My 2017 word of the year is Simplify. All of the goals I set for myself involve simplifying my life in some way – be it decluttering my house, clearing up my schedule or prioritizing family time.

Of course, as my luck would have it? This first full week of the year has been a bit crazy! We’re temporarily a one car household, so between my activities and my husbands two jobs? I feel like I run a taxi service! My ministry work has been packed this week, and my daughter has had her share of activities too. Plus? Girl Scout Cookies are coming, and so my co-leaders and I have needed to meet a few times.

Needless to say? I felt like 2017 was off to a chaotic flop as far as my simplify goals were going! So I needed to find a few ways I could feel like I was making a difference! So here are my favorite ways to make a QUICK dent in the chaos of life!

  1. Clean up your inbox! I personally love Unroll.Me. You simply enter your email address and then scroll through your list and click “Unsubscribe” from your (probably way too long) list of newsletters!  (Bonus Tip: I use my Evernote Email Address to sign up for Blog Newsletters – so I make sure those don’t get lost in my email mess!)
  2. Purge 5 items! Grab a box or a trash bag and pick 5 items around you. I tend to use a laundry basket if I’m going for the donate bin – then I take it immediately to the trunk of my car.  (In fact, as I was writing this post? I purged 5 items!) 5 items, 3 days a week will add up quickly.
  3. Clear out your contacts! I took five minutes the other day to clear up my iPhone contacts. I hadn’t done it since I made the leap to iPhone six years ago – so I had quite a few that are no longer needed! My old plumber. My daughters swim instructor from preschool. My ex-boss. You get the point! But that few minutes made me feel very accomplished!
  4. Ditch some apps! While you’re on your phone? Get rid of those apps you don’t need anymore! (I had 5 “pages” of photography apps!! (And really? I use *maybe* five of them on a regular basis!) And at least six games my daughter has downloaded overtime as time killers.
  5. Preform a Brain Dump! Grab a sheet of paper and just write. List everything that comes to mind – no matter how random it seems! I have a notebook I carry with me at all times for random lists and notes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this just before bed. But it really helps to clear out any lingering anxiety you may have! (Just knowing you have those obscure to-do’s on paper somewhere is often enough to calm my frazzled nerves.)
  6. Clear off one surface! We all have them, those spots where clutter just gathers? For me it’s the bookshelf inside my front door, the random corner of my kitchen counters and my bedside table. No matter how clean my house is? Those three places always collect junk. So take 5 minutes and just clear off one of those problems spots! It’ll make you feel MUCH better.
  7. Turn off the TV! This sounds silly. But it’s a simple thing that makes a huge difference in my life! If I have the TV on? I’m more likely to sit down, stop what I’m doing, and get lost in a show. Prime example? As I was writing this post, my husband was watching a show, I didn’t even have interest in the show (it’s one of his “boring” car shows) but I found myself staring at the screen instead of writing.
  8. Stop Multi-Tasking! I mean it. STOP! Focus on whatever task you’re working on.
  9. Clean up your desktop! I don’t know about you, but when the desktop of my computer is cluttered? It’s easy for me to become overwhelmed. (I tend to automatically save EVERYTHING to my desktop, and sort later. And later sometimes turns into that moment when there’s no space to save anything else and my desktop is filled with tiny annoying icons.) So take a few minutes to sort through and put all those files in their proper home!  (Bonus points: Clean out your Downloads folder too!)

I know some of these are super simple, but these 9 tasks are easy to accomplish in a matter of minutes and can truly make an impact! If nothing else, at least you feel like you’ve accomplished SOMETHING before you return to your lazy afternoon of drinking cocoa and reading a good book!