Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My year of less is more: how to be more content with less space

Image from:  www.theminimalists.com
How can you be more content with less space? Chuck some stuff OUT!  The answer is to not create more space.

OK, sure, if you can't actually fit in a bed for the children and you've maxed out the triple bunk bed shop, it might be time to get some more space.  I guess you can't really chuck the kids out on the footpath for the next council clean-up ;).  But if you need more space for your non-people stuff, then I'm afraid you may need to get rid of some of your stuff.

At the end of the day, you can actually live in a small space.  Have you ever been on holidays, stayed in small accommodation and like actually, kind of, you know, SURVIVED?  Well, you can do it in normal life too.

What's your life about?  Mine's about the people I share it with.  Eating together.  Talking.  Laughing.  Crying. You don't need heaps of space to do that together.  Keep the stuff that will enable you to do the great, important stuff in your life.

But the rest of it.  The 'just-in-case's.  The 'I-once-loved-it-alot's.  The 'It-cost-me-alot of money's.  The 'It-reminds-me-of-the-good-times's. The 'But-it-was-such-a-bargain's. Don't keep them.  If that stuff isn't serving a purpose for your life in the NOW then you're either living in the past or the future.

It sounds ruthless I know.  It may also be a bit heartbreaking.  But I don't want my life to be taken up with rearranging boxes of my stuff from my past or for my not-yet-reached future.  I don't want to worry about how to create more space for that stuff.  I don't want to have to earn more money to pay for more expensive space for the stuff.

Sometimes I wonder if I forget that line in the Lord's prayer when we ask God to provide for us our DAILY bread.  God asks us to come before him each day and rely on him for today's needs.  Keeping all those things as a kind of security blanket, like an insurance policy, actually distracts us from our ability to trust that God will give us what we need each day.  And today he's given me a roof over my head with all I need to live.  I'm not sure that my desire for more storage space for my 'just-in-case' possessions is big on God's agenda of concerns for my needs!

Struggling to be content with the space you live in? Think about getting rid of some of the 'not-quite-my-daily-needs' type stuff.

And then have a bit of lie-down while you recover ...

8 comments:

Gordon Cheng said...

Nice! Your blog is moving from 'good' to 'great' and will soon supplant one of my favourites!

http://unclutterer.com/

Jenny said...

Um … so no pressure then Gordon?

Fiona Cheng said...

No pressure at all Jenny. Ignore him! Thanks for these posts. I'm finding them really helpful.

Anonymous said...

Helpful emotional validation at just the right time Jenny. I have the Salvation Army truck coming in a week - and am feeling a little nervous! Thanks for articulating the anxiety. The idea of not having all those 'because-it's..' isn't *so* bad when you look at it in the light, hey.

Jenny said...

Glad it has helped you. I'd be interested to hear how you fare once you have passed your belongings on. How much you do/don't miss them.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any tips for getting husbands on board? Mine immediately gets all defensive when I say i think he has too many books.

Motherhugger said...

In 'The Death of Ivan Ilych' Tolstoy wrote something about every household feels they just need one more room. Seems this isn't a modern, western urge.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jenny. I got the dates wrong - the Salvos truck comes tomorrow. Can't say I'm not excited to be free of this stuff now that it's boxed and leaving (and out of sight). Will let you know how we go.