Ramblings

Simplify

Easter is really early this year, which means that Lent snuck up on me.  Last year, I “gave up” Facebook for Lent.  Saying that sounds really ridiculous, but I found that it is really easy for me to spend way too much time “checking Facebook” to see if anything new happened or playing Scrabulous or looking at people’s pictures.  I decided to do that again this year, but also have been trying to figure out something else to “do” during Lent – not necessarily because it has anything to do with Lent, but because if I say that I’m doing something for Lent it might make me more likely to follow through with it. 

(edit: After replying to an unrelated e-mail about Lent from a friend, I realized that I tend to treat Lent like New Year’s Resolutions – something to do or give up to better my life.  Instead, I want to try to remember with whatever it is that I “do” or “don’t do” for Lent that it’s more about remembering my brokenness and how Easter provides a solution to that brokenness.  So, hopefully I do a better job of distinguishing between Lent and New Year’s.  Thanks A.)

So, last week I decided that I wanted to try and simplify my life.  I got to a point last weekend where I just felt overwhelmed – not necessarily with all the things I have to do, but with all the stuff that sits around in our apartment (usually in piles hidden behind something since we don’t have that much room).  I almost felt claustrophobic because of all the “stuff” I saw everywhere – clothes, books, DVDs, etc. 

So, I e-mailed my friend Mike, who along with his wife are mr. and mrs. simple, and suggested that we play a game.  We shoot e-mails back and forth with a different ideas for simplifying life.  Ideas that are challenging and will help simplify your life are the best (i.e. saying to get rid of one pair of socks that you don’t use is kind of lame). 

Anyways, we’ve only done it a few times…but we’ve come up with the following:

  • get rid of 5 pieces of non-sock clothing that you don’t intend to replace
  • get rid of or sell 10 DVDs (Mike said this would be easy, but he doesn’t know how much I like most of my DVDs)

It’s my turn now, so I’m going to try and come up with something good…not sure what yet.

Anyone have any ideas for how to better simplify life, or how you have simplified your life?  It can be either material things (get rid of X) or time-management things (stop going to X) or any other kind of things, really.  So long as they simplify life.

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3 thoughts on “Simplify

  1. You could limit the number of times you check your e-mail everyday…or put some sort of requirement on checking e-mail: like only send an e-mail because it’s relevant for communication…not because you’re bored at work!

    Although this one would be tough for me since I get some of your e-mails!

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  2. i. says:

    The em thing above is a good idea. I don’t know that I can do it for too long, though.

    I have done other things to simplify my life, like: not balance the checkbook weekly which took hours of my time (I check my balance online every 2 days or so instead), using less and less paper, filling up the car with gas instead of going for $5 every day…

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  3. This is something I think about a LOT. I want to simplify. I take good steps, and then I tend to clutter things up again. So I don’t have any answers. For me, the things that bog me down are papers and internet piddling (is that a word? some call it procrastination. you know. Like checking blogs instead of working on my paper. like I’m doing…right…now….).

    I guess for me it’s a process of realizing what I actually value and seeing that some of the stuff around me and the things I’m doing actually take away from what I value instead of add to it. If I really love having a clean apartment and hanging out with friends, piling papers I don’t feel like sorting and putzing online actually keep me from those goals.

    So yeah, on one hand I think it’s about getting rid of stuff in the closet, but for me, it also helps to ID the why and see what’s really valuable.

    Oh, and kind of along the same lines, I like this blog for that reason: http://unclutterer.com

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