National Simplify Your Life Week, which runs August 1 through 7, is a great time to think about creating a little more serenity in our day-to-day lives. To help with that, I asked Feng Shui practitioner Eils Lotozo of Truly Home to offer some tips on just how to do that. Here’s what she had to say:
A great way to begin to simplify your life is to deal with any clutter and disorganization that exists in your home. Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, says one of the things that surprised her most in her research was “the degree to which, for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm.”
And if you really want to develop more of that outer order, you need to work on developing new habits. Says Rubin: “Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life, and a significant element of happiness. If we have habits that work for us, we’re much more likely to be happy, healthy, productive, and creative.”
Here are a few easy-to-institute habits that can cut down on stress, and help your days go more smoothly:
- Stop wasting time looking for misplaced keys, phones, and wallets by designating a special spot for them near the door. Use it every time you come home. Your special place can be a pretty tray or basket, a drawer or a shelf—just make sure it’s close to the door you use most frequently, which will make this habit easier to develop.
- Make your bed every day. No excuses. A crisply made bed gets you off on the right foot for the day, shining as a beacon of order and calm. It only takes a few minutes, and in my experience, this good habit can lead to other good things. The sight of that neat bed in an otherwise disorderly environment just might inspire you to put away that basket of laundry, pick up the clothes on the floor, or run the vacuum.
- Leave your shoes at the door when you come home, and ask your family and visitors to do so as well. You’ll cut back on the dirt and bacteria that shoes can track into the house, which means you’ll have a healthier environment and you can clean less. (But don’t just leave them in a heap by the door. Place a bin, basket, or shelves to keep those shoes corralled.)
- Don’t let mail pile up anywhere in your home, ever. Create systems for dealing with paper. Have a designated spot for incoming mail with a trashcan, recycling bin, and shredder nearby. Set up some baskets or file folders for each person in the household to review their mail. Sort bills to be paid into a folder. If something needs to be filed, file it right away. The idea is to not touch a piece of paper more than once. Better yet, be proactive in reducing the paper flow. Switch to paperless statements for all of your financial accounts, and take steps to reduce or eliminate junk mail and catalogs. Find out how at: http://www.ecocycle.org/junkmail
- Create a meal plan for the week, along with a shopping list of the items you need to execute that plan. You may think you don’t have the time for all that, but winging it at dinnertime has its own consequences: too many take-out meals, extra trips to the store to pick up last minute items, or wasting food you already have in the fridge but don’t have a plan for. A meal plan can make you feel calm and in control, and will actually save time.
- Finally, if clutter is a genuine issue in your home, start dealing with it now. There is no way to bring a note of serenity and simplicity into a space packed with way too much stuff. Ask for help if you need it—from an organizing professional, or a supportive, energetic friend. Tackle just one room at a time, or work on clearing just one kitchen counter, one tabletop or one closet. Remember, the more outer order you create in your home, the more inner calm you will bring to your life.
With her company Truly Home, Eils Lotozo offers interior redesign and home staging services, Feng Shui consultations, and more, in the greater Philadelphia area and beyond. Truly Home makes it beautiful, comfortable, easy.
Find out more at TrulyHomeRedesign.com
Or contact Eils: