52 Weeks: #31 What Does Simplify Mean to You? + giveaway!

If you are new to 52 Weeks of Organizing, catch up here!

Did you know that the first week in August is National Simplify your Life Week?  Me either, until one of my readers spilled the beans.  So I did a little googling and found this information about what it was:

We all know that modern life is fast paced, hectic, and demanding. But how much of that strain are you putting on yourself as a result of high expectations, standards and commitments? What if you could take a deep breath, step back, and make things a little less challenging? Simplify Your Life Week promotes this attitude, and encourages you to turn things down a notch for your own benefit – stretch yourself, but make sure that you remember to relax and enjoy life in equal measures!

Ahh doesn’t that sound nice?  Is it possible?  Yes it definitely is, I’m proof of that :)

In my book, Clutter Rehab, I talk about my own transformation from a harried, trying to do it all, overwhelmed “supermom” to a much slower paced, calmer, less stressed and definitely less than perfect mom and wife.  Trust me, I like this Laura so much better.  Of course not everyone feels the same way as I’m not as available for all the extra stuff I used to take on.  Oh well.  I’m so happy I am finally okay with that.  The process didn’t happen overnight and often it was difficult but with each passing year as I continue to be diligent to my priorities, it gets easier and easier.  I talk regularly about the steps I took on my journey here on the blog and in my book.

The word simplify gets thrown around a lot and I wonder how many of us have stopped to really think about what it means to us.  The interesting thing is it will be different for everyone.  When you see the word simplify what do you think of?  What does that mean for you and your family?

For me it means having time to daydream, to snuggle on the couch with my husband or play a board game with my kids.  It means being able to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider the activities our family will participate in.  It means being able to breath without feeling like I’m having an anxiety attack.  It means having room in my day to be spontaneous, something I never could afford before.

All of this requires some tough decisions for sure, real tough and regularly, but it’s so worth it.  I don’t ever want to go back and I safe guard my stuff limits and time so carefully now.  You might be interested in a post I did earlier this year titled, “Does Saying NO Mean You Are Lazy?“.

I’d really like to get a good discussion going in the comments about this important subject.  To help facilitate that I’m going to giveaway to TWO lucky commenters a copy of my book, Clutter RehabTo enter, leave a comment on this post, prior to Thursday, August 11, 2011 at 2:00 pm PST, telling me what simplify means to you.  This giveaway is now closed.  The winners are: #146 Tammy A and #21 Monica B.

simplify

image credit: shutterstock

You may not be there yet on your journey and that’s okay but I think identifying where you want to go is part of the process and will help cement the direction and steps it will take to get you there.

Looking forward to reading your answers!!

*************

Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to any post of an organizing nature that you feel will inspire and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.

One other thing to consider: by including your link below you, you are giving me permission to use parts of your post including pictures as a spotlight in future 52 Weeks of Organizing posts. Proper credit and links will of course be provided. If you are not okay with this please do not link up. Thanks!



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Comments

181 Responses to 52 Weeks: #31 What Does Simplify Mean to You? + giveaway!

  1. 1
    Jessica Newman says

    To me, “simplify” means to prioritize first and then do away with everything that is cluttering your home and your schedule. It is remembering that there are only 24 hours in a day and accepting the fact that when you get your basic needs met (enough sleep, exercise, healthy meals, enough water, spiritual and quiet time and “giving” time or doing for others), there really won’t be much time left for all the clutter of home and schedule that was the problem in the first place! Simplify! (Now, if only I can put this into practice!)

    • 1.1
      Jade @ No Longer 25 says

      Prioritise – that is so true, sometimes it’s wasier for someone else to point this out to you. I’ve read about a couple of people noting down exactly what they spend their time doing for a week or a month them looking at what they can change, I’ve been meaning to do that for some time though!

  2. 2
    Yvonne says

    Simplifying means that I can find it when I need it without being frustrated!

    • 2.1
      Laura says

      Amen! My husband is regularly frustrated with *me* because I am frustrated with *myself* for losing things all. the. time. (Car keys, for instance. Not a fun one to not be able to find.)

    • 2.2
      Beth says

      very true!!!

  3. 3
    Kristy Bartlett says

    RIght now simplify means that I can say no and not feel guilty, I can make do with what I have and it is enough, I can inspire that creativity in my children to do it ourselves, and as we do it ourselves, even thought it might be more work, it is somehow more simple because I did it with what I had and did not bring more into the house or spend money we could use somewhere else.

    And tomorrow morning, simple will mean my home made baking mix becoming cinnamon roll biscuits, and my girls being delighted.

  4. 4
    Tracy @ usingtimewisely.com says

    Good question, Laura. To me, simplify is synonymous with streamlining. Writing down my priorities for the day in a TO DO list format and ignoring the other “wish list” items helps me get the meals on the table while playing Wii games with my 6-year-old, chasing my toddler, and putting puzzles together with my 4-year-old. Getting up before the family allows me time to get ahead start on that list before I am pulled away to more important tasks. :-)

  5. 5
    ter@waaoms says

    simplify to me would mean a life with less stress and hassles ; less worry and struggle ; and being able to relax and enjoy things.

  6. 6
    Paula Cervenka says

    it means less stress to me and to be able to find things.

  7. 7
    Monica Brady says

    Simplify means to me to make things eaiser. Less clutter to clean up, a place for everything and everything in it’s place. I have been working on doing this this summer and I thought having two months to do it would be easy but unforturnatly it has not been. I am a pack rat and I am having a hard time parting with things. Hopefully it will get easier.

    • 7.1
      MomofTwoPreciousGirls says

      I have a lot of sentimental attachments to things! That is where I struggle the most! We actually don’t have a lot of stuff since last year we had to fit our 2400 sq ft condo into a 6X9 Uhaul and move 900 miles away into my mom’s house!

      I find the toughest time I have is all the stuff that comes in from daycare…the art work is so hard to part with! I finally decided anything made with hand or footprints stays since it also documents their growth. If there is something SUPER creative I will keep that too. Everything else gets tossed (or given away). I have two poster frames and I am going to make a collage of the work we have and hang it in their playroom!

  8. 8
    Tammy says

    Right now simplifying means making as many things multi-use as possible. For instance, I am learning more about making cleaners at home because I can have three or four things and make laundry detergent or dishwasher detergent. If I’ve had a kitchen gadget I have only used twice, will a simple knife get the job done and elminate the gadget? Out it goes. I’m even simplifying by taking items to Goodwill instead of trying to consign them all.

    • 8.1
      Sarah says

      I recently started just taking everything to Goodwill too. So much simpler!

  9. 9
    Brennan's Mom says

    For me, simplify means making things easier. Personally, I think this applies to a variety of things within one’s life. I can simplify my routines to make more time for the things I love, I can simplify my existence by reducing the amount I consume and the things that I own.

    But honestly, when I see “simplify” I think of taking (my family’s) life back to it’s most simple and uncomplicated form. Living to live – not to possess. Being able to be less dependent on “the system”, spending more time connecting as human beings and less time getting caught in the trappings of the modern world, putting in the time and effort to succeed without sacrificing my morals or humanity or the morality and humanity of others.

    But to simplify in any form goes against the push of today’s society of continuous economic growth… Simplifying and reducing the stress and hectic nature and not trying to be supermom/wife/career woman works against what our present society has been trying to obtain.

