I like lists for their efficiency and ease in presenting many thoughts and ideas in a short time. An excellent list has been compiled in a post over at the Miss Minimalist blog. It offers "100 Ways to Simplify Your Life (and Make Yourself Happier)".
I read the NBA-approved post after initially thinking that a list of 100 items wasn't minimal. But hey, life is complicated, and it could have been a list of 1000 things, or 10,000.
If 100 items are too much and you like your lists more minimal than Miss Minimalist, I found the following item that summarizes the information contained in the original in only 24 succinct points.
AROUND THE HOUSE
1. Ditch the TV (or at least turn if off). If you’re an average viewer, you’ll save over a hundred precious hours each month. An added bonus: less exposure to commercials means less desire to buy stuff, and more money in your pocket.
2. Get rid of excessive furniture, so there’s less to walk around, trip over, or move when you have to clean.
3. Put items away immediately after use. It takes a lot less effort than cleaning up piles of stuff later on.
Have a place for everything. It makes it much easier to find things, and put them away.
4. Consolidate hobby items in designated containers. That way, all your supplies will be on hand when you need them.
5. Adopt the “one in, one out” rule: when you purchase something new, get rid of something old.
WARDROBE AND STYLE
6. Choose versatile clothing. The more ways you can wear something, the fewer items you’ll need.
7. Get a simple, no-fuss haircut; it’ll save tons of time in the morning.
8. Avoid unhealthy habits, like smoking, drugs, or drinking in excess. You’ll look better now, and avoid a boatload of health problems down the road.
9. Let your inner beauty shine. A pleasant countenance and radiant smile will make you more beautiful than any cosmetics.
KITCHEN AND DINING
10. Plan your meals in advance. You’ll spend less time staring into your refrigerator, wondering what to make.
11. Purge unnecessary gadgets and seldom-used equipment. A large variety of meals can be made with basic pots and implements.
12. Eat healthy foods (like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables), and you’ll avoid a wide variety of medical problems.
OFFICE AND TECH
13. Pay bills online. It takes much less time than writing and mailing a check, and you won’t need to buy envelopes and stamps.
14. Stay out of debt. Life is much simpler when you don’t have to worry about interest charges and minimum payments.
15. Take digital sabbaticals. Disconnecting for a period of time – be it an hour, a day, or a weekend – can be quite liberating!
16. Right-size your expectations. When you expect too much of yourself and others, disappointment and stress are often the result.
17. Forget about perfection. For the vast majority of tasks, good enough is good enough.
18. Make it a goal to do less, not more. Increase your productivity to free up your schedule, rather than jam more stuff into it.
19. Live in the present. Don’t spend excessive hours pining for the past, or fretting about the future. Be here now.
20. Think before you act. We can often save ourselves a lot of trouble if we think about the consequences before acting on impulse.
21. Think before you speak. Once you let some ill-considered words out of your mouth, you can’t get them back. Better to hold your tongue than have to deal with the fallout.
22. Don’t hold grudges. Forgiveness eases your stress and tension, and frees up your time and energy for more positive pursuits.
23. Downsize your digs. A smaller home means less to maintain, less to clean, and less to pay in mortgage, utilities, and rent.
24. Don’t shop unless you need something. In other words, don’t browse stores, catalogs, or websites looking for something to need.
I recommend reading the full list of 100 at Miss Minimalist, and perusing the comments as well if you have the time. However, one could subtract a lot to arrive at just a few simple rules just in case you want to get on with things:
- Live within your means.
- Take care of yourself and others.
- Enjoy life and be happy now.