The Pursuit of Simplicity

This year was a big year. At the end of July I moved into a new home, I took on a mortgage, and all the other responsibilities of being a first time home owner. So far I have loved having my own space. Moving was a good opportunity to de clutter and this place is slowly starting to feel like a cozy home.

I was pretty ruthless when it came to getting rid of things. Anything that didn’t seem to have a purpose did not make the move. As I’ve been unpacking and settling in though, I’ve started to feel overwhelmed by the “important” things I kept. My new home already has a junk drawer, a clutter corner, and a jam packed storage space. Most of the stuff in these spaces are things I will probably rarely to never touch. They will collect dust and sit unremembered for years, so why did these things make the cut in the first place? What’s so special about all this stuff?

I decided to look through the things that I don’t really have a spot for and here’s what I found:

1) Old broken electronics and other things that can’t just be thrown away. I have been holding onto these because I don’t know where to take them to be recycled or repurposed properly.

2) Home decor pieces that fit in my old home but don’t seem to have a place in this new one. Some of the pieces were expensive, or are antiques I don’t want to get rid of, but also don’t want to store. Where do these things belong?

3) Magnets, pens, other stationary, and school supplies. Things that are useful (?), but also not being used. Things that don’t really have enough value to be sold or given away, but that I also feel bad about just throwing away.

4) Toiletries and make up. Bars of soap, jars of lotion, and other products, more than a girl can use up in a year (or maybe even a lifetime…). I seem to hold onto these things because I figure I may need them eventually, but what realistically ends up happening is I end up buying the products I prefer, and the gifted products keep collecting.

5) Clothes. I think we’ve all got a collection of clothing that either doesn’t fit properly, or that we need to do repairs on to make wearable again. For some reason I just keep buying instead of altering or mending.

I didn’t realize how much this clutter was impacting my ability to feel rested in my home until this last week. I was sitting trying to enjoy a day off, a day I had intended to read and relax, but everywhere I looked all I saw were the piles of clutter that needed to be dealt with, but that I didn’t know how to deal with.

It’s time for some action and accountability, so in the continued pursuit of rest and refreshment in my rhythms and routines, this October is dedicated to thoughtfully simplifying my space, and my belongings.

St. Peter’s Fireside, Rhythms of Life , has a beautiful definition of why simplicity is an important discipline to foster in our lives:

“We [should] aim to live a life of simplicity for the sake of generosity. The discipline of simplicity means not buying into the demands of our consumeristic culture; it means living with less, not more. A simple lifestyle is helpful in cultivating focus”.

If simplifying my space and being mindful of what I have, and what I bring into my life, is a way to foster deeper generosity, rest, and focus, than I am in.

Does moving beyond de-cluttering and into a lifestyle of simplicity sound appealing to you? I invite you to follow along this month as I find ways to de-clutter my stuff, and also as I learn more about what embracing the discipline of simplicity in my life looks like.