    Great thoughts being shared – I look forward to some good reading and discussion!

    When you see the word simplify what do you think of? What does that mean for you and your family?

  10. 10
    Christine says

    Simplify means: KISS keep it simple stupid. Simply, do not complicate
    things. I try to live my life this way. It doesn’t always happen, but I try.

  11. 11
    Heather G says

    To me, simplify means less….less stuff means less time spent taking care of said items. Simplifying my schedule jeans scheduling my girls for classes at the dance studio at The same time in order to take fewer trips there and back. To figure out how I can get maximum savings at one store to spend less time shopping. “less” gives me so much more.

  12. 12
    Sebrina says

    My husband and i have always tried to live simply in the sense that we do not take on any unnecessary debt and live below our means. That way we don’t have to slave at ungrateful jobs in order to support our lifestyle and not have time for what is important in our lives. This has been wonderful because we have been able to scale back even further and only work part time so that we can pursue our religious volunteer work full-time :)

  13. 13
    Carol I. says

    This post so speaks to me right now! A bit overwhelmed because I’ve said yes too many times! I’m finding that saying yes to everything robs me and my family of precious, peaceful times.

    Less is most certainly more! I’m ready to simplify! Quiet evenings enjoying my family sounds like heaven to me!

  14. 14
    Wenchie@Fixing It With Glue says

    For me Simplify means making the extra upfront effort to give me a little space _tommorrow_. That makes sure that I’m not overwhelmed by a dozen little things that leech my time and leave me frazzled (6 extra email newsletter subscriptions that I just delete without reading? I simplify, unsubscribe and get back 6 extra moments. Gifted ornament that I loathe, that makes me resent it ever time I dust it? I simplify, donate it and get back all those negative moments spent not liking it and cleaning it).

  15. 15
    Nia says

    Simplify for me, means never having to fight with the husband as I am the clutter-leaver of the two of us. ;) Seriously though… I WANT to simplify my home. I know once I do this my mind will be more clear, I won’t be so stressed and I’ll be happier walking from one room to another. My time will also be better managed. My goal by the end of 2011 is to eliminate 1/3 of our stuff – clothes, books, toys, etc.

  16. 16
    Anna says

    To me, simplifying makes life easier and more pleasant. It frees me up to have a chance for new opportunities that present themselves. When I have too much stuff- whether physical clutter or an overbooked schedule- I have no room to add or change anything.
    I started out of necessity. Moving many times while our family was growing was made easier by having fewer things and by being more organized. It’s not something that comes naturally to me, but I’m learning. As we added children, and our moves became to more distant locations, I learned to appreciate simplicity more and more. We’ve also added homeschooling…
    I’m getting much better about putting things back when I’m done, and I don’t have that frustration of looking for misplaced things or staring at a big pile of clutter- at least, not as often.

  17. 17
    Jade @ No Longer 25 says

    Simplify to me means simple – REDUCING

    Reducing the clutter in my house which causes chaos, take time to dust and makes me feel like a live in a mess all the time
    Reducing the commitments which suck time away from the things which are most important to me
    Reducing the stress caused by not being able to find the things I need
    Reducing the throughts running round in my head when I’m trying to sleep at night – things to remember to do, things to reshedule, trying to work out the logistics of my life
    Reducing the stuff we don’t need so we can focus on the things we have which really mean something to us

    My goal with simplifying is to have a more peaceful life, to be calm and centred and to live in the now, having the time to do the things I really care about.

    By reducing the unnecessary we make space for the imporant things.

    That’s the plan anyway!

  18. 18
    april says

    Great post! For me, to simplify means to have less “stuff” to dust, & having extra wiggle room in my daily schedule so I don’t freak out when unexpected things pop up. Thx for the giveaway!

  19. 19
    Jackie Bentely says

    I am finding out the hard way just what simplify truly means. I lost my husband this past January. I have lost my home. I have went from an 8 room house to a 4 room apartment. Everything in the house holds precious memories. I am trying to get apartment organized to keep what I can.
    The biggest lesson I have learned so far: All the things you “must have” or “can’t live without” is just superficial. It is the love in your heart that is important…As long as you have a roof over your head, food on the table, clothes on your back–and be able to keep it, you are doing good. I love this giveaway, as I am in desperate need of a copy of this book.

  20. 20
    Jacquie says

    Hi Laura,
    I’ve been following your blog for over a year now and I love reading what you have to say! This is definitely something I’ve been working on a lot over the last couple of years and although I’m not there yet I’ve certainly made some good progress. I think for me it’s been really working out what’s important to me and our family and putiing things in order of priority and letting lots of things go. I think also there are stages and phases of life and I don’t think you can really achieve everything all at once. So when I had little babies, I never got all my washing done on time and wasn’t able to help out at school a lot and I only worked 1 day a week at our office. Now they are all (almost) in school I am much more organised with my housework, I can help at school once or twice a term and I am working in our business 2-3 days a week. This will all change again as they get older and as life keeps changing. I am also much better at saying no to things and at giving myself and the kids a break if I feel we are all getting tired from doing too much extra things.

  21. 21
    MonicaB says

    Simplify means peace and relaxing. It means focusing on the things that really matter. I’m a much happy and unstressed person when my life is simplified not full of clutter.

  22. 22
    Heather says

    We have been cleaning our house out in anticipation of a move in the next month. Simplify has been forefront on my mind! Simplify our daily needs so I have energy to devote to the cleaning/organization. Simplify my belongings so there is plenty of space in the new house. Simplify also means to have fewer projects now and in the future. I’ve been giving away many unstarted or half-finished projects because I don’t even want the mental clutter they brought.

  23. 23
    Andi says

    I don’t quite know how to simplify, but the vision I have for myself is a life where I don’t feel out of control most of the time!

  24. 24
    Alayna says

    I find that the easiest way for me to simplify is to say “no” to the outside things, which leaves greater time for the at home things, which means that if I don’t get cleaning all done today because I need to sit outside and blow bubbles with my little one, I can, because I’ll have the time to clean tomorrow.

  25. 25
    Sallie says

    Such a lovely word! It means focus on what’s truly important. Get rid of distractions.

  26. 26
    Jennie says

    To me it means less… but not in a bad sense. Less: stuff, commitments, distractions, things to worry about, clutter, etc.

  27. 28
    Marian Knopp says

    “Simplify” means to create order where there has been none. It means that only the essentials are necessary to live/function and to simplify is to determine what those essentials are. :)

  28. 29
    Sarah says

    Wow, I didn’t know it was simplify your life week either…but that’s what I’ve been doing! I just finished an amazing book called Simplicity Parenting this week. The author suggests many of the same things you mentioned. One of my favorite things I’m going to try to remember is that creativity is often born from boredom.

    One of the major changes I made so far was to end my public radio addiction. When the baby was born I starting leaving the radio on during the day so that he would be able to sleep without needing it to be too quiet, but it was beginning to be too much. My head was crowded with the world’s news. I feel like my days are much simpler now with the radio off. I’ve been singing to the baby more and enjoying some silence too.

