The goal of a journey is always to go somewhere, even if the actual destination is unknown. Whether that be to a physical place, mental place, or place in life, it’s all part of that journey. But why seek simplicity of all things?
The simple truth is that I’m not yet where I want to be so onward I go! While this isn’t the very beginning of my journey towards simplicity, it is the beginning of chronicling it and giving myself some accountability.
Seeking simplicity is about removing the extra and focusing on what’s most important.
Before I got married and became a mother, I lived in two other states and spent most of high school and a few years after trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. While I worked and built up a life in a different state, I eventually figured out what I wanted to go back to school for. But before I uprooted everything I had built, the final inspiration to take that leap literally walked through the door one day to get business cards.
It’s been eight years and I’ll never forget Eddie. He was an extremely kind man who’s house in Key West had recently been lost to a hurricane. Out in front of the store was an older pickup truck with a cap, filled with all of his possessions. He was on his way to go see his mom for her birthday and was going to meet up with his siblings for the first time in years. Not having much, he filled his gas tank with favors; making his way by helping anyone who needed it along the way. Eddie walked into my store in Colorado.
In addition to the business cards that he wanted to have printed, he also wanted to print up some photos. Photos of some of the most beautiful sunrises you’ve ever seen from Key West. I’ll freely admit that I myself don’t tend to get up early enough to see the sunrise if I can help it so it was fascinating to hear him talk about his Conch Republic sunrises. Why sunrises? They mark the beginning of each day and each day has the opportunity for something new.
Meeting Eddie, seeing his generous and kind spirit, and also seeing how all of his belongings fit in a vehicle that he drove across the country inspired me to do something similar. Within about a month of meeting Eddie, I had planned my move back to Michigan from Colorado, settled everything to transfer at work, and purged a large amount of what I owned. By the time I left, everything I owned, including two cats, fit in my ’93 Toyota Corolla wagon.
That was my first initial taste of what simplicity could be like and while I certainly couldn’t fit everything I owned in a hatchback anymore, getting back to that place of feeling weightless and free is what I crave and my goal. After all, the idea of knowing that you can pick up and take everything you truly value with you, on an adventure anytime you feel like, is a pretty incredible one.
Simplicity To Me
And so, my goal is to get to a place of simplicity by
- Simplifying physical stuff and clutter
- Simplifying finances and budgets
- Simplifying work and obligations
- Simplifying life
Simplify everything to free up more time and energy for things that I love and things to live for.
Simplicity for me means
- More fun with my daughter on the weekends
- Less time spent cleaning and dusting things that take up space
- Keeping only what’s useful or meaningful
- Prioritizing my to-do list so that the must-dos get done first
- Streamlining finances so essentials are taken care of, goals are met, and there’s room for fun
- More opportunities for traveling through a simplified life
Past Attempts At Simplifying
I’ve tried to declutter and simplify things in the past but, truthfully, it’s been a halfhearted attempt. Either a system hasn’t really fit with what I needed, I was waiting for others to get on board, or I started and then got discouraged somewhere along the way and quit. I’ve tried and I’ve failed before but it hasn’t made me quit completely. If I had spent even a fraction of the time actually decluttering as I have reading about decluttering, I’d be living as a minimalist by now! There are tons of different systems all promising a clutter free future and plenty of them do actually work! For me, it’s been a matter of finding one that fits and finishing it in full.
Next Steps and Goals
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Throughout the rest of the year, my goal is to stay accountable with this blog and get things decluttered once and for all. I’m also looking to work on streamlining my finances and as much of my life as I can. I also really want to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way in the hopes that my failures and successes can help someone else. Here’s my plan:
- Declutter – Step one has to be getting rid of as much of the extra stuff as possible since it’s seemed to multiply over the years. I read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing last year and, while I didn’t end up finishing each section, I made a lot of progress on decluttering and started shifting my perspective on clutter and possessions. The goal is to more or less follow Marie’s system, with a few modifications in some areas.
- Streamline Cleaning – Those who know me know that I’m obsessed with making lists and a cleaning list has been no exception. In fact, one of the most popular listings on my Etsy shop has been a custom cleaning list. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to clean when there’s clutter. My current cleaning routine now is spending an hour putting things away to then spend 5 or 10 minutes wiping down a counter and sweeping a floor after that. This needs to be fixed badly.
- More Time With Family – Is it just me or does it seem like the days are flying by? Maybe it’s because my daughter is growing up a little every day that it seems to be going quickly but I want to simplify things so I can spend more time with her rather than think about all of the other things I feel like I should be doing instead. The dishes can wait!
- More Traveling – I’ve been fortunate enough growing up that we took a vacation pretty much every year to a different place. As I get older and as I watch my daughter grow up, that traveling spark has been rekindled and I not only want the opportunity to explore with her but I love getting the chance to visit new places and revisit old places I haven’t seen in decades. This is a huge priority for me and part of the driving force behind simplifying. Fewer expenses and less stuff (plus less payments) has given us a chance to add more to our travel fund.
I look forward to sharing this with you!