How to Leave the rat race Behind and Simplify your Life

Do you ever feel like life has gotten so….complicated? You want to simplify things but you aren’t sure how to start?

how to simplify your life

Maybe you feel overwhelmed.  Tired.  Stressed.  Sure, you enjoy life, but the days of enjoyment are fewer and farther in between.  You want to know how to get out of the rat race and truly enjoy your life.

I get it.  I’ve been there.  And honestly, I’m just coming out of a season like that.  I haven’t been in the “modern” rat race for some time, but you can still get caught up in certain aspects of the rat race without going to work in a cubicle every day.

That’s why I believe simplifying your life is so important.  But here’s the thing.  Even if you simplify your life, chances are the complications of life can creep back in and before you know it you realize you’ve stopped simplifying.

That’s where I’ve been recently.  So, I knew what I had to do.  It was time to simplify again.

To what degree you need to simplify may be different from the next person, but any amount of simplifying your life can cause positive results.

Do you ever start thinking to yourself, “I don’t even know where I’m supposed to be or what I’m supposed to be doing because I’m being pulled 10 different directions at the same time?

Or what about, “I can’t keep this mess under control in my house and why, oh why do we have so much stuff?  Where the heck does it all come from?”

Or maybe you open your closet to be overwhelmed by the amount of clothes you have in there and frankly, you are sick and tired of the mountains of laundry that it creates?

If you find yourself dreaming of doing other things in your life – just slowing things down and soaking in the beautiful moments instead of being overwhelmed by everything, it may be time to simplify things.

But how do you simplify your life?  Especially when you don’t even know where to start?  Let’s talk about that.


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Do a serious decluttering session of your home.

We’ve been working on a kitchen reno for almost a year.  Things take a long time when you do it all yourself (and of course by “yourself” I mean, my husband….).  Along the way messes are made.

Decluttering kept getting postponed so we could focus on the reno. And I gotta tell you, this month I got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore.  I felt overwhelmed.  I felt like the clutter in our house was complicating my life.  Stressing me out.

I knew what I had to do.  So last week I started a serious declutter session.  And I gotta tell ya, life feels simpler already.  There’s less stuff to deal with.  There’s less stuff to clean.  Less stuff to clean means more time for other things.

If you feel overwhelmed by keeping up with your house, it may be time to do a declutter.  We want to be able to manage our things, not let our things manage us.

If you really want to declutter but don’t know where to start, check out this “Declutter in Minutes Planner” over at Simple Living Country Gal.  Anything that helps me clean in the least amount of time possible is a winner in my books.

Get rid of some clothes.

Okay, I realize this can sit under the declutter section, but I find too many clothes easily accumulate and so I decided it needed to be in a category all on it’s own.

As women we can especially be bad for letting clothes take over.  We keep things we no longer fit into “just in case”.  That’s fine for a while, but if 3 years have gone by and you still haven’t fit back in to your favorite pair of jeans, it’s time to let them go.

Too many clothes causes us to feel overwhelmed by laundry.  Yes, you will need to do the same amount of laundry because you still will wear clothes everyday 🙂 but having more clothes allows us to leave the mountain of clothes to wash a little longer which means by the time we get around to it we are overwhelmed by how big the mountain has grown.  Less clothes means we have no choice but to wash clothes before the mountain becomes unmanageable.

On top of that, it’s less folding, less organizing, less space needed in our homes.

Decluttering our clothes needs to be done periodically.  At my house we receive a lot of hand-me-downs which is a blessing but it does mean we need to be on top of getting rid of old clothes.

Simplify your schedule.

I talk about this a lot on the blog but that’s because I feel like it’s so important.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and without joy, it may be time to look at your schedule and see what can go.  You are only one person and can only do so much.

Many women have a very hard time saying no and will continue to say yes until they get sick from exhaustion and are forced to step back.  Don’t wait until you get to that point.  Simplify your life by simplifying your schedule.  Cut back where you can.  While there may not be a lot you can cut back on in this season of life, there may be something small you can cut back on.


Simplify your finances.

Who doesn’t feel overwhelmed when finances are out of whack?  And again, this is another area that you need to go back to again and again to re-evaluate and see what you can change.  We recently had to do that.  I was determined to cut back on some bills as I felt our finances were getting too complicated and too high for my liking.

We did some research and were able to cut some services we no longer needed, cut back on our tv streaming services (with so many now it’s easy to find yourself signed up for way too many) and we were also able to find a new no frills cell phone service that cut our bill in HALF!

If you struggle to get a handle on your finances but know that you really need to, check out this budget guide over at The Budget Mama to help you out.

