Simplify Your Life

A New Year always sparks conversations about renewal – out with the old and in with the new, etc.  Simplifying, decluttering and organizing resolutions abound.  It reminds me to go back to the basics.

I found this scrapbook page describing one of my favorite books, Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James.  I like to read it at the start of each new year, serving as a reminder to be ever vigilant.  While I no longer eat oat bran, many of the ideas in this book are as valid today as they were when it was written in 1994.  (I also love Peter Walsh and his book It’s All Too Much! and the corresponding workbook.)

scrapbook page - SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE

2012 got away from me a bit in terms of organization and process.  I have not been as watchful of clutter buildup and waste.  My wardrobe seems to be the only part of the household that IS still minimal since I went down four sizes and had to replace my wardrobe as many times.  Having a family compounds the material challenge of leading a simple life – not everyone is wiling to let go of things they no longer use!  [I’ve considered myself an “Unclutterer” for many years now, and am a fan of the blog by the same name.]

The biggest challenge to order in our house is Legos, Legos and MORE Legos!  They are impossible to contain.  Aah!  They might be the best toy ever, but they are a housekeeper’s nemesis!

own less

Enter Paleo Lifestyle Magazine (January 2013), publishing an interview with Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist.  [It is now one of my favorite blogs!]  His story reminded me of my core values and has inspired me once more.  Too much stuff gets in the way of life and drains energy.

So, in the interest of getting back to basics this year, our family will be doing some serious, long-overdue decluttering.  My son just grew into the next size of clothing and I have already sorted out his clothing and prepared donations.  I think our biggest challenge will be the toys that have built up over the past year or so.  I’ll have to think about how to manage that process to minimize resistance.

The first step in the process is determining how we envision our living spaces and functions.

We recently had some water damage repair completed in the basement, resulting in new paint and flooring.  Time to change it up and re-purpose the space.  It was my son’s “run around and get crazy” room in his toddler years, but now that he’s eight, it makes more sense to turn it into a Lego building studio.  Biggest benefit?  Mama doesn’t have to LOOK at that mess of bricks every day!

Prepare for the domino-effect!

Garage and shed sorting are on the calendar for Spring.  Right now we are frozen under a sheet of ice, so it’s not practical to tackle it yet.

My goal is to focus on intentional living in our space.  Everything has a purpose and a place.  Some of Joshua’s posts have given me new perspective and I plan to refresh my memory on the principles of Feng Shui and Ayurvedic traditions for further guidance.  We’ll take it one space at a time so it isn’t overwhelming.  Every journey begins with a single step, right?

Are you going back to basics?  What are your desired outcomes for 2013?  Your plan?


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