In Search of Simplicity

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about simplicity.

Actually I’ve been thinking about it steadily for over a year.

I heard about the KonMari method around that time, even talked about it here.  I’m a KonMari dropout… I made it through books and clothes, maybe even dabbled into the next section…and then nothing. I love it in concept, but I did not follow through.

I also have certain Feng Shui principles that I have applied to every house since the early 2000’s when I learned them.

  • No mirrors in my bedroom (we started with the one that was attached to the dresser).
  • No TV’s in any bedroom (although the kids seem to have finally gotten around this one with laptops).
  • The bed positioned so that the feet do not align with the exit of the door (and placed in whatever is the commanding position for the room. Typically it is a place where you can see whoever is coming in the door).

There are similar principles that I apply to other parts of the house. Mostly keeping in line with you being able to see what is coming at you.  I think they make sense because I think our natural instincts are to be aware our surroundings and alert to dangers.  There are plenty of other principles. I mostly apply what I have found to create a more comfortable environment.

Feng Shui also relates to simplicity because clutter stops the flow of energy.  Clutter distracts.  Clutter creates disharmony in my spirit.

And yet, my house is still full of it.

I am not a good housekeeper.

It is not a trait of mine that I admire.  I have spoken about my lack of skill in the past. I have shared how easily distracted that I tend to become.

I’m always trying to weed out, to minimize, to simplify.  I have this compulsion that I feel like it’s essential to my growth as a person to complete this task.

I don’t want to be a slave to my possessions. I don’t want to continually clean my home (and it still look like I’ve done nothing). I want to invite a friend over for coffee and not race around hiding debris (to be clear, I doubt any of my friends would care.  This is self-imposed). I want to hang out more with my kids…spend more quality time with my husband. I want to find moments to “just be” and not feel guilty about all the chores hanging over me.

I can see why there is a tiny house movement. 500 sq ft or less is a little too intimidating for me.

But I could downsize.

Lower overhead. Less to clean. Less places for clutter to hide.

I could totally downsize.

Which is a huge eye-opener for me. I have steadily picked larger and larger homes…and now I want to revert to something more akin to a bungalow (with terrazzo floors and retro bathrooms if I were still by the Florida seashore).

I am not sure minimalism is fully what I’m aiming for, but it does give me ideas for my process.  Since the beginning of my journey, I have been seeking simplicity and contentment.

 

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Hygge has become the new buzzword in simplicity.  And of course I only heard about it a few months ago, which I shared here. (As a side note: I was really hoping that my DNA test would show that I was more than 5% Scandinavian.  I was sure that my big hands, big feet, and broad shoulders were because I had an ancestor that was a Viking Princess!)

I decided that I would put some hygge and simplicity books on hold at the library.  Imagine my surprise when they all came in within a few days of each other.

This means that I will be stepping up my reading game.  The Hygge books and The Joy of Less are only two week loans because they are new.  Which also means that somebody else will probably have them on hold and I will not be able to re-check them out.

In what little I’ve read, I haven’t found hygge to be about the “less stuff” side of simplicity.  It seems to me to be more about the “being present” and “content” side of simplicity.

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And cozy.

Cozy is a word that surrounds the concept of hygge.

I like cozy.  Especially because I don’t like cold.  The hubby bought me L.L. Bean slippers for Christmas so my toes don’t turn blue (like literally…I have Raynaud’s). They remind of little elfin boots…which I find hilarious since I have large feet.

I’ve read that bedtime rituals help prepare your mind for a better sleep.  I still haven’t eliminated blue light time in bed (I check my phone…not so good for sleepy time), but I do put on a lotion that’s scent triggers my brain that it’s time for bed.

I am on the slow road to simplicity.  But I am moving ever forward.

Do you have any parts of your day(s) that help you to find more simplicity?

If so, be sure to share in the comments.  I love learning new things!

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Let your light shine!

