There's no doubt in my mind that more of us are heading to that minimalist place, a simpler lifestyle, a pared down existence. We're gazing at our dusty collections with less fondness, our endless accumulations have become burdensome, and we're more than weary of moving one overwhelming pile to make room for yet another. That serenity that emerges when there's less junk and fewer gewgaws and hoo-has cluttering every conceivable surface is becoming more appealing, and the word's getting out there as you share your victorious stories over coffee, on your posts, in conversations together.
Spurred on by each other's victories, we're stepping out of the tight, suffocating cocoon our stuff has slowly woven around us. We say 'no more' to this albatross around our necks, 'adios' to being smothered to death by our endless paraphernalia. We're taking care of business, paring down, givin' it away, filling dumpsters. We're breathing deep sighs of relief, for our white space is growing and our margins are expanding, inside and out. We're more relaxed 'cause we feel free-er and lighter and way less encumbered.
And what we do end up keeping are objects that have meaning to us - we use those items or we believe that they add a significant value to our lives. These are the goods that make us smile. They give us a warm sense of satisfaction, for they are worth the real estate they consume. And yes, they deserve those highly-prized containers, creative boxes, cute little bins, and fabulous baskets that just beg to be put to good use.
If you care about why we got to this culture of hyper-consumerism, this futile hoarding that affects our health, our families, and our wellbeing, these three little vignettes below will be worth the investment of your time. 32 families and their homes were explored and analyzed by archaeologists. Really.
And their enlightening observations are worth noting as we continue casting a critical eye on what we possess. Sorting through what has come to define us. Showing our excess the door. And then organizing what is needed in ways that are pleasing and helpful.
The end result? More joy-fueled time and energy to live life well, to love people whole-heartedly, to spend our days reaching out, serving lavishly, joyfully sharing the faith we hold dear. You know ... all those things that truly give life meaning.
Linda, I am in the process of editing a book that I have written about my grief journey after my marriage of 40 years ended. One of the sections addresses---paring down the "Stuff" from 3000 sq ft to now 1600---it has been an interesting process. I also recently posted on my blog about the "Lost and Found" that resulted from this paring down. What I have discovered is the tangibles--I can live without and do not plan to ever go back in the direction of LOTS OF STUFF. The most difficult part has been the loss of the intangibles--it has put a spotlight on what is truly important in life.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing this with us, Lulu. I'll be heading over to your place to read what you've discovered! Have a restful weekend ...Delete
Yikes! This is so overwhelming but at the same time inspiring me to think about what things come into our home that are so un-needed! Yard Sales and Goodwill...where would they be if we didn't have stuff to get rid off?ReplyDelete
mmm ... yep, we do have that propensity to gather along the way, don't we! Thanks for dropping in this afternoon, Barb ...Delete
What a great post and a great set of videos! We each watched it, discussed them on our apartment's balcony Friday evening, and promptly set about to cleaning, organizing, and just got back from a trip to Goodwill. We're also making a pile of "To Be Scanned" so that we can reduce our paperwork that we hold onto. Thanks for a great post. I hope we can get a copy of this book through our library (I just put in a request).ReplyDelete
You guys are so impressive! It's not often that you hear about couples living this out hand in hand ... and early on in marriage, too. What a healthy lifestyle you're mapping out for your future. I just LOVE it!Delete
I was able to get this book and enjoyed going through it. Their main points were made in an opening chapter, so most of the rest of the book was spent skimming, but the pictures of the various homes told amazing stories and were at times insightful. Who knew how cluttered your refrigerator could be an indicator of the clutter throughout your home.Delete
I also enjoyed this blog post recently. It's nice seeing financial blogs giving importance to simplicity. http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2013/09/03/declutter-and-save-your-sense/
Thank you too for your kind words! We are blessed to be unified in our desire to create a home that is a positive environment.
Yep, a picture's worth a thousand words! And I'm going to check out that link, Jonathan. Always appreciate a deeper look, another perspective!Delete
Linda, wow. So I just watched all three video clips. As an organizer that does work with real people, (not just tell people how I do it :) I can truly say that all the info was spot on. Like LuLu, we too have right-sized from 3300 sq ft to (the appraisers couldn't agree whether we had) 1600 or 1800 sq/ feet- (an added-on, unheated back room and a screened-in side porch were sources of contention :) ) and we love living with less. We love the togetherness we have found as a family of 4. Our move last month to this home has spawned all sorts of ideas to change direction with my message on my blog to one of contentedness. Thank you so much for sharing this post on our Organize It! linky page. I'm with you. Stuff does not equal happiness. I'm adding this site url to my Inspiration (blog roll on my side bar) and adding it to our Organize It Pinterest Board--this message is important. What great hope and encouragement you share here!ReplyDelete
Blessings to you as you make your home!
'Stuff does not equal happiness.' YES, Leslie! And now, to figure out what that looks like right smack dab in the middle of where we are.Delete
I'm glad you dropped by this morning!