Since Spring has officially arrived, I have found it is time to do some more cleaning. With our 5 year wedding anniversary just around the corner, I want to go through every room in our house and make sure that the “stuff” we have is needed or will be needed. If not, it’s outta here. Also, after the Dominican, l had an immense conviction of simplifying life. I know I have mentioned that thought a few times before, but it is something that I am continually working on. When we were in the DR, we would go into some houses that were so incredibly simple. I started to wonder if I could live like that and then I wondered, WHY DON’T I? Granted their hobbies are different, the type of paperwork we have is different, and the way they DO life is different than in America. Not making either right OR wrong. But once again, it was simply refreshing to step into a culture, be convicted, and want to make a change. So slowly I have been going through EVERY thing in our house and asking the question – do we need it or not. Yup, it’s a long process, but a healthy one I feel. We have a smaller house so in reality we can’t store a lot anyway. And do I think we have a lot? Honestly, no. BUT, even what we do have, I know some of it we don’t need. So besides going through EVERYTHING in our house, what has been the process? The simple question of needing it or not, is sometimes too simple. Then, if we don’t need it, what do we do with it? I found a book at the bookstore that I took out, to give me some ideas. Here are a few little tidbits. The book is called Go Organize! by Marilyn Bohn (words in italics are straight from the book). 1. If YOU want to get more organized, here are some first steps.
- Choose a room to organize
- Choose a place in that room and start your search from the inside out – meaning start with closets, drawers, or cupboards before open spaces.
- Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the space orderly?
- Are there things here you can get rid of?
- Is it easy to find everything?
- Does everything have a home?
- Do you keep only things you use?
Another little tidbit of advice was from a section of the book called To Keep or NOT to Keep? Boy, that is the OVERWHELMING question I have go through my mind everytime I try to organize something. And I’m sure you do too! The question I personally ask myself is “if I were to move today, would I want to take this with me?” That usually helps. In this section though, there was some wonderful advice: Keep only the things you love, things that light you up, things that you use and enrich your life. But here are some other wonderful questions to ask yourself:
- Do I love this or do I just like it?
- Do I like it enough to keep it?
- Can I live without it?
- Will I miss it if I don’t have it?
- Will someone else love it or get more out of it than I do?
- Is the space it takes up worth it to me?
- Am I keeping it out of guilt?
I just thought these were some excellent questions. They have really helped me these past few weeks as I have gone through almost every single room of our house. Some things got pitched. Some donated. Some repurposed. Some just put in a different spot. But through all of it, I can now walk into these rooms knowing everything in there I am either using currently, have used in the past year, have a purpose for it, or is a memory that I want to hold on to.
So how about YOU? Do you have areas in your house or apartment that need a complete makeover? Spring time, to me, is a GREAT time to do all this because you can open the windows, let some fresh air in, turn the radio up a tad, and just go to town. Personally it gives me such a feeling of accomplishment after those big tasks are done. And I also know that I am confronting the conviction I had in the DR, of wanting to simplify life. Of course simplifying life doesn’t just mean simplifying “stuff.” I think it needs to happen in the heart too – but that’s a whole other blog posting :). Until then, I hope this has given you some drive to maybe go through your belongings and simplify your life one step at a time.