Elaine St. James Tells All About “Living the Simple Life”

simple live
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Summary: "Living the Good Life" is a self-help book by Elaine St. James. The book focuses on simplifying one's life to increase happiness and reduce stress. It covers topics such as decluttering one's physical space, reducing time spent on non-essential activities, and focusing on relationships and experiences over material possessions. The book encourages readers to live more intentionally and to prioritize what is truly important in their lives.

According to author Elaine St. James, we all have so many possessions now, places to go, and so many things to do that we wear ourselves out just trying to keep things straight. Not surprisingly, the desire to simplify life has become very important in recent years.

Complications Today

Three forces make life more complicated than it has to be:

  • Consumerism. Modern society is shaped by a powerful consumerist drive that makes us want more and more objects that we don’t need. We work harder to afford them and spend precious time acquiring and using them while they are still novel. Then, it’s hard for us to get rid of them even after we have grown tired of them.
  • Lack of boundaries. We find it easier to say “yes” when offered new objects, experiences, and places. And, even when we want to say “no,” we often say “yes” when others ask for the use of some of our limited resources of time. We do so out of guilt or the desire to be liked. Creating boundaries gives you the power to say "no" when you want to.
  • Distractions. Keeping our lives complicated gives us an excuse to avoid serious thinking about our real needs and desires, which might involve uncomfortable changes. This includes improving your ability to be self-aware.

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Simple Ways to Simplify

It is compelling to simplify your life drastically overnight, but you can succeed surprisingly quickly by taking one small step at a time. While it won't be "overnight," by implementing change consistently over time, you will get to the level you want and be stronger.

Set aside some time—a few hours to a few days—to think about your true priorities.

A distraction-free environment
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To find time to think:

  • Get up an hour earlier,
  • stay in the office an hour after work,
  • cut back on watching TV,
  • limit social phone calls,
  • don’t go shopping except for food.

Find a distraction-free environment and write out the answers to a few simple questions:

  • What parts of my life are complicating it right now—and how can I best simplify them?
  • What are the essential things in my life?
  • What can I stop doing so I can focus on my priorities?

One of your most challenging tasks may be forcing yourself to pay attention to your answers. You may be hearing things you don’t want to hear. Your inner voice may be telling you that you need to quit your job, find a new career, or move on from a relationship that isn’t working.

Remember, often, we keep our lives complicated so we won’t have to listen to our inner voice telling us what we need to do to make our lives work better.

Getting Rid of Stuff

Your house is probably full of all sorts of things that you don’t need now—if, in fact, you ever did. One incentive to get rid of the clutter is to realize that if you don’t, your children will eventually be left with the task.

How to get started:

  • Linen closet. Throw out all the worn-out bed sheets. Give away towels that don’t match your current decor and table linens you never use. Many people would be happy to have them.
  • Kitchen. Clear the shelves of all the pots, pans, appliances, and gadgets you have not touched in years.
  • Closets. Sell or give away whatever you don’t care about. It’s OK to keep items you are sentimentally attached to—but if they take up a lot of space, consider just photographing them and keeping the pictures to preserve their memory.

Hint #1: Imagine all your possessions had been destroyed in a fire. Keep only things you would feel you absolutely had to replace.

Hint #2: Ask a friend to go through your things with you and help you decide what to get rid of.

Keeping Things Simple

To keep from rebuilding the clutter you have just eliminated, follow two rules:

  • Rule #1: Keep a 30-day list. If you are in a store and feel a powerful urge to buy something, write it down on your list with the date. Decide 30 days later if you still want the object.
  • Rule #2: Every time you buy something new, eliminate one thing you already own. Better still: Get rid of two things.

Simplify Your Time

Some simple ways to accomplish routine tasks:

  • Household chores. Schedule particular tasks on fixed days each week.
  • Meal preparation. Make a weekly menu plan with a standard meal for each day of the week. This simplifies meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking.
  • Bill paying. Most companies that send regular monthly bills are happy to arrange an automatic payment schedule with your bank. You only have to fill out a form once—and remember to keep enough money in the bank to cover your bills.

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Improve Your Home Surroundings

Incorporating furniture into your home based on the California lifestyle can have numerous benefits, including reducing stress and brightening up any room. The design philosophy of California-style furniture means clean lines, simplicity, and creativity, which can create a sense of calmness and tranquility in your space. By adopting this style, you can create a more relaxing and peaceful environment, which can help not only reduce stress levels but increase happiness in your home.

Not only does California-style furniture have aesthetic benefits, but it can also increase productivity, especially for those who work from home. The minimalist design approach can help declutter and streamline your workspace, making it easier to focus and get work done. In addition, by creating a beautiful and functional space, you can improve your mood and motivation, leading to increased productivity and success in your work.

The "less is more" approach to design can also positively impact your mood, as it encourages you to focus on the essentials and avoid unnecessary clutter. By choosing the right furniture pieces and incorporating them into your home, you can create a visually appealing space conducive to a happier, healthier lifestyle. Whether you want to improve your work environment or create a more relaxing and peaceful living space, incorporating California Furniture can be a great way to achieve your goals.

Elaine Saint James
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Elaine St. James lives in beautiful Santa Barbara, California is a lecturer and author of several best-selling books, including the national bestsellers, Living the Simple Life and Inner Simplicity. She believes in taking the scenic route and takes time to watch the sunset. She is a former real estate businesswoman now turned author and consultant, and her writings have increased in popularity with book clubs nationwide.

Elaine St James - Simplify Your Life

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