  29. 30
    heather says

    simplify has many different meanings:
    family and friends: making time for them, playing games, just sitting down talking having fun
    organizing: if you dont use it dont love it you dont need it
    time: priortize most important people/ things come first the rest come after because you never know when your time is up!

  30. 31
    Nicole says

    Right now, simplify means not getting anxious or worked up about things. Its just STUFF. Why worry about it? I’d much rather be engaging my brain in something worthwhile!

  31. 32
    Nicole Edgar says

    Taking the time to just be yourself! We spend so much time being what everyone else wants us to be we forget who we really are!

  32. 33
    Rita says

    To me it means to get rid of all the clutter you don’t need so you aren’t wasting any more time with and its not taking up anymore valuable space. And of course, having time for myself.

  33. 34
    Brandy E. says

    To me simplifying means that I say no to a little bit more. We don’t have to accept every invitation that comes our way, even the fun ones. I got tired of being home late in the evening so much and I decided to pare down on our social activities.

  34. 35
    danae says

    simplify means creating the time & space to breathe. to relax. to remember how to laugh & really live. this can be done in so many ways in so many areas of our lives, & it is always worth doing.

    i’ve fallen off the 52 weeks of organizing horse, but i’m back on this week! i’m determined to get through as many of those 52 projects as i can this year! it may still only be one per week, but like i said, simplifying [in this case, through organizing] is always worth it!

  35. 36
    Leslie says

    Simplifying is about creating boundaries and sticking to them. I’ve decided that my children will only do one sport on a regular basis (specialty camps and the like excluded) and hopefully more than one will choose the same sport! This is not just to simplify our lives, but our budget, and also to teach them the valuable skill of long term perseverance. Our children become jacks of all trades and masters of none! Rather than being well rounded, they’ve dabbled here and there and never stuck to one thing. But enough of that soapbox.
    I create the boundaries in my life by deciding based on budget needs and my passions, where I’m going to devote my time and then sticking to that. That way much gets accomplished in one area, instead of small bits of progress in many. And Sundays are sacred. No regular activities on Sundays and exceptions are highly scrutinized. With four kids, we can’t afford the time or money to follow every whim.
    Thanks for the pantry tips and I’d love to read your book!!

    ~Les

  36. 37
    Isabel says

    Simplify to me means less stuff, more peace and more time :)

  37. 38
    Annette says

    Simplifying to me means decluttering and finding a home for everything that is left. Knowing where everything is, will give me a lot of peace!

  38. 39
    Clever Colleen says

    Simplify can be another word for contentment. A discipline we are working on in my home is being grateful for what you do have and differentiating your “needs” from your “desires”.

    With myself, my husband, our 6 children and my mother all living in our home – having a lot of stuff is a constant battle. My biggest area that challenges me is clothing (and thereby laundry). One tip I can pass on is that I put myself on the phone list for both AmVets and PurpleHearts. They both call me to request a donation just about once a month. They come pick it up right off my front porch. I always say “yes” and that forces me to look through drawers and closets for recently outgrown or seldomly worn clothing.

  39. 40
    Amanda W says

    To me, simplify means making life easier one step at a time. Life is short and sweet. Take the time to do the things you want. Take the time to do the things you need. To simplify your life makes these possible.

  40. 41
    Blissful Babe says

    To me, SIMPLIFY means to slow down, clear out and carry on. Don’t let the other miniscule things get to you. Enjoy the small things, have less and do more that brings you joy.

    It’s a work in progress for sure! I would just LOVE a copy of your book!

  41. 42
    Caron says

    Simplify means having an orderly home with everything in its place. We have a small house (now that we have 2 kids) so this is a constant struggle for me.

  42. 43
    Cherrie Whittemore says

    Simplify simple means simple easy and organized! I just want to be able to walk into a room or my kids walk into a room and spend 5 minutes or less to clean it up because every thing has its place. I am working really hard to actually do this in my life. We just moved to a new state and I want our new house to be SIMPLIFIED and enjoyable.

  43. 44
    Sheila says

    At work we have a sign in our dispatch center that reads, the difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little bit longer and amazingly enough, the difficult usually only requires simplified common sense and prioritzed steps to accomplish the goal and solve the problem. Life is complicated enough sometimes, and to break it down and simplify certain things takes away the stress, anxiety, and guilty feelings when we are able to spend more time with our families, to enjoy getting things done because it is simplified and easy to get accomplished not to mention it feels good to wake up in the morning and things are where they are suppose to be

  44. 45
    sandi says

    To simplify means to cut out anything in my life that doesn’t bring me joy – stuff, activities, people, etc.. If it doesn’t contribute to my spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical well-being, then it needs to go. I still have a long ways to go, but we’re getting there. =)

  45. 46
    Jackie McKenzie says

    To me, simplify means to focus on what really matters. I lost my sister this year, at age 30 from heart disease. Really makes you stop and think about it. No one but you cares if your house is perfect. No one but you cares if your yard could be the front cover of Canadian Gardening. No one expects you work your life away. But your children care when you sit down to read with them. And your husband cares when you have more time to spend together. Getting rid of physical clutter gives you a chance to appreciate the people and the things you do have that mean something to you. The opportunity to simplify your life in any and every way possible should be a goal, and once achieved, a treasure!

  46. 47
    Tricia Roekle says

    To keep less things in our environment. This can mean that we need to get rid of stuff that we have no use for or that have just come to blend in with the woodwork. We need to examine our environments and see what we can release to bless someone else. The release allows for peace to come and less stress/mess.

  47. 48
    Vicky Jones says

    Life is busy and it that business if we do not Keep things Simple Life can also be chaotic. Simplify means, Finding a system or method in which I can be more efficient and organized in all areas of my life. By doing this I will be Happier, Have less stress and be more productive in all I do in my everyday life as a Wife, Mom and a Homemaker.

  48. 49
    Suzanne says

    Simplify:
    To keep everything simple! Such as my response to “What does Simplify mean to me”.
    It means that I can spend more time with my family :)

  49. 50
    Jennifer Gelert says

    To me, the word “simplify” means to simple! A life that understands we have deadlines, responsibilities, work, family but we need to be able to learn to relax and live life. Not let all the have to dos overwhelm us. I am learning as I get older that this is a necessity in life! I am missing out on so much with family, friends and myself by trying to get to the next thing.

    Am I there yet? No! But each step I take, either by throwing away or donating, saying no, or allowing myself that 10 – 20 minutes me time, gets me a step closer. You know what? When we are at the end of our lives, it does not matter how clean or perfect your house and yard was, how well dressed you were. What will matter are the memories you have and the memories you have left with those that you are leaving behind

  50. 51
    Carolyn says

    Simplify means to take something overwhelming and make it simple. I have had friends come over and help me simplify my wrapping paper, I have simplified my counter and next up is my dresser which you cannot currently see the top of. :)

  51. 52
    Amanda Jean says

    I am still learning what Simplify means to me. Right now it is combination of will and mind set with determination. I am learning I have to have the will power to make the decisions and stick with them that create the simple environment I long to have. That means will power to say no to certain opportunities or things I may want but know I don’t need or have room for right now.

    It’s a mind set that I have to daily renew and remind myself to keep things simple and create limits for myself and not let anyone else compromise those limits.

