Let's face it...life can be pretty hectic. All the stresses of trying to balance careers, family life, and relationships can be pretty overwhelming. With so much going on, how is simple living even possible? How can you live a simple life when you're surrounded by all the trappings of the 21st century society? Are you intrigued by minimalism but don't think minimalism is for you? Join Dan and Vanessa Hayes on their journey toward a simple life in the modern world. Listen as they share how they simplify day to day tasks, organize their lives, edit their possessions and evaluate their priorities. Maybe you'll discover for yourself what really matters most in your life. If nothing else you'll get a laugh or two as they share their experiences, offer some simplifying tactics, simplicity strategies, and talk with others who are also on the road to a simple life together. Sure, they talk about minimalism and the magic of tidying up too, but this is simple living and essentialism for daily life!
SLT079: Part 2 of Still Simplifying After All These Years
Designing the life you were meant to live is not only possible, it's is something you can take control of yourself and MAKE it happen. A great place to start is by making the commitment to simplify your life. As I said in the last episode, simplifying your life is one of the most impactful things you can do.
As we bring Simple Life Together to a close, we wanted to offer a little update on where our simplicity journey has taken us over the last three years. This is Part 2 of that update. Do yourself a favor and listen to Episode 78 first ;)
This is what will most likely be our final update episode, so if this is your first time listening in, I'd suggest you go back to around Episode 65: Strategic Simple Living to make sure this episode and Episode 78: Still Simplifying After All These Years Part 1 make sense. Of course if you want in on ALL the goodness, just start at Episode 1! It'll be worth it, guaranteed!
Thank you all so much for listening in! It has been a great ride and I'm sure we've learned much more from you than you learned from us. Please...go out there enjoy your... Simple Life Together!
Comprehensive list of past SLT Episodes
SLT078: Still Simplifying After All These Years Part 1
Simplifying your life is one of the most impactful things you can do to ensure you're living the lifestyle you've designed for yourself. The life you were meant to live.
In this episode of Simple Life Together, we offer a little update on where our simplicity journey has taken us over the last three years. And...it has been amazing!
This is an update episode, so if this is your first time listening in, I'd suggest you go back to around Episode 65: Strategic Simple Living to make sure this episode and Episode 79: Still Simplifying After All These Years Part 2 make sense. Of course if you want in on ALL the goodness, just start at Episode 1! It'll be worth it, guaranteed!
Comprehensive list of past SLT Episodes
SLT077: Simple Answers to Listener Questions
It's been a while since our last episode and many of you said you wanted an update. So, we posted on the Simple Life Together Facebook page and the Edit & Forget It Facebook Group and asked for your questions. Since we're in the thick of the Holiday season, many of you had holiday simplicity related questions. Others were looking for lifestyle answers for their questions, and many just wanted to know what we've been up to. Well...we sat down for over an hour last night and just kinda "freestyled" it. Read More...
Topic: Simple Answers to Listener Questions
Update on Vanessa's S.I.M.P.L.E. Organizing System Course
Vanessa launched her S.I.M.P.L.E. Organizing System course to a small list of people and it went really well! That said, we're not really happy with how the course is currently hosted on an external site.
The content is proven and system works, but we’re just not happy with any platforms we’ve tried. They’re too expensive and seem clunky. So we’re considering just making the course an “in your Inbox” course, so people don’t have to log into an outside website, remember another log in, hope the site isn’t slow, etc. People are comfortable in their Inbox. They go there every day. And it would lower the cost of the course dramatically. So I’m working hard on that, to bring Vanessa’s amazing system to more people in a simpler way.
If you want to be in the loop with Vanessa’s course, the S.I.M.P.L.E. Organizing System, you can sign up for updates at GetOrganizedSOS.com and you'll be the first to know when things are ready to go!
Simplifying The Holidays
- Tips on storing your Christmas decorations and paraphernalia...for next year
- Giving experiences instead of things
- How to keep the holidays simple
- How to be present...NOT perfect...for the holidays
- Tips on simplifying cleanup after the meal
- Creative non-material gift giving ideas
- Favorite holiday traditions
- What to tell people when they ask what gifts you'd like
- Favorite podcasts, audio books, blogs, simple living role models you find inspiring, iPhone apps as gifts
New Year's Goals, Resolutions
- Setting goals and resolutions for the New Year or any time
- How to stop procrastinating
- Simplicity when no one is watching or listening
What We've Been Up To
- Expectations vs. Reality as we transition
- Updates on our move, status of the house build, etc
- How Sunshine, our son, and his mom are dealing with our move
- Our teardrop camper, favorite trips this year, planned trips for next year
- New business ventures/challenges for moving Vanessa’s organizing business
- When we're getting our nationally syndicated talk show on HGTV and/or Oprah (we loved this question!)
- Changes/updates to our exercising routines or smoothie making/juicing
So, we answered your questions...how about you answer one for us? What are your plans for the New Year? How do you plan on incorporating more simplicity into your life? We’d love to know!
We've had lots of great comments on iTunes...thank you so much! The show went a little longer than we expected, so we'll be sure to read the comments on the next episode.
