It’s about the journey, not the destination, right? That is the story I repeat to myself when it comes to simplifying my life. Striving for minimalism in my life has long been a goal. Instead of the daily grind, I want to have room to breathe and room for the things that matter most to me.
However, I have fully concluded (and finally accepted) that simplifying my life is a journey, not a destination. Even as I achieve more simplicity in my life, it will always require maintenance.
So, with that in mind, here are five random things I’ve done in the past few weeks on my journey of simplification.
I “KonMari’d” my social media
For Marie Kondo fans, you know what I’m talking about. But if somehow you have been living under a rock and don’t know who Marie Kondo is, here’s a brief introduction. Marie Kondo wrote a lovely little book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.* Upon the wildfire-like success of her book, she recently filmed a series on Netflix titled, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
Marie’s philosophy of decluttering boils down to holding each of your belongings, one by one, and asking if that item sparks joy for you. No joy? Out it goes. You keep only things that spark joy for you.
For my online business, SimpleMoney, I have been trying to spread the word about my work via multiple social media channels. A few weeks ago, however, I was sitting at my computer typing up social media posts when a thought struck me.
Instagram and Twitter DO NOT spark joy for me!
So, I jettisoned those platforms from my weekly routine, and I have never felt better! Perhaps I’ll return to them in the future, but for now, I feel lighter and happier. And I added a small sliver of white space to my morning routine. Joy!
I cleaned out my bathroom drawers
This was a rather impulsive, drive-by sort of decluttering. Our bathroom vanity is rather large and features three roomy drawers on each side. Greg and I established our chosen sides early on, and clutter has accumulated in all six drawers. We don’t have a proper linen closet near this bathroom, so the drawers serve the function of holding all manner of toiletries and cosmetics.
For several months now, I have been opening these drawers a few times a day and remarking to myself that boy, do they need cleaning out. Then I promptly shut them and move along. One day recently, I formulated that thought and added, but I have a few minutes right now, so let’s just empty this top one and wipe up the ick underneath all the stuff.
And away I went!
As often happens with projects like this, starting with the intention to just do a little bit of work snowballed into finishing all three drawers. I cleared out expired or unused products, reorganized things, and wiped out the drawers before replacing the contents. I suspect the whole project took about 30 minutes, which of course made me feel like a dummy for having procrastinated about it for so long.
And sadly, taking before and after pictures didn’t occur to me until the “before” had gone poof.
(Note: I only worked on my drawers. Greg is on his own! I don’t endorse decluttering other people’s belongings unless permission has been granted.)
Canceled a vacation
The Starks family has a lot going on right now. I was feeling the pressure of deadlines and too many projects. I asked Greg for his thoughts, since he, too, has a big driveway and landscaping project underway at our house. We decided that we were ho-hum enough about the trip to cancel and stay home instead. Pressure lifted. Money saved. White space poured in, but only for a brief moment before our existing projects and obligations seeped over and around all that newly created buffer. Sigh.
Delegated some household chores
Our daughter, Rowan, is ten years old. She has had some responsibilities around the house for a few years now. As she has gotten older, more responsible, and more capable, we’ve expanded her list of chores. Without going into details, she got into a bit of trouble last week for forgetting to do some tasks for me while I was out of town. Her punishment? Now those tasks are hers forevermore.
Rowan was contrite about her failure to be responsible, and she has rallied into her new role as pet caretaker in the morning. Rinsing and filling water dishes and emptying the cat’s litter box are now off my morning docket, woo hoo!
Only one load of Girl Scout cookies
Rowan is a Girl Scout. Girl Scouts, in case you were unaware, sell yummy cookies. There was a time when Rowan was pretty motivated to sell a lot of cookies. As one of her troop leaders at that time, I organized cookie booths around town and had to attend them and supervise the other Girl Scouts present. As a result, Rowan sold a ton of cookies.
I’m no longer a leader, which was a huge obligation in my schedule for several years. We still support the cookie-selling efforts, because I believe in the entrepreneurial and personal skills it develops in the girls who participate. But our approach now is a one-and-done.
Rowan wrote a script, practiced it, and then enlisted Greg’s help to record a video of her cookie sales pitch. (It’s amazing, by the way, but I suppose I’m biased.) I emailed out the video link to our friends and family, we took orders, and then picked up a SINGLE load of cookies and delivered them.
Now they are gone, and we are done. No more weeks and weeks of deliveries and juggling cases of cookies.
It all adds up
None of these recent things I did were major lifestyle changes. Instead, they were small projects or subtle shifts that led to some gains in white space in my life. If you are trying to simplify your life, consider what small things you can do today to move you further down the path.
It all adds up.
What small steps have you taken recently to simplify your life? Share below! Or if you want to start a discussion with some like-minded friends, join the free SimpleMoney Community on Facebook to share your thoughts!
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