    Last I have to be determined to want to keep things in order and planned to the best of my ability with room for the unexpected. That means I need to make lists and not lose them, even when I don’t “feel” like making a list or planning this weeks worth of meals. (W hich is hard because I’m not a natural planner, so determination is key for me.)

    That is what simplify means for me right now.

  52. 53
    Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify says

    Simplify for me means less stuff, which means less time taking care of the stuff that we have. It means having those things organized in a simple way. It means figuring out priorites and using the time I have well, based on those priorities. It means peace.

    I am on a simplifying journey and I have a long way to go! Thank you for your inspiration, Laura!

  53. 54
    Sunshine says

    Simplify means not having so many things… With four kids we are being overtaken by stuff. To not over plan and add too many things to the calendar. Learning to day no.

  54. 55
    Nan says

    To me, to simplify is to determine who/what is important, making those people/things priority. Knowing it is really ok to say “no”, and sometimes it is exactly what you should do.

  55. 56
    Karen says

    Simplify means to get rid of those things that are unnecessary and keep us from enjoying life more fully. These are the things that cause us anxiety.

  56. 57
    Emily Sears says

    About a year ago my husband and I sold our large house in a prime location and built a new, modest home in the country. It has been the biggest act of simplifying… We have slowed down, we are at home more, we eat together at the dinner table, we paid off all of our debt, and I am able to be home with our two daughters. Our days are full, but they are mostly spent on things most important to us. I feel like we left a rat race and have a sense of peace. Blessings abound, and most of all, simplifying has allowed me to take time to give thanks.

  57. 58
    Jennifer says

    To me, simplify means have less “things”. I have twin four-year-olds, and I recently got rid of about half of their toy clutter. They don’t even miss any of it. I often think I should take the same approach to my clutter. I probably wouldn’t miss it, either.

  58. 59
    Carol says

    Simplify means to be able live a life that not cluttered with “stuff” so we can have time to enjoy our family and friends. I don’t want to be stressed out over things, life is to short. Happy Organizing!

  59. 60
    Valerie says

    To simplify my home would mean my life would be easier. I’ve been stuggling with de-cluttering my home/life for as long as I can remember and have been embarrased because of it. I have learned to change my habits and not buy just to buy, but I also come from a father who hated clutter but held onto everything and a mother who was a packrat. My son is almost out of school and before he leaves for college, it would make me so happy if I could finally get our home in order so he can see that mom can do it, once and for all. We would also both be much happier when we are home and there would be less friction.

  60. 61
    Vee says

    To me “Simplify” means NOT adding more distractions! Don’t bring anything in the home that you cannot replace with object brought in. Purge items.

  61. 62
    Jennifer says

    Simplifying to me means creating enough physical and mental space in my life in order to make room for enjoyment of the most important things: family, friends, and joyful living.

  62. 63
    Shana says

    I read a book recently where this lady said she only allowed herself 150 items. In her whole house! It would certainly make things simple! I have more than that in my hall closet!
    We already live fairly simply, but I could use less stress, but I also realize I bring most of it on myself.
    It’s not learning to say no, it’s about realizing “it” will get done even if I don’t do it myself. Learn to delegate!!

  63. 64
    Ginny says

    When I see the word “simplify” I actually panic a little at the thought of achieving a simplified life. It’s not that simplifying would not be a good thing, but what it takes to achieve it. My home is fairly clutter-free visibly. But the purging of the cabinets, closet shelves, and various storage areas are a daunting task. This being said, though, if those areas were simplified at least my family would be able to find the things they are looking for when I am not around and this would save me time overall.

    Thanks so much for an inspiring blog. I really enjoy your insight.

  64. 65
    Jessica Thury says

    Simplify to me means really identifying my/our priorities and doing things that fall into those categories.

  65. 66
    Natalia says

    for me, simplifying would mean not having a burden of unfinished projects that I feel obliged to do; not having to do every good idea I come across.

  66. 67
    Heidi says

    Simplify for me means making an effort to “Let go”. Physically and emotionally. Just let go. If something, someone or some thought has true value/ place, it will either never leave or it will come back in due time. Oh and it’s not always easy to do. ;)

  67. 68
    Leanne says

    Simplify for me means to maintain space in my home. This means not cluttering up the toy shelves with toys, keeping only the books that mean something to our family, keeping my desk surface and counters clear, etc. Having those empty spaces, I find, encourages creativity, productivity, and spontaneity! Maintaining that space, however, is a constant journey!

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    Joy D says

    simplify – to get rid of “stuff” that is just building up around me. stick to the basics…less stuff means less to clean.

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    Lori says

    Simplify in my language means to make my life easier. Less complicated. I have a husband and two children (ages 2 and 6). We have a cat, are involved in our church, I’m coaching 1st grade cheerleading…then there are softball practices, dance classes, birthday parties, family gatherings…oh! And we both work full-time jobs!

    I don’t have much leftover time for cooking or cleaning or digging through piles of STUFF trying to find what I’m looking for at that moment.

    Simplifying would mean room for breathing.

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    PreparingForYou says

    To me, simplify means focusing on what is important. It is letting go of the little things that don’t matter and spending time and energy on those few, important things that do matter. I’m definitely still on the journey of attempting to do this. It’s hard to not want to do everything you feel you “should.”

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    angie says

    simplify to me means to focus on the bigger picture. I was a keeper of everything for just in case or I paid alot for that…now, when I get the urge to clean closets, no more keeping to sell on ebay or at a garage sale-straight to our mission store it goes!

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    D Goldstein says

    Simplify simply means to boil tasks, duties, appointments, etc. (what ‘has’ to be done) down to the absolutely necessary so there is room for the ‘fun’ things like spending time with those you care about.

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    Mary Leib says

    Simplify = easy and stress free.

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    Eos Mom says

    For me, to simplify is to get rid of my clutter–I have way too much stuff and it stresses me out! I’d love to win your book, thanks!

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    Amber says

    The word simplify means being able to understand as well as clarify the flow of information.

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    Dawn Davenport says

    Simplify to me means getting rid of things: “stuff”/belongings, too many commitments in my schedule, etc. Now how to make that actually happen… :)

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    Kim says

    Simplify means making things more simple and as basic as that sounds it’s not that easy. I find it most difficult to simplify how I think…I feel I’m easily taken off task, but the weight of the incomplete task is still tugging on my mind. So part of simplifying to me is list making. That allows me to get things of my mind onto paper, which gives me a clearer head, which allows me to work more efficiently.

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    Simply Rina says

    Simplify to me means removing any Unneccessary Stressors, It Is OK to say “NO” & don’t sweat the small stuff!!

    Unneccessary stressors could be family and/or friends (ridding myself the one’s who drain you emotionally with their drama & bs).

    Saying No could be as simple as not attending every wedding I am invited to! Picking only those that are friends & family closest to me. Besides who is this 3rd cousin on your fathers side you’ve never heard of but you it one Aunt So N So’s (you’ve met once when you were 5)Daughter’s kid so you must attend… Ummm “No” I don’t!!!