You can download a PDF of our show prep, too.
Resources and Links:
You can help support SimpleLifeTogether.com by using our Amazon Affiliate Link for any purchases you must make. Thanks!
The Pursuit of Perfect by Tal Ben-Shahar
Comprehensive list of past SLT Episodes
SLT076: Simplifying to Sell Your Home
There are so many reasons to simplify. But one very lucrative reason to simplify is to increase the sale price of your home and set the stage for a quick sale. So, let's talk a little about simplifying to sell your home.
To do that, we’re going to share some of our experiences with doing exactly that over the last couple of months, so if you’re selling your home...or know someone else who is...or if you’re simply looking for a fresh start in your current home, maybe we can shed some light on things that worked for us. Read More...
Topic: 4 Key Points To Keep In Mind When Simplifying To Sell Your Home
We recently had a fantastic sales experience when selling our home in preparation to move to East Aurora, NY.
Our home went up for sale the evening of the 15th of May...and before our realtor was even able to put a sign up in the yard, it sold on the morning of 16May! The first 3 couples that looked at the home all put in solid offers. The first 2 for $10k over asking price! We accepted both and had a back-up offer throughout the entire closing period (yeah)! In the end, it sold for about $35K more than we had originally even hoped for!
So as we mentioned in the last episode, we’re moving from the suburbs of San Antonio, Texas to the little village of East Aurora, NY, home of America’s simplicity movement back in the late 1890s and early 1900s.
Well, back in December of 2014, I was doing some backwards planning and realized that in order to build our new home on schedule, the right thing to do was sell our house in San Antonio in the Spring of 2015. So, we planned on listing at the start of the real estate season...1 May.
But in the mean time, all through Jan, Feb, March and April, I had been working out all the curriculum, scripts, testing the right platform, etc, for Vanessa’s soon to be released training product, Get Organized SOS, which is an intensive online course that teaches her proven system to organize any space. All this while prepping our house for sale. Vanessa and I planned to work on things in the background during this busy time, and launch a beta or test program in the late summer.
But while meeting with my marketing coach in April, he challenged me to launch the beta NOW. I insisted that now wasn’t the time...
Vanessa was actually in the middle of attending her week long annual professional organizers conference...
Plus we were prepping a house, listing a house, selling a house, packing to move and moving into a new place over the course of the next 6 weeks.
And, while Vanessa and I had all the material ready, we had exactly NO videos done! Plus, some of the video conferencing platforms were new to us. We needed more prep time!
No...now was not the time to launch!
But as any good coach does, he gently nudged me (actually, it felt more like my old paratrooper days as he kicked my butt out the jump door of the plane)! I called Vanessa and she said “Let’s go for it!!” No guts, no glory, right? So we launched the beta, shot the videos, and...it was awesome!
But, man, it was hectic!!! The beta lasted all of May, and all the while we were prepping our home and the World Shedquarters for sale. Our home went up for sale, sold...done!
Trouble was, now we had to find a place to live.
So Here’s How It All Went Down...
There were 4 key simplicity points that led to that great sale experience, our ability to to juggle a "crazy busy" schedule and still stay sane. And candidly, you could glean something from each one of these points even if you’re not simplifying to sell your home, but just looking for a fresh start or some positive change in your life.
So here goes!
Key Point #1: Make sure your desires are in line with your life plan, your goals are in line with your desires,
SLT075: 4 Critical Areas You Need to Consider When Downsizing
Back in Episode 65, we talked about Strategic Simple Living and shared a few great tools you can use to plan your simple living strategy. Specifically, we used the 4 Direction Ideation Tool of Looking Outward/Inward/Backward/Forward as lenses for developing your strategy. We shared how we used this tool when downsizing for trying to find the perfect area for us to live.
But when we came to a decision point, we used a different framework for evaluating our final choice...and actually choosing where we're moving to. So, armed with all we learned from the 4 Direction Ideation Tool process, we did our final analysis through the lenses of the 4 major areas of our life: Home, Work, Community, and Self. And yep, we're moving! We don't have a hard and fast timeline yet, but we actually put our money where our collective mouth is and bought a lot to build on! Read More...
Topic: 4 Critical Areas You Need to Consider When Downsizing
So there are 4 critical areas you need to consider when downsizing, moving, simplifying, or making any other major change in life if you want to achieve and maintain some kind of congruence. They are Home, Work, Community, and Self.
I borrowed and tweaked some definitions for these from a course I took through Wharton taught by Stew Friedman. But the true key is that you need to define these areas for yourself. What works for you might be completely different from what works for us and that’s fine. Again, the goal is to achieve some congruity between these areas and create what Dr Friedman calls “4 Way Wins.” A 4 Way Win is an activity that has a positive impact on each of the four major areas of your life. Again, those are Home, Work, Community, and Self.
Continuing on with our example of looking for the ideal place for us to live, you can listen in to the episode and hear how we looked at those 4 critical life areas and how they impacted our downsizing efforts and our simplicity journey.
