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12 Ways To Simplify Your Life in 2020

When I sat down to write out several ways to simplify life this year, I thought I’d maybe brainstorm 5 or 6 ideas. Before I knew it, 12 areas of life were screaming at me and I just knew that these needed to be shared with you too. Is simplicity high on your list of goals for 2020. Are you starving for rest, organization, and simple systems?

Here are 12 ways to simplify your life in 2020 that will create peace in your life and home. I hope you love these ideas, and I can’t wait to hear how you incorporate them into your family life. Let’s get started!

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Turn Off Phone Notifications

One of the ways I simplified my life in 2019 was by turning off my phone notifications. You know all those dings and pings and pop-ups that buzz at you and distract you from the life that’s happening all around you? I went to the setting area on my iPhone and selected what apps could send me notifications.

The only apps I allow to send me notifications are text messages, phone/voicemail, my Mira Fertility Monitor app, and the Weather app. These are really the only things I need to see immediately. I don’t need to know if I got another like on an Instagram photo or that so-and-so posted a new update to Facebook.

Plus, I turn off the sound on my phone as well. I can usually hear it vibrate when I get a new notification anyways, and it doesn’t interrupt my train of thought, conversations, etc. All of the notifications popping up on my phone were making me feel overstimulated, so I’m so glad I took control over my phone and what interrupts my day.

Set Your Phone Down & Be Present

Speaking of notifications, have you ever gotten a notification from your phone at the end of the week showing you how much time you’ve spent scrolling social media, taking picture, and searching the web on average every day?

I remember the first time this notification popped up and it said that I spent almost 5 hours a day on average that week on my phone! I was astounded. I tried to rationalize this ridiculous amount of time spent on my phone by saying, “well, it’s because of the blog and Instagram” & “I work online so obviously I spend a lot of time on my phone…duh”.

But, truth be told, I’m sure the majority of those hours were spent spying on friends and family on Facebook, living vicariously through my favorite Instagrammers, and scrolling Wayfair and Pottery Barn for new design ideas. It wasn’t time spent working on my business, let’s be serious.

So, something that I am doing to help me dial things down this year and be more present, is simply putting my phone down. It doesn’t need to be glued to my hand. Remember the days of no cell phones? How did we even live? I remember traveling to Europe and having to bring enough pre-paid cards and coins to be able to call home. There were no maps at our fingertips or google right inside our pocket. How did we survive?

My Social Media Pledge for 2020…

This year, in 2020, I’m pledging to put my phone down before dinnertime and actually enjoy conversation and the meal with my hubby. I’m not going to jump at every ding from my phone and live as a captive to its beckon and call.

I’m pledging to only post on Facebook or Instagram those things that are helpful, joyful, laugh-worth, &/or memories I want to share and remember. For those that follow me on Instagram, I want to share helpful tips and meaningful things in stories, and take breaks on the weekends. So often I feel like Instagram is my second child, behind my blog, and I try to give both equal time which is exhausting.

I want social media to be fun again. And, that include unfollowing or blocking those that don’t fill my tank. If you are afraid of offending somebody by unfollowing them on Facebook, you can simply block yourself from seeing their posts. That way they have no idea that their posts are no longer filling your feed, and you still can still be cyber friends.

2020 is the year to clean up your social media, use it to your advantage, and set down your phone! Only follow people you inspire and encourage you. Give yourself time limits so you don’t waste hours a day just scrolling. And, set your own limits by creating your own social media pledge. What ways can you simplify social media in your life?

Purge Your Home Of Clutter

It has actually been proven that clutter breeds anxiety, and I totally believe that don’t you? So this year, let’s focus on one room a month or one project a month. It can be big or small. Whatever room/project you choose give yourself a timeline and start tackling the clutter. Donating has never felt so good!

Currently for January-March my goal is go through all of our clothes piles. You know the ones I’m talking about. They live draped on top of the washer and dryer, or over the chair in the bedroom, or on top of the hamper that’s supposed to be used for dirty clothes.

My goal is rid our home of all the clothes clutter, donate the items we don’t use, finally clean our our closet and drawers, and Marie-Kondo-fold everything last thing so it all has a place! I can’t even imagine how good that will feel to not have to dig in laundry baskets for clean socks and underwear. Please, tell me we’re not the only ones with a laundry problem.

