Simplifying Won’t Kill You (& It Might Just Save Your Life)

Simplifying Won't Kill You


“Simplify. Simplify.” ~Henry David Thoreau


So here’s a benefit of getting burned out: you learn to simplify. To make it back to any sense of normalcy after you’ve fallen in a deep, dark emotional hole, you have to start getting rid of stuff: all the clutter that takes up time and energy and space and money.

Simplifying your stuff won’t kill you:

I cleaned out closets, the attic, the garage, drawers and envelopes and folders and boxes. I gave it all to the Goodwill or friends or strangers who needed it. You know what’s awesome? Helping somebody out with zero expectation of anything in return. Plus they were really the ones helping me, taking all that stuff off my hands.

Simplifying your work won’t kill you:

I took as much off my plate as I could. I started saying no (which is a whole other blog post!) and drawing a hard line on what I was willing to do, what hours I actually worked (think 9 to 5 instead of until midnight, taking weekends off ~ well, mostly), what kind of people I want to work with. You might think that’s a luxury. Maybe. But the bills are still paid & I’m much, much happier and more relaxed in my professional life.

Simplifying your money won’t kill you:

I started donating money, giving it to causes I believe in, to people who needed it, to organizations I want to help succeed. It changed my whole outlook on money; how it’s a means to an end, not a barometer of my worth, which sadly I used to think.  If you’re afraid there won’t be enough, giving money away will change that belief too. It’ll free you up and open you up to new possibilities. It’ll make you generous instead of fearful. I know because that’s what it did for me.

Simplifying your relationships won’t kill you:

Okay, so this one’s a little tougher, but sometimes you need to let people go. Maybe being around them zaps your energy, makes you feel less than or guilty or bad about yourself. Maybe they use you for a crutch because they don’t want to stand on their own two feet. You know this when you dread hearing from them, when that little nudge in your gut tells you this relationship isn’t good for you, when you feel like you need a nap/drink/shower after dealing with them. So I encourage you to separate yourself from those kinds of people, gently and kindly if you can, but separate yourself still.

And the end result:

I am more:

  • happy
  • relaxed
  • present with my kids & my husband
  • willing for new experiences to come into my life
  • friendly to everybody (because I know I can say no to them)

I am less:

  • worried
  • anxious
  • controlling (okay, well I’m still working on that)
  • scheduled
  • short-tempered

So . . .

Be bold. Be brave. Simplify.

18 thoughts on “Simplifying Won’t Kill You (& It Might Just Save Your Life)”

  1. Hi Shelli,
    Sounds like a wonderful formula for happiness. Amazing how simplify can eliminate the clutter that leads to burnout.
    I can see where it takes changes and we tend to resist change.
    You’ve made a solid case for simplifying our lives.
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Rich!

      If there’s a formula for happiness, I’d bet simplicity is it. It’s so true that people resist change, even if the way things are don’t work for them. Thanks for making my day brighter by stopping by. Cheers, my friend. 🙂

  2. Great tips, Shelli, as always. Simplifying does make me so much happier. I always have to keep at it, because clutter and busy-ness creeps back in my life way too easy.

    1. Hi Charissa! *waves*

      Awww, thanks for the fab compliment. Made me smile. 🙂 It’s so true that you have to keep at it. I’ve noticed that, too. Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi lovely Katherine! *waves wildly*

      You know you make my day every time you stop by, right? I hope so, because you do. Thanks for the fab compliment. I’m so glad this post helped & made your day better; makes me happy to hear that. You are the BEST, too!!!

      And btw, I just joined Pinterest. You once said it was like a day at the spa. You weren’t kidding. I LOVE it over there.

      Cheers, darlin.

  3. Good points Shelli!

    A few years ago I practiced what I preached to the congregation I serve about creating margin in one’s life. It took me a while but I eventually let go of all the community involvement I was part of. It was hard at times but as I did, clarity of all kinds came.

    The thing that I am currently working on to create space and simplify is… laughing here… social media! I went from two twitter accounts to one and I post sparingly on Facebook. I also take breaks away from them as well and will do that again here soon!

    Take care!


    1. Hi Jim!

      It’s lovely to hear from you. Thanks for the fab compliment. Amazing how clarity comes, isn’t it? It’s been surprising to me how much more clear I am about the direction I’m going since I simplified.

      Funny about the social media because I had to do the same. I pop on every so often to say hello to people & post updates then pop back off again. Good for you for creating space in your life. 🙂

      Cheers, my friend.

  4. Hi Shelli [heart]

    Great post. You’re so right. I’ve tried to practice the KISS [keep it simple silly] philosophy with our lives, but even then – things start to pile up [stuff, worries, stresses]. Thank you for the reminder to re-evaluate and keep priorities at the forefront.
    Giving back is a great way to find appreciation in one’s own life. Thanks for sharing – you R-O-C-K!

    1. Hi Sandy! *heart & hugs & waves*

      Thanks for the fab compliment. You make me smile, as always. 🙂 Getting rid of all the excess stuff really did make it so much easier to prioritize; I’m grateful for that too.

      I hope you have a great week, darlin. You ROCK, too!

  5. Thanks for the pep-talk, Shelli. I am definitely in need of simplying things in my impossible schedule. I have had to walk away from all of the social networking in favor of family and mental health. It’s far too easy to marry oneself to their laptop. Glad to hear things are good with you. *high-five*


    1. Hi Jimmy!

      Okay, for starters, I love this: “high-five*. That was just awesome. Made me laugh. You really nailed it when you said it’s far too easy to marry yourself to a laptop (or cell phone or TV or *insert some electronic device here*). I’m so glad that you’ve made your family & yourself a priority. Rock on, my friend!

    1. Hi Heidi!

      Wow, that’s fantastic, being a full-time RVer. I have no doubt you’ve simplified. Took an RV vacation touring out west (USA) & was one my favorite vacations ever. Cheers, darlin.

  6. Very awesome, Shelli. Thanks for sharing.

    I find simplifying helps when I’m stuck writing. Funny how that little concept applies to so much in life.

    1. Hi Jessi! *waves*

      Thanks for the fab compliment, darlin. Made me smile. 🙂 Simplifying helps me write, too, and it really does make so much in life easier.

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