The Profound Joy in Simplicity and Having Less

November 29, 2016

The Profound Joy in Simplicity and Having Less

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Recently, I made the scary decision to purge my entire household’s belongings using the “KonMari Method” as outlined in the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

If you’re not familiar with the book or the method, the author, Marie Kondo, is an organizational expert, whose unique philosophy and process of purging was featured on just about every morning show in America a couple of years ago and gained an immense amount of popularity. Her follow-up book, Spark Joyexpounds upon her method and goes as far as providing illustrations for her much-lauded folding system.

At the core of her philosophy is the belief that you should only live with the things that “spark joy.” Her method of purging takes you through the process of identifying the items that you truly enjoy possessing and ruthlessly discarding the rest — even if the final result is a shockingly less amount of stuff than what you started with. Usually, it is, and that is actually the point.

After just purging our clothes alone, my husband and I produced six 28-gallon bags of donations and yard sale items and another four bags of garbage — stuff that was worn and torn that no one would want. We are probably left with about a third or less of the clothing we had when we started.

This post isn’t about the purge, (perhaps, I will document that at a later time) but rather about simplicity. We just got started with shedding our belongings and have only attacked our clothing, yet, I am already incredibly satisfied, and giddy even at the resulting feeling of simplicity. Looking at my closets and drawers with two-thirds less of their belongings has given me a strange joy in having less. Visually, emotionally…it just looks AND feels better.

Less is Enough

Both my husband and I worried before starting that if we got rid of every single item that didn’t “spark joy” we would be left with nothing and would seriously have to consider going to work naked. Yet, at the conclusion of discarding, we, of course, are still left with clothes to wear and so far the amount seems just right. We have enough.

I couldn’t help but observe the correlation between the purge and learning to live within my means financially. We spent so many years overspending, thinking every single thing we accumulated was a need and believing every purchase (credit card purchase, that is) was justified. We couldn’t imagine not living that way because spending any less meant we would be lacking.

When we finally started living within our means, (because there wasn’t another option) we quickly learned that we were able to get by on less. We actually had enough money to cover our needs and even some of our wants without spending more than we had coming in. Living within our means didn’t leave us lacking; it left us with enough.

What seemed impossible, was not only possible, it was freeing. You never know that you can live without something or less of something until you actually do it.

I am itching to move forward in my purge and to shed more of my belongings because I already love the simplicity of owning less. Similarly, I am looking forward to reaching the next goal in my finances. However, there is a sense of contentment and peace that accompany my journey. I am learning to relish the profound joy in simplicity.

Related Reading: Living the Life YOU Value, Why Gratitude is Good For Your Finances

Have you attempted to simplify an area of your life? Have you already discovered the joy in simplicity?


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