Okay, readers. Here is my advice for all of you contemplating the simpler life: just do it! If that seems simplistic then so be it. But what I have observed about people trying to declutter, simplify, and downscale, is the old truism: “objects at rest tend to stay at rest and objects in motion tend to stay in motion.” Inertia is the enemy! Never underestimate the power of an intentional action, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.
There is no ideal time to simplify your life. There are multiple opportunities for you to experience the bliss of living more lightly if you will only seize them. With that said, I do believe in doing it when the mood strikes but you can’t afford to simply wait for the mood to strike. Seizing the moment jump starts the process and allows you to adjust as you progress.
Trust me, I know this from experience. The key is keeping it simple! Do like we did and start with a drawer. Afterward move to a closet. And then tackle a room. Touching everything you own causes you to account for all your stuff. As you deal with it, your forward progress will give you such momentum that you will wonder what took you so long to start the process.
I agree with Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding: “On a basic level, there are three general methods to simplifying your life: stopping expansion, reining in your routine, and reducing clutter.” So decluttering is only one step toward a simpler life. Getting rid of what you’ve got is a big part of simplifying, but it is the accompanying emotional liberation that is the big payoff.
Stopping the expansion includes cancelling subscriptions and reading stuff at the library to clear space in your home. Reining in your routine means shopping less in order to limit the accumulation of goods in the first place. And the best part of all this is that it frees you to explore other options in life instead of pursuing a lifestyle of acquisition and maintenance. So start small and keep up the good work of simplifying your life!