79 episodes

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!

Simple Life Together Dan Hayes & Vanessa Hayes, Daniel Hayes

    • Education
    • 4.8 • 199 Ratings

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!

    SLT 001: An Introduction to the Simple Life Together Podcast

    SLT 001: An Introduction to the Simple Life Together Podcast

    An Introduction to the Simple Life Together Podcast

    Be sure to subscribe in iTunes and leave a review in the iTunes store! It helps others find the show! Thank you!

    Welcome!  We've waited a long time to get started on this and we're so excited to finally "get it out there."  So, in the show we give you an introduction to us, a little bit about our background, what “simple” means to us, and then we talk about our format for the show.

    We shared the major "pillars" of our life plan, highlighting that our focus is on the following:



    - Faith

    - Family

    - Friends

    - Finances

    - Future



    Ok, so here’s how we envision the Format of the show:

    Every episode, we’ll each pick topics for discussion. Vanessa’s will likely focus on organizing, the household or her business and Dan's will likely be centered around technology, business or DIY projects. Together, we’ll also focus on family issues/kids, our relationships, future plans, designing our lifestyle, etc.  These are just some areas, but we haven’t set any boundaries because life has endless topics.

    We’ll also have a segment where we each pick one thing per episode that we want to highlight...something that’s had a positive impact on us since the last show.  It could be an app, an experience we had, a conversation, a product, whatever. We tried to come up with a name for this thing, whatever it is, and in the end we just decided to call it ”The Thing.”

    Our commitment for the show:

    - Nearly complete candor...but some things you know you can’t just put “out there"

    - Little sugar coating because life isn’t always sweet and besides, we’re low carb eaters

    - Imperfection...because nobody's perfect. Perfect is the enemy of really good.  Our goal is to produce a really good (but simple) show.

    - Open to feedback and new topics!  We want you to be part of the show because that’s how we all learn

    - Not too much structure...because we’ve both had jobs that pegged-out the "structure meter" and now we like our lives to be a little more “freeform.”



    A little bit about us...

    - We both have our own businesses, which really helps with designing our simply life together

    - Dan is retired from his first career and now does  Business Development Consulting helping niche business with their branding, media presence, and strategic planning.

    - Vanessa is a Professional Organizer and helps clients simplify and organize their lives, at home and at work so they have more time to focus on what’s truly important to them, too.

    So that’s what we do for a living and I’m sure we’ll share more about ourselves as we go along.



    What Simple Means to Us

    - Actually having time to enjoy life with those we love

    - Living within our means

    - Not being slaves to our possessions

    - Embracing the concept of “less is more”

    - Living more deliberately

    - Focusing on our endstate and how we want our lives to be in the long run

    - Less  distress (negative stress), more eustress (positive stress)



    The Thing Segment:

    Vanessa:  Not compare herself to others

    Dan:  Quote from Antoine de Saint Exupéry “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”





    Closing Thoughts:

    We hope you join us on the journey

    If you like the show, please subscribe and consider giving us a good review in iTunes

    If you know someone else who might enjoy the journey too, send them a link to SimpleLifeTogether.com

    There are links to our Twitter and Google Plus profiles and other contact info on the left side of the website. We'd love to hear from you !

    Be sure to leave comments below or send us a voicemail.  Comments, questions, thoughts, ideas, suggestions...they're all welcome!

    • 25 min
    SLT002: How Routines Can Simplify Your Life, Simple Ways to Get the Most out of Search and Research

    SLT002: How Routines Can Simplify Your Life, Simple Ways to Get the Most out of Search and Research

    Well, we got past our first episode and in Episode 2 we discuss how using routines can help simplify your life, and some simple ways to get the most out of search and research.







    Routines help make things predictable, let you better plan you time, and make things more efficient. So, we'll be sharing some tips on how to tap into that power so routines can simplify your life, too! When something is new to you or you need more information, most people turn to Google to find answers. But are you using Google as effectively as you could? We'll share some of our tricks to help you become a wizard at search and research! Read more...









