To understand what “living simply” is, you have to know what it is not! Simple living is about getting rid of clutter and organizing what is left in your life. When you get rid of clutter, you have more room to truly live in your space. You don’t have to make your home totally functional. You can make a mess. You can have a collection of ABBA posters, sea shells, rugby balls, art and sculpture, or even a one hundred and twenty five piece tea set in your living environment. The key to simple living is not having too much stuff! and quickly identify the items that you have not used in years. It’s time to declutter.
Too Much Stuff
It’s EXCESS that gets us into a life style that is complicated, involved, and restrictive. If you go through your house, room by room, drawer by drawer and closet by closet, you can quickly identify the items that you have not used in years and the duplicates of things that you don’t use at all. Whether it’s clothing, shoes, ties, old paperwork and files, cast-offs from loved ones, flea market finds, toys and games, knick-knacks, souvenirs from all fifty states and more; if you truly want to simplify, you have to decide what you need and use and what is just taking up space.
Let it Go
Get rid of the clutter, simply. Set aside some time and choose a starting point. Take everything out of a cabinet or closet, group it into piles of similar items, decide what you can life comfortably without, and get rid of it. When you place the items you’re keeping back in their space, organise them, either by size colour or use, and if they lie flat, put them in a small container. As a guideline, you can ask yourself, “do I need this, or have I used this in the last 12 months”?
Items such as dishes, tools and gadgets, towels and sheets, need to be looked at in terms of “how much is too much?” If you have 10 sets of sheets dating back to the 1950’s you can deceive yourself and say that they are now called “mid-century modern”, or you can get honest and say that they are worn out and can be recycled to make insulation or some other excellent product, and donate them!
The Next Step
The next step in the Simplify System, once you have organized your closets, shelves, drawers and cabinets, is to take a very careful look at the items in each room. Ask yourself if the room is spacious and relaxing, or too full of hard-to-maintain furniture and decorations. There will be obvious choices for the trash bin, like worn out ottomans and chairs, but do you really need the sofa with the loose arm, or that 100 year old antique buffet which can’t be moved, and whose drawer sticks, so it’s not usable?
Keep what you really love and use, and let the rest go. Take your old stuff to the recycling center, or have a big garage sale. Next thoroughly clean your space and place your treasures in it, arranged in ways that let you relax and be happy.
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