20 Practical Steps I’ve taken to Simplify My Life– Since Reading "Essentialism"

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My make-up drawer is always a mess. No matter how hard I try to keep it clean, it seems like it always reverts to a space of spilled foundation, loose hair, leaky toothpaste and a ball of hair ties tangled around bobby pins.

I recently pulled everything out, evaluated how much I used the items, eliminated waste, stored many items elsewhere and started over.

Even so, I know the time will come when I will need to clean it out– over and over again.

Simplifying our lives through the principles of Essentialism is like this. If you want to learn to live simply, you must know– it’s a process.

No matter how much you try to live simply– to meet your “highest contribution”, there will be times when we need to clean out the drawers of our lives and press “refresh.”

The good news is, the more we clean out our lives, the better we get at it! And the better we can become at not filling it with non-essentials in the first place.

Along my journey so far, I’ve made a lot of changes– and if I’m being honest, I have a lot more work to do.

Here are 20 things I’ve cleaned out (or added) to my “drawer” so far, in order to meet my “highest contribution.”


  1. I stopped couponing– for the most part.
  2. I stopped selling on ebay– for the most part.
  3. I switched my weekly investing meeting to monthly.
  4. I’ve started sleeping more at naptime.
  5. I’ve started practicing the art of “hygge”.
  6. I’ve started writing again.
  7. I’ve said “no” to visits from people when I’m overwhelmed.
  8. I’ve started only planning one commitment on the weekends– to leave room for rest and family time.
  9. I’ve simplified my laundry routine.
  10. I’ve stopped reading all my texts– right when they arrive.
  11. I’ve said “no” to at least 10 parties I would have attended out of obligation.
  12. I’ve given away regrettable purchases– rather than hanging on to them.
  13. I hired someone to clean once a month, so the harder physical tasks (like scrubbing the tubs and vacuuming) are done and I can have energy to care for my family.
  14. I deleted one unused email account that only brought junk.
  15. I’ve started running the dishwasher more often (more on this later).
  16. I said ‘yes’ to Bible study, but said “no” to a “toddler” program I wanted to join.
  17. I’ve started adding yoga to my every day routine.
  18. I’ve decided not to potty train yet.
  19. I’ve stopped planning meals with too many ingredients.
  20. I’ve started taking Fridays off of housework– and turned it into “Fun Friday” where my daughter and I only do fun things!

These are just a few ways I’ve adapted my life– in order to keep in line with my “highest contribution” and the impact has been– massive!

How will you simply your life— in order to meet your “highest contribution”?