OK so we may be a bit late to the new year’s resolutions party (it being the end of January and all!) but it’s never too late to make a positive change. As someone who has had ‘stop biting my nails’ on her resolutions list since at least 1996, this year I have decided to set myself a goal rather than a list of resolutions: to live more simply and to declutter my life.

I’ve done a lot of reading on the topic and here are 5 easy(ish) ways to achieve minimalistic bliss!

1. Declutter your inbox.

This is an easy one, all thanks to a fantastic website I found… helps you unsubscribe from all those millions of newsletters clogging up your inbox just by ‘logging on’ to your email and selecting ‘unsubscribe’ next to the sender. Turns out that I was subscribed to 72 newsletters (of which I probably read 2! good riddance to the other 70.)

2. Do a massive spring clean.

We’re about halfway through our spring clean at the moment, and I can’t describe the joy that throwing away 3-year-old receipts and dried up pens and sauces that expired in 2013 brings. It’s a mission to start but once you do, you’ll be desperate to attack the next cupboard and throw/give something/everything away. Here are some ideas to help you on your springcleaning way:

  • unless you want to live in a dentist’s waiting room, throw away magazines that are not from 2016. Yes all of them. No, you probably won’t look at them again (and anyway you have the internet now).
  • be ruthless! You’ll feel so much better for it. And donate anything that is useful (but not to you) to a charity store so someone else can find use out of it.
  • live by this mantra:

Life Quote

  • attack the drawers – you’ll find that emptier and cleaner drawers mean that the things you have kept will be used more often.
  • go through your cupboards and set aside any clothes you don’t wear/haven’t worn for a year. Be realistic. We live in a country with lots of people who need them more than you do – so drive around giving clothes to beggars or donate them to a homeless charity or shelter.
  • throw away any holey fuddy-duddy underwear and invest in a few new pieces. New underwear can make you feel like the most powerful person on earth and frankly 5-year-old fraying undies are just gross.
  • the pantry. Although I am known to ignore expiry dates, some things just need to go. Also, you’ll probably find you have 6 packets of rice and 12 bags of spaghetti, so now is the time to consolidate your stock.

3. Simplify your weekday meals (i.e. plan!).

There is no denying that planning makes life so much easier and is totally worth the pain of, well, planning. I have never been much of a planner but this year, that is all going to change. One of the most exhausting and draining things in my life is stopping at the supermarket on my way home from a long day at work to buy dinner. It kills me. And yet, at least 2-3 times a week I will find myself in another check out queue. So, this year, I am going to plan weekday meals in advance – for ideas, check out some of our delicious dishes here – and do one shop a week.

4. Say no.

This is something I actively started to do last year and it has made my life so much simpler, more enjoyable and less stressful. It can be hard but try it: NO! Don’t be that person who says yes and then 3 hours before, says no – if you don’t want to do something say any upfront. On that note, try stick to commitments too, that also makes you feel better.

5. Find your work-life balance.

This is a tough one, working in the financial industry (and many other industries too I am sure) brings with it certain expectations about work hours, face time and all sorts. What I have started to do is work around it – when I am finished with my work by 5:30 I am not going to hang around till 7 just to be seen to be busy. Get into work a bit earlier if it means that you can leave early to cook a special dinner, or go for a run in the morning and get in a bit later. As I said, find your balance.

Guys, 2017 is your year, wishing you a fantastic one!

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