Simplify in 10 minutes or less
Parenting & Family,  Simplify & Slow Down

How to Simplify in 10 Minutes or Less

9 Ways to Simplify Your Life

In our busy seasons of life, we tend to get bogged down very easily. We already know we’re at maximum capacity with busyness, so every little extra can overwhelm us. 

I often find in these busiest seasons that simplifying in little ways helps to ease the overwhelm. I don’t mean throwing out all our schedules and only focusing on THE ONE THING (whatever it is in this season), but I do believe small areas of simplification can make a big difference. 

How to Simplify

Here are 9 ways you can simplify in 10 minutes or less. 

Double-check your to-do list

Is there anything on your to-do list that you’ve deemed no longer important? Cross it off or move it to next month if it’s low priority.

Do you really need to clean out your kids’ drawers this week? That can probably wait until next week or some space opens up in your schedule.

Seeing things on our to-do list day after day that don’t get completed can lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety, and failure. Get that sh*t out of here. 

Clean up the piles

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I look around and don’t understand where all the piles of clutter come from. They weren’t there yesterday!

Okay, so they probably were. It’s a slow accumulation of things that you “don’t have time” to put away at that exact moment, so you add them to a corner of similar items that also need to go somewhere else. Pretty soon you have a clutter pile. And that unsightly pile has got to go.

Sort through the mail pile, put the heap of random socks in the hamper, pick up the cat toys, and take those empty boxes to the recycling. Breathe a sigh of relief. Visual clutter is not welcome at this time.  

Stick to your routines

Do you have a normal kitchen cleaning routine or a regular laundry routine? Stick to it as best as you can. When our routines get out of whack, that means more tasks falling to the wayside in an already busy season. That will build up to even more to-dos that feel overwhelming and just too much.

If you feel even your normal routines are getting to be too much, time yourself doing them. My nightly kitchen/living room clean-up routine takes 4 minutes. 4 minutes! I know that because at one point I felt like it was such a burden and I was tired of doing it.

After all, it took forever to do and the couch looked so comfy…. So I timed myself and realized that if it only takes 4 minutes to have a clean kitchen and living area, it was worth that time investment.

Otherwise, I’d go to bed with a mess and wake up with a mess! No, thanks.

For more cleaning routine help, check out these posts:
Save Money & Time with an Eco-Friendly Cleaning Routine
How to Keep Your House Clean With Kids
A Break From Laundry: Why You Need to Stop Doing Laundry

Cancel plans

Yup, I said it. It’s the easiest way to simplify but most of the time we’d rather give up sleep or rest than cancel plans.

Look at your calendar and try to remove one or two events that you think you HAVE to go to. This could be an obligation or even something fun that you’re willing to part with.

School functions, work events, town hall meetings, kids’ birthday parties, all these add up and take over our schedules. Prioritize yourself at this time, not everyone else.  

Limit the kids’ toys

As mentioned with the piles, visual clutter is not welcome at this time. Busy seasons are a great time to limit children’s toys.

Take a few minutes to separate out their favorites or the most versatile ones. Stash the rest in a box in storage – out of sight out of mind.

When kids have fewer toys that are available to play with, they have fewer opportunities for distractions. They can have more quality playtime. And fewer toys means less to clean up at the end of the day!

In an upcoming post, I’ll be going into more detail on how to simplify kids’ toys more permanently. Make sure you sign up for my blog updates so you don’t miss it!


If you need help simplify your kids’ wardrobe, check out my post here.


Don’t want to cancel that coffee date with your friend for the 3rd time in a row? Ask her to take it on the road. Knock out your grocery run and catch up with your friend at the same time. Or move it to a walking coffee date so you can also get an energizing workout in.

Listen to that new podcast episode you never have time for while you’re rage-cleaning your house after a particularly trying day. Schedule all your errands for one day and do it while listening to a new audiobook or jamming out to your favorite car album.

Combine something you have to do with something you want to do. Bundling is your real best friend in the busy seasons of life.  

Get takeout

If you’re used to planning and cooking all the meals in your home, then takeout can feel like a vacation. Use this tool on days that you are just completely over life by dinner time.

If you know ahead of time your schedule is going to get crazy, schedule it! Add it to your meal plan and don’t feel bad for one minute. Savor it. 

Put down your phone

If you only have a few minutes to relax and decompress, you’re wasting it scrolling through social media. Watch this video for what happens to your brain when you scroll.

Close your eyes and breath, read a book, sit quietly in nature, or mindfully drink your cup of coffee. All these are more nourishing for your soul than a 10-minute social media binge.

When do you tend to reach for your phone to zone out? First thing in the morning while still rubbing the sleep out of your eyes? Or right after putting the kids to bed? Maybe in bed trying to fall asleep at night?

Resist the urge to pick up your phone and instead do something that truly relaxes or heals you. 

Start a 5-Finger Affirmation Practice

Choose 5 affirmations that speak to you and recite them for each finger. Do this while deep breathing to ease anxiety, calm the mind, and use positive self-talk. You will feel more grounded after this practice.

Check out my post here for simple instructions and 35 affirmations.

9 Ways to Simplify Your Life in 10 Minutes or Less

How to Simplify in 10 Minutes or Less

These 9 Ways to Simplify in 10 Minutes or Less are not one-size-fits-all. Pick and choose what works for you and move on. Any little bit of simplification will help in busy seasons. Take the 10 minutes to feel calmer, more grounded, and ready to face your next challenge. 

Which simplification tip will you try? Let me know in the comments!

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More from The Peaceful Burrow: 

How to Slow Down with a 5-Finger Affirmation Practice
How to Simplify Kids’ Wardrobes with 5 Questions
Flash Sale: Summer Survival Guide for Parents
The Best Way to Manage Kids’ Artwork
Eco-Parenting: How to Grow Greener Children
Save Money & Time with an Eco-Friendly Cleaning Routine
How to Get Out the Door on Time with Kids


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