Make your life easier

I’m mostly an under-buyer. This means that in most cases, I avoid buying something until the existing thing is completely beyond repair.

(We had our old lounge suite for over 20 years!)

My mouse fell to the ground and became temperamental, as in all the right-click functions no longer worked so I had to use the mousepad to do those things.

That’s what made me cave and buy a mouse. A wireless mouse!

I said on Instagram that the whole world should be wireless 🙂

And so I thought, what else annoys me daily?

My iphone charger!

Ah friends, if you have any i-devices, you’ll know how easily and quickly the charger cable frays.

Is it a conspiracy? Feels to me like that’s what’s going on.


I took this picture for the blog and immediately tossed the old, ugly cord

But I dutifully went onto Takealot, and bought not one, but TWO new chargers – one for home and one for work.

OH MY STARS, I love my chargers.

I also love that I only paid R11 for the two because of ebucks (loyalty rewards from my bank). They were only R96 each!

I love the bright colours (my other one is hot pink) and the clip to keep it all neat when not in use.


I also remember hearing DesignMom say something on a podcast – that she went out and bought about 5 hairbrushes to make their morning routine easier. Not a huge investment in terms of money, but a huge difference to the mood in the mornings when 3 girls need to get ready for school 🙂

So over to you.

Can you buy something inexpensive to make your life easier?

The most popular question on how to simplify your life

The biggest question I’ve received over the years on simplifying your life is this:

What is the ONE thing I can do that will help simplify my life as quickly as possible?

Do you know what my answer is?

Learn to say no.


Seriously, it’s that simple.


– When you say no, you stop overcommitting.
– When you say no, you begin to have white space in your life.
– When you say no, you stop bringing more stuff into your home… stuff to clean, store and organise.
– When you say no, your kids have more time to just PLAY as kids should.
– When you say no, you have time to read again, and to create.

It’s simple but I know it’s not easy.

This is one of the key lessons of the Simplify your Life ecourse.

How good are you at saying no and creating simplicity in your life?

Have a look at the Simplify your Life info page  especially if you need some help learning to say no.

And then please pop over to Facebook and tell me, on a scale of 1 – 10, how easy is it for you to say no? Or…. send me a quick email.


White space… of the physical kind

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, one of the actions she takes is to leave a shelf bare and clean, and not feel the need to fill every shelf with something.

I talk a lot about this with respect to time but I must confess, a physical shelf in my house without nothing sounds like a dream 🙂

But then we reorganised some things, tossed other things and we had TWO shelves free.

The kids had too many stuffed animals on their beds so I put some of them on the bottom shelf and then placed some wooden toys on the top one, mainly for decoration.

It’s not an entirely clear shelf but I can feel how this could become addictive because of that feeling of having the peace of space. It’s a little bit like how I don’t like ornaments in my house because I feel like I can breathe better.

Do you have empty shelves in your home?

Maybe you need to simplify your life

I’m thrilled at the response to last week’s newsletter.

Clearly the subject of taking care of yourself resonated with you. As it should.

We really can’t be our best selves if we’re investing no time at all to get the basics right.


To get some of the basics in place, you’re going to have to get simple.

Simplify your Life

How can you take care of yourself if you’re running yourself ragged?

My suggestion is to start with a a list of 3 – 5 things you need to simplify in your life.

I was chatting to a colleague at work the other day and he said, “nothing in life is really difficult. We just have to get the basics right, and then build on that foundation”.

I couldn’t agree more.

Let’s get the basics right by first simplifying your life… and then you can start building on that foundation.

Have a look at the Simplify your Life info page  and see which of those topics resonate with you first.

Then start with the one that is most pressing for you and keep on going til you feel the peace of simplicity again.

Pop over to Facebook and let me know what your biggest, most pressing questions are on simplicity or living a simple life, and I’ll answer the most common ones next week. As always, you can email me too 🙂


Are there any tolerations you need to deal with?

Each and every time you walk by something in your home and think, “I really need to sort that out” it drains your energy.

Last year a friend mentioned that she got some extra shelves installed in her kitchen and it changed her life. I instantly thought of my annoying shower door.

It wasn’t broken but it got stuck (probably from age – we’d been in the house 7 years and who knows how long the previous owners had it) daily, would pop off its rail, we’d pop it back in and then have a shower.

Super annoying.

Well, when I heard about my friend and her “changed life” I phoned up a company, got them to come replace the door, it was done within TWO days and we’ve been having happy shower days ever since.

Amazing how something so small can make such a huge difference to the quality of your life and your happiness.

By the way, that’s called a toleration and is one of the sections in this month’s resource.


This month’s resource

Simplify your life


Simplify your life is a 10-part e-course and will walk you through a number of important lessons.

Most of us have a very real need to simplify our lives.

It’s no wonder, really, because these days we have so many things competing for our time, attention and energy.

If you feel a craving for some simplicity, this e-course might just be for you.

Please take a look at the information page and see what you think.

I know this will help you!

Do you want to simplify your life?

Simplicity’s become somewhat of a buzz word these days. Even just reading through blogs at the beginning of the year I was amazed at just how many people chose the word simplify as their word of the year.

But that doesn’t take away from the real need most of us have to simplify our lives.

It’s no wonder, really, because these days we have so many things competing for our time, attention and energy.

11-01 2807


This month’s resource

Simplify your life


Simplify your life is a 10-part e-course and will walk you through a number of important lessons. My personal favourite is the section on setting strong boundaries, which is a mini-passion of mine.

