  • eBay is good for higher priced, specialty items (like designer handbags). I used to be able to sell decent name-brands but this has been harder in recent years and not worth the time and effort.

Sell in a Facebook yardsale group (now called Marketplace)

  • I've had varying success with this option, but it's much cheaper than ebay. You get cash and don't have to worry about shipping. I often feel shady like a drug dealer or something when meeting people, though haha. You can find a local group by searching for your location + yardsale. Then you'll find related groups in the right sidebar so you can choose the most relevant for your needs.

Sell at a consignment shop or Plato's Closet

  • Plato's Closet is an excellent option for lightly-worn young adult type clothing. I've had great success selling brands like American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, etc. The last time I stopped by I sold 7 items for $26.

Sell on a consignment website

  • There are a few websites out there like Thredup.com.

  • I decided to try Thredup.com, but was very disappointed. They provide a calculator on the site to estimate how much you'll get per item. I sent about 30 items, including Express business pants and similar brands, and expected a little bit of money per item according to their website. They accepted 6 items for $5.76. The website claims they donate the remaining items to a charity (but doesn't specify which charity). It's not so much that I wanted the money, but I felt mislead by their website and calculator. I would have much rather donated the clothing to a charity of my choice if I knew I would have gotten so little.

**This is not a sponsored post and is not in conjunction with ThredUp in any way. It's just an honest review or a method I tried.

What are your favorite ways to recycle clothing or other unwanted goods?


Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

38 Ways to Simplify Your Life + Feel More Peaceful

We've all heard "less is more," but it's a powerful little statement when put to the test. After completing a "get rid of 100 things challenge" recently, I realized simplifying can, and should, be applied to many other aspects in life. I've also found that the more I simplify, the easier and more refreshing it becomes. I run my business from my home and noticed a connection between my physical environment and my mental state and productivity. This was the biggest motivator to get started. Once I started, I didn't want to stop. It soon went from "do I need these items in my home," to "how can I streamline my business?" and "who can I hire who actually enjoys doing this task?"

Here are just a few ideas you can simplify your life:

  • Learn when and how to say no. Respect your time.
  • Focus on quality rather than quantity.
  • Automate your bills, opt for paperless billing and do as much banking online as possible.
  • Organize your digital files and auto-backup your hard drive.
  • Take a few minutes to unsubscribe from all emails you don't need, or use a program like unroll.me. Those 40% emails are tempting, but that's part of the problem.
  • Separate work from home life if possible. Stop checking your work emails from your phone.
  • Check email at designated times, like twice per day.
  • Exercise and eat healthfully. Both of these will give you more energy, thought clarity and save you time and money dealing with health issues.
  • Leave a time window around your commitments for decompressing and unanticipated issues.
  • Use something like Evernote to keep all of your ideas, lists, business cards, etc. in one place.
  • Use the cloud to eliminate USB drives, emailing things to yourself, etc.
  • Keep your kitchen clutter-free and inviting so you're more likely to cook.
  • Keep your cell phone, laptop, exercise equipment, etc. out of the bedroom so it's a clear relaxation and sleep zone.
  • Spend time volunteering. It will make you appreciate what you have.
  • Stop being busy for the sake of being busy. Take time for yourself and learn to relax.
  • Ask others for help and delegate when it makes sense. Instead of splitting chores 50/50, talk about which person is better or enjoys which tasks the most.
  • Don't shop unless you need something and avoid buying things that aren't on your list.
  • Start a gratitude practice. At the end of each day, write down 3 things you're grateful for.
  • Try things before you buy them. You can get numerous cookbooks from the library or borrow something from a friend.
  • Focus on experiences. One of my favorite simple quotes is, "Collect moments, not things." -Aarti Khurana.
  • Let go of guilt and embrace forgiveness.

Which are your favorite ways to simplify? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.