Creating a Life Free From Chaos

50 Things to Do Right Now to Put Your Life in Order

When I ask people what’s holding them back from simplifying their lives, the answer is almost always TIME. Between work, marriage, kids, school, volunteering, home keeping, and everything else we fill our days with, it can be hard to put the effort we want into something we know will provide us some relief from the chaos.

It’s so easy to say “I’ll start it tomorrow,” which quickly becomes next week, next month, or even next year.

Our to-do lists grow and never seem to end. In order to get a jump start on this big scary thing called “simplifying,” I’ve compiled a list of 50 easy tasks that take as little as 10 minutes to complete. If you choose one per day, in less than two months, you can see significant progress in your home, your schedule, and your life. Have fun!

  1. Clear your computer’s desktop. Toss the outdated files you’ve downloaded, and plunk the rest in a “sort me” folder to deal with as you have time. The clear desktop will be a welcome sight.
  2. Remove five items from your closet to donate. 
  3. Clear out your cookbooks and donate any you no longer use. Consider scanning or photographing just the recipes you use and donating the cookbook.
  4. Clear out your medicine cabinet of any medications that are expired or no longer needed. Trash these in used kitty litter or old coffee grounds, or return them to the pharmacy for disposal.
  5. Update your calendar with your kids’ school activities, extracurriculars, and other family details. Keep all this information in one central place, such as a shared Google calendar.
  6. Clear off all the counters in your kitchen. Put away rarely used appliances so you can enjoy clear countertops.
  7. Help your kids pick out 10 toys to donate.
  8. Choose five books to donate to your local library, or choose five children’s books to donate to a local school.
  9. Clear your kitchen pantry of expired foods or foods you don’t plan to eat. If the food is still good, consider donating it to a local food pantry.
  10. Dump out the junk drawer, toss anything you don’t use, and organize it neatly with drawer organizers. Trimmed cereal boxes make excellent recycled drawer organizers.
  11. Clear off the counters in your bathroom. Store frequently used toiletries or cosmetics in a basket, and keep the counter clear with just hand soap by the sink.
  12. Clean out your wallet of any unused credit cards, store loyalty cards, and business cards. Consider paying off and canceling rarely used credit cards. Carry only what you need.
  13. Clean your kitchen sink. Wash, dry, and put away all the dishes, then scrub your sink and dry it. Put out a clean dish rag and kitchen towel.
  14. Start a load of laundry, and actually finish to completion — it’s not done until it’s put away!
  15. Change the sheets and make all the beds in the house.
  16. Clear your mobile phone of unneeded and unused apps. Consider deleting any “time-waster” apps that you find yourself killing time with.
  17. Clean the microwave. Put a coffee cup of water and white vinegar in for 2 minutes on high, then carefully use the hot vinegar water to wipe out the inside of the microwave.
  18. Organize your email folders. Your inbox is not meant for storage.
  19. Read a book to your kids. Or read one yourself.
  20. Take out the trash and recycling from every room, and put fresh trash bags in your cans.
  21. Clean out all the trash and unneeded items from your car. If it’s nice out, wash and vacuum it too.
  22. Display some fresh flowers or burn a nicely scented candle.
  23. Phone a friend.
  24. Organize yourself with a planner — either a premade planner, a digital organizer, or a simple notebook bullet journal.
  25. Listen to your favorite music while you tidy up.
  26. Make your next doctor’s appointment for a check-up. While you’re at it, maybe make a dentist appointment too.
  27. Clear out unused or old/expired toiletries and cosmetics.
  28. Wash all the bath towels so everyone has a fresh towel. You only need two towels per person, plus a couple for guests, so get rid of any extras you’re not using.
  29. Clean the shower while you’re in it.
  30. Play a board game with your family or friends.
  31. Make a grocery list centered around fresh foods.
  32. Unfriend toxic people from your Facebook feed.
  33. Vacuum all your carpets and shake out rugs.
  34. Declutter your costume jewelry in favor of a few pieces of real favorites.
  35. Set a timer and spend 25 minutes (the Pomodoro Technique) decluttering or doing those dreaded deep cleaning tasks. Dust off all your lampshades. Clean the baseboards. Declutter your linen closet. Clean the windows. Purge your paper pile.
  36. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms, and clean your dryer’s lint trap.
  37. Pick out a pair (or two) of shoes to donate.
  38. Make your own spa products.
  39. Organize your purse, work bag, or briefcase.
  40. Clean all the mirrors in your home.
  41. Create a gratitude journal and write down five things each day you’re grateful for.
  42. Go for a walk outside.
  43. Sweep the floors.
  44. Clear out old computer files and run a virus scan.
  45. Scrub down the top of your stove and vent hood.
  46. Clean out your fridge and freezer of old food. Fill it with fresh foods you’ll actually eat.
  47. Create a meal plan for the next week.
  48. Get some new family photos taken.
  49. Flip the couch cushions and fluff your throw pillows.
  50. Gather up all your donation items and drop them off.

7 Benefits to Living in a Smaller Home

7 Benefits to Living in a Smaller HomeGrowing up, most of us thought that a big house equaled success and good fortune, so we worked hard just to be able to buy our “dream house.” While the size of a home depends on the taste and preferences of the home owners, many people would be just as comfortable (and probably happier) living in a smaller home.

We left our big McMansion behind in Texas last year to move to small-town Oklahoma and downsize into a much smaller house. We’ve found there are many benefits to living in a smaller home. Today, I want to share a few of those with you.

Easier to Clean

A smaller home means less space to clean. You can drastically cut the time it takes to clean your home when you downsize your lifestyle. You can have fewer toilets to clean, fewer rooms to pick up, and fewer mirrors with fingerprints to wipe. Vacuuming can take half as much time! You can use that saved time to focus on more important items on your to-do list and spend more time with your family.

Easier to Maintain

Big, fancy homes may seem like a dream, but they can be very costly when it comes to maintaining them. A smaller home has less square footage, fewer light bulbs to change, and fewer appliances to service. When we downsized, we went from two HVAC units to service to only one. Smaller homes can mean less worry and fewer things that can break.

A Smaller House Encourages Intentional Living

Living in a small house can encourage you to become more intentional with your choices, from what you bring into your home to what you take out. Less space means less place to stockpile and hoard, so you’ll be more likely to buy things you and your family will use and avoid purchasing unnecessary items. You’ll also need to decide if you can really fit all four of those TVs, or maybe you only have room for two.

A Smaller House Builds Better Relationships

Living in a small house means you’ll be seeing your family more often — there are fewer rooms for everyone to spread out and hide! This means you must learn to work around and accommodate each other. Having this physical closeness helps in diffusing issues even before they occur.

It Enhances Simplicity

A smaller home encourages you to live a simple life. A smaller house is easier to redecorate and renovate. Smaller accommodations mean you’ll need to be more intentional about your decor, your furniture, and your stuff. A smaller house also requires fewer resources to build and maintain, making it a simpler, more environmentally friendly choice.

It Takes Less Time to Declutter

A small house simply cannot hold all the clutter a large house can, so decluttering can be much faster. Removing unwanted items allows you to create more space in your house. That smaller square footage will force you to decide what you really need and what you can live without.

Lower Utility Costs

The utility costs, taxes, land rates, insurance, cooling systems, and electricity can be so much lower in a small home, especially if you’re willing to make a few eco-friendly changes. A smaller home also means a smaller mortgage payment.

While it may seem prestigious and like you’ve “made it” to own a big home, being a small-home owner may be the choice that makes you happier and makes it easier to live a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle.

7 Benefits to Living in a Smaller Home