Amy

40 thoughts on “In Search of Simplicity

  1. Amy…i think that if you and I were able to meet over tea or coffee…it would be a VERY long visit with no moments of silence! We have SO much in common. I love this post and will look at my library for those books too. Sharing in my Posts of Note today! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’ve been slowly down sizing my “stuff”. I spent 30+ years amassing so much stuff and now I just want to get rid of most of it. I started with my books, then moved to my clothes. I haven’t gone as far as having a “capsule” wardrobe, but I’ve got less than 50 items hanging in my closet…not counting blazers, and coats.
    Then I worked on my dresser, but have a ways to go there.

    Knick-knacks and dishes: I have more to do in that arena too.

    My kids still have a lot of “stuff” here too. We’ll have to go through that too.

    We’re looking to move to a smaller house so I’ll have to get seriously busy about jettisoning stuff if we find that house!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t done a “capsule” wardrobe, but I really feel like I should. I don’t like quite a few of the clothes in the closet, but feel like I need to keep them because I haven’t found alternatives.
      50 is impressive. Many, many years ago my husband counted how many tank tops I had in the closet (this was in Florida). I don’t remember the exact number, but it was over 30. (I have a lot less than that now. lol)
      I’m really bad about paper clutter.
      I’m trying to teach the kids to not become slaves to stuff. Some of them embrace that concept, some not so much 🙂
      If we were to downsize, I would have massive amounts of purging to still complete!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, Amy, thank you! I love this. I’ve been super aware of the value of simplicity, and I hadn’t really thought about it in these terms: “It seems to me to be more about the “being present” and “content” side of simplicity.”
    So many blessings to you, Debbie

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I absolutely agree Amy. I also have a way to go on the path to simplicity, especially as it pertains to living situations. I still have a home here in Romania, and another in Colorado, yet I rarely spend more than a few months at a time at either place. Ironically, I was most content when I spent 6 months living out of backpack. Good luck to you. I’ll be peeking in often to see if you’ve hit on that ideal balance so many of us are looking for.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Gabe. I think it may take quite some time to find that ideal balance. I’m sure there are those out there who have found it. I mentioned to another blogger that I think one of the things I enjoy so much about vacation is the lack of excess “stuff”.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post! Hygge is fun to say. The majority of my things are currently in a storage space, so simplicity is what I’ve been working with for the last year and a half, roughly! I find myself yearning for all my knick knacks and “stuff.” I think maybe it’s all about balance, as most things. As far as moments of simplicity throughout my day, it would be my morning coffee or tea as I sit outside and listen to the birds. In the evenings, lighting a candle and journaling as the house is quiet. I feel that once my boyfriend and I have our own space, my days may offer a bit more, but for now, I am content with just those two opportunities. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! It’s definitely about about balance. I think it’s great that you are able to find moments of simplicity. I think far too often we race through life and don’t allow for those moments of breathing space. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My parents were both clutter bunnies, so I grew up with a dislike of cluttered spaces. I can relate to the part about it being disruptive to the soul. As a result, my *style* could be described as more minimalistic than most.
    I am aware however that if my family read this comment, they would likely laugh out loud because of my dishes and shoes. What can I say? I’m not perfect 😉

    I’m always glad to read about another ‘big foot’. I have huge feet for my relatively short stature. I’m always discouraged by those beautiful shoes that look ridiculous in monster-size. It’s probably just as well – or I’d have even more shoes than I already have 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do love shoes! I’ve finally become realistic about the fact that I rarely wear heels and just relish the ones I already own. However, I didn’t own boots in Florida and find myself wanting to grow a collection of those!
      I probably don’t have too many dishes, but definitely too many kitchen gadgets.
      I find that wedges are the only shoes that make my feet appear smaller than they are. 😉

