We have moved out of our Irish home of four years & into a two bedroom apartment armed with our suitcases, before we head to Bahrain in four weeks. Two teenagers, Phoebe, our trusty lab & me. OK, so it is only a couple of weeks but, I have to say, I am loving the simpleness of living in a smaller place where it is easy to keep it clean & everything has its place.
I guess I started this whole living simply process when I took a good look around our house to decide what I wanted to bring with us to Bahrain & what was not so important that we could either give away, sell or dump. Well, you know how these things go, sometimes it gets worse before it gets better! I had filed rubbish bags of clothes in the corner that were designated to different people, plants that I hadn’t managed to kill yet were set aside & any foodstuff in the cupboards given to visitors. It just so happened that all this physical clearing of stuff tends to have a knock on effect on the emotional side, a kind of therapeutic letting go.
All of this began very much as a forced way of life whilst all our belongings sail its way over to our new home. However it has had such an impact, I am determined to continue this process. Living arrangements will be on a larger scale (as is always the case in the Middle East) but with less cramming of stuff!
So here are some thoughts I have been pondering over to un-complicate & declutter my life…
It is not always easy to change your lifestyle, especially when you have others relying on you. So start small, creating changes step by step & be patient with yourself. This really is a journey as you choose what works & what doesn’t rather than looking at an end destination.
- Simple living is not just about owning less, it means not being attached to your “stuff”. Be it what we want, our expectations of others, even an attachment to our self image. Appreciate what you’ve got, be thankful for what you have but remember nothing lasts forever.
- Gratitude focuses you on what you already have, what is meaningful for you, what/who you want to surround yourself with. You then drop whatever doesn’t serve you anymore, & through this process you gain an understanding & appreciation of you, of what brings you joy.
- Being mindful allows you to focus on yourself in the present moment, getting rid of any mental clutter. Simple living incorporates this practice about minimising, helping you clear distractions & physical clutter.
- Recognising why it is we buy more & more. Is it a need or is it greed? When we feel unfulfilled on the inside, sometimes we fill that void with food or ‘stuff’. Decluttering your life will lead you to questioning the need for more, & allow you to realise contentment comes from within.
- It’s all about love. Do what you love. Be with those who you love. Your time is precious, use it wisely.
Some questions you may want to mull over…
What is your current lifestyle like? What works? What doesn’t work?
How would you like your lifestyle to be?
What makes you happy? Or as well known Japanese organising consultant, Marie Kondo, says “What brings you joy?”
Will this simplify my life?
As I delve into this new lifestyle, I see the ripple effects of my state of mind & of my behaviour. For me less mess/chaos/disorganisation equals less stress/frustration/anger. It is a process of slowing my pace of living down, living in the present, being more mindful, but there is definitely a feeling of liberation with simplifying life.
I would love to hear your experiences.
I shall keep you posted as I move to a new country with, ironically two containers because they couldn’t fit all our belongings into one!
Watch this uncluttered space…!!