When Less Becomes More

Good Afternoon Beautiful People,

The last couple years simplicity, minimalism, and (the life changing magic of) tidying up have taken a hold of my heart, schedule, life, and home.  As I recall my husband came home once to find an entire room full of tubs filled with items that would be later sold, donated, or trashed.

He simply greeted me with ‘I guess if it’s not nailed down it’s going huh?’ I laughed only to shly reply in return ‘Yes… about that– could you unscrew the hanging pot hook on the front porch we haven’t used that since we moved here.’  Luckily my husband is (usually) the most patience man and loves me truly.  I know this because he endures my antics and constant ‘Hey I have an idea'(s)

Nearly all the books I read last year were about pairing down, scaling back, and coming to the place of wanting less and being grateful for what you do actually have in the present.  Less rush.  Less weekends spent cleaning, repairing, and accumulating items.  Here me say it is okay to want some stuff.  I want some stuff.  It isn’t okay though.. to think that when I or you attain that item (for some of us on a credit card(s)) that I will be happier, fuller, and more satisfied with my life or if we are doing accumulating items, status, and busyness to impress others.  The human condition will always have us wanting, searching, and hungry for more- the real work comes when you practice gratitude, mindfulness, and become wise with what you choose to accumulate or fill your schedule with.

I have always been a frugal person.  I love a deal- like —- LOVE— a deal.  This resulted in the accumulation of items I found at thrift stores or garage sales.  Here is the lesson I have learned though since embracing minimalism –  it isn’t a deal – it isn’t money well spent.. if you don’t love it, need it, or use it

A different set of questions are asked now when I go to purchase something even if I think it is the steal of a lifetime – if I don’t need it- if I wont use it- or if I don’t love it- it stays in the cart, on the shelf, or rack.

The next stop after curtailing or halting your spending – is taking a look at what you have, want to keep, need to use, donate, recycle, or sister throw away.

It can be overwhelming.  I get that- I’ve been there.  Start with a room, corner, or closet to get some momentum.  It can look like a bomb has gone off mid tidying but be not afraid- this too shall pass.

I recently finished When Less Becomes More by Emily Lee and she speaks to this phenomena that happens when we pair down our items, schedule, home, and the busyness of life.

I’ve learned, above all, that less is truly beautiful.  That happiness and contentment can’t be manufactured, bought, subscribed to, or achieved by adding more to our lives.  It’s the counter-intuitive action of stripping away the excess that allows us to discover beauty and joy in the good lives we already have.

It’s easiest to start with going through your own items first- because after all you know.. well you best.

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There is no need to go out and buy organizational bins, folders, labeling systems, or whatever else Target sells the first week of January in line with the ‘New Year, New You (house, life, body)’ movement.  You can instead recycle baby wipe bins, plastic salad containers, or later be able to use a bin you already have because you will have ended with less items to fill them.

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I love to.. and feel free to mix and match bins (most likely this is a little rebellion on my part for my mother being so and still to this day a little too much ‘matchy matchy’ for me).

Pretty soon before you know it- you will be walking by areas of your house that you have given a face lift with hopefully little to no money thinking man- this looks like a place of solitude, rest, and a source of relaxation vs clutter, reminder of jobs to be done, and or a source of stress and overwhelm.

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Once you feel like you have tackled your own items, schedule, and stomping grounds you can then go on to ‘help’ the other people in your home (if you have them) with their items.

Despite popular belief children in general (at least mine) like to go through and pick out the things they truly enjoy, and most of the time are happy to part with things they don’t. Last Spring the kiddos (and mom) went through their items one by one (obviously this took several weeks- because you know- kids)and downsized enough that a closet that was once use to store bins of items was able to be the new home and mini playroom for their kitchen.

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They love being able to shut the door and have their imagination come alive in their mini restaurant.  I love that.. plastic fries and plates no longer are tripping hazards for us in the formal entry way and their culinary oasis is out of sight out of mind for this momma.

So here’s the deal friends…how do you feel when you come home?  Is your home inviting?  Are you surrounded by stuff or treasures?  Is your home a place where you can rest, unwind, and relax from day?

As always – if you find you don’t like your answers – I hope you have the courage to start again– start with a corner of a room- start with filling up one small trash bag.  Today is a new day- and don’t forget it’s the only one we are promised.  Do one thing today your future self will thank for.

That’s all until next time.

Hippie

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