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7 Simple ways to declutter your life

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Here are seven simple ways to declutter your life if you’re a busy woman juggling parenting with working and running a family household. 

Simple ways to declutter your life

For much of last year, I felt overwhelmed by all the stuff that I had to get done.

My life was so cluttered with to-do lists, commitments and chores. 

But if I am truly honest with myself an awful lot of the pressure that I was feeling was self-inflicted. 

Yes, there is SO much to do when you’re juggling parenting with working and running a household. 

But there are ways to manage your life, to simplify it and declutter it. 

Declutter your life

We clutter our lives with endless activities, just as much as we clutter our homes with stuff.

We feel like failures if our lives … AND our kids lives! … are not busy. 

But are we really happier or better people for being always on the go?

I don’t know about you but I am not.

The reality of always being busy is exhaustion, grouchiness, a lack of focus and no time to simply ‘be’ in the moment. 

All of which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and anxious. 

You know, that stomach gnawing fear that in all the busy-ness you have forgotten something critical.

In a world where it can feel that we are ‘less than’ if we aren’t busy 100% of the time, it’s very easy to end up feeling totally overwhelmed and unhappy. 

So what is the solution? 

Be more gentle on yourself 

I feel more and more that we need to be gentler to ourselves.

AND our kids!

One way to achieve this is to try to live a simpler life. 

A life that is less cluttered with stuff that needs doing, commitments, social engagements we feel we need to keep up with and the general detritus of a fast-paced modern life. 

I’ve been trying out some simple ways to declutter my life. 

Some of the things I’ve been trying have really made a difference. 

So I thought I’d share them with you so that you can declutter your life. 

Have a read through the tips and see which you feel you can start acting on from today. 


1. What will REALLY happen if I don’t do this?

Learn to stop and ask yourself this question every time you go to add something to your to-do list or into your diary. 

“What will REALLY happen if I don’t do this?”

You’ll be surprised by how many times, when you think about it, then the world won’t come to an end if the task doesn’t get done. 

This will really help you to say no more often. 

2. Stop reinventing the wheel

It is very easy to be obsessed with the new and the original.

In an Instagram, reality TV led world the pressure is on to constantly come up with different recipes to try, different activities to do, different trips and holidays to take. 

But kids actually like routine and repetition and sameness.

They find comfort in knowing on Monday it’s always pasta for tea.

So instead of bowing to the pressure of newness, give yourself a new mantra to live by…

‘Repeat and reuse’

3. Don’t do it that way because you always did it that way 

Now, this may seem to go directly in the face of point two, but hold on and have a read. 

This is a nudge to take a look at some of those die-hard habits you have that are a drain on your time when they don’t need to be. 

I took a step back and looked at the things that were taking up a lot of my time each week. 

Things like laundry, cooking family meals and grocery shopping

I challenged myself to find simpler, quicker ways to do them. 

I am now a regular meal planner which cuts the time it takes grocery shop and cook each day. 

4. Stop overloading the kids with activities

We are all ambitious for our kids to have the best of life. 

But cramming their lives with clubs and play dates can leave them exhausted. 

And the result?

Behaviour goes out of the window and everyone gets sick.

Kids need downtime.

Time to entertain themselves.

AND to actually be bored.

If we constantly shuttle them from one organised activity to another they will never discover the independent spirit they really need to succeed or the inner resources to feel happy in themselves.

Clearing my daughter’s schedule to allow for more simple downtime worked wonders for her mood and her sleep patterns. 

Less is definitely more. 

5. Clear the diary one weekend a month

How did weekending get so competitive?

An empty weekend can feel like a social disaster.

Especially if you scroll through Instagram and see the ‘rest of the world’ seemingly having the time of their lives. 

But as families, we need real rest and realtime spent together.

Just mooching around without obligations to anyone else and enjoying ourselves simply.

Christmas was wonderfully exciting for my daughter but her happiest moments were the whole family sitting down to play old-style games.

The pure joy of a family laughing together is unbeatable medicine for the soul.

I am making sure that at least one weekend a month we just hang out together, as a family, at home.

6. Have downtime every day

How often do you sit down during the day and do nothing?

Or just read a book?

I found that on the few occasions when I sat down to watch TV, I was still doing something else at the 

On the few occasions I watch TV I’m still “doing” something at the same time.

Even if it’s just wasting my time interfaffing as I call it.

But the always “on” manic mummy mode is a dreadful example for our kids.

I am trying hard to let my daughter see me have 15-30 minutes of real downtime every day.

Not where I crash in an exhausted heap, but good quiet time  … phone off, laptop off … just chatting or reading a book.

7. Be spontaneous

I’m a planner.

A list maker.

I always will be, but this year the measure of my success will not be how much I ticked off the todo list, but whether I had the time free to be spontaneous.

Whether it’s being there for neighbours in need, an impromptu chuck it on the table meal or playing outside.

Or just having the freedom to do the right thing at the right time for myself and my family and my friends.

Are you all set to declutter your life?

Great! Good luck!

Fancy decluttering your home as well? Visit the Declutter section for a bunch of posts on decluttering.

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How to declutter your life, how to simplify your life, how to reduce overwhelm, free yourself from clutter


Wednesday 4th of February 2015

Really nice list! My children are still young enough that our weekends aren't yet filled with too many activities and I love having that time with them and my husband to just 'be'!


Thursday 5th of February 2015

So glad you liked the list Madeline. There's nothing beats time just to "be" but so easy to lose it x

Bonnie @ The Pin Junkie

Friday 23rd of January 2015

Great tips on decluttering! Thanks for sharing them at The Pin Junkie! This post is being featured at this week's party!


Monday 26th of January 2015

Thanks so much for the feature Bonnie and for being such a fab host!


Friday 16th of January 2015

Great advice here.. for a neurotic planner and worrier of all things like myself, I couldn't agree more. Sometimes you just have to take a step back.


Monday 26th of January 2015

Always good to meet another "neurotic planner" Sarah ... more and more am learning key to great planning is doing less AND planning down time x


Friday 16th of January 2015

Having too much stuff planned and anxiety are huge for me, you just have that wind down time everyday to keep our sanity!


Monday 26th of January 2015

Anxiety is such a killer isn't it? I know it's so self-destructive so really making sure I don't overload this year x

Stella Lee @purfylle

Friday 16th of January 2015

I'm pleased to say this is one area (the only area) of my life that isn't cluttered.