If you feel a craving for some simplicity, this e-course might just be for you. Please take a look at the information page and see what you think.

I know this will help you!

On a scale of 1 – 10, how simplified is your life?


This is my downfall.
This week I was determined to overcome it.
I got myself a new job.
I had been procrastinating about it for some time, but deep down I really wanted to do it.  So I decided to just give it a go, after all there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Now I have my own business selling Natural Cleaning Products.
I thought I couldn’t manage this with my two kids and my home, but it seems like I can fit it all in when I just do it and stop thinking about doing it.  I unfortunately have a problem with thinking too much about the stuff I should be doing.  This week I decided not to think, and sure I have had a few days living in a messy home, but once I get the hang of this new found independence I won’t have the time to procrastinate over what needs to get done.
Having extra spending money for myself allows me the opportunity to really think about what I am spending money on and stop procrastinating about saving money and paying off debt.
I love this new me and I am happy to be embarking on a new journey in my life, without being bogged down in procrastination.  For me, I only achieve something if I just do it and don’t think too much about it.
Thanks Marcia.
Well done, Sam, on taking action and getting your job.
That is fantastic news 🙂

{Sam} on being stressed

How stressed am I?

On a scale of 1 – 10 I would say my stress level is around a 7.

I do worry a lot about paying bills and our financial organisation.

My other stress is my kids. They are both still very little and trying to keep them amused each day whilst getting things done is a huge task.

Sometimes it is all too much.

They can be very loud and disruptive, not to mention the mess they make. I guess I am just an average stay-at-home mum who is struggling to maintain a balance amongst the chaos.

The things I do to de-stress are:-

* Go to the gym 3 times a week
* Relaxing baths
* Time-outs, shopping
* Cooking
* Journalling
* Organising

We all have to deal with some sort of stress in our lives.

The thing that makes the difference is making sure we are aware of how the stress is affecting our lives and do the things we love to do in order to cope.

Absolutely great pointers, Samantha.

The gym one is the most effective for me but alas, the one I find hardest to do, esp now in winter 🙁

The other thing I like doing is cleaning and organising when I’m cross, so when the house is sparkling, watch out 🙂

If you had to rate your stress levels on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being not stressed and 10 being “I’m about to crack”, where would you be?

What are the most effective ways for you to deal with stress?

{Sam} on saying no

Saying ‘no’.

I am not one of those people to say ‘Yes’ to everything.  The problem I encounter is saying no to myself.  Sometimes I can get so caught up with doing the things that I think need to be done and then I forget about the things I want to get done.

For example some days I can spend the whole day doing housework without resting or taking time out to recharge.  This is my saying ‘no’ problem.

I am going to try to work on keeping a good pace when it comes to housework and looking after the family.  If I fall apart then the rest of the family suffers.

Being organised helps with this problem.  When I say being organised I mean preparing meals ahead of time and freezing them to make sure that there are emergency meals on hand for when I am unwell, or want to take some time out to rest or recharge.

Also doing things over the course of the week in smaller doses, rather then having to achieve it all at once helps too.

I am aware of the power of 15 minutes.  I like to get up and work for 15 minutes and then rest for 15 minutes.  I find that I get so much more done when I am not trying to achieve everything at once.

Samantha, fantastic insights – good for recognising that the person you most have trouble saying no to is YOU!

I also love how you know that if you’re not okay and taken care of, your family will also suffer.

Go easy on yourself and say no more 🙂

Chloe on procrastination

This week’s theme is perfect for the busy time I’m going through right now: procrastination.

I’ve noted that the more stressed and overwhelmed I feel, the more I procrastinate. I tend to be a perfectionist as well, to keep some sort of control I guess, and as Marcia says in the lesson, it’s often the main cause of procrastination.

The tips she gives to break procrastination are all great, but my fave is to do the most unpleasant or difficult task first, or as she often says, to “eat the frog“.

I often tell myself, “eat broccoli first, dessert after”, which means the same: once the task you dreaded most is done, you feel proud of yourself and the rest seems almost easy!

I’ve recently noted something very similar in my professional life (again): I had the chance to have a couple days without my boss being in the office all day.

She’s a mayor’s deleguee and we work together all the time since we’re planning a very big event.

We work great together usually, but when she asks for something, “not now” or “I should be doing something else instead” is NOT an acceptable answer.

When she spends the day in my office, I usually don’t do much besides what she asks for. Anyway, last week she wasn’t there for two whole days. On the first one I thought “Oh, the day is long, I can start with some easy tasks, complete some filing and some “relaxing” to-do’s. I deserve some mini-vacation!”

Well, the days aren’t that long actually, and I can’t afford vacations, even mini ones! I ended up not having done much and feeling frustrated for “wasting” a day.

I didn’t repeated that same mistake on the second day when she was gone, and at lunch break I had already written 4 articles for the town magazine, updated the website for the 3 coming weeks and finished the programme for our big event so that it could be printed as soon as she would give me the green light!

I can’t tell you how proud and satisfied I felt compared to the first day.

Lesson learned: I will start my day with the most important and most annoying tasks first, so that if my day gets crazy afterwards, at least this part is done. Filing can wait (not indefinitely, but you get the idea! LOL)!

Take care!


Chloe, I love how you recognised your time challenges both with your boss’s demanding style and with your own internal distractions the first day, but most of all, I love how you self-corrected.

Fantastic job – I’m so proud of you.

Do you procrastinate?
Have you ever thought about why you do so?

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