Friday, October 17, 2014

On Living Simply: Clutter

"Thanks makes now a sanctuary." ~Anne Voskamp

In a culture inundated with more....more options, more gadgets, more programs for our kids, more food choices, more clothes, more stuff, more busyness...I find it is just MORE stress.

Simplicity is about the paring down.
About choosing only what you need and valuing those items that make your life easier.
Thankful for those things which are blessings to you.

As I am giving away and organizing spaces in our home, I realize that having less clutter just evokes a more peaceful home.
More of a sanctuary from a world that is fast and complicated.
Clutter= stress.
It takes up space, it takes up time because you have to move stuff around for MORE stuff to come in, and that time not spent on clutter gives you freedom!

A simple home is one run by thanks.
So what are you truly thankful for in your home today?
What items do you need to make like run smoothly?

I have a rule that I mostly abide by: When one thing comes in, one thing goes out.
That is true of everything! 
If I buy a new book, one goes out.
If the kids get new clothes, just as many are donated.
If I find a new kitchen gadget, I look through my cupboard and give away something I haven't used in years.

There is FREEDOM in having less.
There is way less WORK in having less and you have a home that runs more efficiently.
Which gives you the time for MORE.

More of the good things,
Time with your kids.
Time for a craft you love.
Time for that home cooked meal.

So, when I am de-cluttering a space, I ask myself these questions...

1. What items have sat here for over a year without being used?

2. If my house and belongings were all gone tomorrow, what would I need to just survive?
{I know this sounds funny, but I try to go down to that level, plus a little more :)}

3. If something is sentimental, can something else go?

4. Are there open spaces?

This is a big one.
You know you have pared down enough when you have extra space in your closet, bookcase, shelf.
Don't panic and think you need to fill it up!
There is supposed to be extra space.

I think simplicity looks a little different for each of us because we are all unique.
So don't compare yourself to other people who might be living your "idea" of a simple life.
Create your own special, wonderfully unique picture of simplicity.
After all, it's about living smaller in order to live larger.



Anonymous said...

Thanks Julia! I live this idea, if only my hoarder husband was on board;) lol. Happy Friday. Marissa

Nadine said...

For the past few months I have been going through every room, closet, and cupboard getting rid of a lot of clutter and reorganizing everything before putting it back.
It feels so good not to have the burden of all that extra stuff! When I recently dropped off a load to charity the guy asked me if we were moving, as there were so many bags...I laughed and said, nope just downsizing and simplifying!

Julian said...


Kristina said...

My neighborhood and myself are having a yard sale tomorrow, I said everything out there is not coming back in. So living this simple "uncluttered" life is so much more freeing. Love your posts!

Unknown said...

Wonderful post Julia! I always think of how people lived long ago and what they could get by with. Nothing like today, but I try to live with less. I do not like to have to store things away, so always ask myself before I buy anything if I REALLY need it! Most times the answer is no!

Emily van Rijn said...

Thanks for sharing. Just what I needed!

Anonymous said...

I also live by the concept of "one thing in, one thing out." Another think is if I have not used it in a year, it is gone. But more than this, my husband and I are thoughtful on what we keep, because we really may use it. We have a ton of lumber, building supplies, that we have found come in quite handy at moments. If we did not have these items, we may have to buy them. Being simple requires us to think of how much money we have, how many items we have, what we choose to do with our time. All the points you have made. Living simple is definitely intentional. THank you so much for sharing.


Oh...perfect timing Julia!
that's what I need....

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