“Having just attended a conference where we were encouraged to spiritually “de-clutter”; I was once again reminded of the importance and advantages of “de-cluttering” my natural life. In other words… simplifying. If I prioritize the things that are important to me, I am able to live a less stressed life – enjoying my family and friends, enjoying God’s beautiful creation and bringing glory to Jesus by the way I live my life… faith-filled, thankful and full of joy.
So how do you live a simple life when life can be so complicated?
Here are a couple of ideas I have found helpful…
1) “De-clutter!” The fewer things you have, the less you have to organize, clean and take care of.
Donate your excess “clutter” to a local thrift store, the Salvation Army, Amvets, or some other charitable organization. Unless it’s your hobby, garage sales are A LOT OF WORK for very little return.
2) Eliminate options! Less choices will save you time and anxiety!
- Your closet: Unless you just love shoes (as Clair does!) then try and minimize your choices – do you really need 6 pairs of black dress shoes? Keep your closet simple. I try to purchase good quality basics that will last and won’t go out of style. Then I fill in the gaps with cheap, “trendy” clothes from the sale rack. Outfits that don’t fit well or you haven’t worn in a while either give away or store them in the basement and see if they’re missed. Chances are you’ll forget all about them. Ensembles are better than clothes a la carte because they require less thinking and planning. The fewer options I have, the less chaos I have in starting my day.
- Cosmetics: I use one line of make-up and have selected a couple of options that look good. Again, fewer choices, happier mornings.
- Cleaning products: I use Shaklee Basic H2 to clean everything – windows, mirrors, bathrooms, floors, etc. Less shopping, less storage, cleaning made simple.
4) Don’t look at every flyer/magazine that comes through your mail box. Unless you’re looking for something in particular – junk it. (Besides, all the money saving tips you’ll need you’ll find right here on Clair’s blog!) Retail magazines erode contentment and encourage consumerism. The more you buy, the more you accumulate and the more you have to take care of!
5) Only handle a piece of mail once. We’re inundated with information through the mail, from church/school etc. If you can, address each piece of mail immediately, instead of stockpiling for later (you’ll waste time having to re-read all the info and your counters will be cluttered.)
6) Oddly enough, I don’t realize I “need” something until I’m out shopping! The less you shop, the less you think you “need.” Elaine St. James (author of Living the Simple Life) suggests a challenge to take a shopping break for 30 days, (you may want to wait until after Christmas!) only purchasing groceries and personal necessities. Who knows, you may be inspired, and for sure you’ll save time, money and simplify your busy life!
7) Assess the chaos in your life and re-prioritize regularly. Simplifying is an attitude, not an event. Keep thinking creatively about what you can do without.
I encourage you to simplify your life – take a deep breath, pause and enjoy the moment. Prioritize those things that are important to you and cut out what is not necessary. Invest into your relationships… with your Lord and Savior, with your family and others that are dear to you. Take time to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you that can be so easily robbed by the busyness of life.”
Sam and her husband, Dave, pastor Living Word Church in Lansing, IL – www.livingwordchurch.cc
First published 11/29/08
I have to say since reading this a few month’s ago, I’ve definitely started doing the mail thing and only handling a piece of mail once. it’s amazing how much we move things around the house and then move them again!