Thursday, May 15, 2008

Simplifying

Sheri says:
I read an article the other day about simplifying. The woman profiled had reduced her wardrobe to the following:
5 pairs of pants
5 shirts
1 sweater
3 pairs of shoes: winter boots, everyday casual shoes and a pair of heels.
1 dress
2 coats: one heavy and one lightweight jacket

What fascinated me was the woman was not destitute. This was a move of choice, not desperation. She owned her home and had a healthy income. She simply decided to live with less stuff.

I walked through my home and realized (again) my abundance of clutter. It’s probably time for me to let some things go. I won’t manage to do it to her level but maybe, just maybe, I could take some baby steps.

Too much equipment, too many books, etc. We all have our vices.

When I first read the article, I misread it. I thought she meant she only had five pairs of jeans or five pairs of black pants. Three pairs of shoes? I thought she was just counting by category.

She also simplified other things in her life, but just thinking about the closet exhausted me.

Abby says:
I applaud this woman whoever she is. I wonder what prompted her to clean house. I think simplification can be very cathartic. Sometimes cleaning out physical possessions can help to cleanse our minds and put more important things into perspective. Maybe she experienced a life-altering event that required her to make a big change.

I have way too much. I don’t buy extravagant things. My vice is going to Target and scoring a cool pair of $19 Converse tennis shoes or a spicy aromatic candle on the clearance aisle. The problem is, I do that a lot. Therefore, I've accumulated a few pair of Converse tennies and several candles sitting in my cabinet. There is some type of comfort in being surrounding by “things”, yet once you have those things they can make you crazy when you have too many.

At the moment, it’s hard to think about material things when you see those recently affected by the earthquake in China or the people suffering from the loss of their family members due to the cyclone in Myanmar.

If we were all forced to do what this woman did, somehow I think we’d be fine.

2 comments:

Writing Military Mom said...

I actually did something similiar. When military families move out of housing, they have to meet an inspection standard. We also move often far away from where we are currently living. As a result, you don't have the option of bringing anything perishable with you, so you try to use it up before you go. What's left, you try to pass on to a local family, but you try not to have much left. Many interesting recipes have been born of this practice of using or losing.

Anyway, I am a clutterbug, too. I looked at my messy freezer and decided to get creative and use it all up before buying more. The result was a clean freezer (mostly) ready to be filled with goodies and leftovers. It also helped me see what I had buried in the back and what was wasted due to age and freezer burn.

I hope to move on to my garage someday soon. :) Yeah, right!

janis said...

Ahh yes, simplifying! I use to be better at this. I still keep that rule about letting an item of clothing go if it hadn't been worn in a years time (with a couple of exceptions). But the rest of my life has gotten too cluttered. It seems once you get overwhelmed, it is hard to get back to being organized. My paper trail is the worst right now. Also I am in that weird place where one child has kindof moved out with her college life, but what to do with all her stuff. We don't know what is keepable (although in all fairness to her she purges better than I). Anyway, the key is to keep simplified. Don't lose the control. If you can stay on top of it as you go along, it is much easier.