I am in that painful process of simplifying life. The last time I did it was about seven years ago when I downsized and moved into a smaller – yet very comfortable house. This time, I am selling my house and moving to a new state. Some may think…are you really simplifying life by doing that? It sounds like a lot of work.
What I learned the last time I simplified life is it can be very painful going down this road. It requires you to re-examine every part your life and making many decisions on whether or not to keep something or to let it go. It may sound simple, but is not.
It is common to make those same decisions more than once – to revisit the item you thought you wanted to keep and ask,
- Do I really need this?
- When is the last time I used it?
- Will I miss it if I give it up?
- What is the impact of letting it go in my life?
- Am I holding it for the memory or just because?
The Secret Weapon
Even though I believe I have become ruthless in my quest, I know there are things I gloss over or believe I cannot get rid of. To help me, I enlisted a close friend. That’s the secret weapon.
We are going through every room in the house and she is my quality control check. She keeps me on task, I know the reason she is here is to help me and I have given her permission to challenge my decisions.
Giving someone the power to challenge you as you go through simplifying life is critical. It eliminates fighting because you gave them the power and approval to challenge you.
It is important that she does not have any vested interested in what I keep or give away and that she only wants what is best for me. She understands my goals – move only what I really love or need and shed the rest.
The same process is useful if you are simplifying other areas in your life: finances, activities, commitments, and even friends. A friend once told me she fired all her friends (except for me – probably because I was long distance); she needed new ones.
After Simplifying Life
After I got through my last simplifying life initiative and the dust settled, I felt relieved that the extra stuff in my life that was gone. I was tired and satisfied. I did not miss the things that I had shed. I surrounded myself with the things that I loved. My home was still my home with less clutter and stuff. I am looking forward to that same feeling.