    Main Topics:  

    Vanessa's Topic: How Routines Can Simplify Your Life

    Two Common Reasons People are Disorganized:







    Lack of Defined Priorities or Life Goals:  Without purpose you'll continue to run around aimlessly allowing others to dictate to you what's important.

    Lack of Routines:  Overwhelming reason for disorganization but having set routines is one of the greatest tools to helping you get and stay organized.





    Key Components of Creating Routines w/Family, Co-Workers or Employees: 







    Establish EXPECTATIONS: Example: You want your kids to clean room, make the bed, get ready for bed, clean up time, play time, etc.

    SHOW exactly how to get the task done and WHY.

    PRACTICE with them! Repetition and recency (do task often and not too far apart...daily) are keys to learning a routine faster.

    Establish a system of REWARDS and CONSEQUENCES





    Morning /Nightly Routines:







    Morning and Nightly Routines: Your day really starts the night before!

    Pack lunches.

    Set out clothes and iron if necessary (I use a hanging shoe organizer to set out 2 weeks worth of clothes).

    Set yours and your kids' alarms clocks.

    Have kids shower at night...it's calming and one less thing to worry about!

    Prep your coffee and set out your vitamins and medications.

    Set the breakfast table.

    Check school backpacks and folders.

    Review your calendar and school schedules.

    Create a checklist and post it on the door or common area for all to see.

    Prep dinner: review your menu, take out freezer items to defrost.





    Paper and Mail Routines:







    Check mail daily and sort it right away...don't let it pile.

    File...don't pile.

    Use and Action File to organize your daily papers.

    Use a scanner to keep digital files instead of paper files.

    Save documents in Evernote or Dropbox.

    Sort through your kids folders daily and be scrupulous.  Don't keep what's not important.  Use a keepsakes bin to store your child's favorite papers.





    For a more detailed list of routines and links to helpful tips, check out the notes Vanessa created for a special presentation she gave to a group of moms: http://getsimplifized.com/routines-briefing

    Dan's Topic:  Simple Ways to Get the most out of Search and Research

    We all use the web to Search and do research, but many many of us were never really taught good search skills.







    When you’re doing research, know that many search engine results are skewed positive simply because of advertising and affiliate efforts.

    First few results on a page, the ones typically bolded or with a highlighted background at the top (and sometimes the bottom) of the page are paid advertisements.

    These may provide you lots of information, they're also there to lead you to buy the product.





     Many other top links are what’s called Affiliate Links.







    Affiliates get a small percentage of the sale of a product.

    • 52 min
    SLT 003: Why We Can’t Let Go of Our Clutter, Backing Up Your Digital Information, and A Little About Dropbox

    SLT 003: Why We Can’t Let Go of Our Clutter, Backing Up Your Digital Information, and A Little About Dropbox

    Why We Can't Let Go of Our Clutter, Backing Up Your Digital Information, & A Little About Dropbox

    Be sure to subscribe in iTunes and leave a review in the iTunes store! It helps others find the show! Thank you!

    In Episode 3 we discuss reasons why some people can't seem to let go of clutter and some tips that may help you decide what to keep and what to let go.  We also talk about some lessons learned from a catastrophic hard drive crash which sparked the "Your Backup Strategy' strategy segment, and we wanted to sing a few praises for Dropbox. Dropbox is one way to save documents to the cloud and sync them across all your devices simply.

    Main Topics:  

    Vanessa's Topic: Why We Can't Let Go of Our Clutter



    We feel the need for abundance. We are a consumer-driven society and conditioned to think more is better...it's all about quantity over quality.





    We've lived a life "without" and find security with having more. Living through the Depression, growing up in a modest or poor  household, or surviving a rough financial patch can play a huge role in why folk don’t ever want to “live without” again.





    Forget Justin Bieber...we're more influenced by Justin Case.  You know, "I might need this someday...just in case." Some folks want to be ultra-prepared for any scenario. It's ok to be prepared, but try to be realistic...especially if all that stuff is getting in the way.





    We feel a sense of obligation. Many feel a sense of obligation to keep every gift. It's ok to hold on to things but you do have the ability to say no.





