There’s more to life than buying stuff.
There are many wonderful people pursuing and promoting simplicity. Fortunately, some of them are gifted in communication and choose to encourage and inspire us with their words. I enjoy reading their unique perspective. I’m sure you will too.
So fix yourself a nice warm cup of coffee or tea on this beautiful weekend. Find a quiet moment. And enjoy some encouraging words about finding more simplicity in your life today.
Memo to Parents: Your Adult Kids Don’t Want Your Stuff | mLive by Marni Jameson. Parents of grown children, please sit down. I have some harsh news for you. Your kids don’t want your stuff. Don’t take it personally. It’s not that they don’t love you. They don’t love your furniture.
What Happens When Fashion Becomes Fast, Disposable And Cheap? | NPR by Zhai Yun Tan. When it comes to clothes these days, maybe you should ask: What’s your waste size?
5 Things People With Tidy Homes Don’t Do | Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith. After years of feeling bad about my messy habits, I’ve learned how to embrace the mess and I’ve also learned how to have a tidy(er) home.
Hoarding Is a Serious Disorder — And It’s Only Getting Worse in the U.S. | The Washington Post by Sara Solovitch. Studies show that compulsive hoarding affects up to 6 percent of the population, or 19 million Americans.
7 Little Ways to Make Life Simpler | Marc and Angel Hack Life by Marc Chernoff. Anyone can make today more complicated than it has to be, and most people will. It takes a touch of wisdom to do the opposite.
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This ‘Weekend Reads’ list was made for me! No, I don’t want their stuff (and honestly, I think they have hoarding tendencies). I want a wardrobe I don’t need to think about (like Einstein) and I want it to consist of well-made, timeless garments I can keep wearing for a while. I want it simple and I want it tidy… that pretty much sums it up.
My husband and I had some pieces of furniture from our families when we married because we couldn’t afford to buy what we really needed at the time. We have been slowly replacing them and either donating or recycling the old pieces as we can because most were quite impractical for our needs and space, (very small apartment.) It did help not to have to buy new stuff for a while so we could save up and not have to buy on credit.
I did keep my grandmothers’ silver because I like the pattern enough and we don’t have a dishwasher so hand washing is not an issue. It makes me smile to think of her when I use them.
As for clothing I try to buy the best quality I can afford in simple classic styles so they always look appropriate. I donate or recycle what I can no longer use or repair. It really bugs me to see people waste money on fast fashion.
Bob Pepe says
I am having my biggest day yet in my drive to un-clutter and I am not even at home! Today I am De-Cluttering my office. I have boxes and boxes of “Stuff” that I have not touched in years and have no real intention to in the future.
I am getting rid of my HUGE Oak desk and replacing it with a smaller glass L-Shaped work station. I already got rid of two filing cabinets and working on a third. My new desk is going to have one Two-Drawer file cabinet under one end of the desk. I am getting rid of the 32 inch monitor that takes up half my desk and replacing it with my MacBook that I do 99% of my work on anyway. The coffee maker is gone, the Fridge is gone, the Fax machine is gone…
I spend 8 to 10 hrs per day in my office and I want to make this a place where I am un-cluttered and able to think and spend my deal in a more calming,controlled, environment.. I think in our journey to minimize, we should consider where we spend so much of our time as a place to work on.
This is very exciting!!
VERY! Congrats! :)
Went to a bridal shower yesterday and the host lives in a beautiful old Cape Cod. The house itself is so pretty with lots of built-ins. However, the home had lots and lots of clutter. Every nook and shelf was filled with clutter. I thought to myself that it needed a good de-cluttering, for sure. Funny how once you start this journey, you see things differently. She was a very lovely host though and her house was warm and welcoming.
girl C says
I love your book recommendations! Will add all of these to my to-read list…
I have a very simple home with seriously only 1 of everything unless I seriously need a second (i.e. my kids might break the first). People always tell me it’s not like you are carrying it on your shoulders, so what if you have an extra of this that or the other…but I can’t stand it!! I don’t know how people have so many things in their homes…it stresses me out lol…
Thank you Joshua for this week’s read. I really enjoyed the relevancy of the topics in my life at present. I do look forward to your weekly posts. Thanks again
Lori in Prescott says
Great articles! Being a tidying up, neat freak, I could never grasp why people were hoarders. My take away from the article, and some of the comments, lets me be far more compassionate and understanding. I’ve tried for decades to inspire 2 childhood friends to clean up their houses, (which they are so embarrassed by they don’t allow anyone to come visit), to no avail. I finally see their struggle in a whole new light.
And yes, it’s the low level, unconscious, constant tidying that makes my house always clutter free. I have an innate radar that unfortunately my husband doesn’t have! Good thing one of us does!