    Not sweating the small stuff and learning not to be so anal about it. I love being well organized and clutter free but occassionally things sneak up on me and get a little out of hand – but let’s face every technique does not always work and we must revisit & try again with a different system… no big deal!! Also I have discovered if i do not do the dishes one night the sun will still rise in the morning, and my house will not self-destruct. :D

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    Christine says

    Simplify to me means to make the path smooth, streamlined, to be able to walk through the house without having to step over junk, to be able to locate items because they’ve not only been put away, they’re labelled!
    Thanks for all the inspiration!
    Christine

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    Joyce says

    To simplify means to find a way to make it easier for me to get things done so I can make time for what’s important to me and spend time with people that I love.

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    Olivia says

    simple to me equals crisp, clean lines, bright circles and stripes, light blue, crisp linen, just me sitting on the beach at the ocean. Simplify to me means incorporating all the simple things I love into my life and choosing to be more organized so that I can then live simply and fully. Only keep the things that make you who you want to be and how you want to feel.

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    Cassandra says

    Simplify…..as a first grade special education teacher with 2 large dogs, 2 cats, and who has been struggling with infertility for the past 2 years….Simplify means that nothing HAS to be perfect. My house does not have to be perfect. My classroom does not have to be perfect. My life does not have to be perfect. I’m working on letting things happen the way they are meant to happen. I’m letting go and not trying to control everything! I’m going to leave my desk a mess at night to spend more time with my husband and our pets. I’m going to skip vacuuming EVERY day so I can spend some time for personal reading. I’m going to quit counting out the days every month and just see what life has planned for me. Simplify….less is more!

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    Rita Harris says

    Simplify: to make simple which results in less stress and more peace.

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    Sheila says

    To me, simplify means having less stuff, and living every moment for the glory of God. It means not spending excessively, and serving others with patience. It means less clutter, more organization, more sanity, but in a clear, gentle, and lived-in kind of a way. :-)

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    Catina says

    Simplify to me means to make things eaiser. Less clutter to clean up, a place for everything and everything in it’s place.

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    Kim says

    Simplify to me means more time with my family. If I can learn to organize and de-clutter, I will spend less tome cleaning and putting away and more time with the loves of my life.

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    Linda Kish says

    Simplify to me is doing well with what you have, or less.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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    Jennifer says

    Simplify for me is having the awareness and the strength to admit (and resist) the urge to multi-task and overcome my disease to please for others. This week was our family vacation and instead of having a jammed-packed itinerary every day, I provided 2-3 options which the hubby and son got to choose! Not only was it fun having options, but by not having those pre-determined expectations of how the each day would be (and eventually let down and frustrated by failure), we created some wonderful memories! Now if i could only apply this to my household and work-life!

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    Renee Meany says

    Simplify means to me caring enough about yourself to live life to the fullest with clear intent of what is really important to you. Clear insight brings peace and harmony to your life and to others close to you.

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    Jodi says

    Hearing/seeing “Simplify” reminds me of the KISS acronym, Keep It Simple Stupid :-) I love creating order out of chaos, organizing things, and creating routines to keep things simple. But I struggle with perfectionism so I have to remind myself even if it’s not perfect, it is good enough, and I don’t need to waste more time creating an elaborate system to make it more complicated than it needs to be.

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    Lisa says

    Simplify is hard in a cluttered world. I take it to mean everything……….from my stuff, to my dealings online (e-mail, Twitter, blogs, etc.), to my whole attitude. I told my husband last week that since I have cut back and reduced stress in my life, I feel that people think I am lazy. I am not running around from place to place. I am not lazy, just simplifying.

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    Carleen says

    Simplify to me means not searching everywhere for something by having it in its place already, not stepping over things to get to my desk and having peace because my home and my life are in order!!!

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    Denise G. says

    When I think of simplify, I think of the K.I.S.S. principle – Keep It Simple Silly. When you simplify your life and your stuff, less is more. For some of us, that is easier said that done. It can be done a little at a time though. To me, simplifying means you set your priorities and only do the important things and not stress about the other stuff.

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    Denise G. says

    It doesn’t look like my comment got posted, so I apologize if this is a duplicate. Simplifying reminds me of the K.I.S.S. principle – Keep It Simple Silly. It means to figure out your priorities and then only do those things that are important to you. Too often we let “stuff” and other people dictate our activities and then life becomes complicated instead of simplified.

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    Monica says

    Simplicity is what enables me to spend time with who and what I love…God, my family and friends, and whomever comes my way. As an older Mom, I will never regret time with my family, but I regret doing what I thought was expected of me. Oh, the clutter just gets in the way of the lovely parts of life!

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    Lori says

    To me, simplicity is finding joy in the little things in life, which I’ve learned by seeing how my son (3 years old) and daughter (2 months old) view the world. It’s amazing how simply walking through grass with your bare feet can bring such satisfaction and happiness.

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    Haley says

    To me simplicity is a lifestyle. I love to organize and LOVE the Container Store with a passion because it is a way to function. I started becoming an organizing “freak” in High School as a way to cope with ADD. It took a while to figure out how exactly my brain works but I can now set up systems to keep me on track, most of the time. I am a very visual person which can be a double edged sword. Clutter drives me crazy, but out of site is practically out of mind for me. Luckily this world is full of beautiful and functional things.

    I just started a blog and hope to get a post done on organizing tips for the visual learners by the end of next week. Things can be a little slow while I get to know my new blog.

    Take Care!

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    Jodi W says

    Simplify = putting first things first and clearing more than I clutter!

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    Lorinda says

    Simplify means to bring everything down to the first level – do I need it? Did I need it? Will I ever need it again? And that means thinking about my purchases before I make them! I’m learning as time goes on – wish I had been wiser earlier!! But it’s never to late to start making a difference. Live within your means and unleash the stress from your life.

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    Jodi says

    To simplify means to get rid of things, obligations, thoughts, etc that cause stress. Life should be enjoyable but sometimes we hold on to things that make our lives more cluttered and do things because we think we should, but don’t really want to.

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    Julie says

    Simplify…we are trying to do this at our house. Starting by decluttering and just had a garage sale…next step is to clean the house, get rid of more ‘stuff’ we don’t use…and then have a cleaner, more organized house!

    Thanks for a fun giveaway!
    Julie

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    Thelma says

    De-clutter so that I can enjoy life more.

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    Christina says

    As my kids are growing up, I have 7 but only 3 still at home permanganately, except the college kid is here for the summer, I have realized I need to cut back on my junk. My hardest part is parting with my huge bookshelves of books that have some books I am no longer interested in reading on. Also when the Army pulled up here in WA with our load from HI and knowing that we will be going back to HI soon, in a tractor trailer, 18 wheels, 10 crates, all mine, I knew I had to get down to it. So thankfully I can use your blog to help me. I so need 52 weeks of organizing.

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    Amanda says

    Simplify means being able to spend less time with the “stuff” in my life and more time with the people in my life: my beautiful family!

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    Shantique says

    For me simplifying would mean, having to spend less time with household work and more quality time with our kids. I work full time outside the home and also have a commute that takes an extra 3 hours out of most days. The girls are in daycare about 11 hours a day, so I want to be able to come home and be with them. I don’t want to worry about cleaning or organizing and I want our weekends to be family time. It would be ideal to have someone else clean my house, but I still have yet to find someone that will do this for free :0)

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    Val Gregory says

    To simplify is to bring things back to their original elements. Before purchasing or bringing in anything to a home, this means to really look at the purpose of the item and make an honest assessment of the need for it and the return (in money savings, peace of mind, entertainment, etc.) it will bring. At work, simplifying means breaking tasks and and assignments down thoughtfully and in an organized manner, so that they can be accomplished according the correct priority. With self, simplifying means taking time to understand one’s basic needs and what truly brings joy to life. Simplifying is an iterative process. It is not done once and forgotten. It is not done in only one aspect of life. Simplifying in one area, in the home, for example, unlocks the ability to simplify and excel at work or personally.