    We fear losing the memory if we get rid of something. Many of us have had wonderful and meaningful experiences throughout our lifetime but we fear that if we get rid of a gift, we’ll forget that person, experience or important time in our life.





    We want to pay tribute to our past experiences.  Like from our childhood, past careers or travels.  It’s easy to go overboard on collections but try to be mindful of collecting too much.





    We've spent too much money and feel like it's a waste if we give it away. Let's face it. We've all probably spend a good fortune on things that we never used or never really liked. Boy does that sting! Chalk it up as a lesson learn, be more frugal and research before purchasing another product and find comfort in donating your goods to folks who are less fortunate.





    We're holding on to the past. We tend to keep things that remind us of times when we were happy, the most confident, or the most successful.





    And sometimes we hold on for a deeper reason...like allowing our things to define our self-worth...or define our happiness.  Many folks believe that shopping and having more makes them happier but often times it’s just a temporary fix to “fill the void” of something else that’s missing in their lives.



     Simple Steps to Help You Let Go:



     Start with the space that's causing you the most grief or anxiety. This could be the home office, the kitchen, the laundry room, the bedroom etc.





    Then start small. Pick a small area to work on like a drawer, a shelf, a cabinet, one spot on the kitchen counter, one filing drawer.  You wouldn't eat an elephant in one sitting right?  You'd take small bites and eat a little at a time.  (Not sure I like that analogy...the thought of eating an elephant is stomach wrenching but you get the point right!)





    Then ask yourself these questions when deciding what to keep or not to keep:



    Do I love it?

    Do I need it?

    Do I use it?

    When was the last time I used it?

    When do I plan on using it?

    Can I borrow it?

    Can I rent it?

    What's the worst that will happen if I got rid of it?

    • 43 min
    SLT 004: Benefits of Organizing & Having Less, and Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out

    SLT 004: Benefits of Organizing & Having Less, and Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out

    Benefits of Organizing & Having Less, and Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out

    Be sure to subscribe in iTunes and leave a review in the iTunes store! It helps others find the show! Thank you!

    In Episode 4, we discuss Benefits of Organizing & Having Less, and Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out.

    Main Topics:  

    Vanessa's Topic: Benefits to Organizing and Having Less

    You'll save money, have less debt and be better able to handle tough financial times.



    It's pretty simple: less stuff  =  less money you'll have to spend...especially on off-site storage rentals!

    You’ll cut down on buying duplicates when you’re organized and know what you have.

    You’ll save on late fees and interest rates if you have a good system of tracking and managing your bills.



    You'll have more usable space.



    You'll be able to properly utilize desktops, countertops and your dinner table. And maybe your garage too!

    Less stuff means you can use the spaces in your homes for their intended purposes and not just for storage.



    You'll help avoid "analysis paralysis."



    We talked about this in Episode 3. When you have too much stuff it's difficult to make decisions.

    With less choices, there’s less time wasted.



    There's less to clean and maintain!



    Average home 3 bedroom home has over 350,ooo items in it!

    Knick knacks and all those other things require lots of dusting, laundering, storage, cleaning and maintenance...and lots of money!



    You can invite guests over without hesitation.



    Wouldn't it be nice to be able to have them over without feeling embarrassed or in a rush to clean it up?

    Having simple routines and "a place for everything and everything in its place" makes for easy clean up.



    You'll be more productive.



    Start getting organized by having scheduled routines(mentioned in Episode 2): laundry, housecleaning, meal planning, etc.

    Helps ensure the “must-dos” get done...plus allows more  time to focus on other priorities or those...“want-to-dos.”



    You'll  have better concentration.



    Piles of papers, heaps of laundry and sinks full of dishes are haunting reminders of stuff you still have to do.

    It’s hard to concentrate when your home and office are a mess.



    You'll save time.



    The average person wastes about 55 minutes per day searching for things...keys, files, tools, clothes, etc. That's a lot of time over the course of a year!

    Again, having "a place for everything and everything in its place" helps speed up the time it takes to clean up or find things.



