Lighter Living.

We’ve lived in this house for just over 4 years. In that 4 years we’ve accumulated a lot of, well, crap. Things we don’t need. Things we don’t use. Things we don’t love. Things and things and things and stuff. We spend time trying to clean and organize. We spend time looking in and through it. We spend time shopping for more stuff because we can’t find the item we need in all of our stuff.

Why do we need so much stuff? It doesn’t make me happier. It makes me sad because it’s an anchor and a waste. It makes me sad that I have to spend time sorting and cleaning or I become depressed because I’m ignoring the sorting and cleaning. I ignore the kids so that I can clean. I yell at the kids because they make a bigger mess with all of their stuff which makes me ignore them more so I can clean more.

Is success based on stuff? If I go out and buy that new dress that I like people will then see how good I look and how on top of the trends I am and that will translate into the appearance of wealth which, in turn, must mean that I’m successful and happy…right? But a new season brings a new style and a new style means that dress I just bought is now out of style which means I need to buy that new dress which means that my closet is running out of room because I can’t bring myself to get rid of that old dress because I love my stuff so I just keep all of what’s the solution? Get a bigger closet! Buy a bigger house! If we have a bigger house then we need more furniture to fit into all of the nooks and crannies and then we need more things to put on the bookshelves and in the closets.

In my heart I don’t buy into the world’s version of square-footage success. Bigger house = More stuff. More stuff = More money. Money = Wealth. Wealth = Success.

Life is more than that. Life is more than stuff.

But in reality I have bought into a large portion of this. I don’t feel like my thinking and my living have aligned very well.

In the past few weeks I have been mulling over ‘Lighter Living’ and wondering what it can look like in my life.

What if James and I got rid of over half of our possessions and only kept what we truly need and love? Could we be happy? Could it work?

 Hm. I was awake for a few hours last night thinking about this.



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3 responses to “Lighter Living.

  1. Yes, I am convinced the answer is “yes” but I would have a hard time doing it myself. I like my “stuff” – it gives me comfort, which I know is all wrong. I look forward to moving into a larger house (not because we need more room for our stuff, we need more room for us!) so that I can go through everything and get rid of stuff. We have done a little but we have a VERY long way to go. I have heard it said that if you don’t need it or love you, get rid of it. I try to keep that in mind. Mostly, I just need to be in the right mood to ditch things, the mood that comes after having cleaned up too much stuff too often!! I wish you well in your thinking and in your purging!

  2. Candice

    Yes! Unequivocally yes! You know that Grant and I do, in fact, live in a house that is too small – we don’t have a bedroom! But we’ve spent the last 18 months clearing away “stuff”, which has been sold, given away or tossed. I don’t remember what any of it was anymore. Clearly it wasn’t important. Just stuff.

    People ask me how I can afford to stay home with my kids. Well, I don’t buy very much stuff. My TV is old and large (but it works). My furniture is mostly hand-me-down, mismatched and out-of-fashion (but functional). My clothing is, well, let’s not talk about my clothing (but at least I’m not naked!). That’s how I afford to stay home with my kids. I asked myself what I value more. New stuff. Or my children. (But when I do buy stuff, it usually has something to do with my kids who make a big mess with it, leaving me wondering why I bought it. I just spent 2 hours in my son’s room cleaning and sorting “stuff” to be given away).

    (So I don’t offend, I know that sometimes Moms have to work – that even if the family lives on a lean budget, there wouldn’t be enough to make ends meet. Thankfully, in our family, we’ve been able to make our ends just meet – and for this, I know I am Blessed).

  3. gayle franzmann

    Try doing what my friend Pat is doing. Which is the 100 item thing. You can only have a total of 100 things you need. Like socks, underwear, makeup, PERFUME. OK. That is crazy talk!

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