Have you been thinking about downsizing your life and simplifying to make life easier?
You might be closer to the a happier you than you ever thought possible!
In this article, we are going to talk about why simplifying your life does more than making life easier, it makes it possible for you to get more out of life in the process.
Why I Simplified My Life and How You Can Too
When I simplified my life a few years ago, I really wasn’t expecting anything momentous. To be quite honest, I was afraid that I was making the biggest mistake of my life.
As it turned out, however, it was the best thing I ever could have done.
It started with an event that most people would consider to be very negative; I lost my home. You see, my wife and I lived in a four bedroom, three bath home on a lake.
We “had it all,” including three cars in the driveway, a swimming pool in the backyard and about 4000 square feet of living space inside.
Within the span of six months, we downsized to a 500 square foot, one-bedroom condominium. It even came complete with what my wife refers to affectionately as a one butt kitchen.
It took some adjusting on both of our parts.
Today, we have done more than simplifying our living arrangements, we have simplified our lives!
To be honest, we couldn’t be happier.
Why Do You Fear a Simple Life?
People fear living a simple life for a wide variety of reasons. For the most part, however, it has to do with stepping outside of your comfort zone.
How much stuff have you accumulated in your life over the years? If you are anything like me, you had rooms full of stuff and it just kept accumulating. You probably don’t even know everything that you have in your home!
There is a certain level of comfort that our stuff provides. That is why many of us (myself included) will rent storage units and store our stuff so that we have it available. We don’t want to look at it, we just don’t want to give it away.
When you make the decision to simplify your life, you are making the decision to generate change in your life. It may start small or it may start with a big step but in either case, it is a step in the right direction.
Letting Go of Your Fear of Change
Rather than fearing change, you need to embrace it. If the journey of 1000 miles truly begins with one step, it is a step that you need to take on your own.
After you make that first step toward a simpler life, you will see that the snowball effect begins to take place. The more you simplify, the more you will want to simplify. The benefits will just keep accumulating.
You have two basic choices of how to take the first step toward a downsized existence. You can either jump in with both feet and get started or you can adjust to the idea before taking the first step.
Jumping in with both feet is easy. Regretting the jump is something that you don’t want to do.
Sometimes, you need to reset your mind so that you are absolutely convinced that downsizing your life is the best choice you can make. With your mind in the lead, your body will soon follow.
Establishing Rules for Downsizing
As you begin to simplify your life, you will find that you meet with various roadblocks along the way. Some of those roadblocks can really trigger your emotional attachment to items that are standing in the way of simplification.
Decluttering is a process that all of us need to go through. When I first started downsizing, I had 4 storage units that were packed full from floor to ceiling. It took me some time to get down to 2 storage units and quite honestly, it is still a work in progress.
Establishing some rules early on can make it easier for you to simplify. It really is a matter of touching everything that you own and making some hard decisions.
I find that there are many items we may have been holding onto for sentimental reasons. Some of them we may never let go of but others are simply clutter that makes our lives complicated.
If you haven’t used something for 6 months and it doesn’t appear as if you are going to use it for 6 months in the future, is it really worth saving?
Perhaps you could just give it to somebody and let them enjoy it! There really is more happiness in giving than in receiving (or keeping).
Why Less Is Always More with Simplification
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about simplification? Do you think about throwing everything away and living out of a duffel bag?
Life doesn’t need to be that complicated.
Some people equate simplification with minimalism but they do not always need to be standing on level ground. Minimalism is sometimes just as complicated as having too many things.
Why is that the case?
Imagine if you were to simplify your clothing so that you didn’t have a closet full of items you didn’t wear on a regular basis.
How many outfits would you choose? Would it be 2? 5? Perhaps 10? It really has to do with your comfort level.
Some people tailor their lives down to such an extreme that they have limited options.
Using the example of clothing, imagine that you drop down to 2 outfits. You might consider your life to be simple in that regard, but is it?
How often would you have to do laundry?
Would you really not think about what you were wearing because you had limited choices?
It is not necessary to completely deprive yourself of the good things of life in order to simplify. It is just a matter of living under your means, both financially and emotionally.
Come with Me on a Simplification Journey
My simple life is by no means complete. To be honest, I’m happy with where I am now but couldn’t we all use more happiness in our lives?
My ultimate goal is not to cast off everything I own. After all, I enjoy having some of my stuff and if that means that I have a box of mementos under the bed, so be it!
What I am trying to accomplish is simplifying my life to the point where I am free.
Free to live my life on my own terms.
Free to make choices rather than excuses.
Free from the stress of wondering “what if?”
My journey of 1000 miles began not all that long ago. Since that time, I have learned to live with less and I realized that it was something I had within me all along.
There are always going to be bumps in the road as you travel through life. Some of those bumps are going to be easier to navigate than others.
All in all, however, it is not about the destination but rather, it is about the journey.
If you take care of the journey, the destination will take care of itself.
Set Goals to Simplified Today
In your journey to discover that less is more, you will need to set some goals. Some of those goals will be long-term and others will be short-term.
You may even have some micro-goals that will get you from one day to the next.
Our personal journey to simplification is one that is specific to us. We can still share much of what we learn along the way and grow stronger as a result.
I will show you how I simplified my life and benefited from it.
How I simplified my emotional health…
How I simplified my physical health…
How I learned to let go of what was holding me back.
It is my hope that all of us will enjoy this journey together.