9 Practical Baby Steps for a Simpler Life

Inside: 9 practical baby steps for a simpler life.  Plus learn how A Simple Year can change your life, one month at a time!

Learn about 9 practical baby steps for a simpler life. Focus on one area of simplicity at a time for a more sustained and successful change.

“Small might be insignificant, but it does not mean unimportant.”
-Tsh Oxenreider, At Home in the World

What if I told you that cultivating a simpler life could be as easy as taking one baby step at a time? Would you think I was crazy or would you be willing to take that first step?

Something that has helped me over the past few months is to focus on just one area of simplicity each month. By focusing on just one area I am able to tailor my learning to that one subject and really spend the time implementing what I learned.  Read below for more on this monthly focus.

When it comes to developing habits sometimes the hardest part is taking that first step.  But I am learning as I continue to declutter our home, it is so much easier to rely on momentum, rather than motivation.  We need motivation to get started, but we need momentum to keep us going.

How do we get momentum, you ask?  By taking one baby step at a time.

Whether you are just beginning your journey towards simplicity or you have been at it for a while, but may be stuck for whatever reason, I encourage you to pick just one item from the list below.  Once you have completed that first thing, then move to another item.

There is no right or wrong first step or even next step. The important thing is to keep putting one step in front of the other.

Learn about 9 practical baby steps for a simpler life. Focus on one area of simplicity at a time for a more sustained and successful change.


9 practical baby steps for a simpler life

Slow and steady wins the race here. Do not overwhelm yourself or you’ll give up before you even begin.  Pick just one item to begin with!

Know your Why

This is the first step to developing a simpler life.  Knowing your motivation behind cultivating a simpler life will help you get started.

Declutter one drawer or closet

Just pick one small area to declutter.  This will give you a quick win and will encourage you to want to continue!

Need help decluttering?  Download your FREE checklist by clicking the button below:

Remove one thing from your schedule that does not bring you joy

We tend to think more is better when it comes to activities and events, especially for our kids.  I encourage you to take a hard look at your calendar and politely decline one event that you are not that excited about.  It will feel so good to spend that time with your family or on your own self care instead.

Spend 5 minutes doing some kind of self care

This is a very personal thing, but some ideas are to read a book, meditate, paint, go for a walk or journal.

Plan the meals for one day

Just plan the meals for one day and you’ll see how much simpler meal time can be.

Unsubscribe from one email newsletter

Simplifying your email inbox can save you so much time in the day.  We all get newsletters we don’t read and just delete.  Instead of deleting them today, hit that “unsubscribe” button!  Then you’ll no longer see it in your inbox!

Spend one afternoon without using your phone

This is a tough one.  I am a stay at home mom a couple of days per week and I try to remind myself to be more present with my kids.  That is the whole point I am staying home with them!  I also notice a significant difference in their attitudes on the days that I am not constantly on my phone.

Do not buy anything for one day

I am talking about clothes and non-essentials here.  If you think you need something or you are scrolling through Amazon or your favorite store website, just put the item in the cart and go back to it tomorrow.  More likely than not you don’t NEED to buy it today.  Just take one day and don’t spend money on anything that is not essential.

Practice the “one in one out” rule

This is a great practice to put into place.  Essentially if you buy a new shirt or toy, you must donate or get rid of one shirt or toy you already have at home.  This will help keep the clutter from creeping back into your home.

I learned all of these tips, and then some, in a program called A Simple Year.  Keep reading to learn about the 12 baby steps you can take next year to simplify 12 areas of your life, one month at a time.

Make next year…

If you are ready for slow, intentional and supported change, I encourage you to check out A Simple Year. I am working my way through A Simple Year this year and let me tell you it has been life changing.

>>> Learn more here: A Simple Year

From the course website:

“Living simply provides so many benefits, but sometimes it can be challenging to maintain a commitment to long-term change. If you look forward to living with less stuff, less stress and less obligation so you can have more time, money and energy to pursue what means most to you, choose to live a simple year.”


“A Simple Year was designed to help you simplify your life gently and with purpose. You’ll learn something new each month and focus on what matters most with a simplicity advocate that specializes in topics like clutter, food, money, relationships, and busyness.”

What I love about A Simple Year course:

  • You focus on one area of simple living at a time.
  • You can listen and/or read the lessons on your own time.
  • There is an engaged Facebook community for extra accountability and additional support.
  • There are multiple forms of instruction for all learning styles, including audio, articles, video, and ebooks.

What is challenging about A Simple Year:

  • There is a LOT of information and it can quickly get overwhelming if you let it.  I will say that there is no way you can implement every. single. thing. the instructors throw at you during the year. But the great thing is that you get to pick and choose what you most need in your life at this specific point in time.  You will also receive all of the course material in one pdf file at the end of the year. This way you can go back and review something you missed or didn’t make a priority this year.
  • There may be sections that do not resonate with you or apply to you at this point in your life.  If the majority of the sections apply to you then I encourage you to sign up for the course.  You do not need to spend time on the sections that don’t apply to you and you can spend extra time on the sections that do apply.

