How to Live a Simple Stress-Free Life

Life can be complicated, but sometimes we just make it more complicated than it needs to be. With all our responsibilities regarding friends, family, work, household chores, paying bills, eating right and exercising, our feet sometimes seem to barely touch the ground. Simple living can seem far out of reach.

But by following just a few simple rules, we can simplify our lives. We can take away unwanted stress, helping us to feel in control and clear-headed. With consistent effort and a little willpower, following the 10 ideas below will soon have you living an easier, simpler life. Simple living is within your grasp!

1. Declutter and organise everything.

We’re often advised to declutter our closet or declutter our desk. Well, I recommend decluttering and organising everything! Did you know the average person spends twelve days per year looking for things they can’t find? Decluttering is the perfect solution for so many reasons. I’m not suggesting you do it all at once, start with a small area such as a junk drawer.

My method is quick and simple. As the difficulty is usually the question of what to keep and what to throw away. I suggest emptying the chosen area and identifying everything you really don’t want. Be ruthless.

Now recycle, give to charity or a friend, sell or, as a last resort, throw away all those items. Clean the area and repack the remaining items neatly, relocating items to their proper home where necessary. There may still be items there about which you are undecided but it is already a good start.

Go gradually through every area of your house, office, car, garage and shed, little by little. You can spend as much or as little time as you can on this but the trick is to keep going. Keep allotting time to the task every day. Your life will be cleaner and neater. You will know where things are and you will ultimately spend a lot less time looking for lost items. Decluttering your life is an important step to take in living a simpler life.

2. Prioritise the people in your life

Yep, sounds harsh, but it’s necessary sometimes. Certain people in your life are important to you and deserve your time and energy. Others are toxic, negative, energy-absorbing or simply unimportant. Remove negative people from your life and learn to spend time and energy on only those who are nearest and dearest to you.

3. Start the day right

There’s a saying ‘start as you mean to go on’ and this should apply to you each and every day. Think about what are the most important things for you each morning, make a short list and stick to it. It could be something short and simple such as ‘hydrate, eat a healthy breakfast or exercise’. Or be more specific by including things such as ‘stay off the phone until 11 am or walk for 30 minutes every day. Maybe even be prohibitive such as no coffee until 10, do yoga, do breathing exercises and meditation, eat fresh fruit and yogurt’.

4. Preparation is key

If you plan to do something, such as work at the computer first thing, go jogging when you get home, eat a healthy homemade lunch instead of fast food or simply go for a walk before breakfast, then you can help yourself achieve your goals by preparing. Putting your jogging clothes and shoes out the night before can help with motivation.

Make your lunch the night before so you only have to pick it up before going out the door. Clear your desk before you go to bed so it’s more welcoming in the morning. Put your keys, phone and shoes by the door ready for your walk so you don’t have to hunt for them. Be your own best friend through little touches and helpful gestures that will ensure you do the things you really want to do.

5. Plan meals

It can seem boring but planning your meals for the week can simplify your life and reduce waste, saving you time and money. It really isn’t difficult – list the meals you want to prepare each day for the following week, make a shopping list for the ingredients you’ll need, buy them and follow the plan. Simple and effective.

6. Make lists

We all have way too much in our heads, things we need to do, things we need to remember, and we all need a little helping hand to stay on top of these tasks without getting stressed. So whenever you think of something you have to do (or even better, something you’d like to do) write it down on a list on your desk or your kitchen table. Add to the list, cross things off as and when you do them, rewrite the list from time to time so it stays neat, tidy and updated to your latest priorities.

7. Resolutions are not just for the New Year

Make resolutions every month, or even every week. Write your new goals on a post-it and stick it to the fridge. This will remind you each and every day of what is important to you and will help you to prioritise.

8. Unplug

Simple to say, not so easy to do, but oh so worth it. Take time to switch off your phone, your computer, and your TV. Embrace a digital detox. Without these distractions, you will have huge amounts of time to reconnect with yourself and other people.

You will see more of what’s around you, not just on that little screen that you hold in your hand, and life will become simpler and easier. Go for a walk. Look at the sky and the trees. It’s part of living a simpler life and it has huge benefits for your day-to-day stress levels and your general well-being.

9. Do less

We can move towards simple living by making a conscious effort to slow down and do one task at a time. Multi-tasking became popular in recent years as a way to do more in less time. But people are understanding now that there is a huge price of stress to pay for living life this way. Slowly and mindfully performing one task at a time is more effective, more productive, more rewarding and more relaxing.

10. Say no

Whether it’s because you don’t have the time or the energy, or you simply don’t want to do something, learn to say ‘no‘. We are programmed to say yes to invitations and requests, programmed to feel guilty about declining. But a simple life is much easier if you say ‘no’ more often.

It may be difficult at first but it is just a habit to cultivate, so by the time you say ‘no’ the fifth or sixth time, it will have become a whole lot easier. You’ll have more time for the things you really want to do, more energy and a sunnier disposition.

Final thoughts

Take time to implement these few simple ideas and you’ll soon have your day running more smoothly. Your day-to-day life will be more organised, less stressful and simpler.

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Seff Bray

Seff Bray is an accomplished author and the passionate founder of, a website renowned for its uplifting and inspiring content. With a lifelong interest in personal development and growth, Seff has dedicated himself to empowering others through his writing.