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Not Doing Much-June 1, 2011

So it has been forever since I posted last. I keep wanting to post, but I haven’t been doing anything that seems worth writing about. In the last few weeks I have gone through what we did more and got ride of probably another 6-10 boxes. I am going through our cloths again this week and finding more to get rid of. (it might be addicting 🙂

It is sad and almost sick how much material and schedule ‘stuff’ take our lives to a crazy place. Thinking of how so many people live I have no reason to be stressed or anything but happy.
-I have a safe place to sleep
-I have money for a balance diet for my family and I
-I have all the clean water I can possibly use
-My family has health, health insurance as well as money and access to a doctor or dentist if needed
-I am a Christian and have purpose and an eternal plan
-I have a loving family
-Education and access to continue to learn all I want

So many people in the world don’t have so many of these things and their life is spent trying to get it. All of these are worth the work to find. Everyone deserves all these things. When we have them, we should be happy, unstressed and be able to help others.

So I wanted to come up with a list of suggestions to help ‘unclutter’ (there is lots of books on the topic as well)
1. Figure out what your ideal life would include. (financial security, travel, more free time, more service, more time for hobbies etc)
2. Figure out what ‘clutter’ is keeping you from that.
3. Go through 1 area of your material or your time commitments and clear out everything you can live without. This might be a closet or room or one area of time commitments like church or kids activities. (do this first to get the action flowing)
4. For material removal make 1 place in your house to collect things for sell/donate/return/gift (trash goes to trash)
5. Identify all areas that need gone through (rooms in house or time commitments). For time, it might take longer to figure these out. It might help to record how your time is spent for a week. There are good time suckers like facebook and blogging :).
6. Make a plan/order for going through these areas. It often takes going through stuff several times but each time is easier and quicker because there is less and less.
7. Stop bring stuff into the planner and the house…. kind of obvious…. but it is a habit that needs to be addressed.

What to keep: What brings you the most joy. What is either useful or beautiful (quote I can’t remember where it came from). What you love.

Take cloths for example. There are some that you love, you wear all the time. There are also some that have lots of sentimental value (but be careful with this… not every piece of cloths your children wore or every prom dress you ever wore fits in here 🙂 Nothing should be in your closet unless it fits in the ‘love’ category (sentimental stuff can be stored). If this leaves gaps in the wardrobe you can ‘carefully’ fill them. Really people need so much less than they actually have. Why have 50 tops if you do laundry every 7 days. What if you were going on vacation for 2 weeks. What would you pack for summer? winter? This might give you a good hint on what you should keep. If you aren’t sure you really want to get rid of everything else try packing it away. If you miss a piece you can go get it. Everything else get rid of in 6 months. (this works great for kids toys too) And stop collecting more!

Imagine a life where you can find what you need, clean up quickly, have company over with little notice, have time to sit and do nothing or go to the pool with the kids etc.

Too many books and plans claim that with enough organization and planning it can all fit but it can’t. There is only so much space, money, and time and it is always great to have extra of all three!

So now that we are ‘simplified’ materially and have made progress with the time we are planning an amazing road trip for summer vacation. I will write more on that next time.