Oh to drop everything and change your ENTIRE lifestyle because you need to breathe! THAT, for us, was what simplifying was about. Being physically cleared of so many “things” and “stuff” — and emotionally feeling like we needed to keep up with everyone around us but never feeling truly and deeply content after making the purchases and piling on the crap we bought.
Don’t confuse me saying simple life and simplifying with not owning anything at all. I’m not talking about barren walls and closets and cabinets. I’m just talking about NOT stuffing those walls and closets and cabinets to the brim! It’s about having just enough, having just what you need, and having some breathable space leftover. Not having SO much to clean up and keep up with. The point is– you should about know everything you own. There shouldn’t be bins and tubs and drawers of “WOW I didn’t even know I had that!” or “I don’t remember this at all!” — that’s not good! We just recently before Autumn was born went through a HUGE full-house upside-down purge of crap and basically we went as far as going through old paperwork to just get rid of things we don’t need. I don’t need my W-2’s from a restaurant I worked at six years ago!? It shouldn’t even be in my home. To the trash you go, and that giant purple bin of paperwork not ONLY shrunk way down, but I was able to throw other things in it to save room in another place of the house!
When we live more simply when it comes to tangible things and enjoying and appreciating simple pleasures in life…we quite literally breathe better. There’s less mess, less to move around and sift through. How is it emotionally beneficial to simplify your life and belongings?
1. A cleaner SPACE is less work to clean up and keep up with, giving you your TIME back! When I walk into my office (my office has a crib, a toddler bed and a twin bed in it– I share an “office” with THREE children’s beds… that sounds crazy until you see how simple and stress free we have our life set up!!) — I immediately feel MORE productive and so unbelievably motivated to go, go go — and if it’s “messy” it takes me NO time to clean up! My work environment is made up of one white children’s desk (but it’s not TINY, it’s normal sized, lol!) from Target and two white three-shelf bookshelves from Walmart. All white — clean and simple. I have completely reduced the amount of folders, notebooks, office supplies, etc that I have and it makes the shelves look VERY concise and easy to navigate. Anything that’s not book/notebook shaped, like little things/camera parts/lenses, etc go in a basket that look pretty on the shelf and stay all together where they belong. I have so much more TIME because I don’t have to stop and clean or look for things! Same goes with the living room, one simple big coffee table with kids toys organized underneath, two baskets for diaper stations (one for Autumn one for Ellie) that include wipes, wipe refills, diapers, diaper cream, etc..so when a mess is made or I need to vacuum, that’s it. That’s ALL I have to do. Kitchen counters are generally pretty clear and empty. We try to keep surfaces clear and aesthetically pleasing so we have peace of mind knowing we aren’t drowning in clutter…we feel like owning less gives us more time for what matters most. When people win their time back, they are emotionally better not just for themselves but for everyone in their family.
2. We’re not experiencing buyer’s remorse from TJ or Target anymore. Did I write we? I guess I mostly meant ME, lol! The thing is, we’re gonna buy new clothes occasionally. We just are! We work hard and think we deserve that every now and then, but we donate clothes a LOT and like to feel like we’re contributing in that way at least. However, when we used to come home with new lamps, new decorations for the coffee table, new bathroom decor, etc — things we just got sucked into and didn’t need ..we experienced later on feeling like, gosh, did we need that? Because this season something cuter is there and I feel like I need to justify adding that to our home, too! How much will I regret not buying it!? THE TRUTH? We ALWAYS felt better and more powerful when we said no to something, even if we realllllly liked it, later on knowing we didn’t need that decoration to be happier in life. I love SO much of that stuff and of COURSE I will buy something from there again..but I also am paying more attention to what specific colors and style I want to last forever in our home as we slowly build our “collection” of decor. We totally love and admire our friends with awesome home decor and style, and the ones who can change it up color scheme and theme wise a lot– that’s amazing and you guys are GREAT at that but we know we’re a one style for the next 15-20 years kind of family (I’ll give you a hint..it’s probably coastal textures and colors– big surprise huh!!?!) — and there’s nothing wrong with either! As long as you don’t feel like you’re throwing money down the drain and having MORE items to dust and clean 🙂
3. Owning less and knowing exactly what you have keeps you in control of your own life, instead of getting lost in the chaos of too much, too many and too hard to keep up with. We really don’t give ourselves enough credit for how much we all balance day to day. Whether you have a spouse, a cat or dog or 10 kids…all of us are in this super high paced intense time in the world where even if you WANT to disconnect, you’re still connected somehow. We’re always still checking notifications, emails, we’re plugged. We’re taking care of our bills, our kids, our priorities. So honestly…………if you have the choice to gain control over any possible aspect of your life, right now, don’t you want to take it? Subconsciously, knowing in the back of your mind you have all of those THINGS under the bed or stuffed in the closet and there’s just THERE, it can kind of eat at you! And it’s WORSE when you’re missing things. You REALLY don’t wanna buy another one of those hats from Target but you can’t find yours, so you buy it, then the next week it turns up. Or, you NEED that tax form from last year to get that new job/car/whatever but you just throw your papers into piles into bins. We all know we can’t control our lives, but we can ALL control our THINGS!!! And if this brings an element of emotional relief and peace to you, why NOT carve out time to start doing this!?
Now, go throw some crap away!!!! JUST kidding hahaha! Some people really probably think I’m telling you to live in a box with white walls and three outfits. NO, no no. Just simplify! Clear your mind and your emotional well being by not being burdened by too many things in your home and life. It’s worth it, trust us!! 🙂