So the big announcement for us is that we're moving to East Aurora, New York. Yeah...we know...we're the family that is actually moving TO the Buffalo, NY area! But we know exactly what we're getting into! I'm from Buffalo and it'll be great to get back there after 31 years away, and living all over the world. And the little village of East Aurora embodies so much of what we're looking for in a small town community. If you listen back to Episode 65 you'll be amazed at what we said we were looking for, and what East Aurora has to offer. All except "mild winters," that is!
"Anyhoos" (as Vanessa would say), here's a quick video of some of the history of East Aurora and it's influence on simplicity. You'll see right off why we're attracted to it!
If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.
So we've mentioned these four major life areas. Let’s address these one at a time. If you listen in to the show, you'll see how we used each of these to evaluate where we’re going to call home.
The first area is Home. The home, or family, can include the people (or animals) you live with, your family of origin (parents, siblings, and others), or your family of creation (spouse, partner, significant other, children, and others). We include our physical home too. For us, we want that to be an outgrowth of our relationship with those close to us, and serve as a setting for interaction with them.
The second area is Work. Now, this could be different for everyone. For most people, this is your job... what you do for a living or, if you're between jobs, what you're aiming to do next. If you're in school, then consider school as part of your work domain. You can include here the wide array of things you do as part of your career.
Then we have Community. Community can mean friends, neighbors, social groups,
SLT074: 3 Simple Living Habits You Can Use Right Now
When it comes to simple living, we can all use a few more tips to help us along. We’re going to share 3 more simple living habits you can start using right now for a better today and tomorrow.
One of our most popular shows was Episode 55, 7 Habits for Highly Effective Simplicity. We passed along what we feel are the top 7 habits you can develop to bring some serious simplicity into your life. That show was shared thousands of times...over 2300 times on our Pinterest page alone! Well, today we’re going to share 3 more. So let’s jump right in! Read More...
Note: Get a copy of Supermom vs Super Mom for yourself or gift it to a Mom who needs a little "less" in her life. It's less than $5 and will save you countless hours and effort!
Buy Supermom vs Supermom
Topic: 3 Simple Living Habits You Can Use Right Now
Habit 1: When searching for a solution, start with yourself first. Chances are, just like Dorothy with the ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz, you had the power all along.
Tap into resources you already have. Shop in your own closet, pantry, etc…
When you work to solve your own problems, you are exercising your innovation muscles!
Too often we ask someone else for an answer. At least Google it before you ask.
By looking outside yourself, automatically you established a need...a need that didn’t exist. That makes you a consumer instead of a producer and plays right into the hands of the marketing messages we’re subjected to 3-5000 times a day.
Habit 2: Often, establishing a simplicity habit involves establishing a framework that helps you deal with things in a predictable manner. Try experimenting with different frameworks to see what works for you! Here are 3 we use:
The W-I-N Framework: One I’ve been using more and more lately is the WIN framework. WIN stands for “What’s Important Now” and Vanessa first heard about it in Greg McKeown's excellent book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.
The Eisenhauer Matrix Framework: You’ve probably seen this one before, but just imagine a simple foursquare matrix. The vertical axis plots importance and the horizontal axis plots urgency. So if you picture the four squares, the top/left square is Box 1, Urgent & Important box. The top right is Box 2, Less Urgent & Important. Box 3 on the bottom/left is Less Important & Urgent. And finally, Box 4, Less Important & Less urgent, is on the bottom/right. The folks over at Eisenhauer.me did a great little video:
Isn’t that the truth! “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.”
The S.I.M.P.L.E. Method of Organizing Framework: Another framework is Vanessa's S.I.M.P.L.E. Method© of organizing which she breaks down in great detail in her book Super Mom vs Supermom: Simplicity Tips for Busy Moms Here’s an outline:
• What are your needs?
• How do you want your space to look, feel, and function like?
• What’s working?
• What’s not working?
• What are your limitations of the space?
• Draw or take pictures of the space.
• Take measurements.
• Clear your space one area at a time.
• Work from left to right and top to bottom.
• Sort into general categories…like with like.
• Don’t edit yet! Make the piles first to see what and how much you have.
Pare Down and Edit:
• After you make piles then tackle one pile at a time…one item at a time.
• Decide: Do I USE it? Do I LOVE it? Do I NEED it?
• If yes…KEEP it!
• If no…LET it GO!
• When you’re done editing, remove unwanted and unneeded items immediately!
• Assign zones.
• Keep like items with like items.
• Put it where you use it.
I miss this podcast so much!!
Even though they've been gone for ages, I still listen over and over again to this podcast. I am so happy that they've acheived their dreams. I wish there were some more updates though. Miss you guys!
Miss you guys!!!
So glad for these updates!!!! ❤️
Really enjoying this show
I've been on the simplicity path for years, ever since I read Circle of Simplicity and fell in love with the idea. I don't think it was until listening to this podcast that I have heard people on the same road. It does not look like you are recording podcasts any more but I'm working through the episodes. Think I'm on episode 21. Anyway, I've got my own edit 2016 going on. I'm not keeping track of the numbers but I'm making better progress than ever.