During my latest reading list round-up, I shared some initial thoughts on A Simplified Life by Emily Ley. I had posted myself reading the book on Instagram Stories in what I described a wild (preggers) Saturday night- me on the couch with the book and a cookie- a few weeks prior and I have to say I’ve never received so many messages about a book on Instagram! Since so many of you asked about it, I wanted to share a bit more about my thoughts than I do in my mini-reading list reviews. As the new year began, I was motivated to buy the book as a means to help me simplify things before baby arrives. Call it nesting, call it organizing- whatever you want to call it, we needed (slash need) to do it.
One of the most common questions I received about the book was if it was worth it. For me, YES! While I think the book covers a lot of things that you may already know or are common sense ways to simplify (such as cleaning out your closet of clothes you don’t wear), there were so many other little tips I picked up that I could instantly implement that made my life more organized and simpler. The book includes several helpful checklists and worksheets that help to personalize the process too! The following three tips were my biggest take-aways from the book, however I would encourage anyone interested in de-cluttering and attempting to de-stress their life to read the book for themselves. While these three things resonated with me the most right now at this point in life, I definitely plan to turn to this book in the future as our family grows and after baby arrives for reminders- even just seeing it out on a coffee table is a good reminder to practice some of the tips and tools I’ve gained.
The Three Tips I Learned from Emily Ley’s A Simplified Life That Helped Me De-Clutter and De- Stress
- Spend fifteen minutes each day picking things up and putting them away. This is the number one take-away from the book for me and I honestly can’t even tell you how something so simple has changed things for me. MJD and I are both busy people and when we get home from work, we have dinner and then want to relax for the night. I don’t typically want to spend my night cleaning up, but this was resulting in mail being left out on the counter for days on end, packages from boxes sitting on the floor and other just general clutter. Having things in their place and having less things out and cluttering up counter space or floor space has made a huge difference for me. Plus this process typically only takes a few minutes each night as opposed to several minutes over the weekend if you let it all build up until you have “time”!
- Meal planning for the week makes our nights less stressful. Meal planning is an example of something mentioned in Emily’s book that I am sure many of us know, but may just need a helpful reminder to get back on track. I have meal planned for several years, but had gotten a bit off track in this department. One tip I loved was the simple task of writing out what meals you are going to have when- I keep a list in the notes in my phone. Each week M and I will compare calendars for our schedule for the following week. From there, I’ll make a list of what meals I’m going to make when. By scheduling out the meals for specific nights, it helps me to line them up in the way that works best for my schedule. For example, if I want to go to a barre class after work and I know I won’t be getting home until closer to 7 that night, I won’t plan to make a recipe that takes an hour to prep and cook. By recognizing my schedule ahead of time, I can line up the meals and recipe prep times that make sense for us.
- Having less clothing actually makes it easier to get dressed. Okay, as a fashion lover who LOVES options hear me out on this one. I’m not advocating for a capsule wardrobe and I don’t think I’ll ever be Emily’s poster child when it comes to what she calls “Simplified Style”, but having less clothing options to go through each day really is less stressful. I mean just being able to actually see the clothes in my closet makes it easier to pick things about because duh, I can actually see them instead of having to shove my way through an overstuffed closet! So simple, but like why haven’t we all done this already then? Because I’m trying not to spend too much money investing in maternity wear items that I’m not sure when I’ll use again, I’ve created some what of a smaller wardrobe for myself during pregnancy. I have a few basic items that I go to all the time- nice black pants, good pairs of jeans, neutral cardigans- and it honestly makes things easier because I don’t have to hem and haw each day about what to wear. I’ve done a good job cleaning out items I hadn’t worn for a while recently and plan to take another pass at it post-pregnancy too.
Like I mentioned, these three tips are the ones that resonated with me the most at this point in my life. I think this book is extremely helpful and definitely a great read for anyone who wants to simplify their home and remove some of the stress in their life. While Emily does focus on family and parenting for a portion of the book, it includes so much more than that and you don’t have to be a parent to gain ideas and helpful tips from the book. If you’ve read it too, I’d love to hear what you think!
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