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  7. Love everything about this post Amy, the simplicity, the slippers (they look so cute) the books and the whole hygge concept. Simplicity really is the key, I’m in the midst of decluttering as well but it’s definitely a work in progress. Housework in general is not my strongest trait either. Maybe that’s why I love camping so much. It’s minimalistic. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Both mine and The Mister’s mothers are neatfreaks, so we’re tidy as a habit. My parents downsized into a ‘Florida home’ and his parents built an even bigger house, so you could probably deduct from that I’ve been taught to clear out and he’s been taught to hold on. With my encouragement, he lets go, but slowly.
    I don’t like clutter, at all. I am a clean surfaces person. I don’t like stuff for the sake of pretty.
    We, too, kept getting bigger and bigger spaces to live in, but when we made this move, I wanted to downsize. I don’t know that he did, but I did. I used to clean 2200 sq ft and I am much, much happier cleaning 1500. For one thing, it doesn’t take all morning to clean my floors! I love our bungalow. It is my favorite house of all the ones I’ve lived in.
    I liked the KonMari stuff, but like all advice, I used what would work for me and tossed aside the rest. I still flip the socks into jellyfish shapes and she can’t make me toss my books. That handbag thing, PFFFT! As if! lol
    I’m pretty big into feng shui. I’ve got a friend who’s a master, so that helps significantly. Even then, though… Over my stove is no place for a mirror!
    Someone tried to online argue me the other day, that if my house is neat as a pin, it must be cold and put people on edge, but I know it’s not. It’s cozy as can be. Because we live here. It’s homey.
    Getting sidetracked when cleaning is like a lil journey of the spirit, you know — nostalgia 🙂 And no one, not anyone, cares for people because they keep a tidy house. It’s just a lifestyle choice, not a crime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have known some people who get even bigger houses after the kids move out. I can’t imagine that.
      I’m in a struggle because we have four bedrooms and I don’t want to make the boys share for the oldest’s last year before college. Ultimately I’m hoping for a little 3/2. Less toilets to clean is a definite plus to me! lol.
      I wonder if people actually do the KonMari handbag thing? That was never going to happen for me. I do fold the shorts in those little stand up things because I liked how it let me see what I owned.
      A friend who is a feng shui master sounds very helpful! Yeah, no mirrors over the stove for me.
      I think all of my friends are amazing homemakers and there’s a very warm and cozy vibe to their homes. That’s why I want to declutter because I feel like the excess doesn’t create that feeling in my home.
      Mostly I have a paper problem. It comes in quicker than I can sift through it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • May I suggest magazine holders? They hold a lot of paper — you can keep them tucked away, but it’s not as fussy as filing. I find it SUPER helpful. And then I have a bulletin board, because school stuff comes in, you have to keep it for a time, and then the time passes. Paperwork is the bane of my existence as, for it is the enemy of clean surfaces 😉
        I know people who do the handbag thing. They say they got used to it. Lucky them.
        I agree about the folding, 100%!
        I think 3/2 is pretty ideal. When we downsized, we were down to two kids at home. That makes a huge difference.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice post. At the right time you will find the right reasons and ways to simplify, bests to stay patient with yourself in the meantime.
    To answer your question, best time of day for me to find simplicity is early in the morning- before the potential for distractions gets too great! I have just found a great little system for planning my days so they are more focused. If I work on this as part of my morning activities, the chances of my day, overall, being less cluttered are greater.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Great post!! I am in love with Hygge! When I heard of the concept at first, I thought – this is my life!! Finally, one simple word to describe it. Wishing you all the very best in finding your simplicity xo

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi… Amy…
    I always remind myself that towards simplicity is a journey, we learn lessons along the way and consciously improve ourselves.
    Just remember that we really do not need stuff to feel our life. ..blessings…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for commenting! Simplicity is definitely a journey. It is the steadily improving of my awareness that I remember that stuff is not what I want to strive for. 🙂 …Blessings to you.

      Like

  12. Simplicity means using less material , as much as possible , as per your capability, simplicity is also relative , . For inner peace and some satisfaction you should do a little but with fulfillment . No “perfection”.

    Liked by 1 person

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