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10 ways to simplify your overcomplicated life


Published: 08/06/2012

by Hellen Buttigieg,CPO

Are you tired of being in a constant state of ‘over’: overwhelmed, overextended and overscheduled? You’re not alone. We
have more and more opportunities in our lives, but less and less time to enjoy them. Simplifying your complicated life will not only save you time, money and energy, it will bring more joy into your life. Here’s how to get started:


1. For every item you bring into your home, take one out. If you’re shopping and see something you just have to have,
decide whether you’re willing to get rid of a similar item to make room for it. This ‘one-in one-out’ technique is a simple way to keep your closet uncluttered. And an uncluttered closet means fewer decisions, which means getting dressed is simpler.


2. When adding a new activity to your schedule, choose one to discontinue. This applies to your kids as well. We can
do it all, but not all at once. Not sure what to give up? Drop any activity you are only doing to meet someone else’s expectations, or out of guilt or obligation. The fewer activities you commit to, the less complicated your schedule will be.


3. Delete (or delegate) any task that has been on your to-do list for over a year. Give yourself permission to let go of
that unfinished project you never get around to. When you need help, ask for it. When someone offers to help, accept it.


4. Simplify housekeeping routines. Change your expectations about how clean your house has to be. Use bath towels more
than once before laundering. Limit the amount of decorative items on your shelves and tables, to make dusting simpler. And keep in mind that there are many situations when just closing the door to a messy room is the best option.


5. Cut ties with people that drain you. Your time is precious, so protect it from these ‘energy vampire’ types. Start
by declining invitations to social events you’d rather not attend.


6. Limit the time you watch TV – and only watch it purposefully. Avoid automatically turning the TV on or having it on in
the background. Stop watching news on TV. Avoid watching infomercials that manipulate you into buying something you don’t need. Less TV means less mind noise and more peace.


7. Change your shopping habits. By becoming more resourceful, you’ll shop less and save more time and money. Find creative
solutions instead of shopping for more things. What do you already have on hand that can be repurposed? Before purchasing things you’ll only use occasionally, consider borrowing or renting instead. Rather than rushing to the store when
you run out of something, shop only once a week for groceries, toiletries and other items that you need. Clear out your fridge and pantry before going grocery shopping. Shop early in the day to avoid crowds. Choose stores that are closer to home.


8. Learn to say ‘no’ graciously. Even if you feel guilty – and you probably will at first – do it anyway. The guilt will
be replaced by relief, and your life will run smoother.


9. Let go of the expectation that you have to read everything you come across. Be selective. Borrow books from the library
instead of buying them, so that your book collection doesn’t overwhelm your space and complicate your life.


10. Look for ways to simplify your grooming routine. Get a haircut that’s easy to style. Don’t wash your hair every day if
you don’t have to. Reduce the amount of makeup and skin care products you use. Avoid buying clothes that have to be ironed. 


Want more? If you liked this list, you’ll like the expanded list, 100 Ways to Uncomplicate Your Life. Get free access by


Hellen Buttigieg is a Certified Professional Organizer, life coach, TV personality, author and speaker. Her Oakville-based company, We Organize U, helps busy professionals clear their clutter and create a more relaxed home, a more productive
workspace, and a more manageable, meaningful life. Contact her at 905-829-2219.

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