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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Having Less to Live More

Just a portion of the stuff from storage!
As if by magic, on the very day that I was starting to stress over the upcoming holidays, a beautiful gift floated out of the sky and into my arms in the form of an article on 'Stuff.'

I wish I had saved it now, or at least knew its title or who wrote it, but I was in a hurry and only had enough time to quickly read through to the end.  Yet, the effects of this article keep seeping in and saturating my whole being.  It was challenging.  Riveting.  LIFE CHANGING!

And what was of such miraculous import?  The notion that we simply don't need so much 'stuff!'

Are your foundations shaking like mine?

I mean, the thought that we don't need piles and piles of gadgets and knick-knacks and gizmos is, frankly, revolutionary.  At least in my house!!

The article I read actually wasn't addressing adults.  It was speaking to the burden we put on our children by overloading them with stuff and then browbeating them into caring for it all.  I had never thought of it that way.  Grown-ups struggle to maintain and clean and deal with their stuff, so why do we expect young children to care for shelves and cupboards and bins full of toys and clothes and books?  Yet we do expect them to, and we spend a LOT of time and effort in making sure it gets done.  That's time I would rather spend enjoying my kids.

With Christmas coming up, and knowing that more stuff is about to enter our house, this really struck a chord with me.  Before I had even finished the article, plans to pare down, sort out, and donate a LOT of kid stuff were flying about in my head.

But then I thought:  Why stop there?  I spend way too much time dealing with my 'stuff' too!  And since I lived very nicely (thankyouverymuch) without most of it for about ten years while I lived in England and my junk lived in storage back in the US, I think it's probably fair to say that I won't collapse and die if I pare down my stuff a bit, too. 

So this Christmas, I have a new goal:  to remove more 'things' from my home than I receive.  Tenfold.

What does Mama want for Christmas this year?  A dumpster, a load of 'donate' bags, and much less stuff.  Why?  So I can live more.

UPDATE:  Four months later and we are VERY happy with our decision to streamline.  We are waiting for this last blast of winter to subside and then we're going to get a dumpster and finish off the last big area: the dreaded garage.  But after living in 'less' for awhile now, We are actually excited to finish the process. . .it is sooooo much easier and less frustrating to live in a relatively organized, functioning house!!

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