When we moved to England, we spent the better part of week going through our stuff. So much stuff! We had a pile for my mom’s garage sale, a pile for Good Will, a pile for storage in the US, things we wanted to take with us, and a pile of trash. I have always thought of myself as pretty good at Spring cleaning every year and keeping things streamlined…but this was the most cathartic thing I had ever done. Just last night, my husband jokingly (yet provided a serious point) said, I am thinking about letting them auction off that storage unit back home…I don’t miss anything from it.
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
-Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993
I have always valued simplicity, but moving overseas for a year motivated me to redefine that. I tried to pack minimally, I shop mindfully, I walk wherever I can, and I make time for things like sitting in the park, reading, and taking in the small things. This is a true habitude adjustment for this busy body. But I do feel great, and I feel like this is only the beginning. I look forward to more transformation and attempting to maintain my habitudes upon my return to the US!
How can we adopt the simplicity habitude and make it work for all of our different lifestyles? And why would we even want to?
First, living simply allows for us to live within our means. Less stress about money! I believe that there is nothing wrong with nice cars and vacations, as long as we can afford them and they are not putting us in any sort of bind. My husband grew up in a single parent home…they went on vacations all of the time; camping vacations!
Second, simplifying can actually make us feel more free. With less weighing us down, we may be able to travel, open a business, spend more time with loved ones, get healthy, or write that book!
Next, eating real, non processed, simple foods will decrease the stress we feel about weight gain and health concerns. No worries with a simple whole foods diet!
Keeping our workouts simple by training outside in the summer will cut back on boredom, allow for time in nature and sunshine, and adapt the body to changing terrains and conditions.
Lastly, Spring cleaning your home will make room in your house and your life. We really only need so many clothes, so many dishes, so many books, etc. We can donate things to a good cause, raise money in a garage sale for a family outing or trip, and in the process create more space both literally and figuratively to invite and care for others!
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction. ~E.F. Schumacher