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    Liz says

    To do more with less and be less stressed about everything.

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    Elana says

    Simplify means less. It means that instead of scheduling activities for the kids, I sit on the floor of the playroom with them, and let life happen.

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    Megan says

    I think of simplifying my expectations and worries. My linen closet doesn’t need to be immaculate to still have an organized and relaxed home.

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    Cassi says

    Simplify to me means being able to relax in my house with out feeling anxious over the chores that need to be done. There isn’t as much to worry about when there aren’t piles of stuff everywhere.

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    nuri says

    Simplifying means not taking more than I can handle, while broadening myself and loving my family and friends.

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    Keri says

    Simply for me, at least right now, means enjoying my son while he’s still little. The vacuuming & dishes will still be there after he goes to bed.

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    Debbie says

    For me, simplify means having the time to enjoy the things I want to do, and not feel overwhelmed by what I feel always “needs” to be done. It should be ok to let things get a little messy if that means I am using that time to spend intentionally with my children. It also means getting rid of stuff that clutters up my time and life!

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    Tracy says

    Simplify means dealing with my baggage–both physical and emotional and weeding through the things that hold me back.

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    raven says

    Simplify to me means to look at the core of what I want around me, keep that, and trim away the rest.

    I want time with my kids and husband; I want time to cook dinners that aren’t out of a box; I want time to spend being “Non-mom-wife” and go out for karaoke to chase my own dreams.

    That means not only simplifying the stuff in the house in terms of clutter, but simplifying the TASKS that involve those items as well – like doing laundry, prepping and cleaning from dinner, stocking or cleaning the pantry, washing sheets and making beds.. it’s all related.

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    RondaB says

    To me, simplify is a state of mind. I am working on simplifying my life and one of the major influences has been to hold myself accountable for 30 minutes of Devotion/Quiet Time every day. Initially this made me feel bad for taking another 30 minutes away from all that I needed to be doing, however, I am finding that with just that 30 minutes all my own I sleep better and am a better mom and wife because I am happier and less stressed. That feeling has led me to get rid of things with a much more critical eye and we have donated over 25 boxes of toys and clothes and stuff that I have kept to a local charity with 3 more boxes of books to go to my daughter’s school and 3 boxes of toys to go to our church nursery. Getting things out of the house seems to be the key for my organizational addiction to be able to work like it is supposed to.

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    Angela Chambers says

    Simplify means the same thing as surviving. I have 2 little boys. Enough said :)

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    Sheila says

    Well, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Everywhere I turn around people talk about how to simplify and yet our lives get busier everyday. I feel like I need to simplify our schedule…I have 3 kids and it can get pretty crazy. During the 2010/2011 school year we were gone 4 nights a week (clubs and sport practices) and had ball games on Saturday. This drove me crazy…I feel like the only phrase I said…”Let’s hurry up & go we’re going to be late.”
    Anyway, we are going to make chages this year. We have to pick and choose what’s important to us and leave the rest behind. It’ll be hard but I think worth it.

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    Melanie Chalut says

    Simplify means to me having a clear mind, life and home. Simplify means freedom to breath and relax instead of being in a panic. It means knowing where everything is at and if it doesn’t have a place get rid of it. I am far from being a simplified person. I stress to much of where to put stuff so I don’t even get started in organizing it. Thank you for your website, I will be following your suggestions!

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    Ashley says

    Simplifying to me is merely eliminating the unnecessary things from your life. Thinking about what is important and necessary to you and eliminating the rest. It’s really a simple concept that’s just so difficult to carry out!

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    Melisa says

    To me, simplify means to get rid of anything that is cluttering my life, my home, my time. It means making things easier on myself. It also means that not everything I do has to be perfect. Sometimes, simple is better than perfect.

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    Lisa says

    ‘simplify’ to me is being able to breath for a change. To be able to have one simple thought instead of racing around trying to figure out what I started to do and ending up frazzled and upset. to be able to enjoy those moments I hear about with my family and not be an outsider because I dont have the time.

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    Angela says

    Simplfying to me means letting go of those possessions & obligations that aren’t a good fit for my life at present so that I can be freer to embrace what I’m made to do & have.

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    pinkbeary says

    Simplifying means being able to find things when you need it, and letting go of things in your life that you shouldn’t have bought in the first place. =)

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    Jenni says

    I love the whole “vibe” of the word simplify, and I totally get that it’s an attitude, but for me right now, STUFF is my main focus. It’s about sorting the stuff, cleaning the stuff, organizing the stuff, finding the stuff, wearing the stuff, and maintaining the stuff. Stuff, Stuff Stuff! In my pitiful defense, I do come from a long line of packrats . But seriously… the buck has got to stop here.

    Case in point, I just realized a few weeks ago that I really don’t nee-eeed 15 pairs of jeans or 37 tee shirts. Neither do my kids. They end up wearing the same comfy favorites every other day just like I do, so why am I folding and sorting and washing all this laundry when we’d be perfectly happy with a lot less?

    Here are a few more things (I counted these up before I commented, by the way… so these are real numbers) that I don’t need in “mindless multiples”: 19 pairs of undies (I never wear more than one at a time!), seven pairs of running shoes (I don’t even run!), 414 kids books (granted we do homeschool, but this is excessive!), 55 Sharpies (!!?), 11 fleece sweatshirts… it’s awful. So I just recently started being very harsh with myself and my “normal” reaction to clutter. Usually, I can’t bear to throw anything out – if I get rid of it, I give it away, donate it, consign it, reuse it, recycle it, repurpose it, etc… Today I simply purged and tossed. I (gasp) threw away some junk that no one needs!

    Wait, did someone want a couple of Kenny Rogers cassettes?

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    Deborah says

    To me, “simplify” means that I have what I need, no more and no less. Oh that would be really, really nice!

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    Heather G says

    To me it means do what *needs* to be done and really think about all the stuff that is on that list before doing anything. There are so many things in our lives that we feel (or others tell us) need to be done. But the reality is many of those things aren’t needs. If we take care of what our families & ourselves truly need then the rest will fall into place. At least I hope it does!

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    april v says

    To simplify is to make something easier by breaking it down into baby steps.

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    evi says

    I am just starting off with simplifying my life – it has felt great so far. I am a pat-rack by nature and it’s often hard to let go of things. But when I will be where I want to be, life will be smoother and easier. There will be breathing-room. Our apartment isn’t stuffed but there are nick-nacks here and there and it would be just so much nicer to move around more freely and to find things more easily.

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    Evelyn Zodtl says

    My daughter should grow up in an organized household with loving parents and a mom that has time to play with her and concentrate on the people in her life rather than taking care of all the stuff that has accumulated. That’s why I have been parting with a lot of things recently and it feels soooo nice!
    I’d love to win your book, I am sure it’s a great read!

