64: 13 Ways to Simplify Your Life



Welcome friends to Episode #64 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast.I’ve been personally very interested in this idea of simplifying my life since I was in my twenties and if you love Marie Kondo, the idea of minimalism, or are even just intrigued with the possibility of simple living, you’re in for a treat. I’ll share the 13 ways you might be overcomplicating your life right now and what you can do about it.

If you’re into the idea of simplification you’re also likely thinking about living more mindfully or intentionally. I remember when I began living more mindfully, I started subscribing to a magazine called “Real Simple”. I loved the issues where they described investment pieces of clothing, people who had less, and ways to declutter your home. Yet, I couldn’t figure out why my home and clothing still looked like there was so much more than in the pictures. I knew that magazine spreads and ads are not reality, yet I was intrigued by the stories of people who didn’t seem worse off with less. People who had the means to buy more but intentionally chose less, and also seemed to have a life of beauty and magic, not deprivation. What did these people know about simplifying their lives that made it actually happen? I didn’t know the magic sauce then, but I think I’m getting closer every day. What happened was that I started a process that would reach into all corners of my life, one question at a time.


The question was this. What if my life was a blank slate? If I had nothing in my life and had to put things back in, what would they be?


I began with my life at home, following the advice and process of Marie Kondo in her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to kickstart this less is more overhaul. Bags and bags of clothes, books, and clutter began to make their way out of my home. I was even invited just after the massive clothing purge to a clothing swap and ended up bringing the clothes that I had left to wear, and only bringing back one piece. What timing! We are not minimalists by any stretch of the imagination, but I continue to subscribe to this idea of asking myself what in my life actually sparks joy and thinking about life as a blank slate. What gets to stay and come in? In my home life, that meant clothing items that I truly enjoyed and loved, furniture that we are so glad to use, and relationships that enrich our lives. I even simplified how I ate, letting myself evolve to a diet that’s mostly plants. 


The 13 things I did were the below:


  1. Getting help with housework (eg. cleaning, meal prep)
  2. Investing in fewer but better clothes for myself and kids
  3. Creating a rhythm for connecting with friends and family (e.g, weekly date nights, thanksgiving with my side of the family, christmas with Jay’s, etc)
  4. Investing in regular and consistent childcare
  5. Subscribing to things that bring beauty like fresh flowers
  6. Consistent spiritual, mental and physical health practices (daily meditation, gratitude, exercise)
  7. Automating savings, investing, spending and earning (e.g. accounts for different goals, lower debt to equity ratio, prioritizing financial freedom)
  8. Reverse engineering my work and focusing on the outcomes that will matter at the end of each year
  9. Reducing the hours I work (e.g, Increasing what I charge, getting help, spending time on work that I am passionate and are in my zone of genius)
  10. Creating morning and daily routines
  11. Deciding I wanted a life of less suffering and more joy
  12. Focusing on one goal at a time
  13. Reducing clutter


Some resources I shared:


Let me know what resonates with you and how you use this. In this month’s Leadership group coaching, we’ll be covering the mind/body practices. How do we learn what our bodies are telling us, connect to these external experiences from a place of internal truth, and live our healthiest lives. If you enjoy these kinds of topics, you can go to www.mayempson.com/contact to learn more.


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