So I was thinking about the summer today, more like yearning after the summer actually, and how things seem simpler somehow when the weather’s fair and the days longer, and you run out the house with just flip flops and you’re sunnies…the summer just gone we were living on our boat which is where our journey of downsizing and ridding ourselves of ‘stuff’ started.
For the last 10 years we’ve moved from seperate houses, to caravan, to two very big barn conversions, to tiny seaside cottage, then to boat. Along the way we’ve accumulated possessions in line with how much space we occupied at the time. It seems the bigger the living space the more crap you fill it with, and if that space comes with adjoining farm buildings (the barns were both building projects) then woe betide those who are silly enough to fill those too! It didn’t help that as we had the most space at the time a lot of our friends stuff got stored there as well, and conveniently got forgotton about.
Moving out was a mission and we vowed not to hoard so many possessions again.
I think sometimes along the way you get swept up into the mainstream way of living and consuming and it takes a conscious effort to step back and think “do I actually need this stuff?”. As I’ve got older my take on life and how I want to live it has evolved and the fact that buying and living on a boat was on the cards (see sister blog) also meant we had to learn to live with the basics.
Think about when you go on holiday…we all take far too many clothes ‘just incase’ we might need them but nine times out of ten probably only wear less than half of them.
How many kitchen gadgets do you have that you may have used only once (egg slicer anyone?)
Clothes that you haven’t worn in years?
Half empty bottles of cosmetics and old makeup?
Scraps of wrapping paper and gift bags you’ve saved you just can’t seem to part with (this was a biggie for me!)
LET IT GO.
Getting rid of all this stuff for me was cleansing. There is nothing better for my mental clarity than having a good sort out…as they say “a tidy house is a tidy mind”.
I’m not saying throw it in the bin..sort through it, donate it to friends or charity, use it up. But don’t buy any more! We are led to believe we need more things to improve our lives in some way. But to be free of unecessary possessions is liberating.
Simple living for me encorporates less possessions, less chemicals in my beauty and cleaning products and less meat and dairy. Which generally means I try to live a less consuming and more sustainable life.
Try it…less is more. You might be surprised how little you can live with.