Organization

6 Ways to Simplify Your Life

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With a recent move downtown to a smaller space, cohabitation with a boy, new puppy, travel, and working on holiday content, things have felt pretty up in the air. In order to simplify things, I’ve pared down everything else from kitchen tools and beauty products to clothes and cars. And knowing where things are and not dealing with clutter has been a stress reliever. So I’ve partnered with Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site–one-stop-shop for everything you need to tackle car buying, find your dream car, and to learn whether or not you pre-qualify for auto financing–to share 6 ways I’ve simplified my life the past few months.

Declutter your closet
Take everything out of your closet and only put back the pieces you really love and wear regularly. If there’s a seasonal item I didn’t wear the previous season, it’s out. I sold a few bags of clothes on Thred Up, other items were auctioned on eBay, and I donated the rest to Salvation Army and Goodwill. I now know exactly what I have and need and don’t spend forever looking through piles of shirts to find the right one.

Only keep what you need
I recently sold almost all my furniture and decor to my old landlord who turned my Lakeview apartment into an airbnb. I used to be a hoarder (not literally, but I definitely held onto things I didn’t need), so parting with things isn’t something I’ve always been good at. Start slowly. Find 5 things you can donate this weekend and when you’re unsure about something you haven’t used in a while, figure out what it is you’re really holding on.

Share a car or carpool
When Conor and I moved in together we made the decision to share one car saving us both money on insurance, gas, a car payment, and parking. And when my lease is up next spring, we’re planning on buying a new car together. We’re not ready just yet, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled and doing my research. If you’re in the market for a new car or will be soon, check out Capital One’s Auto Navigator® site, where you can learn everything you need to know about the process in the comfort of your own home. Use the site to find the right care for you and figure out (within minutes) if you pre-quality for auto financing (without any risk to your credit score).

Don’t overcommit
We’re going into the most wonderful and busiest time of year and it’s really easy to overcommit leaving you feeling spread a little thin. I made the decision to say no to any events or plans that don’t involve already close friends. The season is busy enough, and squeezing everyone in allowing no time for yourself is a great way to burn out and get sick. Make time for people and things that really matter to you (including yourself). Have fun, but allow for some relaxation, too. Nothing beats a lazy Friday night at home.

Find a budget and stick to it
You know the drill. Make coffee at home, limit dining out, and scale back on holiday shopping. Talk to your friends about doing something nice for one other that doesn’t include gift giving. With so many holiday plans, try having a BYOB wine night instead of going out to dinner or host a secret santa and buy just one gift.

And if you’re in debt, go into 2017 with a plan to get debt free. Come up with a set amount that you can apply toward paying off those credit cards and don’t buy anything you do not absolutely need. I’ve never had credit card debt minus Buddy’s week long stint in the hospital, and had a plan to pay off x amount for 6 months until it was paid in full. I use learnvest to set financial goals for savings and figure out how I’m spending my money each month.

Unplug
Disconnect from your phone and computer for at least 30-60 minutes each day. Most of us check instagram, facebook, or email when we wake up and when we go to bed, so make it a goal to not have your phone be the first and last thing you reach for. Watching TV is a start, but try listening to music, writing, or reading a book.

With the holidays upon us and the year coming to an end, I can’t think of a better time to make things a little simpler. I hope these tips help you simplify your life during this busy season.

This post was sponsored by Capital One Auto Navigator. All opinions are my own.

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