I am a minimalist at heart; I love things neat, clean and organized. But if I were being honest I’d also have to admit that I’m also a packrat that likes to buy things and often my stuff piles up and it’s too overwhelming to organize.
It’s like having a devil and an angel on my shoulder. Buy, buy, buy. Purge, purge, purge.
And lately, most days the buying wins.
All this stuff is starting to make me feel claustrophobic, like I’m suffocating, and I don’t know about you, but I kinda like breathing.
At the beginning of last year we made a huge effort to simplify and live a life of less, and somewhere between moving, traveling to South Africa and adopting Ephraim that all got pushed to the wayside.
A few weeks ago was the first time I brought my reusable bags to the grocery store since our move, I’ve just felt so bogged down with other stuff that I haven’t even been able to remember to bring them.
Being that overwhelmed is a sign to me that some simplifying needs to take place.
For the most part, we can all use some cleaning out of our lives (our homes and our schedules) so I thought I’d share a few ways I try to go about simplifying.
TAKE STOCK OF MY PROJECTS
I start by figuring out what is taking up all my time. I wrote out a list of projects I have on the go and others that I have in the queue. It was then that I realized that it’s just too much. I think this is good practice for anyone who feels like they may have taken on too much, it may not seem like a lot when it’s in your head but once you start writing it down you might realize how much you actually have going on.
LOOK AT MY SCHEDULE
This is probably the easiest one for people to go overboard on these days. We are always adding appointments to our calendars, many of them are great things to do but it usually just boils down to over commitment. I had a week like this a little while ago, somehow I had completely booked up my week and I was busy every evening eight nights in a row. For an introvert that’s a disaster waiting to happen. Thankfully the week went okay but I was feeling stressed the entire time because of it. I’ve now tried to be more intentional with making sure I leave a few evenings free a month.
Like I shared last week, sometimes we have to say no to things that are good things, maybe even really good things, that way we can make room in our lives for the great things. Recently I turned down a really great opportunity, at another time I would have said yes (well, I almost did now), but the truth is I have other projects on the go, we are going camping soon and I want to relax during that time and on top of it all I’ve got a four-year-old daughter who is going through a stage where she gets anxious when I go away. At another stage, this could have been a great opportunity but right now it would have just been overwhelming and I knew I would regret it.
To read a little more about simplifying stress and commitments you can read my post from last year about it.
EVALUATING MY STUFF
We recently finished our basement which means it was time to finally pull out all the bins of items we’d been storing for the last few months. I found the best way to see how much of a particular thing I had was to group all the like items together. Now that my craft room/what will be the guest bedroom is finished I gathered all my crafting stuff up from throughout the house and put it in that one room, and boy, did it make me realize just how much stuff I have and has made my decision on what I want to purge and what I will keep a lot easier.
I feel as though this fight between wanting more and wanting less at the same time will be a life long journey, but I’m hoping that on most days I find myself content with what I have and grateful for the life God has given me.
Linking up with Ember Grey.