Purging your home of the extra clutter is the perfect way to simplify your life this year. What area will you tackle first?

Simplify Your Morning By Building A Capsule Wardrobe

While we’re on the topic of clothes, one of my other simplicity tips for 2020 is to start building a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a smaller collection of clothing that can be mixed and matched to create several outfits so you can always find something to wear and feel put together.

You can make your capsule wardrobe as big or as small as you want. Fill it with staple pieces that make you feel beautiful and comfortable. Then, you can add in beautiful seasonal pieces like sweaters, shorts, bathing suits, etc that you love.

Some capsulers (if that’s not a word, I’m making it one) choose a color scheme that they love and looks good on them to base their accessories on. The point is to basically purge your closet of all of the unnecessary clothes and curate a closet that you love!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at Cotten Stem, explains the steps of building a capsule wardrobe perfectly if you want to check it out. And, she even links to a printable that is super helpful in helping you nail down what you love to wear and what you need to buy.

Organize Family Photos & Actually Print Them To Enjoy

Another way to simplify your life this year is to FINALLY organize your family photos…and maybe even print some! Gasp! Do you also nearly have a heart attack when you lose photos? Maybe your phone goes crazy or your computer dies and you can kiss those precious memories good bye?? Grab me a tissue, please!

Trust me, these invaluable photos are worth spending the time and effort to organize, and we do so with DropBox. Every season I organize and download my photos into a new Dropbox file where they can be stored forever. You can label each file however you choose. You can even split up your nicer family photos in one file, and your everyday phone photos into another.

Then, at the end of the year, pick your favorites (if that’s even possible) and transfer them to your favorite photo book printing company. We’ve used Shutterfly for our photo books in the past, but have recently fallen in love with the archival quality at Artifact Uprising.

Our goal is to create a Family Yearbook for every year we’ve been married and perhaps put together a weeding album before we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Who knows, we’ll see if we can accomplish this!

I want memory books like this around our home so that we can quickly reference back to memories, trips, milestones, and everyday life. Because, yes indeed, these are “the good old days” aren’t they?

Do you have a photo system that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it! Now, let’s get to printing some of those precious memories and framing them or laying them around the house! Nothing’s more fun than reliving those special times!

Establish Good Routines For The Entire Family

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that create the longest lasting family memories. So, this year, perhaps you can start or build upon some good routines and traditions that the entire will love.

Here are some simple examples of “good routines” for the whole family…

  • Lay out your clothes for the entire week ahead
  • Bedtime routines with bath time, brushing teeth, reading books, and prayers (I love how Emily Ley covers this in her newest book, “When Less Becomes More”. She takes the time to prepare your children’s bedrooms prior to bedtime by actually dimming the lights and turning down their sheets while they finish up their baths. She creates a cozy atmosphere for rest, and I simply love that! Can someone do that for me? Any volunteers??!!)
  • Pre-pack lunches the night before
  • Have backpacks ready to go by the back door
  • Establish a shoe and coat drop zone so they’re easier to find on the way out the door
  • Take a walk together after dinnertime

Here are some easy family traditions that you can start this year…

  • Bake a special treat on the weekends…get the kids in the kitchen
  • Nature walks after church at your local park
  • Pizza Picnic and Family Game Night on Fridays
  • Family Movie Night complete with popcorn and snacks
  • Pancake breakfast every Sunday morning…or some other simple breakfast tradition

Creating special memories with your littles doesn’t take a lot of money or time. Think of some simple ways to establish a fun, and functional routines to give them structure and things to look forward too that include the entire family.

Say “No” To The Unncessary

Saying “No” is a lesson I’m slowly but surely learning. This another way to simplify your life, but it can also be one of the hardest ways to do so. If you are a people-pleaser like I am and you like to do a million things at once, then this message for you.

It can seem like we get busy doing so many good things. Things for the church, for our families, for our friends…and they can all be wonderful things. But, if they are pulling us away from our own core family unit or away from our goals that God has laid on our heart, then it’s time to say “no”.

There is no problem with having plenty of white space in our planners. This is where the cuddles on the couch, the walks around the neighborhood, and the trying new healthy recipes happens. This margin opens you up to rest and relaxation. It create opportunities to serve in other ways while also making progress in your own home and marriage.

