Thursday, 26 July 2012

Simplifying possessions

(From Josh Becker's article "The 10 Most Important Things to Simplify in Your Life)

"Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention.  They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values.  If you will invest the time to remove nonessential possessions from your life, you will never regret it."

This is the number one area I need to work on right now.  My house is bursting with stuff and I can't stand it.  Since Juliette was born 6 weeks ago, I've done an initial sweep of the house, and I've collected two massive piles in the garage - one for garbage, one for donation.  But I'm nowhere near where I want to be.

I'm using a couple of rules when it comes to de-cluttering the house:

1.  Empty each room by half.  To do this, put everything in the room in the middle of the floor and make two piles from that - half to keep and half to go.  I have a strong feeling that 50% of all my stuff is superfluous.

2.  Keep only what is useful or beautiful.  Having something simply to fill a corner is clutter.

3.  Keep the number of things standing on the floor of a room to less than 10.  This is an original idea of mine.  I remember going into a friend's house that always feels open, clean, and simple.  In her living room, I counted only 7 things: a bookshelf, a couch, a standing lamp, a piano, an armchair, an ottoman, and a side table.  It was revelatory to me to realize that is the key to a simple feeling in a room.

4.  Stop keeping things I think I might use one day down the road.  If I'm not actively using it now, don't bother holding onto it.  If I get rid of it and then really need it one day, I can always borrow it from someone or buy it again.  Although I don't like the idea of buying something twice, I'm holding onto too much that I never use again.  I will have to sacrifice one idea (wasting money by buying something twice) for a superior idea (simple living.)

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