Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify…simplify.” It really is that easy. We all get so lost in all the details of our every day life that we exist in a world of chaos and hassles. I know first hand that simplifying reduces the hassles of life.
How many times did I lose my keys before I realized the hassle it was causing me? It’s really embarrassing that I didn’t figure it out sooner. All the times I was late showed me over and over that I needed to evaluate myself. There HAD to be a better way.
So, how do you simplify? It’s like losing weight, only clutter is the weight. Sometimes clutter can present itself in STUFF, sometimes it’s ACTIVITIES. Whatever is filling up our homes and our calendars that prevents us from doing what we love, or enjoy, or even just need to do, is keeping us from living hassle-free. A careful analysis of ourselves will produce the answers we need, but we have to ask the tough questions. UH-OH! Therein lies the problem.
It’s not easy – if it were, you’d already be there. Questions like:
Do I use this?
Do I need this?
Do I value this?
When was the last time you evaluated everything in your home? Spring is about renewal – and cleaning out. Are there things in your home that you could part with – if it means having more time to enjoy life? After all, the more stuff you have, the more time it takes to maintain it.
Years ago, I was driving through a neighborhood built in the 1930’s on my way to a subdivision built just a couple of years ago. The new houses were more than twice the size of these historic homes. I started wondering…how are we building bigger houses and still feel like we don’t have enough space?
Parkinson’s Principle tells us that the demand upon the resource always expands to match the supply of the resource. For example, workloads expand to fill the time available. It also applies to stuff. If you have ever moved to a larger house to gain more room, you know what I mean. All of a sudden one day, you look around and wonder where all this stuff came from! We fill the space we are given…regardless of how big the space is.
Simplifying is the only way we can combat this principle. It forces us to ask ourselves if we really need this or that, or do we keep it just because we have the space. After all, we already bought it and we can’t get rid of it now.
I warned you – these are tough questions. Next time, we’ll discuss finding equilibrium in our space and how to maintain it.