    You'll have a sense of control.  Control = Confidence = Nicer You!



    Knowing where things are and when important tasks will get done creates confidence.

    Most folks are ashamed of their clutter and therefore ashamed of themselves.



    You’ll have less guilt



    Don’t you feel guilty when you buy something when you know you really didn’t need it.

    It's way more empowering when you can say “no” to those buying impulses and not bring in more stuff.



    You’ll have more Joy and be more content.



    Striving for more and waiting for the day that you’ll strike it rich will deplete the joy you could be experiencing every day.

    You’ll never be content if you’re always comparing, striving for more stuff, collecting, etc.



    You’ll have more time and better relationships.



    You'll have a feeling of calm and peace of mind.

    Dan's Topic: Backing Up Your Digital Information: Some Weird Sounding Simplicity Tools That Might Just Help You Out

    Occam's Razor: “Of two equivalent theories or explanations,

    • 46 min
    SLT 005: The One Secret To Accomplishing Anything and the Laws of Simplicity

    SLT 005: The One Secret To Accomplishing Anything and the Laws of Simplicity

    The One Secret To Accomplishing Anything & the Laws of Simplicity

    Be sure to subscribe in iTunes and leave a review in the iTunes store! It helps others find the show! Thank you!



    Feedback:



    We got some terrific voicemail feedback from John Bukenas from  LetsReverseObesity.com. John's podcast Let's Reverse Obesity is fantastic! John is doing great things chronicling his weight loss and is helping so many others along the way.



    Thanks, John, for listening, subscribing, and taking the time to send us some feedback.





    We also got a very, very nice comment here on Episode 004 from Marshall Ponzi. Thank you Marshall for your kind words and you’re so right...it IS amazing what we can do without. And, I think we’d agree that doing without all the extra allows us to truly appreciate what we do have all the more.



    Marshall also has a terrific podcast over at InboundInFocus.com that gives great inbound marketing tips for business owners. If you’re a business owner you’d be well served to check out Marshalls podcast, Inbound In Focus, as well.







    Main Topics:  

    Vanessa's Topic: The One Secret To Accomplishing Anything

     "I'm often asked what my secret is to being organized and how I get my clients to become more organized."

    The single most important component to becoming organized is commitment.



    So why is commitment to change so difficult?

    1. It’s not a priority....at least not yet.

    2. Change is hard...even when you know it’s good for you.

    3. It takes a lot of work...and that can be daunting and discouraging.

    4. Unfortunately, often times people have to reach some sort of “breaking point.”



    Vanessa highlights some of her efforts to change:

    Finances



    $24K in debt



    Electricity and phone cut off

    Creditors hounding her for payments.







    Fitness



    40 lbs heavier than her current weight



    Combined, the struggles led to:



    Low self esteem

    Depression

    Low energy



    Keys to her commitment to change:



    Stopped playing the victim

    Committed to a lifestyle change vs “quick fix”



    Results?



    Paid off debt in 2 years

     Rebuilt credit score

    Kept the weight off

    Better level of fitness than in high school (20 years ago! Wow! She’s OLD!)



    Vanessa’s Truths:



    Truly believes “If I can do it, so can you!”

    One key is to be realistic about the change you want to make...and understand that it’s a process...not a quick fix.

    Be patient, systematic and strategic...otherwise you might do something you’ll regret or resent.

    One positive example is a blog she subscribes to, “Becoming Minimalist” by Joshua Becker.  I like the word...Becoming...because it implies that it’s a process.



    So, here are some points to ponder if you are thinking about making a change in your life:

    1. Change your mindset...it’s a lifestyle change not a quick fix. Just like my progress with weight loss and fitness.

    2. Change doesn’t happen overnight.

    3. Realize that you may get discouraged at the task ahead.  But don’t sell yourself short.  You can do it! Again, think of it as a process and break it down into bite-sized chunks. (organize one space at a time...pay off one bill at a time...try one eating lifestyle or fitness plan at a time)

    4. Realize that you may “fall of the wagon” and that maintaining your lifestyle may be difficult.  Pick yourself back up, and hop back on the wagon!

