Third Age has created a list of 50 ways to leave your clutter, both physically and emotionally. Basically, it comes down to A) identifying what's most important to you, and B) eliminating everything else.

That's the short list, and I'm not going to delve into all 50 points in the long list, but here are a few of the valid points made that we could all learn from. The writer suggests focusing on one point at a time among the ones that appeal to you, personally, and when you're done with that one, move on to the next.

At the top of the list, it is suggested and I agree that prioritizing is a must. What are the top four or five most important things in your life? Focus on the activities, hobbies and/or side businesses that you love doing and drop whatever doesn't line up with those activities.

Point 14 encourages us to create a simplicity statement that details what we want our simple life to look like and then write it down. As point 18 suggests, don't forget to include loved ones in your plan.

Time management is essential. I know I've been guilty of wasting time on frivolous tasks rather than focusing on my priorities. Points three to six encourage us to think about all the stuff we do at home and at work and do only essential tasks. Try to eliminate all the other stuff by automating, delegating or hiring help. Some people can't say "no" and so take on too much. Remember your list of priorities.



Another important way to simplify our lives, as points nine to 13 suggest, is to purge our belongings. Many of us have a lot of stuff laying around that's just taking up space. Walk around each room of your home and eliminate the unnecessary, then focus on closets and drawers, one drawer or shelf at a time. Simplify your wardrobe by getting rid of anything you don't actually wear. There are a lot of charities that could make use of what we no longer need or want or we could have a yard sale. Throw the rest away.

This may be a tough one for some people. Point 15 asks us to limit our spending habits. Once we have eliminated the physical clutter in our homes, it won't help to begin filling them up with stuff again. This will work along with point 26, which is to learn to live frugally and that means wanting less, therefore buying less.

Point 27 says that a minimalist house has what is necessary and not much else. You might even, as point 28 states, be able to downsize your home, which would be less expensive and easier to maintain. Point 30 asks us to learn the meaning of "enough," a tough assignment for many.

Points 32 and 33 suggest healthy eating and exercise as a way of keeping life simple. Over time, eating fatty, salty, sugary, fried foods and sitting at a desk all day long will lead to higher medical needs, meaning more doctor visits, hospitalization, going to the pharmacy for medicines, surgery and so forth. Exercise goes even further by helping you to burn off stress and gives you more energy.

There's lots more in this article, like finding your spirituality, becoming creative or planning an easy-to-maintain yard and it's all designed to help you simplify your life. There are a lot of great ideas here and I'm inspired to put some of them into practice myself.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes ideas and tips for home decorating using only items from the dollar store.


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