I used to think simplifying was a complex combination of tricky organization, painful sorting, and eventually becoming a different person, because my struggles with stuff just didn’t seem to mesh with simplicity. The truth is that finding simplicity is actually a little simpler and a little easier and it all starts and ends with two simple habits.

Send more out + bring less in.

I know, it seems I’m over-simplifying this. But let’s unpack those two habits for a moment.

More Out…

This is simply letting go. It could be intentionally removing the excess from your home either space-by-space like I do or in categories like Marie Kondo insists. You could simply just aim to fill and donate a paper bag each week. You could choose a month to get rid of one item on Day 1, two items on Day 2, etc. Or simply get rid of at least 1 item a day for the year. Whatever you choose, also employ the one-in one-out rule so that for every item you bring into the home, you take one out so as not derail your progress. This is obvious when you replace a worn-out shirt, but could be more of a challenge when you bring home items you bought just for fun.

Less In…

Essentially stop the stuff before it becomes a problem you later have to deal with. This happens a lot of ways including rethinking your shopping habits and stop browsing or “window shopping” for fun. Say “no” to unneeded freebies whether promotional materials or hand-downs from a friend. Add any perceived needs to a list first so you have time to consider the best purchase that will actually get used. Deal with anything that comes into the home at the door considering if it helps or hinders your life, and don’t give it a permanent home if you don’t love or need it.

Makes practical sense, right?

When simplifying feels complex and overwhelming, remember the basics: More out, less in. Those two simple habits, even over time without doing a dedicated simplifying challenge, will land you where you want to be in a simple home and a simple life.

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For more, checkout my ebook Simplifying Home, or sign-up for the free 8-part email series to simplify your home in 2016.