Are you ready to take that first step toward a simpler life?

The program runs all year, but the sign-up window is limited.  If you are interested, now is the time to join!

Learn about 9 practical baby steps for a simpler life. Focus on one area of simplicity at a time for a more sustained and successful change.

I hope that by participating in A Simple Year you are able to focus on embracing simplicity in your life.  I hope you are able to develop new habits at your own pace and start living the life you crave.

What baby step do you plan to take today?

Share in the comments below!

Learn about 9 practical baby steps for a simpler life. Focus on one area of simplicity at a time for a more sustained and successful change.

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Learn about 9 practical baby steps for a simpler life. Focus on one area of simplicity at a time for a more sustained and successful change.


Category: Simplify

23 Responses to 9 Practical Baby Steps for a Simpler Life

  1. Christine says:

    Hi Tara! Great post! I’m on my journey towards minimalism. I think the hardest part for people is how to get started. I so agree with you about the baby steps to go. When we keep going and moving on everyday, it’s getting more easier and easier. I first started at decluttering, stop buying unnecessary stuff, simplifying my diet… my next step going to do is spend time regularly on self-care. 🙂

    • tara says:

      Hi Christine! Thanks for stopping by! I agree starting is half the battle sometimes! Building up that momentum really helps move you in the right direction. Self care is so important! Do you have any suggestions for incorporating self care into your life?

      • Christine says:

        Hey Tara! I’ve to say I’m not good at practicing self care. I didn’t make time for myself. I’ve started to meditate for a month now and I just love it! My next step is to have a 8 hours sleep each night, just as simple as that though I’ve some more hobbies wanna to develop. Again, baby steps lol.

  2. Jenn Elwell says:

    Cleaning out one drawer seems so small but it’s amazing how much better I feel when I get one done! Thanks!

  3. Jessica bradshaw says:

    Knowing my why has been a big theme of 2017 for me. 🙂 Also, a huge fan of decluttering. So much better for the mind and soul.

    • tara says:

      Hi Jessica! Figuring out my why has been really helpful for me too. I am glad you are seeing the benefits of a decluttered life. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Jenni says:

    This is great advice! I am currently trying to simplify and organize one small piece at a time also.

  5. Elizabeth O says:

    We are in the middle of a move from our home of 25 years so, you can imagine the amount of de-cluttering I am doing to downsize it all.
    I am definitely doing a lot of selfcare, meditation, exercise and walks to help me with the process. I enjoyed reading your tips. 🙂

    • tara says:

      Hi Elizabeth! I hear you! We moved this past summer after living in the same home for 9 years. We had WAY more stuff than I realized. I can’t imagine what we’d accumulate in 25 years! 🙂 Good luck with the move!

  6. elise says:

    I love this post!!! Such great points. I will be putting some into practice! Clutter really throws me off, so the one in and one out rule is something I will definitely do. Also, the email inbox point is something I’ve never thought about, but having a simpler inbox would be amazing!

    • tara says:

      Hi Elise! I am so glad this post was helpful! The one-in-one out rule is extremely helpful to at least keep things in check. Good luck!

  7. Lamees says:

    This is a lovely post. Keeps me wonder what should i do first to make my life simpler and less stressful. I think i will switch my phone this afternoon

    • tara says:

      Hi Lamees! Thanks for stopping by! Good luck with reducing phone time. That is definitely a tough one! Let me know how it goes!

  8. Stef says:

    I absolutely love this. I need to read it over and over. All of the ideas you lost are so easy and achievable yet will make a big impact. I just need to do these things!!

    • tara says:

      Hi Stef, thanks! I agree, they seem so simple, yet they will have a big impact. Good luck implementing these ideas in your life!

  9. Caitlin says:

    I’ve been getting better about putting my phone on Do Not Disturb when I’m around family and friends! Taking the mental break from the chaos is so helpful

    • tara says:

      Hi Caitlin – I totally agree! Actually being present with those around me helps with my attitude as well. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. mary says:

    These are all so practical but really made me think…
    Love the first one especially! I never thought to just remove something from my life just because. Gonna do it. 🙂

  11. Rebecca says:

    Good tips. I especially like the tip to go without your phone for the day. I finally broke my smartphone addiction and got rid of my android completely.
    I do miss some things – like Google maps when I’m out and about. But overall, it was the smartest thing I ever did. I enjoy things more now; I am participating in things instead of recording them with my smartphone. Definitely simplified my life!

    • Tara says:

      Hi Rebecca! I am impressed you completely got rid of your smart phone! I have not made that jump quite yet though I do try to keep my phone hidden when my kiddos are around. Your comment is such an encouragement! Thank you!

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