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    Nancy L. says

    Simplify to me means letting of my vise-like grip on the non-essentials – whether it be stuff, attitudes, or parts of my schedule. :-)

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    Sharon says

    Simplify for me means trying to focus on the ‘who is important’ and ‘what is necessary’ of life. I’m a full time working mom who is trying to be a stay at home mom before the next little one comes in a couple of months. My husband has a full time company to maintain with all of its perks and multitude of stresses. We have two little ones at home already. I am in the process (very beginning) of simplifying my life in order to be at home most days, have an organized home and office, and to give more support to my husband.

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    Lisa says

    To me simplifying means that I have less on my to do schedule and only do what is really important to make our life run smoothly as a family.

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    meredith says

    Simplify means to de-clutter and still be able to accomplish everything

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    Camille Rhoades says

    To me simplify means not drowning anymore. It means having time to allow myself to enjoy all those little things I rush through, but should be enjoying. To be completely honest, it also means a complete change of thinking from the way I was raised and the way I now live and that is scary. It signifies the transformation that I so desperately want and believe I am working on.

    It means breathing!

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    Angeline says

    Simplify means trimmIng all that is not necessary for life.

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    sam james says

    Means less stuff in my home to worry aboutso I can have a fun mom, that’s me, who has the energy to play with the kids.

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    Kriste Young says

    “Simplify” means to me… letting go of the “things” that I though I needed to function daily. Having my daughter has taught me that. When you don’t have as much “you” time you quickly shed things and rituals that no longer work. I am amazed at how happier my simplified life is.

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    deb davila says

    Simplify to me means evaluating a process and seeing if its achieving your objective. For example, I was spending a lot of time couponing and saving money. However once I realized that most of the food that had coupons were not meeting my healthy eating objective, due to the being highly processed, high in sugar and HFCS, or too many preservatives. So, I was able to cut that out and simplify my life even more.

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    Marcy says

    Simplify to me – means spending more time appreciating what you have, versus what you dont.

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    Holly Castle says

    To me simplify means to making my life easier by having less junk or clutter around the house and finding a place for everything. Now to get my kids to put things back where they got them from would simplify things a lot more!

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    Melissa Duey says

    Simplify to me means only having what I need, where I need it, so I can access it when I need it. It means not wasting time handling or looking at clutter when I could be do something important with my family, being active in the community, or spending time with God. It means not having regrets, using every hour of each day wisely, and always being able to look back and remember positive memories from each day.

    Simplify to my family means to be good stewards of our money, time, space, and thoughts.

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    lisa m says

    letting go of the “THINGS” that clutter your life

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    Kelly George says

    When I see the word “simplify,” I think of removing the clutter from my activities, my commitments, and my home. “Clutter” can be activities that nobody really enjoys doing and that serve no purpose; commitments that intrude unnecessarily upon family time; and all those “things” in our home that keep us from enjoying simple pleasures such as talking to each other, watching the birds in the back yard, or taking a walk together. I love your website! Thanks for the giveaway!

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    Tammy A says

    Simply to me means to make my life as super simple as possible…it means everything has it’s place so i know exactly where it is when i need it or if i have to describe it to someone they can look right in that spot and BAM…there it is. It means that things aren’t cluttered up…and messy. It means that i don’t have to do a complete overhaul to my house every week…just keeping it simple so i have time to enjoy all the things life has to offer!

    • 146.1
      Betsy says

      I’ve been struggling with simplify for a long time. However, just this past week, on our vacation I experienced a simpler life. We have a fully furnished little cottage out of state. As we were cleaning up at the end of our time this time I realized I really have all I need right there…I could live that way. We have there only a fraction of all the STUFF as in our house. This experience has motivated me to simplify my everyday life now by getting rid of STUFF that I dont use anyway.
      Then I imagine relaxing time for friends and crafts that I feel guilty about when there is so much stuff to take care of.

  146. 147
    annette gast says

    Simpliying to me means to get rid of things that I don’t use and to give to others who can use varous and sundried things. I tend to “collect” yarn, books, clothes so I think I am in the midest of rehabbing myself. I am really thinking if I need certain things and I am trying to give away things I know i won’t use or need.

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    Tara says

    Right now, simplify means sanity. I am homeschooling two kids (ages 11 and 4 1/2), going to college full-time, a wife and homemaker, and a caretaker to a child with chronic kidney disease (and transplant). Anything that I can do to organize my life (whether it’s the kids school work, my college class work, the house or appointments), that is SIMPLIFICATION!!!

    Sometimes it doesn’t happen… But I wish I could simplify more so that I could keep SOME sanity in my life!!

    Thanks for the chance to win!! My husband keeps telling me we need to DECLUTTER… I keep asking him to add more time to my week!! Maybe the book would help!! :)

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    Adriene C says

    Simplify means not being so attached to “stuff”; allowing your life’s purpose to be living as opposed to consuming and worrying. If you love your life and your space, you will find yourself procrastinating less and appreciating more.

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    April says

    To me, Simplify means to relax, to breathe easily, to get rid of not only they physical clutter, but the mental clutter. It means being able to truly enjoy life when it’s going well but also being prepared to weather any storms that come your way.

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    Kim Bozek says

    To me, the word simplify means to get rid of all the clutter of your body….not just around you, but inside of you – to stop the rat race and simplify your entire life….

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    Bethany says

    To me, simplify means doing what must be done to make the needed tasks of daily living less stressful, less complicated, and less time-consuming so that there is more time for wonder, adventure, and play.

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    Marie says

    I have spent this summer vacation simplifying my (our!) life. I have decluttered so much stuff and made sure anything I kept has a spot to call home. This school year is going to be so much less chaotic than the previous ones! I’m so excited! I have also been working on my 30 meals so I hope mealtime and sports will be a little more compatible this year!

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    Maureen says

    To me it means to get rid of the excess. Excess possessions taking up space and energy to keep organized, excess items on your schedule that stress you out and make life more hectic than it needs to be, even excess relationships (you know the ones that drain you of ALL your energy just having a 5 minute conversation).
    The more I can simplify my life and my family’s life, the smoother things seem to run, and when there is a bump in the road, it keeps me from being pushed over the edge.
    The trick is to be able to simplify and then keep it that way (definitely the part I’m still working on).

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    Melanie Stoltz says

    To simplify would help me take care of my family better. I get caught in so much STUFF that sometimes I forget some of the important things in life. If I could simplify more, I could spend a lot more time having fun with my kiddies :-)

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    Katherine says

    Simplify for me means to cut the caos, this includes people who love to create drama. Life can be as simple as you want it to be:) Back to basics, back to happiness:)

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    jmw says

    Simplify- Pay attention to the “what”, the “who” and participate. Reclaiming each floor and space in your home is forward steps to making sure you can be present and involved. Because in the end the journey is the stuff of life.

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    Pat says

    Simplify = being happier with less

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    Kelly Lakeman says

    Simplify means to have one system and to use it! Make everything basic and easy to use! I constantly am looking at new systems all the time to keep clean and organised and I get more confused than organised.
    My facebook statuses always seem to be ‘cleaing / sorting the office’ and I do it all solid for a day and then it’s back that way after a while… I need a system and I need it to stick!

