31 Things I Don't Do or Buy to Simplify My Life

Angela | Arrow
by Angela | Arrow

Who does not want a more simple life? I have been living a minimalist lifestyle for more than six years now, and today I want to share my experience so you can simplify your life as much as I have. Here are the 31 ways to simplify your life by cutting things out that I used in my own life.

1. Drinking soda

Giving up on soda was a game-changer for me. It actually helped me realize how refreshing and amazing clean water was. Now water is 100% my beverage of choice, and I feel so much better.

2. Buying cheap toys

I no longer buy things that are not made to last. They just clutter the house and are annoying.

3. Paying for haircuts

I learned to cut hair at home, which saved me tons of time and money.

4. Taking free items

All the free soaps and trial things just added to the clutter, so I stopped taking them home just because they are free.

Meal rotation system

5. Catering to picky eaters

Making multiple meals to make sure every family member is satisfied was frustrating. What helped was sitting down and creating a meal rotation system where everyone can enjoy all the meals.  

6. Grocery shopping weekly

Now I only go once every two or three weeks, and it has been much easier because I hate shopping. Perhaps I will try delivery in the future to simplify grocery shopping even more.  

7. Saying yes to every request

There are only so many hours in the day and only so much of myself that I can give to others. It is healthy to take a step back sometimes and say no.

8. Doing laundry every single day

I am down to doing laundry once per week, and it has been so freeing.

9. Ironing my clothes

I found that if I just take the clothes immediately from the dryer and lay them flat, I could eliminate the process altogether.

10. Buying birthday cards

Their prices are always going up, and it is ridiculous. Now if my kids are invited to a birthday party, I ask them to create a card for their friend, and those are so much more precious and special.

11. Eating out regularly

With a large family, this is just unrealistic if you want to stay within the budget.

12. Keeping subscriptions I am not using

Going through and canceling all the tiny subscriptions that were adding up to a significant sum was a real simplifier.

Restoring furniture

13. Always buying new

I realized you can take something old and give it a new life instead. My husband has been doing it a lot with furniture.

14. Keeping duplicates

I am not keeping backups anymore. If I buy a new one, the old one is going in the trash.

15. Testing new hygiene products

There was some trial and error for me to find things that worked well for me, but now that I have, I am content with what I am using, so I have stopped searching.

16. Spending beyond means

Trust me: debt can be very, very complicated.

17. Storing things under the bed

I would always forget what I had there, and it just collected dust and became gross.

18. Using breakable dinnerware

Instead of “adult” dishes and “kids” dishes, we now all eat off the same shatterproof dishes.

19. Keeping excess bags

Instead of piles of plastic bags, I now only use reusable grocery bags that I keep in my car. This has saved a lot of space in my cabinets.

20. Using a paper calendar

Now I have all our plans in one place, they can be accessed from different devices, and I can always look at them no matter where I am.  

21. Buying bottled water

I just carry my trusty water bottle with me wherever I go. It is just a lot more convenient and eco-friendly.

Stacking clothes vertically

22. Laying clothes flat in drawers

My kids would mess up the entire drawer looking for that one shirt they want. Now, I always stack clothes vertically, so that they can easily see what they are pulling out.

23. Carrying a large bag

A smaller purse can still hold everything I need on a regular basis, and I never have to dig through it to find things. It also becomes cluttered less often.

24. Keeping random kitchen gadgets

I do not want things I do not use to take up valuable space in my kitchen.

25. Trying to do a morning routine

My body just does not want to do things in the morning, and it is okay. Instead of trying to be productive early in the morning, I take it slow and ease into my day.

26. Decorating for specific holidays

Now I only decorate for the seasons of the year. This means that those decorations can stay up a lot longer, I can decorate with natural elements that I can find, and I do not have to store loads of holiday-specific things.

27. Trying to dress trendy

Instead, I opt for pieces that are classic and comfortable, and that I feel confident wearing.

Throw pillows

28. Keeping throw pillows everywhere

They would drive us nuts, so now we just have a couple that we can use to rest our heads on if we need to.

29. Doing nightly to-do lists

Instead, do a sort of brain dump where I type everything I have on my mind out, and revisit it in the morning to decide on the 2-3 items I should approach that day.

30. Following news daily

This may be controversial, but whatever is important and affects me will still find its way into my life. I am still in the loop, but I am not constantly bombarded with negativity.

31. Comparing myself to other people

I am my own person. I have my own strengths and abilities. I do not have to have all of the things that other people have or do the things that they do.

Simplify your life

I hope you have enjoyed my minimalist lifestyle tips and now have a better idea of how to simplify your life. Which things from this list would you like to try? Which ones sound ridiculous to you? Let me know in the comments below!

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3 of 31 comments
  • Natalie Tebar Natalie Tebar on Jul 22, 2023

    I will never cut my own hair unless I am a trained stylist. However you did not say whether you keep your hair all one length and if so, then it might be possible to DIY. One way I save money is wear my hair in a simple low-maintenance shoulder length style, with minimal layers, and that way I save time with minimal styling and number of hair cuts needed to maintain is 2x/year.

  • Kathy Birdseye Kathy Birdseye on Jul 22, 2023

    All great ideas. Some I do already and some I will incorporate into my life. I am not a morning person but some people try to make me one. I really like your idea of taking the morning slow and easing into your day. I dislike people who proudly tell me how much they have accomplished since 6 or 7 am guilt tripping me :) I have already cut out the daily morning news, its mostly all bad news it seems. 99.9% of it you cant change.