How to Keep Life Simple

I have too much stuff. How about you?

I have too many gadgets and profiles to remember. How about you?

I have too many tasks on too many lists. How about you?

How can I make my life more simple?

Have you ever raised that question? Have you ever felt like your life needed be more simple?

Have you ever wished you could call your life to a full stop, step off, and breathe deeply?

I have. I do. I will.

For the last several weeks we have been taking a spiritual journey and thinking about the disciplines of the Christian faith. You can check out the weekly posts here when I wrote about meditation, prayer, fasting, and bible study.

You can also find daily “three-minute bible studies” on the topics on my Facebook page.

This week we’re thinking about simplicity.

Our lives get cluttered by accident. We don’t plan to collect things but stuff piles up in our lives all the same.

We may have seen the television shows or heard stories about things that people collect or gather until there is no room in their homes. Hoarding is dangerous and easily recognizable for most people.

I am not talking about hoarding tendencies. I am talking about how our lives lose simplicity and become unnecessarily cluttered.

In fact, our lives can become so cluttered we cannot be the kinds of persons we would like to be.

How can we keep our lives simple? Here are three simple truths about keeping our lives simple.

First, we need to draw the line between what we need and what we want.

Just because new smartphones and every other imaginable electronic device gets redesigned each year does not mean we need the latest and greatest.

New car? The one you have likely does quite well. New wardrobe? Who are you trying to impress? New kitchen gadget? Won’t a knife do?

Look in your closet or at your desk or around the room. How many things can you name that you haven’t used in months? Take a dozen items and donate them to someone in need.

You’ll be amazed at how you will feel.

Next, we need to get rid of things we keep for the wrong reasons.

We hold onto totems, objects that remind us of some other time or place. It makes sense to hold onto a keepsake from a memorable vacation or family event.

Keep those pictures of family and friends. Hang onto the ugly painting your father painted; keep the crooked stool he made.

Why keep the set of jars in case you start canning? Why keep the old shoes in case you need something that can get wet? Why hold onto the five year old laptop just incase your current one dies?

Let them go. You won’t need them. You haven’t needed them.

Finally, we need to be honest about what sustains us.

You may think you’re preparing for the apocalypse, but really you’re just stockpiling. Things do not give you life. Things will not comfort you. Gadgets will not show you love.

Look at your family and the people in your life. They are the most complicated, yet simple parts of who you are.

If you’re going to invest in simplicity, start there, and you’ll discover just how everything else is of little or no value to you.

Simplicity is always about relationships.

Yes, I know it’s complicated. That’s why we’re trying to discover simplicity. More later, but for now, see if you can let a few things go.

Release some of the clutter from your life. Simplify.