I have learned that living simple really isn’t simple at all – especially when I was brought up believing that the more things I had, the happier and successful I’d be. It took some time for me to learn how to start living a simple life, slow down and find ways to simplify my life. I had to dig deep and figure out what was important to us. It took changing my mindset on how we wanted to live.
When it comes right down to it, we discover that the things we value most in our lives are not our material goods. Our gold watch is nice, that designer dress fits fabulously, the new car is just wow…but these things have no real meaning in themselves.
“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important – so you can find happiness, fulfillment and freedom.”
Sometimes it takes a while for us to recognise the most valued things in our life.
- What are my real valuables?
- What brings meaning and purpose to my life?
- What is most important to me?
- Who are the people who are most important to me?
Simplifying can sometimes be overwhelming. The amount of stuff you have in your life and the number of things you have to do can be too big a mountain to tackle. But you don’t have to simplify it all at once. Do one thing at a time, and take small steps. You’ll get there, and have fun doing it. In fact, you can do little but important things today to start living the simple life.
De-clutter Your Life
Go from room to room and write down the specific areas that need cleaning. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by it all so that you give up before you start. Plan your de-junking campaign realistically, do one small job at a time and then cross it off your list.
Use it OR Lose It
This isn’t as drastic as it sounds because there really are three ‘use it’ categories: the useful, the beautiful and the sentimental. Collect some cardboard boxes and begin! As you evaluate each article ask yourself these questions:
- Is it beautiful?
- Is it useful?
- Does it have sentimental value?
The first two are easy to decide but watch this last one. Are you sure you absolutely can’t live without this item or is this nostalgic streak the very one that is creating your clutter problems? Be ruthless and decisive or you will never get to lose anything. And don’t sabotage yourself in ‘stuff’ and end up just throwing it all back into new piles.
Also read: ‘Empty that Wardrobe – Simplify Your Life‘
Once you have cleared an area, stop, rest and then do some more another day. Gradually you will fill boxes for charity, recycling and simply throw.