Simplify meal time.

It’s no secret that in our house we love food. And not just ANY food, but GOOD quality food.  That doesn’t  mean we need to spend hours in the kitchen if we are feeling overwhelmed in our lives.  I’ve learned how to make a few go-to favorite meals from scratch that are east to make and everyone loves them.

Simple meals like a big pot of potato soup or a roasted chicken with potatoes in the same pot are easy to whip up and once they are on the stove or in the oven require minimal attention.

I often will whip up an overnight bread to go with our meals that literally takes me all of 10 minutes the night before to prepare and aside from baking, about 10 minutes of attention the next day.

Of course, I also recognize that to simplify my life I need to be okay with going to super fast meals that aren’t necessarily from scratch in our house.  If the kids have extra-curriculars we need to run to but I still want to enjoy time at the table with my family I don’t beat myself up for serving little pizzas on english muffins we whip up, or even *gasp* hot dogs from time to time.  It’s all about balance and moderation in my opinion.

As well, snack time doesn’t have to require something fancy that you baked all the time.  We bake a lot in this house, but that’s often changed up  with a million apples, bananas, and oranges for snack time.  Simple and stress-free. 🙂

Re-evaulate your work schedule.

We live in a world where “hustling” is praised.  Women are constantly pushed to “hustle” to be the “#girlboss”.  Now don’t get me wrong – having goals and pushing ourselves is necessary.  There are times in our lives we need to hustle a little.  I’ve learned a lot from those “girlbosses” I’ve come across on the internet.

But sometimes, in the pursuit of our goals we burn ourselves out.  We forget why we are doing what we are doing.  Maybe we were hustling to be able to be at home with our kids, but over time the hustle took over and we weren’t spending time with the kids like we wanted to.

Maybe you started pushing yourself with a stay-at-home job so you can walk away from your job outside of your home to give yourself more time to pursue your passions – except with so much hustling you no longer have time for your passions.

It’s easy to get sidetracked.  Ask me how I know.  Sometimes we have to re-evaluate our work schedule and decide to take a little less money for a simpler life with more joy.

I realize this isn’t necessary for everyone.  Especially if you work outside the home at a 9-5 job.  However, if there is some flexibility in your job and you find the things that are important to you are suffering because of your work, it may be time to re-evaluate.

And dont’ get me wrong – if you are struggling to put food on the table I’m not suggesting to work less hours.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  But if there’s enough food on the table and you are exhausted, consider how you can change things up.

Limit your time with technology.

Ah, technology.  Anyone else have a love-hate relationship with the stuff?  It’s because of technology that I can work from home on this very blog.  It’s a way I can connect with friends and family that are far away.

However, it’s also a time-sucker, and the things that cross my facebook newsfeed or what I read online in the news can drain and discourage me.

All of that information hangs out in my brain and there is nothing simple about that! Sometimes disconnecting a little bit really can help simplify your life.  Don’t use cellphones at the dinner table.

Get outside with your family and leave the devices behind.  Don’t stay up all night binge-watching Netflix.  Limiting technology in your life to help simplify things.

Make time for the things that matter to you.

I really believe taking the time to do the things that you value as a family go a long way in simplifying your life.  For example, our family really values mealtime at the dinner table. Most nights we are eating together as a family, laughing and sharing conversation.

If we filled our schedule too full it just wouldn’t happen.  We say no to other activities so we can say yes to quality time as a family at the dinner table.

Maybe it’s not the dinner table that is important to you, but maybe it’s spending time outdoors.  Maybe it’s making time for exercise because that’s how you thrive.  Maybe it’s connecting with other women, or being more involved in your church.

Often you need to say no to other things so you can say yes to what matters most.  Remember, when you say yes to one thing you are saying no to another.  So make sure you are saying yes to what you want to hold as a priority in you and your family’s lives.


There are so many other ways to simplify your life, but we’d be here all day if I listed them all!  The bottom line is, the reason we simplify our lives is to make room for more.

More joy, more time with those we love, more peace.  Simplifying your life can help you create an environment where you thrive and truly enjoy your life.

What about you?  Have you made steps to simplify your life?  Has it impacted how you live your life?  If you haven’t simplified your life, is it something you feel the pull to do?  Do you feel like simplifying your life could benefit you?

I encourage you, if you haven’t simplified your life but you are feeling overwhelmed by the weight of the world, to make steps to simplify what you can.  You don’t need to do all of the things listed above, but you can start out small, just making one change in your life.

If you feel it adds to the quality of your life then go back and try another thing, and so on.  I’m all about not biting off more than we can chew.










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