For myself, I have been consciously trying to simplify by getting rid of stuff (related to my pledge to embrace thrift), focusing on experiences (over stuff) and continuing to think about my own values, and the things I really want in my life. And the things I could let go of.
A few of those things:
1. (Gulp) A spotless house.
Although I always envy people with these, and wish I could be one of them (oh how I curse those endless piles that only seem to arise in my house). It turns out I am not. I would just way rather use my space to do creative, messy projects, or use my time to go outside or read a book. So be it. I am still trying to accept this about myself, though, and allow myself to be okay with guests seeing my not-so-spotless house. The age-old pressure on the housewife (not that I would use that term).
2. A big house.
Tying into the above point, I have decided I really don’t want a large house. In fact, the more space I have, the more stuff I accumulate, all of which makes me feel a bit overwhelmed, and a lot ill.
3. A lot of stuff.
Once again, taking notes from the above two points, a lot of stuff isn’t necessary if you don’t have a big house to fill, and is a downright hinderance to a person trying to maintain a tidy home (not spotless, mind you). I used to define myself as a pack rat (not a full-on hoarder, but close). I once took a clutter quiz, and got deemed “red alert” for keeping things like old school work (dating back to kindergarten), and newspaper clippings. Anyways, lately, stuff has made me a bit ill. So, I am purging. In the library world, we would call this “weeding” (and the gardening world as well, I suppose).
I never understood purgers. I always considered myself sentimental, and thought it was heartless to throw out something I was given. I now have a new perspective. And I would like to share it. We have been given so much this year by generous friends and family. If my purging can benefit someone else that way, the gifts I have been given can keep on giving. It doesn’t have to stop at me. So, I have decided to try giving away things I still like, not just stuff I have worn out and done away with (note, this is still hard for me, but it is getting better).
Because, living simply means living with less. It means wanting less, and needing less, and realizing we are actually healthier with less. Not because we can’t afford more, but, because we don’t need or want more. I am trying this idea on for size, and hoping it fits.
Now on to those things I truly value. And enough of all this other stuff.
And, you, purger or saver? Weeder or hoarder? Sentimentalist or downright heartless? Any thoughts on simple living?