I’m back from my break and am excited to have my friend Johanna from My Home Tableau writing here today. I think you’ll enjoy her post as much as I have…

A couple of years ago when I began the journey of intentionally simplifying, I was concerned only with making my home management life easier. I was aware that having fewer things around my home would make cleaning and daily maintenance less stressful. That was my main reason to simplify.

But along the way, I discovered several ways simplifying enriched my life. It became less about eliminating clutter and busy schedules, and more about what I was gaining in the process.

3 Ways Simplifying Has Enriched My Life

1. Time

Since I now have less stuff, my cleaning takes much less time. I have gained minutes in my day I never dreamed possible. Also, since I limit our schedule as much as possible, we have more time to do the things that truly meet our family values.

We are not running around following all the latest trends in activities, but focus our time and energy on meaningful things.This extra time has allowed me to pursue reading and self-education more than I ever had time previously.

2. Relationships

This is closely linked to number one, but it is worth its own point. I have had more time to show hospitality or develop deeper relationships with people. Being less consumed with stuff and schedules has allowed me to get to know people beyond the basic chit-chat.

In my own family my relationships have grown. I had gotten to the point, where I felt like my days were managing stuff. Having time to actually enjoy and spend with my husband and children has been one of the greatest benefits of living a slower and more simple life.

3. Stress

This has been life-changing. I love cooking and baking with my children. I believe it is not only good in helping my children develop life skills, but it also bonds us together. There were times that I hated even getting started because of the mess I knew it was going to create. Having fewer things in my home and less mess overall to deal with allows me to make messes much more freely.

Same goes for art or creative endeavors with the kids. Or, really, even just their toys. The mess doesn’t bother me as much, because I know that the whole thing can be cleaned up in relatively little time. I like to say, “I keep things neat and simple so that I don’t mind the mess.” An oxymoron? I don’t think so.

Life happens in the mess. Relationships build and bond in the mess. But when our lives are too full of clutter, or our schedules are filled to the brim, we rarely have time to slow down and create meaningful messes with our family and friends. And when messes do happen they often raise our stress level to the point that we wonder if it really was worth it.

So I began my journey of simplifying with simply the notion of getting rid of a few bags of clutter. Little did I know that a couple of years later I would find that it has made my life so much more meaningful.

The extra time I have created, the relationships we have been able to build and develop, and the stress it has relieved are what make the goal of simplifying a worthy effort for our family.

Have you found that simplifying (clutter or schedules) has enriched your life?

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