Guest post by Sarah of The Jelly Jars
Over the course of the last year, my husband and I have completely rewritten our life plans, moved away from the city we thought we would retire in, said goodbye to our best friends, gave away 1/3 of our possessions, and downsized our living situation from a 2600 square foot home to a 900 square foot apartment as we pursue this new dream.
The biggest surprise for me in this whole journey has been how much I’ve loved downsizing!
Here is what I have learned in the process:
1. I only own what I love.
In cutting down on our possessions, we asked a lot of questions. Did the item have great value – was it of high quality, an investment that we made? Did the piece have great sentimental worth – were we tied to it because of family history or special memories? Did the item serve a specific purpose – does it serve a necessary function in our home?
If an item met certain criteria, we kept it. If not, it was donated.
2. I don’t need as much as I think I do.
Because of this process of downsizing, I realized I had accumulated so much stuff without even realizing it. Our basement was filled with boxes of decorations and extra clothes and anything I wanted to hold on to “just in case I need it one day.”
But now, without these extra items, I realize that I am still content and still can live a full and joy-filled life because life is not made full by material possessions.
3. I opened up room in my life for things that mattered.
I am no longer worried about that season’s trends or decorations or the fact that I need a better mail organizer.
My heart is less tied to material possessions and is now more available to the little gifts that I see in our moments and sprinkled throughout our days.
4. I gained perspective.
It’s so easy to compare yourself against advertisements or movies or even your neighbors and friends, thinking you need more and more to keep up. But when I looked at our possessions with a different perspective, I saw how very much we have and that we actually are very well taken care of.
Once I silenced the driving need to keep up with friends or commercials, I have been able to find contentment with what we already have rather than being discontent with what I wish my life looked like.
The process of simplifying helped me to clean out our home yes, but even more so it helped bring about a new way of thinking for us.
Now we are much less apt to buy something without truly evaluating if it is worth it to us or if it is just a purchase to satisfy a short-term desire, and we have found much more contentment through no longer buying into the belief that we always need more.
Sarah is a mountain-loving, dark chocolate-eating, Frank Sinatra-listening, owie-kissing, truth-telling, freelance writer/blogger who seeks out a passionate life with her husband and two kiddos. She writes at The Jelly Jars.