It is January 3rd, the pine needles are all over your floor or you have recently swept them away. You have taken the mountains of wrapping paper to the recycling bin, and the leftover champagne that you toasted the new year in with that is now in your refrigerator has gone flat. Now is the time that we begin to think of what we can do to make our lives better – a.k.a. resolution time. My biggest focus is always decluttering.
I have thought a lot about my own 2011 resolutions as my life has been a tad bit hectic and I haven’t been able to enjoy it as much as I would like. I started making a list of things I would like to change, but when I looked at the items on the list I realized there was one common denominator. Seeing it pop out on the paper made me realize there was only one New Year’s resolution I needed to make – the rest would follow. My New Years resolution – is simple – literally – to simplify.
I am going to try to make 2011 the year I truly learn to live without so much “stuff”. My life is filled with things. I am overwhelmed by possessions I own but do not treasure. Stuff I have bought, but do not need. Perhaps in 2011 I can be different. Perhaps now is my opportunity to reassess what really matters. After all, if everything I ever bought disappeared overnight, what would I truly miss?-not piles of stuff that I no longer need -not too many Christmas decorations -not the stacks of china I use only once a year -not a basement filled with stuff I have no idea what to do with
By decluttering and simplifying I will have more time in my day to take care of the things that really matter. By not having to take care of so much stuff I will have more time to eat right. By getting rid of boxes of junk that I haven’t used in years I will have more time to exercise. By not going to the mall to shop for things I don’t need, I can have more time to spend with family and friends. By not having to dust tchotchkes and excess stuff I can take a class or an online course to learn something new. Simplifying will allow me to come home from work and spend more time creating and connecting with you.
Living simply can mean completely different things to different people. Whatever it means to you, living simply frees you to simply live consciously with clear purpose that coincides with your ideals. Excess clutters not only your space, but your mind as well. As a consumer oriented society we usually associate simplicity with self-denial and austerity. Rather than depriving, simplicity allows you to live more fully. It lets you focus on what is important to you as an individual while getting rid of the stuff that gets in the way. No extra unneeded flourishes to catch dust, clutter you don’t enjoy looking at, and trendy accessories that tend to get tiresome and date rather quickly that you end up having to take time to pack up and haul to Goodwill. Living simply has quite another and more lasting message – the revealing of your personal style – as you only live with what you truly love and can’t live without – the items that make your life better, richer, and in tune with who you really are.
So, my resolution for 2011 is that I am going to try to make every minute of every day the best I can by doing only the things I need and love to do and clear the rest off of my daily slate. I want to have the time to discover my essential self, or shall I say rediscover it – the part of me that was lost within the clutter. The part of me that makes me happy – doing creative things with fabric, good junk, and color.
As I simplify I am going to view my possessions as things that help define me, not rule me. Things I am going to keep will be things that make me smile or are a special remembrance from my life so far: seashells from the shore, well-loved books, a tea cup that starts my day off with a smile even before I fill it. Out goes the stuff I bought on a whim, to fill a space, or were just mistakes or things I thought would make my life easier, but didn’t.
So far I have completed my dining room- Ahhhh! Bliss… Click to see the updated version of my dining room
Now in 2011 I will start on my family room. I love the look of these two rooms and am using them as my inspiration. I love the clean simple lines and natural elements.
Next up will be my kitchen and pantry. I love the light and brightness of the spaces in these photos as well as the open shelving and basket storage.
And then I will continue into other rooms until I feel a positive clutter-free vibe all through my house.
A new year is time for reinvention – I am going to simply do it.
I wish I could just wave a magic wand and have the life and home I dream of. I plan to do one thing at a time until I get it right. I will be charting my progress and posting about it. If I am successful, I will be clutter free and living perfectly content with only the things I love by this time next year.
Do you have a resolution for 2011 that you feel so passionate about that you know you will succeed? As Thoreau said – “Let’s go forth in the direction of our dreams.”
Photo Credits:StyleAtHome.com Outdoor Furniture at PotteryBarn.com Brabourne Farms Charm Hill Interiors Atlanta Homes Magazine