Seasons of life change, and you can’t be going 1000% all the time for everybody. Sometimes, it’s perfectly ok to step away, even from the good things, to focus on what really matters to you…the things that will matter to you when your 80 years old…the things that build your legacy.

Simplify The Paper Clutter & Go Paperless

In our office we currently have a big ole box filled with important papers. Every year when we get something repaired on a car, we throw the invoice in there. We throw our W-2’s and tax info in there. All of my nursing license stuff makes its way to that big box. Good grief, if our house went up in flames (God forbid) we’d be up a creek.

This year, one of the ways I’m focusing on simplicity in our home, is by going paperless. First, I’m going to scan all of those important documents into my computer and once again download them to Dropbox in important paperwork files. I love that I can keep all of these important things in one place.

Second, I’ll file those things that we absolutely need to keep on hand so that they are organize and easy to find. The rest I’ll shred and recycle so that we can once and for all say goodbye to that big hideous box.

And, lastly, I’ll switch our bills over to paperless so that miscellaneous mail isn’t adding to the clutter in our home. I like to direct deposit our bills anyways, so why do we need to get paper copies anyways?

This will be a big transition but one that will feel oh so good when it’s completed. How about you? Is paper taking over your house? Let’s join forces and go paperless in 2020!

Clear Your Friends List & Email Subscriptions

I already spoke to clearing your friends list earlier in our social media pledge, but let’s talk about email too, shall we? It seems like every store I walk into these days asks for my email address. You too? It kinda bugs me cause I don’t need to know every time there’s a candle sale at Bath & Body Works or when Pizza Hut has a new pizza crust to try.

So, join me this year in simplifying your email list. Perhaps you can start an email for the important stuff that you definitely need to see and another for all the companies that want your info in order to use their app, you know what I mean? There’s no need to be bombarded in our inboxes everyday, so it’s time to say no and unsubscribe to all the noise. Who’s with me?

Simplify Cleaning Routine With Grove Collaborative

Our home maintenance plan need a simplify overhaul. How about yours? I’m talking creating a simple cleaning routine and also cleaning up your act with super clean products that are non-toxic and aren’t harmful to your family.

You can easily find clean products on Grove Collaborative and have them delivered to your home in just a few clicks. I know we can’t control all of the harsh chemicals that our family’s exposed to, but we can start reducing their impact by switching to cleaner products. This year, I can’t wait to try Grove’s laundry detergent and dish pods.

Plus, I think I’m going to give Force of Nature a try and once and for all ditch all of the various bottle of cleaners in exchange for their capsules and oxidizer. This solution of salt, vinegar, and water is just as effective as bleach, and replaces so many of your traditional cleaners. I can’t wait to give this a try, and clean out my cabinet of cleaners once and for all.

Simplify Meal Planning With Home Chef

Meal planning can be challenging for all of us, especially those with busy families. So, I’m here to help you simplify that with the help of Home Chef! With Home Chef you can choose from a menu of family-favorite recipes that are healthy and easy to make. Then, your pre-portioned meals are delivered right to your door step. Now, feeding your family healthy meals throughout the weeks is super duper simple.

I have a coupon code for you to help make meal planning even easier and more affordable. Enjoy $80 off of your Home Chef order (that’s $20 off of your first four orders!!)! Click here to check out their wonderful menu and be included on this coupon code!

Decide What Is Sacred To You & Your Family

Simplifying your life may seem daunting, especially if you have a few things to step away from and loads of clutter to organize. But, just think about what you hold dear. What is sacred to you and your family?

Is it those Friday night pizza picnics on the living room floor? Is it Sunday breakfast around the table in your pj’s and slippers? Is it the ability to give your kids healthy meals, and nourishing their spirits with life-giving daily routines that add structure and purpose to your home?

Maybe you love being able to have an organized space that beckons you to rest and relax. Or perhaps you hold sacred the piles of photo albums that hold a lifetime of memories and milestones.

Whatever your purpose is for choosing to simplify, remember that when the going gets tough. It’s so easy to let things get out of control, the schedules to fill back up again, and to live day to day without any real excitement and laughter. Let the simple things become what you hold most precious, and guard these sacred things with all of your might.

I can’t wait to hear how you choose to simplify in 2020. Share your ideas in the comments below!

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