John P. Weiss says
The piece “5 Things People With Tidy Homes Don’t Do” struck a chord, particularly the author’s comments on paper. We recycle mail & newspapers and I use my iPhone to photo images I like to Pinterest. Thanks for the weekend read!
Laurie J. says
I so love these round-ups, Joshua — thank you!
I’m getting rid of five things a day and plan on doing this until the end of the year. What helps me with this is envisioning the person buying it, either from me or a thrift store and seeing the smile on his or her face after finding the “treasure.” It makes me want to give even more.
Milissa Hubbard says
What a great idea to use visual techniques as motivators.
I love finding homes for the items I now longer want or have a use for. Some of my furniture has gone to families that had very little. I have been decluttering for the past 4 months. Since I currently live with my sister and brother-in-law, I have a small storage unit for a few furniture items. I have cleaned that to the point of going down to a smaller size unit. Each time I take a look at the stuff that I own (or owns me) I find more items to separate my self from.
Keep up the good work.
The article on hoarding mentions that it can start after a traumatic experience. I certainly can attest to that. Following divorce, death of family members, changing jobs multiple times and cross country household moves … All in rapid succession … There can be lots of confusion. It is difficult and can be exhausting to get organized following a rapid succession of traumatic events. It can seem insurmountable. Seemingly helpful people can add to the trauma by “helping to get rid of the stuff” (I.e. Stuff seems to disappear after people come to visit) . They don’t tell me they are taking it and think Ill never miss it. Instead, I find it is gone and think someone stole it. This can create more trauma: first of all I think I’ve misplaced the item or box and hunt all over the place for it. Not finding it I begin to think it was stolen. So then I develop feelings of insecurity and even paranoia.
Thankfully, my life has stabilized. I’m putting my life back together, and I’m now getting organized, eliminating excess stuff.
I guess my point is, when people have these events in their life it can be very traumatizing! One can show up to work every day and be totally “with it”. Yet, all this disorganization is still waiting for you when you get home every evening. It can be overwhelming. Especially when one has moved to a new town, without friends or family, clear across the country. De-cluttering can seem like an insurmountable job. It is easy to give up. Don’t give up. Just keep at it and you will succeed.
Thank you for sharing your story. I have had horrible trauma in my life as well…so I can relate. I am glad you are in a better place now.
Marc & Angel says
Thank you for including us, Joshua. :)
Also, I love the Memo to Parents! Couldn’t agree more.
I love this set of weekend reads, Joshua. Thanks for posting them!
I’m doing great, and I’ve gained tons of wisdom from this site over the years. It does get easier and easier.
However, Myquillyn Smith’s article especially resonates with me. I need to be more tidy and develop better habits. There needs to be a balance though, because I know a few people who are obsessed with cleanliness and order…that’s not good either. It doesn’t seem like they enjoy their spotless homes very much—and it makes it hard to be a guest there—as you can see their eyes constantly “watching the mess you’re creating” in their house. You know as soon as the guests leave they are up all night wiping the place down with Lysol! And their houses are not at all welcoming, especially to children. I would NEVER want to live like that.
Balance—that’s the key :)
You are so right……it is all about finding that balance between clean, tidy and welcoming and comfortable, lived in and welcoming.
Chronic, low grade tidying…..that’s a thing that I find I’m doing more and more of the more I declutter. And it does get easier. But, for me at least, the decluttering had to come before the daily tidying could start to become a habit. I don’t think that I will ever become an obsessively clean, order obsessed individual nor do I desire to. I want to feel comfortable in my home and I want my guests to feel comfortable as well.
The decluttering is no where near being finished but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And the tidying? Well, I don’t have a panic attack if someone drops by unexpectedly any more, lol! The house is tidy enough that it seems only messy instead of a disaster! Beds made, bathrooms clean, kitchen clean before I go to bed, dining table clear of stuff, floors clear of stuff…….I’m pleased with how far I’ve come.
And to everyone who is berating themselves for not being able to declutter and purge and get it all just right on some timetable or another, let me say this. I’ve been working on this on and off since Hurricane Katrina. I’ve been married for 36 years and raised two children. Life happens and you get sidetracked, derailed and sometimes just have to take a break for your own sanity. You have to care for a dying parent, a sick child, health issues of your own, go back to school, change careers, take on an extra job…….stuff happens. Don’t beat yourself up, get back to it when you can and pat yourself on the back for every small step forward that you make….even if it’s one drawer!
Stephanie L says
My parents have some things I’d want, if only those pieces didn’t reek of cigarette smoke. I can’t imagine anyone else will want them, either – a cleaning only goes so far. Thank goodness I got a few beautiful, sentimental things directly from my non-smoking grandmother.
At the moment I’m thrifting some fashion, fast or otherwise. Hand surgery = a giant cast/dressing = all my armholes are too small. So be it, I’m doing the best I can right now. Our friends are bringing us meals in responsible re-usable containers, so there’s that…