Well, this is a topic that has generated some serious feedback! Thank you to all who have liked, shared, and submitted comments and questions. And a special thank you to my daughter, Heidi, for sharing her journey to a simpler life, which is as much an interior adjustment as anything. Seriously Girl is here to address the topics that appeal to you, and because of your continued interest, let’s talk some more about this idea of a simpler life, starting today with the stuff. Remember to comment below or send your thoughts/questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have moved too many times to be hoarders (8 major moves in 45 years), and moving is, admittedly, a natural time to pare down. Before our most recent move to Tennessee we took load after load to the dump and to the Goodwill, and donated box upon box to the library (my pastor husband had enough books to fill a room). As I was unpacking here on the other end, I realized I still have work to do in unloading more stuff. What motivates me to carry on the good fight is the thought of my kids having to deal with this stuff after I’m gone. My friend AJ took a hard look at her stuff and was suddenly horrified by the realization that she had kept EVERYTHING through the years. The second “aha” moment was when it occurred to her that her kids might just choose to light a match rather than tackle the years of accumulation. AJ has been diligently working her way through the basement, the barn, and the rest of her house to get rid of the things she needs no more. She’s been at it now for a couple of years and I’m really impressed by her perseverance. She is my hero.
I’d guess that nearly everybody struggles on some level with the battle of the stuff. Sometimes the most overwhelming part of getting rid of stuff is figuring out where to start. What if every room needs attention, and there are bulging closets at every turn? I’m prioritizing my spaces by the easiest to the hardest – I figure if I can have some early success it will motivate me to press on to the end. Are you with me? Pick the easiest room to declutter and do the pile thing: pitch, donate, keep. Take a deep breath, and try to honestly answer the question, “do I really need this?” If there is a lot to dispose of, make trips as you go so you don’t get lost in the mess. I know there are many approaches to decluttering, but the point here is to just do it. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details and never get around to starting. Don’t let that be you!
Which project will you attack first? I’m starting in the guest room. I can go through it without disrupting the rest of my life and fairly easily check it off the list. If you are interested in decluttering in the pursuit of a simpler life, take it a room at a time, celebrating and sharing every victory. Take a picture and share it with the class! For starters, pick the easiest room in your house, do the deed, and congratulate yourself heartily. I look forward to hearing how it’s going – whether your stories include successes or struggles. This is a judgement-free zone.
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist of an abundance of possessions.” – Luke 12:15 (NIV)
P.S. Coming on Friday: Is procrastination keeping you from paring down? Or for that matter, on any project you know you want to tackle?