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    Bobbi-Jo G. says

    To me, simplify means to focus on what I want most, rather that what I want right NOW. What matters MOST over what matters right NOW. It helps me to have a proper perspective and to let things roll off my back that might otherwise plague me :)

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    Lois says

    Simplify…. To organize, to say no when the plate is full, to stay focused on one task at a time and make it work, to do baby steps when it all gets overwelming. to appreciate it all for what it is and feel blessed!!

  161. 162
    Lois says

    The meaning of Simplify to me…. To organize, to say no when the plate is full, to stay focused on one task at a time and make it work, to do baby steps when it all gets overwelming. to appreciate it all for what it is and feel blessed!!

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    Julie says

    Simplify. For me, it’s being able to ignore the pile of laundry and play a game with the kids, or read with them, or just watch them play. It’s deciding that I don’t “have to”. I don’t have to save the old clothes for the next friend….someone could be using them now. I don’t “have to” do any of those things that zap my energy, or that make me groan with dread when I think about “having to” do them. And even sometimes, making the call and saying, “I’m sorry. I’ve changed my mind, I am not going to be able to do ___________(fill in the blank) this week.”

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    Jenn says

    simplify means to me: making my life so that I can enjoy the things I want to enjoy.-my family, the weather, a good book, etc…

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    Rochel @ barefootandcooking says

    To me, simplify means learning to be at peace when things aren’t perfect. I prefer to have a few things I love than many things I just sorta like and don’t have space for. I prefer to spend time with my hubby after dinner than doing the dishes immediately. To me simplifying is about cutting out all the unnecessary elements of my day and focusing on the things that make me happy – my family, my friends, and my community.

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    Debbie says

    Just let some stuff go.

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    Tana Pike says

    To me, Simplify means to be at peace, not being overwhelmed with the clutter in my house or my head. There is always something out of place,something else I should have, could have or will do next time. Time spent resting is not really resting because you can’t forget all the “things” . I want to simplify my life so that I can truly enjoy my kids and grandkids!

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    Paige says

    Simplify means to make your life easier by eliminating the clutter and junk and organizing the things you do need. As a wife, mother, and full time teacher many times clutter and junk get in way and make my life even more complicated. My goal is to get rid of and organize things so I can make my life simpler and have time for the important things, like my family!

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    Marlo says

    I have a sign that says ‘Simplify’ in my front entry – similar to the one in your post! To me it means making room in my life for what I find important. In my case that is time with family, time to volunteer, remembering that keeping unnecessary commitments to a minimum means that I am open to unbelievable opportunities.

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    T Saunders says

    Simplify, . . . Oh to rid ones house and life of any unnecessary “junk” that prevents you from focusing on all the really important stuff that matters, like faith, family, friends and well-bring. I like to have my household and life clear of anything that will distract or clutter my mind although that’s easier said than done:-)

  170. 171
    Vanessa says

    Laura,
    Thank you so much for this post. I really thought long and hard about it. I found myself imagining what I would like my life to be like and how simplifying things would make my day-to-day life so much easier. Here’s what I came up with (sorry it seems like I had quite a lot to say):

    Stitch in time saves nine
    Imagine a world in which tonight’s dirty dishes were put in the dishwasher, the counters were wiped down, laundry was put in the hamper (instead of on the floor right in front of it), and the items we ran out of were put on the list (instead told to us after we return from the supermarket). Hubby-bashing aside, how great would it be to spend a few minutes here and there and be done rather than letting things accumulate and spend an hour or more making it clean again? Yeah, I want to live in that world too.

    Internet Strike
    This applies to all forms of technology – internet/TV/blackberries/iphones, etc. We have a 4-month old baby boy. He’s becoming more and more aware of everything around him – so we try not to watch TV when we’re with him. And I have to say – I don’t really miss it. But, I can’t tell you the last time I went a day without checking my e-mail, multiple times a day. I surf the web as a break/downtime. I am not suggesting permanently giving it up – I just think a day away from technology and the immediacy it represents (must respond now!) would be a welcome break.

    Make do with what I have
    Have you ever taken bags of stuff to Goodwill? Sold stuff on Ebay/Craigslist? Sometimes with the tags still on? I have. And I am always surprised that I have to try to remember what those items were. Do I miss them? No. Is there empty space in my closet? Not so much. Why do I always feel the need to fill the empty space? How much more money would I have in my pocket if I didn’t buy the stuff to begin with? How much time did I waste letting it hang in my closet, deciding it was time to go, taking a picture, posting it, selling it, and mailing it? I am trying to be much more conscious of my purchases. It is sort of like that show Extreme Couponing – just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you should.

    Prepare = Peace of mind
    I live in Southern California – there are earthquakes here. Do I have an earthquake kit? Not really. Do I have all my documents scanned and in one location so if we had to get out quickly we could pick up and go? No. When disaster strikes loved ones are what really matters, material things take a back seat. Getting these things in order is forever lingering on my ‘to-do’ list. I’d like to get them done so there’s one less thing for me to worry about.

    Less is more (cliché but true)
    Have you ever tried to put something new away, only to realize where you want to put it is full? So you find new homes for the old stuff just so you can put the new stuff away. Yeah, I’m thinking that means I have too much stuff. Less means less stuff to wash or clean, less time tripping over it, moving it to a new place, or just thinking about it. Less is more – more money, more time, and more physical and mental space. I want more.

    Idyllic: Adjective: extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque: “an idyllic setting.”
    I like my home and I spend a lot of time here. I am taking steps to make it more peaceful. To me idyllic doesn’t mean a new paint job or a furniture upgrade. It means weeding out the things that get in the way of the things I really use. Whether that’s the utensil drawer with fifty spatulas when we only need three or the I’m-saving-this-in-case-I-paint outfit – when I NEVER paint. How great would it be to think of your home as an idyllic setting?

    Freedom
    Freedom to pick up and go if needed. Freedom from being cast in an episode of Hoarders (ok my house isn’t that bad…yet). Freedom to get away for the weekend without being worried about the mess that awaits me upon returning. Freedom from long, boring chores that could have been avoided. Freedom to invite company over at the drop of the hat – because my house isn’t a mess and there’s food in my fridge.

    You Only Live Once
    I like things clean and tidy. A place for everything and everything in its place. Clutter weighs on my mind. But when I’m 90 years old and sitting on my front porch in a rocking chair, what do I want to look back on? Hopefully family – babies who grew up and gave us grand-babies, experiences, trips, vacations, funny moments, laughter. Do I want my tombstone to read “she died trying to finish her to-do list?” Not so much. My to-do list keeps me sane, but I’d like to have less on it so I can spend less time “to-doing” and more time living.

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    Allysgrandma says

    Simplify means being able to take a month off to come to South Carolina to visit my daughter, Marine son-in-law and darling granddaughter and know I can help my daughter here from what I have learned from everyone participating in 52 weeks and once I am back home on September 1st, take up where I left off.

    Thanks Laura for taking the time to share and make a difference in so many lives, mine included. PS Miss everyone at 52 weeks, but will be back!

  172. 173
    outofchaos says

    I’m just backtracking through the 52 weeks of organising and thought I would add my comment here.

    To simplify = contentment.

    An orderly house
    Time for me and mine
    A credit in my bank balance

    All of which requires ongoing effort before I get there.

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