I’ve been thinking a lot about simplifying our lives. We live in a culture that exonerates busyness, that carries the message – both implicitly and explicitly – that the busier we are, the more worthwhile and important we are. Our culture also tells us that having lots of stuff, especially lots of expensive stuff, will make us happier.
I don’t believe either of those things.
So I’m slowly trying to simplify my life. One step at a time, I’m trying to pare things down to make more space – both mental and physical – throughout my life. I want mental space to think and to dream, instead of having every moment filled with thoughts of what I could or should be doing, and obligations that may or may not leave me feeling better for having completed them.
And then there’s stuff. With two homeschooled children and two adults working from home, our small house often feels like it’s bursting at the seams. We have talked about looking for a bigger house, so we have we have more space. But I want to see something: if we really reduce our possessions, will our physical space seem big enough? A smaller house is certainly more environmentally friendly to run (e.g., it takes less heat to warm an 1100sf house than if we moved to a 2000sf house), is less expensive to own, and takes less work to maintain.
So each Saturday, I’m going to spend a few minutes clearing some of the chaff from my life. Today I had a goal of gathering 10 things to donate. Instead, in a short amount of time, I gathered almost 50. It was embarrassingly easy to do.
It felt really good to remove these items from various closets throughout the house. It’ll feel great to give them to someone who will actually use and appreciate them. And I can already feel a little bit more space in the margins of my life.
I’m looking forward to doing this each week.