5 Reasons to Simplify Your Life

caught in and endless cycle


Here's the choice:


Spend your life in a cycle of dissatisfaction ➜ shopping ➜ accumulating ➜ organizing ➜ decluttering ➜ more shopping ➜ overwhelm ➜ spring cleaning ➜ repeat . . .


OR


. . . you can break the cycle, simplify, and find not only contentment but something better to do with your time, money, and energy.


Sometimes figuring out how to get to less is the easy part.  You can get rid of clutter in many ways, including these:


No matter which approach you choose, if you want the results to be long-lasting, you need to understand why you want to simplify your life.  This will be your foundation when things get tough, when you're tempted by sales and advertising, when the job of decluttering seems too hard, and when you're bored or sad and think buying something will make you feel better. 


Your why may change over time, or you may have more than one.



5 Reasons to Choose Less


1.  Reduce stress.

Maybe you haven't realized that clutter is stressful.  Here's the way I see it:

  • Clutter reminds me of all the tasks and housework I need to do – and all of it is more difficult and more time-consuming when clutter is in the way.
  • Clutter reminds me of bills and debt I've accrued by shopping, and that's stressful on both me and my husband, and on our relationship.
  • Looking for things, tripping on things, having to move things so I can sit down or cook or do anything else adds to stress every day.
Removing clutter won't eliminate all stress, but it's a good start.  Other things that help include having an earlier bedtime and an earlier waking time so that mornings are less hurried, and keeping a gratitude journal.


2.  Find clarity.

Do you struggle with brain fog?  Forgetfulness?  Distraction?  There are so many things that we have to pay attention to, think about, and manage that it can be overwhelming.  Excess possessions (and too-busy schedules) increase the burden.


In our hyper-connected world, our attention is constantly being claimed, and it can be easy to lose sight of what really matters.  Our stuff usually isn't as important as we think is it, and reducing it gives us that much more energy to identify and focus on our priorities.


3.  Take a break.

In our culture, we too often think of rest as something we have to earn when we've completed all of our tasks.  We think a break should only come when we're completely exhausted and worn out.


But rest isn't simply a reward for hard work.  It's essential to our bodies and to our minds.  Sleep repairs our cells and consolidates long-term memories.  Lack of sleep interferes with metabolism, weakens the immune system, and increases anxiety and depression.  Living with less makes it easier to relax.


4.  Enjoy simple pleasures.

Living with less allows you to take time for things that truly bring you joy, whether that's long walks, deep conversations, mindful meals, or a good book.  Unlike expensive indulgences or once-in-a-lifetime experiences, simple pleasures can be part of every day, adding greatly to your contentment.


5.  Discover your purpose.

Gandhi said, "There's more to life than increasing its speed."  I'm sure he would also have agreed that there's more to life than increasing our stuff.  It isn't true that "He who dies with the most toys wins."  We all have knowledge, abilities, hearts, and souls that make us more valuable than the house we live in, the car we drive, the clothes we wear, or anything else we own.


Your purpose won't be found in a store, but if you simplify you'll gain space, time, and resources to figure it out.



Which of these reasons speaks to you?


More:  11 Reasons to Declutter Today

Even more:  The Minimalist Tool Kit: Habits and Strategies to Help You Find Freedom and Happiness With Less (paid link)



Photo by Jack Hunter on Unsplash

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