I have read all sorts of things on simplifying your life. Some that come to mind are:
“you should simplify your life by making your own shampoo out of things you find in your kitchen”
“you should simplify your life by making your own bread from scratch – the simplest form is the best for you, you know”
“you should simplify your life by repurposing things instead of throwing them out”
I’m not saying any of these things are wrong. They are all really good things and if you can and want to do them WITHOUT jeopardizing the plan God has for you that day, go for it. But what I am taking issue with is people saying these are ways to simplify your life. They seem to complify it to me. Complify is a made-up work meaning: the opposite of simplify.
How about throwing stuff out? Let’s get in there and simplify the old fashioned way and actually get rid of things.
To simplify your life is NOT to go buy a bunch of organizing tubs and spend an entire day making your craft closet look incredible. Only to spend hours every week keeping it looking like this.
To simplify your schedule is NOT buying a mind-blowing day planner, spending a week transferring all of your activities into it and an hour each day making lists and crossing things off. Even though I LOVE to do this.
To simplify your kids toys is NOT spending a weekend in the basement labeling all of your bins with neat little pictures and words and sorting the toys accordingly. Only to have it ransacked in about 30 minutes by one little person.
Now, I’m not saying that your house can’t be neat and organized. In fact, I need my home to be neat so I can be calm. But it doesn’t have to be Pinterest perfect. It needs to fulfill it’s function. We spend a lot of time intending to simplify our lives but actually complifying them.
I think if we truly simplified our lives they would be less stressful and more enjoyable. Dare I say, peaceful.
I will say with a great deal of certainty that we would have time to do the things God had for us on his agenda for that day. Talking to a friend, getting to know a neighbor, listening intently to our child…
But I don’t think we get there by putting everything in a neat little box. I think we get there by making things less complex. It should be easy to clean my room, and it would be, if I only had what I needed in it.
I think we get there by making our schedules easier and less hectic by only doing what we have to do and not complifying them with extra activities and errands where we get and do things we don’t need to get or do.
I think we get there by making our home systems less complicated, by rearranging and organizing our homes to make getting to the things we need easier to get to and easier to put away. Maybe toys don’t have to go in the correctly labeled basket, but instead they just need to be put away somewhere.
For me, it starts with donating all of the things my children haven’t missed in over a month. If you didn’t see this story you can read it here. It’s a start.