How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
I don’t even know where that saying comes from. It sounds like a “dad joke” but I totally relate to the sentiment behind it. Sometimes I find the sheer amount of stuff I want to ‘fix’ overwhelming. And being overwhelmed is paralysing, which of course means nothing happens at all.
So here is my number one way to simplify your life: pick just one thing that needs simplifying. Pick the thing that annoys you the most. Perhaps it’s that the laundry shelf needs a good cull and sort, or you need to create a drop zone near the front door, or your spice rack needs alphabetizing (OK so I am joking on that last one). Now do it.
The key to simplifying life isn’t to do it all at once. After all, that is anything but simple. But by breaking down tasks into manageable chunks, life does become simpler.
Let me give you an example of one little thing I did that has made my life simpler. I sorted out the bathroom vanity unit… I know it hardly seems life altering, but it was.
I don’t have a before picture, so you will have to imagine it full of unused products I had some how acquired but didn’t want or need, and every time I wanted something I had to go hunting through a forest of random bottles.
One day last year I got the urge to simplify it.
I took everything out of the cupboards and drawers, and wiped them out. Then I culled. There were empty toothbrush boxes. Shampoo samples from hotels I’d never been to, gifted soaps, and bottles of things I didn’t even recognise, let alone use.
After I culled all the garbage, I had a second look over and got rid of a few products I knew we would never use.
Finally I got out some baskets that I had hanging around, sorted the products I needed according to their type, and put them neatly back in the vanity. It took maybe 15 minutes to do.
Now when Country Boy and Toby need a hair cut, I don’t need to spend 10 minutes fishing around for all the bits and pieces, I just pick up the tub with the hair cutting stuff and off I go.
It’s been over a year since I did it but still, every time I go to the vanity it makes me smile because I just know that everything works. And although the wallpaper (yes wallpaper) is peeling, and the room desperately needs a paint, it doesn’t matter so much because at least the room is easy to use. I honestly can’t believe that it took me so long to realise that little systems like this make life simpler.
On it’s own, sorting the vanity wasn’t a big deal, but it was a start. Once I got started it was easier to continue. So this week, let me encourage you not to try and eat the whole elephant; just take a bite.
What is one little thing do you can do to keep it simple? What’s your bathroom vanity like? I’d love to see/hear about what you’re tackling first. You can show me in the comments below or on my facebook page.