Simplify Sunday- A More Streamlined Life

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” Lin Yutang 

I was going through an old book where I have written down quotes over the years that have touched me. A friend wanted some quotes, so naturally I flipped through my book. I selfishly kept this one for myself, and for you.

As much as I am a doer, someone who must accomplish and be on top of everything, someone who will never forget your birthday… I am also a firm believer in keeping life simple and trying to let things go.

Don’t misunderstand- I often SUCK at letting things go. However, I have made a large effort over the last year or so to do just that. Love and let live. Say no more to things that I just don’t want to do. Stop creating ridiculous tasks for myself that just don’t need to be done. I do still have a running to do list, but I don’t force myself to not relax until everything is done. Sometimes (okay, often) I just sit at home and enjoy the company of my Shibas.

A critical part of my success is minimalism. I have never been able to relax in a messy environment. I’m sure anyone who is into minimalism already knows about Marie Kondo’s book, the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In the spirit of minimalism, I put it on hold at the library (I almost never buy books. I read very quickly, and just don’t like having things sitting around that I no longer need. I always end up donating them, so I try to not waste my money.) and waited for a few months. This week, it was my turn and I was excited to pick it up. I haven’t finished it yet. I got too excited about going through stuff, and went and did that instead!

Really, her philosophy is very similar to what mine has been for a while- get rid of as much as possible. You don’t need it, you won’t miss it. If it doesn’t give you pleasure, get rid of it. In the YEARS I have been doing this, I know there have been one or two things I have missed, but I literally cannot think of what they have been.

I consider my “things” to be pretty parred down. Still, I regularly go through them and almost always have a bag in my closet where I place things to be donated. This time, I filled six bags. Four will go to Teen Challenge and two will go to a women’s shelter. I noticed I was getting rid of several pieces of warm clothing and a blanket. Honestly, I’m lazy, but my conscience won’t let me out of making that extra stop in the dead of winter. It makes me sad to think of others being cold and wet. So, there were a few items that I was on the fence about getting rid of; but once I realized I would be making the trip to to shelter it was easy. I may get pleasure from looking at this scarf, but I have worn it once. It can make someone else warm, so let’s get rid of it! This post on reallifeofanmsw.com inspired me to try to make better use of the things that I’m donating.

I want to live in a cozy, peaceful environment, and for me I can do that best with no clutter. Then I can cuddle my dogs and be happy with all of the warmth and love in my life.

Jillian

Comments

  1. I’m the same when it comes to books. Once I read something, I’m finished with it. If I do buy an actual book I try to give it away to someone who’d like to read it after I’m done. I don’t get people who want to amass collections of objects! I really want to read the book you mentioned! Getting rid of stuff is so liberating.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! Get rid of it all! 🙂 it’s a good book so far. The wait was forever because it’s so trendy right now. You should get on a library list now! Or, just buy it and give it to someone messy lol

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love books. I look forward to my library’s twice a year book sale. I think the key to owning them is how they are displayed. In my home we have beautiful floor to ceiling bookcases for every day books, and in the kitchen a island that houses cookbooks. If I had books in stacks on floors and on counters, that would be madness for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think that shelves of books are pretty, but I just have no need for them in my life. Cookbooks tend to be an exception- I often buy them, don’t use them, and don’t even feel guilty about keeping them.

        Like

  2. Nancy Killingsworth says:

    Hi! This is a topic of interest to me and Serge. We both read Unstuff Your Life (on digital-no clutter) and it was full of great tips and ideas, many very useful in planning our kitchen remodel. Your book sounds interesting as well. My daughter-in-law (other one!) just got The Japanese Art of Tidying Up (on Kindle!) This is a topic of interest to many. And who would think a book would help so much?
    My inspiration is to go a little bit easier on our planet. Precycle, so to speak. Not buy it in the first place. Decrease my carbon footprint. Do my part. But it is much easier said than done.

    And all of this leads to a tidier home which we enjoy.

    I enjoy your writing! Keep it up!
    And best wishes for 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, Nancy! I also read a wonderful book on living a zero trash lifestyle. Granted, this is quite the reach, but I very much believe that every little thing makes a difference. It has made quite the impact on how much I buy and what I buy. I wish I could remember what the book was called. The author has six pieces of garbage that actually went to the landfill- for an entire year! How amazing is that…

      And your house is beautiful, you are doing a good job 🙂

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  3. This is a great end of the year post. We should all start 2016 with a clean slate and good karma by giving away things we know longer need to those who do.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your view on the scarf / I think that will help me to get rid of more things I’m on the fence about if I think of it as yes I might wear it once or twice more but someone else might benefit a lot more from it. I love filling bags with stuff to get rid of – it is definitely liberating to declutter. I read a book a few years ago – “secrets I learned from madam chic” – about a foreign exchange student who lived in France and it’s all about living life with quality and simplicity. Im inspired to read some of the books mentioned here for a new dose of inspiration and more great ideas. Just in time for New Years!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Even if it’s not true, I choose to believe my things will be used and loved 🙂 France is so inspirational- I really want to go back and visit! Let’s have a cleaning party!

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  5. Thank you for mentioning my blog- that means a lot to me. I think you would enjoy the book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker. It will help you reach your goals of peace, more giving, and less whining. You can also read an excerpt of the book here: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Cami-Walkers-29-Gifts

    Liked by 1 person

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