What kind of balance are you looking for? Do you feel the need to declutter or do you want to minimize?
To me, simple living is all about ease and freedom. Personally, I’m a work in progress. I have a house full of organized stuff and while I keep it reasonably decluttered, I still feel the need to minimize.
Part of my journey in simplifying my life has been inspired by my work as a professional organizer; and by the experience I’ve had with helping and encouraging clients to pare down their belongings to only what's most important.
By working with people of varies ages, incomes and backgrounds; I’ve learned just as much from them as I hope they've learned me.
Each client has his or her challenges but they all had one main thing in common when they first reached out to me - they were experiencing some level of overwhelm. They were typically either drowning in clutter or were ‘crazy’ busy with responsibilities and lacked the necessary time/priority management skills to get off the treadmill of their life. Regardless of their personal back story they needed to regain some balance.
Most people who reach out to me admit to feeling both full yet empty. They’re exhausted and worn out from trying to keep up with the day-to-day yet feel empty and unhappy with all the stuff in their lives, be it excess material possessions or jam-packed schedules.
While spending my days helping other people deal with the physical and emotional clutter that is weighing them down can be personally rewarding, it can also be physically exhausting and emotionally draining when I don't take my own advice and keep my own life in check.
This is one of the main reasons why I decided to proclaim this year as one of change. In order to take care of my own wellbeing and better serve my clients, my own life needs to be free and simple. I needed to go one step beyond decluttering and actually minimize it.
Even as a professional that works in the field of organizing, it is taken me some time to recognize the importance as well as the difference between 'decluttering' and 'minimizing'.
To declutter is to remove unnecessary items from an untidy or overcrowded place.
Clutter itself is defined as scattered or disordered things that impede movement or reduce effectiveness.
On the other hand, to minimize is to reduce or keep to a minimum.
Minimalism therefore is a style characterized by extreme simplicity.
So, where do you fit in to the above? Do you want to remove the unnecessary from a busy home and calendar or, do you wish to make your life super simple with only a select few possessions?
Most people fall somewhere in the middle, like me.
While I don't aim to live a minimalistic lifestyle, I do wish to live simple one. One that is intentional and balanced based on my own personal values and priorities. I wish the same for my clients. I never direct or instill my own values but instead educate and encourage them to find their own answers within themselves.
Creating a simple and less stressful life doesn't happen overnight. That said, with each passing day I find it's easier to transition between work and home life activities because of some of the simple things I've put into practice in my own life.
Each day I strive to replace negative habits with positive ones. I take the time to both meditate and practice yoga. I’m also in the process of simplifying my personal daily ‘to do’ list, my wardrobe as well as my family menu plan. (I will be writing more about these things and future posts).
Give some thought today about what you can do to improve the balance of your day-to-day. Maybe you can take some small steps forward towards a simpler, less stress filled life.
I would start in one room or one corner of a room and declutter some surface stuff. Box up the items you no longer want and then make a decision as to what you want to do with those items. Ask yourself two simple questions.
Do I need this?
Why do I have this?
Let the answers guide you to your next steps.