    5. Once you get in the groove, you’re probably going to get addicted! Ask Dan...I can be a real grouch if I've missed a few workouts and if my house gets too cluttered.  That's because I've gotten addicted to the res...

    • 52 min
    SLT 006: Going “Paperless” and Making the Most of a Small Living Space

    SLT 006: Going “Paperless” and Making the Most of a Small Living Space

    Going Paperless & Making the Most of a Small Living Space

    Main Topics:  

    Going Paperless: Guest Interview with Brooks Duncan from DocumentSnap

    Be sure to subscribe in iTunes and leave a review in the iTunes store! It helps others find the show! Thank you!

    We had a fantastic interview with Brooks.  There's no doubt he's way out front as a lead expert in the field of going paperless.  Here is a list of questions we asked Brooks (you definitely should listen to the podcast because he gave some great answers and advice!):

    So, Brooks...who are you and how do you make people's lives simpler?

    Is it really possible to go paperless? What about...







    Tax paperwork (Brooks sent IRS guidance, too.  Links below.)

    Receipts

    Contracts

    Other docs that people have been "married to" forever?





    How do you recommend people get started with going paperless?

    What does the workflow look like, or are there lots of different workflows?

    Your article "We Are Our Own Worst Enemy When Going Paperless" is fantastic! Can you describe some of the challenges people face when going paperless?

    What equipment do you recommend and why?







    Mac

    PC

    Scanners

    Mobile device/apps

    Etc...





    Your Paperless Document Organization Guide and it's an amazing value...do you have other courses?

    How can people sign up for your newsletter?

    What is the best way for people to reach you?

    Website: documentsnap.com

    Twitter: @BrooksDuncan and @DocumentSnap

    Facebook: facebook.com/documentsnap



    Dan and Vanessa Discuss Tips for Small Home Living



    Planning Our "Dream Home"...five years of planning

    Taking Action...designing, saving, paying it off and then...

    Oooops! Rethinking Our "Dream Home"...reasons for our change of plans: affordable green living, time to travel and visit family, not wanting to be slaves to possessions



    Intro to Cece Reinhardt + Brenda Daugherty from the blog “On the Green Road”







    Downsized their lives

    Totally eco-refurb’d an Airstream remodel and lived full-time in their RV

    Now they’re transitioning to a 500 sf house and planning a complete eco-refurb of that, too!

    They blog about health, travel, self-sufficiency and as they say, “anything else that blows our skirts up.”





    Guest Post on On The Green Road from Katie White from the blog DIY Mother: “DIY Tricks to Make the Most of a Small Living Space” (Note: We added some tips, too! Our additions to this are Italicized)



    The main theme was:





    
Reducing your footprint doesn’t have to be uncomfortable



    She also pointed out some of the advantages of living in a Small home. They are :



    Use less land and raw materials

    Cost less to heat and cool

    You’ll be less tempted to fill them with things you don’t need.  Ties right into the spin off of Parkinson’s Law we talked about back in Episode 004...“Storage requirements will increase to meet storage capacity"



    Kitchen Keypoints:





    Small kitchens can be noisy, crowded little pressure-cookers, breeding hot tempers and short fuses.

    Paint your kitchen in light, cool shades to help everyone relax, and if possible, coordinate the entire kitchen in two or three colors to avoid a busy, disorganized vibe.

    Another simple trick to increase the visual space in your kitchen is to try open shelving instead of cupboards.

    We have raised Euro-style cabinets off the floor so you can see under them...it adds visual depth. Also, a mix of solid frosted glass cabinet doors help, too.

    Tall upper cabinets really max out your vertical storage space.

    • 1 hr 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
199 Ratings

199 Ratings

ChefDataHound ,

Helpful tech and home organization advice

Two smart, likeable people provide helpful perspectives and advice on keeping life simple by focusing on what gives your life meaning, but also on being more productive — and less stressed — by creating systems and routines.

ImCindy S. ,

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!

IsaD2019 ,

Miss you guys!!!

So glad for these updates!!!! ❤️