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Getting Comfortable With Less

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Happy Sunday and welcome back to another week of Sanctuary Sundays!  Last week I shared how the process of decluttering my home had the added effect of clearing space in my mind and was the starting point for me, in finding ways to add more peace and joy into my home and heart.  I hope you all have been taking baby steps in clearing out some of the clutter that lives in your house and are finding just a bit more space and peace of mind. Today I wanted to tell you more about how I learned to live with less and the benefit it had in my life.

I wanted to share with you this week something else that happened when I decluttered my home, something kind of surprising…

I actually felt uncomfortable living with less. 

I was used to having my home full of “stuff”, so once I cleared it out, it was as if there was a void left where all of the clutter had been stored and I felt an odd compulsion to fill it.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like I ran out and bought things to fill these empty spaces, but I definitely noticed a feeling of discomfort with my newfound space and “emptiness”.

I also began to notice the unconscious way that I brought things into my home. 

I want to share a quick story with you about exactly how I became aware of this. 

One day I went to HomeGoods specifically to get two new bed pillows for my daughter, at least this is what I told myself I was going for.  I do love HomeGoods (and Target, and Joann and World Market and…well you get the picture) so any excuse to go works in my book.  The minute I walked in the store my entire purpose for being there flew out the window and I started filling up my cart with all kinds of pretty little things.  Thirty minutes later, I arrived in the bed pillow section with a cart full of everything from coffee cups to bread boards to dog toys.

One of those favorite coffee cups!

As I looked into my full basket, something shifted in my mind and rather than seeing things that I was excited to bring home, I saw a whole lot of stuff that was going to take away my peace of mind.  I already had plenty of coffee cups and bread boards and dog toys at home but these were new and different and oh so pretty…and the truth was I just didn’t need them.  So I walked away from that full cart and went home with a new goal in mind.  

My goal was to get comfortable living with A LOT less.  

By this I mean really paying attention to the areas in my home where I had enough and didn’t need any more.  Or better yet, the areas where I had too much and could let go of something. This took decluttering to a whole new level for me.  Rather than just getting rid of the obvious unnecessary stuff, I began to really examine the less obvious places where I had too much.  

Here’s a perfect example, going back to that bread board in my HomeGoods cart,  I absolutly LOVE wood bread boards and use them often for entertaining and as decor.  At the time that I began to really examine all of my stuff, I realized that I had accumulated about 20 different bread boards in all shapes and sizes.  They were all neatly organized in a cabinet and a few sat out on my kitchen counter.  I had never considered getting rid of any of them, because I loved them and used them, but I also realized that I only really used the same 5 or 6 boards on a regular basis and rarely used the other 15, even though I really liked them.  So one day, I took them all out, chose my 8 favorites and sold or donated the rest of them.  And just like that…More space!

This began a process of letting go of anything that I had too much of (um…coffee cups!), was not regularly using or didn’t love. It was so liberating to give myself permission to let go. (I have to point out that this was a process and a journey, not a weekend event.)  What began as a desire to clean stuff out of my house became an ever-present awareness of how I was living and what was most important to me.  It set in motion a conscious and mindful way of living that transformed my home and ultimately my life.

So here is my challenge for you this week.  As you continue to declutter, start looking at the LESS OBVIOUS places where you are storing things and ask what you can let go of.  Ask yourself how much you really NEED and what you actually use and then see how it feels to live with less.  This is the next level of clearing space in your home and finding a greater sense of peace and joy.

Remember to take baby steps and be patient with this process.  And most of all, be kind to yourself along the way.  

 I would love to know how you all are progressing…leave a comment below or feel free to reach out by email.  Have a great week!

CLICK HERE to go to the next post in this series where I share a life-changing 30-day challenge I gave myself and how it transformed how I live!

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14 Comments

  1. We are moving and the new home doesn’t have the wall space I had before nor does this home have space to store away things I don’t use everyday or every week. I also realized all those inherited china sets,depression glass, and antique furniture pieces I kept were wearing me down trying to fit them in to my daily living. I am gifting items to local charity thrift shops. I think my Grandmothers, Mother and my Mother-in-law would approve!

    1. This sounds like a wonderful plan Terry! It is quite freeing to part with things that no longer serve us. Good luck with your move!

  2. Thanks for this post. I have been trying to declutter my home & this was a good kick in the pants reminder. 🙂. The clutter keeps me up at night sometimes so I know it will do wonders for my mental health! Thanks & I live your home.

    XO- MaryJo

  3. I have been going slowly room by room and getting rid of things. What I have noticed in my kitchen it, is that I can find things so much easier and my cooking goes much faster! It’s actually a joy to be in my kitchen and grab what I need and nothing more.

  4. Hi Karen
    I started putting baking pans and pots I don’t use into a box for donations that I been storing in our shelves in the garage …feels good to see space…Thank you sharing love your posts.

  5. I, too began this process several years ago. I realized although I loved my collections ,I had become somewhat of a slave to them. I didn’t use all of my things and they needed to be cleaned or dusted, etc. I additionally realized my adult children did not have to same attachment to these things. As I had curated these collections, paying good money for each, they did not share the love and appreciation for them. I additionally realized they would one day just toss them to the side or perhaps just throw them away. That is when I did a serious evaluation of why I had all of this and decided it was time to let most of it go. I have just enough now to feel like a well lived in and loved home. And I truly don’t miss the clutter. Now I need to take the same ideas into my closet…

  6. HI karen,

    Timely post! I just finished a 31 day HomeGoods detox. That’s right, I did not go there once. We are doing some remodeling on our first floor and refinishing the floors. As I try to relocate the “light” stuff off the main level I noticed how much stuff I don’t use. And, I found myself doing a few crafts and videos and reading. Ha!

    Happy February! I am so happy January has passed it’s always a tough month. Send us your rain we need snow in Colorado and it does not look like we are getting any in the forecast! laura

  7. Karen, I love your blog so much! Your beautiful kitchen hood and island were was the inspiration for my kitchen remodel. Recently, your post on your linen closet inspired me to clean out my linens and I am now hanging my table cloths neatly in a space that was being so poorly used before. Now I love opening up that organized closet and my linen and towel cabinets are so much better organized with less in there.

    Now, I’m going to purge some coffee mugs! Thank you for the inspiration! It feels so good.

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