Many times I get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in our home. I long for things to be simple and functional and to be surrounded by beauty. In that type of environment I find that I am inspired, able to be creative and eager to work hard.
However, does every item in our home fit that description?
So how do I work on getting there? How do I keep our home from collecting more and more stuff?
I've always liked the phrase "one thing in, one thing out" in theory anyway. However, my life & schedule don't always work like that. Nonetheless things collect and I'm realizing that life needs an on-going rhythm in which we continue to de-clutter our home.
A few weeks ago, a family of six stayed with us for a few days. This family is from Seattle and preparing to move to Thailand in September. I was intrigued, to say the least, by how you prepare a family of six to move across the world. They are planning on setting up their new home with local furniture so most of their belongings will be traveling with them in the designated amount of suitcases that they are allowed by the airline.
And here I thought packing up our van for a week at camp was difficult.
As Becky and I talked about the process that they have gone through something that she said really stood out to me. She mentioned that as they began preparing for their move (knowing that it was still a long time out) they began going through their belongings and dwindling things down until they just couldn't possibly get rid of anything else. At that point they still had too much. So about 6 months later they re-visited things and worked on dwindling down their belongings until they couldn't possibly get rid of ANYTHING ELSE.
Surprisingly enough they continued to find things that they could live without.
Can you guess what they did 6 months later?
Now their move is just around the corner and they are ready! They also realized how much stuff didn't really matter as much as they had originally thought.
What stood out to me was that they went through a gradual process and little by little they were able to part with more and more stuff to reach their goal. Now they are able to do something that they have been dreaming about...like moving to Thailand, how cool is that?!?
We aren't planning a move across the world but in my quest to live simply and create a home that is inspiring rather than filled with frustration, I took this concept and ran with it.
I took a few minutes (ok more like 20) to evaluate my closet. I store all four seasons worth of clothes in my closet and I knew that there were items that I never wear and probably will never wear. And who wants to open up their closet every morning and be faced with so many choices many of which you know you won't pick?
I kept telling myself that I didn't have to make a decision about every piece of clothing but simply remove the items that I could easily live without. After all, I could always re-visit my closet in 6 months and might find more items that I could live without.
With just a quick refresh I removed some items and went on with my day. This is what my closet looked like when I was done.
It may not look a whole lot different but I could definitely tell the difference by seeing the pile on my floor with items to give away.
I guess if I am learning anything about my home & organizing it is that all of it is an on-going journey and by creating rhythms that work for me (like re-visiting my closet every 6 months) I am working towards my goal of living a simpler life.
Thanks for the inspiration Becky! You can check out more of this awesome family's journey here.