Celebrate "Simplify Your Life Week"
NATIONAL SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK
It’s August 3rd, and that means National Simplify Your Life week is upon us. Every first week in August thousands of people across the country start doing a late summer cleansing. The week is like your regular spring cleaning but goes a step further by including simplification of your personal life.
Decluttering your living space can seem a little intimidating at first, especially if you haven’t done either for a while. Simplifying your personal life, though, can be the hardest part of all. But accomplishing your goals for Simplify Your Life Week will give you a sense of mastery and put a little pep in your step as we head into the long months of fall and winter ahead.
Decluttering is a great first step during Simplify Your Life week, but where should you begin? A wonderful way is to decide on a plan and stick to it. To keep anxiety at bay, you should focus on one room at a time, giving special focus to the clutter magnet areas of the home. These magnets may be your junk drawer in the kitchen, part of the counter that is piled high with mail and magazines, or your front entry way that’s full of out-of-season coats and shoes.
As you’re looking at each item, ask yourself the following questions:
- Has it been used in the past 6 months?
- Does it work?
- Does it fit?
- Is it valuable?
- Is it meaningful?
If you said no to one or more of these questions, it’s time to move that piece out of your life.
Now that you have a pile of discard items in front of you from all areas of the home, you need to decide what you’re going to do with them. In an effort to be green, you should avoid the local dump when possible. The only items that should go in the ‘dump’ pile should be those which are broken, stained, or unsanitary to pass on to others.
- Selling your clothes to a local consignment store is a terrific way to earn a little money. Stores like Plato’s Closet will even give you cash on the spot for your in-style clothing. You can also take advantage of online consignment stores like ThredUp. ThredUp will send you a pre-paid box to put your on-trend clothes into to mail back. You can receive your money through PayPal, store credit, or you can donate to a cause.
- Donating books to your local library not only helps your community but also keeps them out of the landfill. Textbooks are easily sold on Amazon or eBay earning you some cash back on your investment.
- Other items that have the potential to sell are great for a yard sale. It may be wisest to wait for a community yard sale, as this will attract significantly more buyers than doing one by yourself.
- Whatever’s left over that doesn’t need to go to the dump can easily be loaded up and brought to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. The Goodwill uses your donations to get people back to work, and the Salvation Army advertises that last year they used donations to help 30 million people with basic necessities.
HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY PERSONAL LIFE DURING SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK?
Now that you’ve tackled your living space, it’s time to tackle your mental space. Let’s face it, life can get hectic and overwhelming in the blink of an eye. You may think you’ve got a handle on things one minute, and be exploding the next. The best way to take advantage of Simplify Your Life week is to take a moment to meditate on your problem areas and think of simple solutions.
Potential problem areas can include time management and saving money.
One wonderful way of working on your time management is to think like a Boy Scout and ‘be prepared’. Prepping for your day the night before takes dedication, but comes with great rewards. If you can make the time to prepare your lunch, take a shower and maybe lay out some clothes the night before, you’ll always be prepared for the morning, even if you sleep through your alarm. Completing these tasks before bed will give you some peace of mind, and may even help you fall asleep faster by relieving anxiety.
HOW DO I WORK ON SAVING MONEY DURING SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK?
This may be the biggest hurdle for many Americans. Our culture tends to be more materialistic than anything else, which is why you may have had to declutter your home in the steps above. But there are some great ways to start saving money this week.
One tip is to buy household supplies in bulk, which cuts down on your costs over time. Great places to start buying in bulk this Simplify Your Life week include Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s. All three are national chains that offer bulk quantities at fantastic prices.
Other tips include making small changes that add up to a large change you’ll notice in your bank account. Things like bringing lunch and coffee from home can go a long way to saving money. You may also consider buying second-hand clothes from consignment stores, where you can still get name brand but pay a fraction of the cost. This is especially helpful when it comes to children, who are constantly outgrowing their clothes. Swap.com is another online consignment store, but it includes children’s clothing of all sizes.
It may seem logical to have your air ducts cleaned during the spring when pollen begins raining down by the bucket load, but having your air ducts cleaned in late summer can be equally beneficial to your health. There are still plenty of allergens that can plague you during the fall, which may be finding their way into your home and being recirculated throughout the home by your HVAC system. Having your air
ducts cleaned every 5-7 years will also help minimalize dust accumulation. Dusting less is a huge time and stress saver, going hand-in-hand with simplifying your personal life.
More info? For more information about allergens in your air ducts, check out our other post: Air Duct Dangers: Are Your Dirty Air Ducts Making You Sick?