What I Learned This Summer: The Benefits of Owning Less

This summer has been a breath of fresh air to this previous commitment addict. This year’s summer season must come to an end, but I am looking forward to the fall and the routine that it brings. However, this fall will be like no other as well, because of my new love of simplicity and the life and adventure it has brought into our home. There is something that I learned this summer that has stirred a fire in my belly. 

I realized something that I hadn’t ever noticed during previous summers at the lake. We spend most of the summer at our lake house. The living space is probably half of what we are used to back at home. It can quickly feel pretty claustrophobic and loud on a rainy day, or when my kids are racing each other indoors and improving their ninja warrior skills.

owning less

But still, there is something about that house that provides more peace and connection with each other. I thought it was that we were off the grid, or maybe the sound of the boats or simply the view of the water. And that may very well be part of it, but those reasons are not what drives our calm there.

After spending a couple rainy days back at our permanent home, it dawned on me.

Our lake home is more peaceful because of how little we own there!

This quaint home, with it’s small kitchen, and tiny, 1940’s refrigerator is simply not full of junk. There is no basement to store things in or to accumulate unnecessary back-up items. The closets are half empty, the toy selection is slim and we pretty much each wear the same 5 articles of clothing all summer long.

I want to bring that kind of freedom back to our home!

This fall I intend to continue our purge, but this time I have a new, more focused, vision. A vision to turn my home into my lake home. 

I’m starting simple and playing the long game. This time I plan to be more methodical and patient. I’ve got my eye on the prize!

Just as when we initially started this process, I plan to stick with the areas that mainly effect myself and my husband for now (since he’s completely drunk the Kool-Aid as well). I will hold off on my kids’ areas until we’ve gained some more momentum.

Timing is everything with them. A pre-Christmas purge will get them motivated and help them understand the necessity to letting go of some items before the grandmas unleash their Christmas magic.

I would love for you to join me on this journey toward a more peaceful home with less chaos and clutter.

owning less

Let’s make more room for what we value most.

Let’s get rid of unnecessary items and clear our schedule of things that are keeping us from what is important.

Let’s want less, so that we can experience more, be there more, give of ourselves more.

Matthew 6:19-21 says it best,

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven where moths and rust cannon destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” 

I don’t believe Jesus is saying we should all live as wandering nomads without any belongings, a favorite shirt or a single penny in savings. Rather, I think he is setting us up for what he says a few verses later.

In Matthew 6:25-28 he describes trust. In summary, Jesus says,

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life- whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear…Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store…for your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

These verses used to be, in my mind, just another command to not worry. Joy and peace used to be my own responsibility. Something I was to demand of myself. But I always came up empty because ultimately I felt the need to provide them for myself through security, comfort and safety. I see it more clearly now.

It’s about trusting that He’s got you. Trusting He will provide for you. It’s about prioritizing the things that last over the frivolous. It may seem ridiculous but I find myself trusting deeper and deeper with every excess item I remove from my life.

I accumulate a deeper trust in the fact that it’s ultimately about me and Him. My worth and value are defined by what He says about me, not in what I own or how I can ensure my own safety and comfort.

I will be starting a series of shorter posts where I will be getting more specific. I will share a more detailed look into the areas I am purging.

Whether you’re looking to dive into minimalism head first, or simply obtain a clear kitchen counter for the first time in a long time, I’ve got your back. Let’s do this!

Owning less

 

How to Minimalize Your Kitchen-9
%d bloggers like this: