Have you ever wondered what it would be like to lead a simpler life? A life where you actively chose the things you wanted to do and have in your life.
In the time of Covid 19, this question is one that may have cropped up for many of us as we are forced to take a breather from the frantic pace of our former lives. We may find ourselves reassessing our relationships and our lifestyle and thinking of the life we would like to lead when things go back to ‘normal’.
My search for a simpler life began with a long overdue de-clutter of my house from top to bottom. Not an easy feat, with 15 years of clutter and 2 certified hoarders to contend with.
When I got over the shock at the sheer volume of stuff to be sorted, I remembered some advice an interior designer friend, had given me. When you are de-cluttering, ask yourself the following questions: ‘Do I love it’? ‘Have I worn it in the last 6 months’ or ‘Does it serve a purpose’? ‘Ok’ I thought. ‘This should be a walk in the park’. ‘I’m great at de-cluttering and I’ll have it done in no time’.
To be honest, the emotional element of the job took me by surprise. I had also recently separated and that added to the emotional rollercoaster.
The most difficult items to give away were cooking books believe it or not – years of memories of family dinners, celebrations with friends and happy times.
Why did you get rid of cookery books you might ask? Well, I kept the ones I use all the time, but there were several I never opened so they had to go and there is always Google.
Seeing me struggling, Linda gave me a great tip. ‘ It’s not the item that you are attached to’ she said. ‘ It’s the memory’. ‘Take a photo of the cookery book, write a little note on the memory connected with the book and then let it go’.
Needless to say, I didn’t spend long pondering the release of a small generator in the shed and a sewing machine from Lidl still in its box!
Once the job was done, I spent a number of days joining the longs queues for the dump but boy was it worth it. My house feels so much lighter now and everything I have has either a place or a function.
So, why not have a think about all the extra stuff we add to our lives with very little thought – the non stop extra curricular activities for our kids, the clothes we don’t need, the two cars we have in the driveway, the non stop social life, the job that stops us enjoying our young families.
And maybe consider asking yourself the following:
- What would you like to keep in my life?
- What would you like to let go?
- What new habit would you like to welcome in?
How would your life look if you were able to make conscious choices? Never has there been a better time to wipe the slate clean and start again. And remember it only takes 21 days to create a habit.
What would you like to let go?
BTW, Would anyone like two delightful, highly opinionated teenagers, with big appetites for a short stay?
(Photos courtesy of Mazhar Zandsalimi and Thiebaud Faix)