Simplifying My Life is Complicating My Life

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When did simplifying make everything more complicated? My husband and I made a conscious effort to simplify our lives. The first step was to downsize. We sold the big house and bought a smaller, but still very comfortable house.

The problem is that we still have too much stuff. So once again, I am sorting. Only this time, it is much harder. I already pitched the fluff when we temporarily moved into an apartment. Now, I really have to prioritize. It is difficult to let go of anything related to my mom because her death from one year ago is still fresh.

The kids’ stuff is the next category. How can I get rid of the things that conjure up such good family memories? Besides, I want to save some things for grandchildren that will come someday. I move on to paper piles thinking that will be easier. There is something special about holding a piece of paper in your hands versus staring at a computer screen. Since I am a writer getting rid of personal papers feels like throwing away part of me. “Sigh.”

As I go through the process, I keep reminding myself of the goal we set and the prize to be attained. Getting there won’t be easy. It won’t be fun. It won’t be quick. It won’t be painless. However, I know that downsizing the clutter in my life will upsize my faith with God.

Matthew 6:19-21

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Philippians 3:13-14

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

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12 thoughts on “Simplifying My Life is Complicating My Life

  1. Just keep editing, little by little. I was extremely close with my grandmother and have a number of her items in my house that will have to go. Specifically, her piano that I inherited. I just remind myself that having her items around me doesn’t bring her back-my memories of her do. A picture is much more powerful than a full piano in my living room.

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    • Thankfully, I did not have something as big as a piano! But I did have a sewing table and a broken sewing machine. My mom was an awesome seamstress and could make anything without a pattern, just the one in her head. Both items sold in our garage sale. I was thrilled when a friend bought the sewing table. Strange, but I liked that it went to someone I knew. You are absolutely right about the pictures. I have taken the time to scan and organize pictures and and document stories to keep online and to turn into a Family photobook (which I have already done.)

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    • Mani, That would be so hard. I get the feeling that you embrace change, but I am one that does better with progressive and persistent change. Having a deadline (and not a target date that can shift) means that it will get done! Have you replaced the stuff at this point? Or have you gotten used to less? With simplifying our lives, we are also trying to get used to less. It is an interesting process and funny what I consider necessary and what my husband considers necessary!

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  2. Haven’t really felt the need to downsize possessions yet. But your post is food for thought. What do I consider essential? What possessions are comforting? What would be hard to part with? I sometimes joke that I am an organized hoarder. We have a lot of family items from both sides (our folks have all passed on). We do enjoy them. I imagine myself going to a nursing home. What would I take? I do think as we get closer to the end of our earthly days, possessions mean far less. We start looking toward the eternal.

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    • Donna, I wouldn’t have to downsize if we didn’t come from a house with a basement. We moved from Indiana and a crawlspace to a house with a full (unfinished basement) and 3 car garage. That was where the problem came in: we filled the available space and avoided prioritizing because we could. What can we take to the nursing home… hmmm, a few pictures, little mementos, but mostly faith, friendships and memories. Those items that take up the most space in our hearts!

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      • Debbie, I can completely relate to your comment. I have a goldfish theory: we will expand to fit our current surroundings, whether we need to get bigger or not. I started in a dorm room and had hardly anything. Moved to a one-bedroom apartment and accumulated a bit more stuff. Bought a house with 1800 square feet and a full basement-accumulated a ton of stuff! Now our house is 2100 square feet + full basement and two-car detached garage. And we have a TON of stuff! We’re in the process of downsizing and I’m being brutal with what gets the axe.

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  3. OurTinyAdventure… yep, lived out your goldfish theory! Trying to reverse it now. I was thrilled when we could park ONE (not two cars, unfortunately) in our garage here. Two cars before winter is our goal. Best of luck in the downsizing… it is so hard!

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  4. Yes Debbie it’s hard to let go of those things that have special memories or remind us of family or friends, I don’t believe it’s putting material things first when we keep them.

    But I agree when our focus is 100% on The Lord everything else fits into place and yes I’m also still Aiming for Perfection in Love putting and my Carnal flesh to death by the Spirit and as I choose to walk in His Fruit He empowers me so I can.

    Now Debbie how do I downsize Micky Moos toys, he won’t let me near them especially his Bone – e-o which he squeaks all the time ( so who Brought it for him) and Mo-Joe likes all his mats, plus his cuddly towels and of course his toys too which Micky Moo keeps running off with Wow it’s just too hard!!!

    Annie is Perplexed!

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