Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Anastasiya Goers of Balance In Me.
What is the most difficult part about simplifying your life? It is fairly easy to clean your closets and organize your belongings. It is possible to eliminate activities that are not really important to us (watching TV, web surfing.) Even simplifying your finances is not too complicated if you have a general plan.
The most difficult part about simplifying life is dealing with emotional attachments. Let’s say that you have an old picture frame (vase, shirt, shoes etc.) in your house. If it’s just a thing that you picked up on sale or bought ten years ago you will probably be able to change its permanent residence to “trash.” But how would you deal with this thing if you got it from your late grandmother? Maybe your parents gave it to you as a graduation present? Parting with this thing (even if you do not like it too much) gets much more difficult.
Another difficult part about simplifying life is going against social approval. We are so used to a certain order of things and certain cultural rules that we do not even doubt them. We assume that we need to have cable with 200+ channels only because everybody else has it in their homes. We break our backs to sell things for the fundraisers at our kids’ schools just because everybody else does. This list goes on and on.
I had trouble simplifying my life for all the reasons mentioned above and this is when I found a balanced approach to simplicity. Balance helped me find the simplicity that I was personally comfortable with. I didn’t have to limit my belongings to just 100 things and I didn’t get rid of all social commitments. However, I realized what is really important in my life and what is just clutter.
Here is the balanced approach to simplicity that I use in my life. Can you use it in yours?
Don’t try to win social approval
Our life is full
of tasks and responsibilities that we assume important only because they are traditional in our culture. Most of these social norms do nothing but clutter our life and waste our valuable resources.
TV and cable. Most people believe that it is a must to have a TV and cable in your house. Why? You can save hundreds of dollars a year if you just cancel your cable. You can free up several hours every day if you quit watching TV shows and news. You can spend this time pursuing your passion, enjoying your time with the family, working out or fixing a deliciously healthy meal for your family. If you are in the mood for a good movie – pop in a DVD and enjoy your movie without annoying commercial interruptions.
Cell phones can be quite useful in emergency situations but there is definitely a limit to how much they should be used. I personally have the bottom-line model which I got for free when I signed up for the cheapest cell phone plan. You can save your time if you stop reading and writing emails on your cell phone, checking social media updates and sending text messages. Actually staying connected and plugged-in all the time causes enormous amounts of stress and clutters your mind. Do yourself a favor, simplify your cell phone.
Car is another necessity that most people cannot imagine their lives without. Granted, it is difficult or even impossible to survive without a car in certain areas (I live in an area like that.) However, you can always limit the number of cars in your household (currently we have only one car in our family of four and this is enough for us.