Thursday, January 26, 2017

What to do when you're not decluttering

I talk a lot about decluttering. But that's not my life, and I don't want my life to be all about getting rid of stuff. For one things, that would mean at some point I'd have to start bringing stuff into the house so I would have something to declutter.

Minimalism is a concept that has various meanings for various people. But I keep seeing people talk about how minimalism is about the quality of life you live, not about the number of things you own.

My path to minimalism is largely about my relationships. I want to make the best use of the time I have with both my children at home. In order to do this, I need to prioritize our time together, and I need to prioritize their interests. As a result, dance, robots, Legos and chickens take up time and space in my life. Legos take up a lot of space in my house, even if they aren't a decorating decision I would make otherwise.

I am spending some of my time serving God through my church. I am hoping to improve the lives of people in my community through my service there. If other people are able to better enjoy their time with their children because they have better access to food or other necessities, that is a good use of my time.

I do need to decide some other uses of my time. If I'm not going to spend all my time running to the grocery store (still thrilled with the new system, thank you!), what do I want to do with my time. I spend some time blogging, some time keeping the house reasonably tidy, some time keeping my family fed. But I need to decide what relationship-building activities I find most important. What does my family want to do together when we have an afternoon or weekend free of commitments?

Commitments that do not support our true priorities are clutter as much as physical objects are.

If minimalism is making space for the important things in life, we each need to decide what those important things are, to us. With so much environmental static, with so many messages crowding in on us to be this, buy that, do the other thing, we really need to quietly evaluate what is important to use internally. We need to have the environmental quiet to hear our authentic selves tell us what we really want to surround ourselves with. It's probably not clutter.

So go out and discover what you're interested in being, and pursue that when you're not decluttering.

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