organized closet

Less is More: How Simplifying Beats Organizing Every Time

July 03, 20245 min read

As a full-time nomad I’ve learned that there is a BIG difference between simplifying and organizing.  While organizing is helpful, simplifying allows us to not have to organize so much. Let me explain why simplifying can be a game-changer for you!

What Does Organizing and Simplifying Mean?

Organizing: When we organize, we arrange or order things in a structured way. Think about cleaning your room by putting things in boxes or bins. You're just moving things from one place to another, like putting stuff in the garage or a storage unit.

Simplifying: Simplifying means making something easier by reducing its complexity. It's about getting rid of the unnecessary stuff, so we only have what really matters. In simple terms, simplifying means getting rid of things so we don’t need to organize them in the first place. Make sense?

Why Simplifying is Better

1. Long-Term Sustainability

Organizing is often a temporary solution. We spend time tidying up, but without simplifying, the clutter and mess will come back. Simplifying fixes the root of the problem by reducing the number of items or tasks we need to manage. This makes our life easier and more manageable in the long run.

2. Reduces Stress and Overwhelm

Having fewer things to organize means less stress. Less stuff means less mental and emotional clutter. A simpler environment and schedule lead to a clearer mind. Instead of constantly managing and rearranging things, you can focus on what truly matters, reducing mental and emotional clutter.

3. Saves Time and Effort

Simplifying saves you time and effort. When you have fewer items and tasks, you spend less time maintaining them. This efficiency allows you to dedicate more time to the things that matter, like fun activities and hobbies.

Examples to Understand


Imagine your email inbox. Organizing it might involve creating folders and rules to sort emails into categories. This helps, but you still spend time managing these categories and folders.


Simplifying your inbox would mean unsubscribing from unnecessary advertisements and newsletters, deleting old emails, and setting up filters to keep only essential communications. This way, you have fewer emails to deal with in the first place, making management easier.

Tips for Simplifying

1. Prioritize

Focus on what is truly important. Identify the items or tasks that add value to your life and let go of the rest.

2. Declutter

Regularly remove unnecessary items. If something doesn’t serve a purpose or bring you joy, consider letting it go. Don’t just move stuff around; get rid of it.

3. Streamline

Look for ways to make processes more efficient. This could mean automating repetitive tasks or using tools that consolidate multiple functions. For example, instead of spending hours grocery shopping, you can order your groceries online and have them delivered.

Motivation to Simplify

Simplifying can lead to a more focused, peaceful, and productive life. By reducing the excess, you create space for what really matters. It’s not about having less; it’s about making room for more of what you love.

Interesting Facts

  • According to the American Psychological Association, reducing complexity and focusing on essential tasks can help lower anxiety and improve overall well-being.

  • A study by the National Association of Professional Organizers found that 82% of people believe that simplifying their lives would improve their quality of life.

  • Research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) indicates that a simplified environment can lead to reduced stress levels and increased productivity.

The Simplifying Challenge

Now that you know how awesome simplifying can be, I have a challenge for you! Try simplifying your life for the next week and see how it feels. Here are some action steps to get you started:

  1. Set Up Your Space: Find a quiet and comfortable place to work or relax. Make sure you have everything you need and nothing you don’t.

  2. Plan Your Tasks: Write down the tasks you need to complete. Break them into smaller, manageable chunks if they seem too big.

  3. Start with One Area: Choose one area to simplify, like your desk, your closet, or your email inbox. Get rid of anything you don’t need or use.

  4. Take Breaks: Don’t try to do everything at once. Take breaks to relax and recharge.

  5. Reflect and Adjust: At the end of the week, think about how it went. Did you feel less stressed? Did you have more time for fun things? Adjust your approach as needed.

Join Simplicity Saturday's Accountability Group

To help you stay on track with your simplifying journey, I invite you to join our Simplicity Saturday's Accountability Group. Every Saturday, we come together to share our progress, set new goals, and support each other in our quest for a simpler, more meaningful life. It’s a great way to stay motivated and get inspired by others on the same path.

How to Join:

  1. Sign Up: Register for the group by clicking here.

  2. Participate: Join our weekly Zoom meetings every Saturday at 10 AM.

  3. Share and Support: Share your successes and challenges with the group and get support and advice from others.


In a nutshell, while organizing is helpful, simplifying should be the ultimate goal. Simplifying reduces the need for constant organization, minimizes stress, saves time, and leads to a more meaningful and focused life. I encourage you to take steps towards simplifying your surroundings and your schedule. You’ll find that the benefits far outweigh the effort.

Are you ready to simplify your life? Let’s do it together! 

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Kelley Gatewood

Kelley Gatewood, the driving force behind Simply No Regrets, is on a mission to inspire women, particularly fellow empty nesters and women starting a new chapter in their lives, to live authentically and purposefully. Embracing a full time, nomadic lifestyle, Kelley travels the country solo in her SUV, combining pet sitting, volunteering, and camping for lodging. Her passion lies in empowering women to step out of their comfort zones, embodying simplicity and intentionality to create lives without regrets. As a coach and digital course creator, Kelley equips women with the confidence and resilience needed to pursue their dreams, passions, and bucket list adventures. Through her own journey of intentional living and daily boundary-pushing, Kelley leads by example, demonstrating the transformative power of authenticity and courage. Email Kelley to invite her to your podcast or blog as a guest, and join her in inspiring others to embrace a life of no regrets, filled with purpose, adventure, and empowerment.

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