For the past 18 days we have been living in temporary housing. People ask how it’s going and my reply is instant, enthusiastic and authentic.
I love it.
It’s small. It’s uncluttered. It’s cozy. It’s simple.
I’ve been talking about decluttering for quite some time. I did 52 weeks of donations. I decluttered for our move. I’ve read about decluttering. I’ve written posts on decluttering.
The idea of living a simple, uncluttered life is alluring. It’s something I’ve been working to achieve.
But, even with all of my working, we still managed to fill an ENTIRE semi (and another small truck) with stuff.
Yep. The biggest truck possible. We filled it. And still needed another truck. (Time to drop the head in shame. I obviously still have lots work to do.)
While all of that stuff is being stored for us, we are living in our temporary space. And I am learning.
In these past 18 days I have learned more about the value of living an uncluttered, simple life than I ever have before.
I am learning because I am living it. And in living it, I am experiencing the value.
We brought few items with us into our fully furnished apartment. The kids each brought a handful of toys. We each brought a small bin of clothes. We brought a few games and a deck of cards. We brought a couple extra kitchen items. We brought gifts that were given to us at our going away party that are being used as decorations. It isn’t much. It’s the basics.
The furnished apartment came with one baking sheet, one spatula, one measuring cup and so on and so forth. Not excess, but enough.
With the stuff gone and our family living in a smaller space, we are engaging with each other more. We are playing games together. The kids are playing more with a couple of toys than they did with a house full of toys.
Our time isn’t being sucked up by the management of things. I’m not picking up things all day. I’m not cleaning things all day.
As a family, we cleaned the house together and it took roughly 20 minutes. Total.
But out there, somewhere, is our truck. Our semi truck filled to the brim with stuff. A lot of stuff that we don’t need. Some we do, but a lot we don’t.
Thankfully, we have been given this gift. This gift of experiencing simple living (I realize this is a very First World version of simplicity.) We have now experienced what it feels like to live in a smaller space with fewer things and we all feel the same.
We love it. Even the kids. They love it too. They are all sharing rooms – and they still love it.
I think there is something inside of most people that longs for decluttered space. Longs for simplicity.
But in our world of excess and consumerism – that is hard to achieve. What our hearts long for is in some ways countercultural. Until recently. It seems that more and more people are choosing to live smaller. Live simpler. Look at the tiny house craze. It all stems from a desire to live more freely. A desire to not be bound to as much stuff and experience more life.
So here’s what I am going to do. I am going to take the lesson learned in this temporary space and put it into practice.
In one week and one day, the truck will arrive at our new house.
Nothing (and I mean nothing) will come into our home unless we love it and have a need for it. If it’s just okay, or maybe we might use it some day – NO. No more rainy day items.
I want to unpack slowly. I want to unpack intentionally.
I want to look at this as redistribution. How can we redistribute the things we don’t need any longer? Who could really use them? I don’t want to just make a trip to Goodwill because it’s convenient. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Goodwill.) I want to redistribute intentionally.
This may be our temporary home, but I hope the result of our time here is not temporary. I hope it is long-lasting. I hope as the boxes are brought into our new home that I remember how I feel right now, in this space, typing these words.
Decluttered living. Intentional Living. Simple living. It starts here. It starts now.
Who’s with me?
*If the idea of living a simple, decluttered life is alluring to you too, send me a message and let me know. I would love to hear from you.