A Simpler Life

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How do we accumulate so much stuff?

When I got married and moved into a new home, my husband was surprised at all my stuff. He was shocked that all this could come out of a tiny apartment. We laughed and just tucked things away and forgot about it.

In a larger living space it is easy to have the tendency to think one can get more because there is more places to store it.

As I get older and as I view some of the reality TV shows that display homes piled from the floor to the ceiling with things, I realize how unimportant it is to have stuff. It would be easy to turn the channel and say I’m not that bad. It is okay to hold onto the treasures I have in my home. This stuff is my prized possessions! Keepsakes that belonged to my Nana, parents, etc. After all, what is wrong in keeping my elementary, high school and college papers and artwork, knick-knacks, dried flowers from every bouquet my husband gave me or all the cards from since birth!?!?

Actually, there is not anything wrong in keeping some special items. We all have moments in life that mean a great deal to us and are highlights along life’s journey. The issue is not wherever or whenever I acquired the items. It all comes down to, “how free am I living with these things?” Do I spend extra time hunting for what I need or not sure even where it was placed (or should I say buried)? What is keeping me from letting go? Is my precious “stuff” adding to my life or weighing me down? Are these items taking up space in my home (my life) that keeps me from living a simpler life?

Well, if you are like me and these questions loudly echo back to you with a resounding “YES”– then it’s time to release yourself from the grip of stuff! It’s okay, me too. There is hope! Let’s journey together for a less stressful and less cluttered home and life. Make progress each day to lighten our load and brighten our world!

We can do it! We can move towards letting go and embracing hope for having less and enjoying life more!

Here’s what is working for me and perhaps it will help you too. May it get you started and move you towards emptying out closets, boxes, bedrooms and every corner of your home.

Now, keep in mind, uncluttering your life does not happen over night. To borrow a line from the 1991 movie, “What About Bob?”, it’s all about taking ‘Baby Steps’.

So here’s some baby steps that have helped me and are helping me to let go and declutter my life.

1. Keep in mind it is about progress (little by little).

2. Make a list of places in your home that need decluttered. Work your way through the list one by one until you finish your list (it may take minutes, hours, days, weeks to get through each one…keep in mind you are making progress no matter how long it takes!).

3. Take 15 minutes in your day and go through a drawer, cabinet or closet and only keep items or clothes that are your favorites (8, 9 or 10’s on a scale of 1- 10). GET RID OF ANYTHING THAT IS NOT YOUR FAVORITE (this one has helped me a lot!!!).

4. Label empty boxes (i.e. Keep, Give Away, Goodwill, New, Old, etc.) and have them in the room you are working on decluttering. As you go through a drawer or closet, start filling the boxes with items that are not your favorites.

5. Fill a trash bag each day with things to throw away and take it to the dumpster.

6. Only keep what you need and give away extras to others (do you need 15 flashlights???).

7. Give items homes and put them back in the designated location (you will be able to locate and not have to buy more).

8. Use clear containers to store items that are needed, but not used on a daily basis (Perfect for teacher supplies to keep them organized).

9. Set a timer (for 15 or 20 minutes) to declutter or clean a room in your house. Stop when it goes off.

10. Donate or sell furniture that you no longer need.

11. Be creative and think about how the extra things you have can benefit charities, ministries and other people….and let go and give!

12. More creative ways to de-clutter your life.

You Can Do It!!!
Proverbs 31:17
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

Make It Creative & Have Fun With It!
Proverbs 31:25
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

Blessings,
Michelle

MichelleMarttila.com

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