By Caroline Bujold
I don’t know if it’s because I’m really busy (read a bit overwhelmed) lately, but I’m dreaming of a retreat with no sites to visit, no transportation schedule to follow and absolutely no plans other than relaxing and recharging. You could say my tank feels a little empty.
The trap during these periods is to fill our lives with stuff to counteract stress, boredom, sadness, etc. and most of us do this to a certain degree.
So, as I write about organization, I am acutely aware that I live in a very tempting consumer driven world. I sometimes have to talk myself out of buying things I sort of want, but don’t really need. Living with less is the hardest part for most people, including me. Especially in a world where you can buy cheap goods like a $5 t-shirt … so why not buy 5, regardless or your actual needs?
When people tell me about their organization problems, usually they come up with some version of ‘’ I don’t have enough space’’ or ‘’I don’t have enough time to organize’’. I’m going to let you in on a little secret … If you don’t have enough space, it’s because you have TOO MUCH STUFF. If you don’t have enough time to organize, it’s because you have TOO MUCH STUFF to organize.
Let’s say you had the most amazing opportunity presented to you, but in order to be able to benefit from it you needed to pack your belongings and go in the next 24 hours. What would you grab? Our ancestors used to live that nomadic life, where your entire life would fit in whatever you were able to carry. I’m not sure I could live with my hubby on the road with only our backpacks, in a really small condo/apartment, a tiny 300 square foot house or a bus (yes some people do that); but it’s hard to ignore the trend and benefits of small living.
A part of me wants our possessions to be neatly organized, to create spaces that are visually pleasing and relaxing at the same time. But a bigger part of me wants us to live with less: less to maintain, more time, possibly more money; in other words, added freedoms.
Living with less, is not only about the size of our house though, it’s also about having fewer items on our To Do List, fewer restrictions and fewer responsibilities perhaps; less stuff in my head, more time to contemplate, learn and dream and certainly more opportunities to discover and experience the world around me.
I haven’t found the magic formula yet and I think it’s different for everybody and it might even evolve over time, depending of where you are in life. What I know for sure is that I definitely want more life in my life and less stuff to worry about.