Paring Down — The Push to Simplify

You can’t swing a cat or cast a glance without running into someone singing the praises of simplifying. Simplify your routine, your diet, your workout regimen, your travel wardrobe, your social network, your to-do list, your life–you name it, you should be simplifying it. In other words, K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Stupid.

I’m all for kissing and I really do remember a time when my girls were this tiny. It’s difficult to remember them that small and cherubic cheeked, but I do. Six years is a long time. We’ve done a ton of growing and changing, but we’re in the same house. All our stuff we had before this photo, at the time of this photo, and after this photo are also with us. As much as I like lists and organized spaces, you would never know it from the way my house looks 75% of the time. Now that the girls are older, though, and they can appreciate their own clean rooms, I think we may have a chance at simplifying.

My oldest is much like me–she likes keepsakes; she holds onto things she may need; she lives in organized chaos. My youngest? No sentimentality whatsoever. Need more room? Pitch some stuff. Tired of putting away your clothes? Donate them. Haven’t played with this heirloom toy in a couple weeks? Trash it. Um. Can I have a happy medium, please?

I partially blame Pinterest for this. All those organizing ideas, IKEA hacks, dream home settings in one spot can warp one’s mind. I know we live in a middle-aged (I almost said elderly, but then realized my house was built the same year I was born) tri-level that does not scream “HGTV WAS HERE!” However, there should be some things I can do to guarantee that I can find things when I need them, I can have a place to sit and work without first having to move piles of things from the spot, and in which my clothes actually fit inside the closets and drawers. And, if I can find a way to work in some new paint and accent pieces, all the better.

Given that I’m fond of lists, I was drawn to a blog post regarding 12 Ways (12 Steps??) to Simplify Your Life from the Get Organized Wizard whose great ideas show in my Facebook newsfeed on the regular.

I am proud to say that I, rather than my rigidly structural mate, follows Rule 1 regarding mail handling. If I can pitch it on the way into the house or shred it immediately after entering the basement office, I do it. Otherwise, I know it will wind up on my table or couch arm or floor…ugh. PITCH IT!

I have also been better about actually putting “to be donated” items into a designated area and container. Rather than an absent-minded pile created during that free hour where I thought I’d actually declutter an entire space of to-donate goods and take them to the donation site, I like the idea of keeping a container for such activities along with my tally of what is going where for tax purposes.

I’ll have trouble with the not buying things (let’s be serious…I’m a ‘thing’-a-holic) even though I know the point of simplifying is to curb my enthusiasm for having things. I enjoy things. I enjoy procuring things. With Christmas on the horizon, I’m already on the hunt for things–so, this one may need to be a New Year’s Resolution.

Of the remaining items on the list, I am also doing better with saying “No” to things that matter less. It was extremely difficult the first couple of times I did it, but I find I am a much nicer person when I am not stretched thin by fulfilling obligations that are not in the priority area of my life.

I do think I’m coming around to the idea of having less stuff. Purging does feel great.

What on this list resonates with you? Have you tried any of the items? If you’ve simplified, what did you try and how did it work? No need to reinvent the wheel when so many tried and true methods exist.

What's On Your Mind?