26 Solutions to Simplify Your Life

1. Declutter digitally. Delete and unsubscribe to unwanted emails to make your inbox more manageable.   

2. Do a clean sweep of your desktop. Delete digital files over two years old.  

3. To melt the amount of mail, go paperless. Switch as many credit card and utility bills as possible to online payment. 

4.  Eat in peace. Register all phone numbers (home and cell) on the national do not call list. 

5. Make it fast and fun. Set a timer for five minutes. Have every member of the family pick up displaced items around the house and return them to their proper place. Whoever picks up the most items gets a treat.

6. Consider a daily laundry schedule. Assign each member of the household one day per week for his/her laundry and assign spare days to extraneous items: towels, linens, etc. This will prevent you from staring down an overwhelming laundry pile on the weekends and free you to do other projects or have some fun.

 7. Take stock. Place all your hangers backwards in the closet. When something is worn, washed and put away, place it with the hangar facing forward. At the end of the season, donate any unused items (those hangars that are still backward) to charity.                   

8.  Keep clutter out. Place a recycling bin next to the door and toss catalogs, sales flyers, junk mail immediately before it finds a resting place in the house.  

9. Out with the old. Clean out your medicine cabinets at least once a year. Discard expired medication and damaged containers. Visit www.disposemymeds.com to find a nearby location to safely dispose of prescription medications.

10. Choose pieces that can do double duty. A storage trunk can serve as a cool coffee table and clever place to hide books, board games, blankets and coasters.

11. Just say no. Focus on the things and people who mean the most to you. Politely decline any invitations or demands on your time that don’t fall under that category.

12. In the kitchen, glass jars work well as canisters. A group of five large jars work well on most counters for those easy items you need every day.

13. Use seasonal greens for a quick table décor. In Northeast PA, Rhododendron leaves stay green all year. Place in a low bowl for instant greens. Add a floating candle.

14. Quick Chalkboard Labels –  Shipping size labels sprayed with chalkboard spray paint makes for a quick sheet of chalkboard labels that you can peel and write on for pantry jars or containers. They work well on anything that needs labeling.

15. General House Cleaning. Daily “whip-throughs” help keep everything in order before the deeper clean on your cleaning day. Get family members to chip in.–From Mary Justis of Simply New Interiors

16. Turn things around. Instead of laying clothes flat in drawers, file them vertically. You can fit in more and single items will be easier to remove.

17. Consider a capsule wardrobe. Choose 30-40 items from your closet that are versatile, high quality and make you feel good. Everything else goes. Not only does it cut clutter, it saves time in the morning. Limited options, means easier decisions. 

18. Zone out. Choose one room or even one zone of a room to de-clutter at a time. Focusing on one area will keep you on task and hopefully underwhelmed.   

19. Set the dates. Create one Google calendar for the whole family. Post medical appointments, business meetings, after-school-activities, birthdays for every family member in one spot. Helps streamline scheduling and avoid potential conflicts. 

20. Save money and space. Download a coupon app to your phone. Have access to discounts and offers from national retailers, restaurants and gas stations at your finger tips.      

21. Unplug. Set aside certain times and areas that are e-free. For instance no phones or pads during meal time or in the bedroom.  

22. Free the prints! At least once a month, download photos from your camera or phone onto a computer. Critically edit every image deleting blurry shots, people with eyes closed and repetitive scenes. Create folders by season or theme. Rename images from the random number settings of your phone or camera so they’re easily identifiable. Save a backup. Then delete images from your phone or camera so you have a clean slate.

23. Rise and shine. Plan to wake up 15 minutes earlier each day. You won’t feel so rushed and avoid beginning your day with stress.  

24. Get cooking. Make everyone’s lunch the night before. They’ll be ready to grab and go before work and school.  

25. Take a break. Take a good hard look at your children’s schedule. There may be one too many things on the agenda. Scale back on extra-curricular activities for your sanity and their health.

26. Reach out. No one can do it all…and that’s ok. When things seem insurmountable, ask for help. Play to your strengths and seek out help in areas that may not be your skill set– cooking, decorating, baking– etc.