Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pare Down To A Simpler Life



Laura Gaskill really hit a nerve when she wrote "5 Ways to Pare Down Your Stuff — Before It Gets in the Door" in Houzz, Let's face it, many of us are downsizing and getting rid of stuff and many of us have just too much stuff. Gaskill says we must, if we are fighting the "bulge," say no! Say no to that cute object of art at Fred Meyer's, say no to the broken wing on the table by the curb. The one that yells "FREE!" And say no to gifting and receiving gifts at life events. Instead of thinking about more, if we are fighting to de-clutter we must say less is more.

Gaskill suggests a shopping mantra, "Clean And Specious." I like that. It's an affirmation and affirmations work. Before shopping and during shopping, picture the rooms of your house as clean, everything in its place. Everything stands on its own two, three or four feet with space to breathe.There's plenty of light flushing out the dark ideas of old living.When shopping bring up that mental image of your look at home and compare it to the new potential addition. There's no space for it is there?

Gaskill has good advice to move away from gifting altogether, She suggests alternatives. Instead of buying a kitchen gadget, buy some lessons to cook. Instead of buying some gadget for the garden, how about some welding lessons and make your own trellis.

A gift is supposed to say how important the other person is to you. What we really might want is a way to spend quality time with the other. Not practicing what I preach, I asked my daughter what she wanted for her 40th birthday. She thought about it and said, "Dad, I really would like to explore the Ape Caves with you." We spent eight hours together, driving to the caves, hiking in the cave, congratulating each other for completing the hike as I wiped blood from my legs, hiking back to the car and enjoying a meal on the way home. We will never forget this adventure. Already, we are planning next years adventure to the4 John Day fossil beds.

Judging by the number of comments Gaskill received on her article, a lot of us think enough is enough. We can do better, live better and be more relaxed by living simpler.

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