Living with Less

A few years ago I flew to Florida to visit my grandmother. As I spent the weekend in her home, I was overwhelmed by a sense of peace that I felt. My spirit was calm, I could breath deeply, and I had a content smile on my face for what seemed like no reason. I don’t feel like that often and so I was curious as to the reason.

On the day I was leaving I was sitting in her living room looking around.  I looked out the large window, glanced at her few pieces of tasteful furniture, and smiled when I looked at a few pieces of artwork I remembered from when I was a little girl.  And then it hit me.  I knew why I felt such a sense of peace.

My grandmother lived simply, but beautifully.  As I quickly scanned the room, excited to find the source of peace, I was shocked to see that the sense of calm I felt was coming from all the things she didn’t have.  There were no piles of clutter.  There were no extra pieces of furniture.  No TV was in sight. There were not books piled high or framed pictures hanging on every available piece of wall space.  And I felt total peace.

Ever since that weekend I have been striving to live MORE with LESS.  I am far, far from my goal and I am not very good at resisting the “more stuff” mentality, but I have made some improvements and I hope to make more.  I am very aware of how clutter affects my spirit and my sense of calm.  I know now that just because I like something doesn’t mean I need to buy it.  I know that if I am not using it, I don’t need it. I know how to make due with what I have and I know how to throw away things I am not using.  Our external environment affects our internal environment — when our outside world is in chaos, our inside world will be too.  And I really, really, want to live at peace, both inside and out.

For this weeks The UN-digi I want to show you a few sites/articles I have found on living simply, dealing with the clutter, and on embracing frugality.  I am hoping I can work harder to implement some of these things in my life so that I can spend my time enjoying relationships rather than things and spending time with those I love rather than spending it trying to manage (and pay for!) all the junk.

How about you?

100 Reasons to Get Rid of it
Small Notebook
How to Declutter
On Simplicity
One Bag Nation
Laurel Plum Online
72 Ways to Simplify Your Life
Fly Lady — Declutter in 15 minutes a day
The Story of Stuff

And, for us digi gals, THIS article dealing with digital clutter is worth a read.  Or ten.

No matter how simply we live, I think most of us could take a quick look around and see all the the stuff we have that we don’t need.  We can see the piles, the clutter, the excess. Do yourself a favor — start taking small steps to get rid of it and see how you feel.  Pick one small project to tackle today.  Choose one thing you could do differently that will help your family.  Cut out one small luxury that is part of your normal spending routine but adds up over time.  Do something small. Do something today.