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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Simplicity

Via
Around two months ago, I began the process of gathering all of the items from my college house and boxing them up for the journey home. A little clutter here and a little clutter there sure added up quickly. Besides the obvious space that furniture takes up, there were also the items I stumbled upon and asked myself "Did I even use that in the two years I lived here?

The day after graduating from my undergraduate career, I journeyed off for nearly 2 and a half {AMAZING} weeks in Asia. However, when I arrived back to my house in my hometown, the boxes were still waiting for me. After unloading these items, I got to thinking about how in 3 months I would have to go through this entire process again as I make the move to Illinois for grad school. The thought exhausted me. So I decided right then and there, it is time to downsize everything in my life. Clothes. Decor. Books. Clutter. Clutter. Clutter. If I can't remember the last time I wore an article of clothing, then why is it taking up space in my closet? Then, after our basement flooded this past week, I have decided it is time to downsize even more. 
Via
I stumbled upon the above picture last night as I was pondering the subject of simplicity. We live in a society that values material things. I think it is pretty apparent when you look at the considerable amount of money people spend on clothing, decor, beauty products, electronics...the list goes on and on. However, lately I have been reflecting on what aspects of my life are most valuable to me. It really comes down to my faith, family/friends, and travel. When I narrow my list down in this manner, I realize that not a single one of these items revolves around things

While I am only at the beginning of this journey to pattern more of a minimalist lifestyle, I wanted to share some reasons why I am choosing this route and perhaps they will be reasons that resonate with you as well. 

1.) Cut the clutter and get organized.
People who know me well know that I am a little OCD when it comes to organization. (Take a look in my closet someday and you will see that it is color coordinated and arranged by type of clothing.) While I am a generally organized person, the clutter still piles up. When this happens, I, then, have to find other ways to organize the new junk in my life. Why not just reduce all of the excess to begin with and avoid the hassel? To me it makes perfect sense and avoids unnecessary work. 

2.) Save space.
Since I don't foresee myself owning a house in the near future, I need to be able to fit all of my items into a more condensed space...and I am totally fine with this concept. In fact, I like the idea of someday living in a studio apartment above a city with few possessions. I would be more apt to go out an experience life than keep to myself inside all of the time. Another idea of I have had for saving space is asking that none of my family members give me gifts. I have everything that I need and I know I will appreciate the holidays more without that being the focus. 

3.) Save Money. Make Money.
After I sorted through all of my things, I either threw or decided to sell each item. In fact, I am hosting a rummage sale this coming Friday and Saturday. In this case, I am hoping to make a little extra cash while simplifying my life. On the other hand, by also purchasing less items and being more conscious of what I do place in my shopping cart, I also save money. 
Win. Win. 

4.) Focus Less on Material Things
When I have too many material things in my life, I tend to forget the aspects that I value most. One of the areas I often push to the back burner is my faith. I go through little spurts of reading my Bible and diving into daily devotionals. But sadly, it never lasts long. When I think of simplifying my life, I want to go beyond just de-cluttering the "things." I am also contemplating giving up some facets of social media as well. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I have considered deleting my Facebook account for good. However, I soon think of about a million reasons why I need it in my life. Isn't that pathetic? Maybe one of these days I will make it happen. I think I'd even survive. <gasp>

5.) Travel More

I have this romanticized vision of myself traveling all over the world. You can thank my travels to China and Taiwan for that! (Speaking of which, are you sick of me referencing that trip yet?? I'm a bit obsessed, if you hadn't noticed.) It is my dream to live abroad for at least a year of my life. I honestly don't even have a preference where at this point. I just know it is something that I would really like to do when the time is right. In order to make this a reality, it would be much more feasible with less possessions to maintain. I've read about people who have moved abroad and how much more they appreciate the little things in life after giving up much of their possessions. I want that.

As the days go by, I am sure I will continue to add to this list. However, let's hope that is the only thing in my life that I am adding to!

What are some other ways in which you simplify your life?

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