top of page

Three Easy Ways to Simplify Your Life

I don’t need to tell you how complex life can be. Sometimes, it seems impossible to keep up with everything that needs to be done, between work, home projects, finances, etc. And I don’t have kids, pets or a husband. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to keep life simple — or as simple as I can make it at this moment. By simplifying our lives, we create more time and space for the important things. But, like everything, it’s a process. I started by simplifying some of the biggest time killers.

Grocery shop online

I started grocery shopping online two months before the pandemic when I had a bad bout of bronchitis. I've rarely frequented a grocery store since. I love grocery shopping online, setting a pickup time, driving to the store and having someone put the groceries in my car. If there are any substitutions, I can accept or decline them on the spot. Not only do I avoid the risk and stress of being inside of a store, I save time too. I’m one of those people who can get lost for hours in a supermarket, going up and down the same aisles multiple times, even when I have a shopping list. I also get distracted, hungry and start buying things I shouldn’t.

When I think of something I need, I write it on my shopping list. Then about every 10 days I do an online order, most often using Fred Meyer, a Kroger store, but occasionally Amazon Prime for a Whole Foods delivery. I only wish I could shop Trader Joe's online. Once the pandemic is over, I will continue to shop online, where I can download coupons, review ingredients and easily compare prices between stores. I can also look through my past orders and add those items to my shopping cart. All in all, it’s a big timesaver.

Create a wardrobe that works for you

A small portion of the clothes I purged from my wardrobe.

I'm in the process of creating a capsule wardrobe with a limited number of essential pieces I can mix and match and wear most of the year. My smaller wardrobe will only contain pieces I love, that I wear often, that flatter by body and serve my lifestyle. Most importantly, picking out what to wear in the morning will be easy peasy.

Over the years I accumulated way too many clothes. Yet I struggled to put together an outfit. I only wore 20 percent of my clothes on a regular basis because there were so many pieces that didn't coordinate or suit my current lifestyle.

I started my capsule wardrobe by trying on everything in my closet and eliminating anything that didn’t suit my current lifestyle or flatter my pear-shaped body and warm light complexion. A total of 70 pieces went to Goodwill, including my career clothes since I no longer work in an office.

There are hundreds of videos and articles online that can teach you how to create a capsule wardrobe, so I won’t go into the details — maybe in a future post. It’s definitely worth the investment of time, because in the long run you’ll spend less time picking out an outfit and you’ll save money by buying fewer clothes.

Declutter on a regular basis

Things have a way of accumulating overnight and before you know it, you can’t find anything. Save time and simplify your life, by scheduling regular clean outs of the most important ares of your house.

Kitchen pantry: My pantry is only one 24” deep cupboard and three drawers. For the deep cupboard I bought clear plastic boxes at the Dollar Tree. I keep my cooking supplies in one box, nuts in another, etc. Being able to see exactly what supplies I have and what I’m lacking is a shopping time saver. Yet, no matter how well I organize it, after a few months things get out of place and it’s time for a reorg.

Handbag: I find it critical to purge my handbag once a week or before you know it, I’m carrying several extra pounds on my shoulder.

Bathroom cupboard: All of my toiletries are stored in a tall, narrow bathroom cupboard. I take time every few months to reorganize it so I can easily reach everything I need on a daily basis. My makeup in organized in a tray that I can pull out when I need the full glamour treatment. Keeping everything in the cupboard prevents toiletries from accumulating around the sink. I like a minimalist look in a small bathroom, and it makes it easier to clean.

Countertops and surfaces: The clearing of counter tops in a small house is constant as it doesn’t take much for a small house to look cluttered. I often have several projects going, but I use decorative boxes to store each project at the end of the day. As for décor, I have kept the bric-à-brac to a minimum. There are less items to dust and the more streamlined look has a calming effect.

This is only the beginning of my journey to simplifying my life. I'm currently working on a new system for taking control of my finances and drastically reducing paperwork, which I’ll be sharing soon. I’d be interested in hearing how you've simplified every day activities and how that’s changed your life. Comment below.



Hi, I’m Lori Cronwell. As a writer and frequent traveler, I admire the values most Europeans embrace: choosing quality over quantity; residing in smaller, more sustainable homes; working less and spending more time with friends and family.

Those values were key in my decision to drastically downsize to a 700 sq. ft. accessory dwelling unit (ADU) with the goal of creating a simpler, more sumptuous life with time for travel.

Slow travel, that is. Spending more time in one place — even if it’s just a week. You'll not only spend less, you'll discover a deeper and more meaningful travel experience.

Please subscribe below and join me on a journey to find affordable ways to explore Europe in the slow lane and to live a more European lifestyle every day of our lives.

bottom of page