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The Simple Life (Part Two)

Posted Jul 10 2011 5:27pm

Happy Sunday Everyone!

I apologize for the delay in posting this second part. The sunny warm weather has been oh so attractive lately – my computer not so much!

In Part One , I covered off a few tips on simplifying your life through diet. It wasn’t by any means an extensive list of tips but its purpose was to show you that eating healthily doesn’t have to be equated to buying complicated ingredients or preparing complicated recipes. It really can be simple if you want it to be!

In this next part, I’ll touch on another area of your life where a small collection of changes can positively affect your day-to-day routine and overall life experience. I can’t help but notice when people start to clean-up their diets and become more conscious of their food choices, their desire for this next step naturally ensues.

Photo via Sanctuary

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2. Declutter and detoxify your living space.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that a cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind? Well I believe this is absolutely true! You’ll be amazed at how much more productive, creative and inspired you are when you clear the clutter from your living space and cultivate a space of serenity. This requires a little bit of work upfront but the pay-off is huge when it comes to your mental clarity.

Regularly purging things that you no longer need or use is a great habit to get into. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how liberating it can feel! Now depending on the size of your living space the thought of going through all your stuff can be quite overwhelming. Start with one room or closet at a time. You might even start by choosing 5-10 items and either donating them to someone in need or recycling them accordingly. Have the kiddos do this as well with their stuff! Just like you, children also benefit tremendously from living in environments free of clutter. You’ll likely notice that their homework sessions are more productive and their dispositions more sunny. Furthermore you’ll be instilling important values in them at a young age (i.e. hoarding isn’t cool).

The flip side of the same coin is to stop buying and accumulating more stuff! More than half of the stuff we buy we don’t really need; however, deeply ingrained social programming would have us believe otherwise. Take back your power and don’t be a marionette of society!

Go on a shopping strike!! Try going a month where you only buy basic necessities, food items, toiletries, etc. You can still spend a little money on  entertainment (i.e. a night out with friends) but don’t accumulate more stuff. This can really help open up your eyes to how much you really need as opposed to how much you think you need. It also shows you just how much you are “sold” every day. Repeat this mantra if you find yourself pining over some unnecessary product. Don’t need it. Don’t want it. Don’t gotta have it!

When it comes to decluttering your living space here are 3 great areas to start:

Closets/Clothes – If you haven’t worn it in over a year it’s quite likely you never will. Routinely go through your clothes and clear out the items that no longer serve you. If an item is permanently stained and can’t be salvaged, recycle it accordingly. Make a separate pile for items that need mending, buttons sewed, etc. Only hang or put away clothes that you can wear now.

Bathroom – Clear out your medicine cabinets and cupboards below the sink. Give them a good wipe down and go through each item one-by-one. Dispose of old medications, expired lotions, cosmetics or stuff that you no longer use. Next, read the labels on all of your stuff. Do any of your cosmetics contain toxic and carcinogenic ingredients? For a full list I suggest you check out the EWG’s Skin Deep data base here . I understand that cosmetics can be quite expensive so you’re not likely to trash all your products if they contain a few potentially toxic ingredients, however, at least you’ll be conscious of what you’re slathering on your skin. When the bottle’s empty you can replace it with a cleaner alternative. With that said, don’t waste your money on tons of lotions and potions promising you a youthful glow. Simplify your beauty routine and check out my post here on a chemical-free glow .

Office/work space – Clear everything off the top of your desk so that your work space is free of clutter. Recycle papers you no longer need or put them in an inbox if they require immediate attention. Otherwise find a home for them by filing them away in designated folders for future use. Also, don’t let mail pile up. Open it immediately and either recycle it, put it in your inbox or file it away if necessary.

Now when it comes to cleaning your living space you want to ensure that you’re not using any toxic chemicals that will potentially be inhaled by you and your family or licked up by the dog (or baby)! Choose non-toxic products as often as possible or learn how to make your own cleaning products to save a little cash. Check out ewg.org .

Here are a few simple tips in cultivating a serene living space!

This is by no means an exhaustive list as there are tons of other great tips you can apply, but in the spirit of simplicity I’ve kept it short. And don’t forget, you only have to apply a few of these tips today to see positive changes tomorrow.

Check out this article  for more tips on decluttering along other great ones over at zenhabits.net – an amazing resource of info and personal favourite of mine!

Two down and one more to go! Part Three of The Simple Life will be posted shortly.

Stay tuned! For real this time.

Here’s to clearing through the clutter!

Elaine


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