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Thursday, April 30, 2015

To live simply is to live clear.



One of the many benefits of moving such a far distance is having to be mindful of exactly what you choose to take with you. It quickly becomes a lesson in simplifying. One that can be kind of hard at first, but yet insanely freeing.

When you've got two small 8'x5x7' storage containers to ship everything you think you'll need to start your life over, you think about everything. Will this benefit me there? Will I be annoyed when I open this box to see I wasted time and space to ship this? Does it serve a purpose to help our life? 

Our home in Pennsylvania wasn't large by most people's standards back East--but somehow, in that townhome we managed to accumulate a whole lot of junk over the years. Every single closet, every single drawer must be opened when you move. There is no more secret-keeping and hiding the 'dirty laundry' behind door #1. Those leftover Christmas boxes that would be perfect for the cookie-making I never did shoved back in the depths of the closet had to be uncovered. The cheap purses and beach bags I'd collected over the last 10 years filled with old receipts were found. The old boxes upon boxes of my things from my teaching days I held onto "just in case" were just collecting dust.

If moving revealed anything to me it's that even if I didn't think so, I had excess. I had excess of most everything and moving revealed all our dirty little secrets about what we really had. What we held onto. What kind of junk was lurking behind drawers and closet doors.

I wish I had kept count, because I can't even tell you how many bags of clothes I gave away. How many baby toys, swaddles, jumpers, all the stuff you keep 'in case' that we got rid of. Endless amounts of things that ended up by curb, things that went to donation, were given to friends and family, and things that got sold.

Every single thing that came with us to this side of the country was a conscious decision as we put it into a box because, mostly, we needed it.

I cannot even tell you how relieving it was when we packed up those two u-boxes knowing full well that everything we were taking had a purpose. There wasn't much excess. There was no room for that.

Unpacking on this side was wonderful and dare I say--easy. When you aren't looking for closets and drawers to tuck things away you 'may' need one day--it's funny, but, you end up with lots of free drawers in your kitchen and open closet space. And it's NICE.

It's refreshing.

I've always talked about simplifying. I WANT TO LIVE LIKE A MINIMALIST! I live in a small'ish house, so clearly back in Pennnsylvania I was "living simply", as my sign boasted on the wall.

But no. We weren't. I wasn't.

To live simply is to live clear, to live easily, with what you need and not too much more.

Do I still have too many clothes? Yes. Are there far too many little girl shoes thrown around the living room? Yes. Have I perfected this simplifying thing? No. 

But did we make a huge, giant leap in the process? Absolutely.

sim·pli·fy

  (sĭm′plə-fī′)
tr.v. sim·pli·fiedsim·pli·fy·ingsim·pli·fies
To make simple or simpler, as:
a. To reduce in complexity or extent.
b. To reduce to fundamental parts.
c. To make easier to understand.

I don't know about you, but reducing complexity is always welcomed in my life.

We may have a long ways to go, but hitting the refresh button certainly helped us reevaluate all that stuff.


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6 comments:

  1. It's so nice to see your posts when they pop up! To hear you are doing so wonderfully. This simplifying - I so need this. we have so much "stuff" but we also have a too big house, two jobs we are not thrilled with, an area that is so expensive, all the cars and things everyone else around has to have - so we have to have it too things. I am so ready to hit the reset. To have empty drawers, or a place to stick the craft supplies that is NOT on our counter or table or chair or ... to be able to take a picnic on a whim, or have a weekend free with nothing to do (now it is always cleaning, picking up, redoing - etc). So happy you and your family are getting so much out of your move! Hugs xoxox

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  2. I am on that exact same page right now. I actually found an article the other day about a girl who saw her fashionista friend's closet, and it was really, really small. The contents of it, that is. The girl couldn't believe it, and eventually made her do the same with her closet. So then, I became inspired and did a lot of ditching of clothes in my closet. I literally took a huge garbage bag over to my niece. I still have a TON of clothes, but it felt so refreshing to be realistic! The goal is to not add more to it, though, hehe. Then I went through my bathroom, I have a ton of beauty supplies and stuff, I filled a shopping bag to get rid of. Next is my kids' closets. It may take me a few months to do the whole house, but I love feeling like we don't have all!the!things! That we don't even need. So anyways, my point is, I love this post and truly try to strive for the same.

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  3. You should check out the book "the life-changing magic of tidying up" by marie kondo, it's on the best-seller list right now and it reminds me of this post! It's become very popular, and it definitely helped me get rid of things, I have such a hard time!! You should check it out :)

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  4. Fun to see your posts! We really need to declutter, the sad thing is we just picked it all up and moved it all to our new house last spring. Sigh. Maybe this summer I'll work on minimizing. :)
    I miss your Instagram! Good to see you here!

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  5. Great post! I try to make a conscious effort to live simply every day because it seems that every time we have too much excess, and think about purging, it gets taken care of for me. :/ It's funny because we have a bigger house than we did before but less stuff. It's nice having empty drawers and cabinets. I hope I never fill them up.

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  6. Reducing complexity is ALWAYS welcomed! I love doing this sort of thing, don't you kind of feel like something has been lifted off your shoulders??

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