I cannot begin to tell you how much I have craved peace recently. But sometimes it seems as though life is just a big mess of to-do lists. I oftentimes get caught up in all the things I have to do. Owning and operating a small online business (Lillian Grace) as well as a photography business is never ending work. There is always something to be done. My hubby and I have moved countless times and I just finished my classes for my degree. Craziness has been our life and I am DONE! I did this to myself. I created a life that seemed more like a prison than something I was enjoying. I gained back all the weight I had lost; I have been stressed and tired and made very poor decisions.
“Oh, you want me to help you while I am in the middle of finals, just finishing up my busy season with Lillian Grace, and shooting senior portraits like mad, sure! Sounds like a great idea! So what if we are still not settled in our new house! Let’s do this!” But I dug my grave and now I must deal with it…
I don’t allow myself to wallow much so I will quickly get to my point. I know many of you out there are feeling the same way I do. You feel exhausted and overwhelmed. Like you don’t have enough time or energy, but you still have to meet deadlines and perform. Your jobs are stressful and you still have to take care of the home and kids! While it seems like there is no way out, I can assure you there is! While I feel the only true peace comes from God, there is a lot of deliberate steps you can take to make your life more peaceful. You’re probably wondering at this point if I have any room to talk, but you would be so amazed at the changes I have made in the past two weeks. I am amazed at how I was able to completely change my life in such a short amount of time. I can’t tell you what to do, or wave a magic wand and make your life less stressful, but I can tell you what I have tried and the things that impacted my life the most.
1. Get Rid of Stuff!
How I killed the crap!
The number one change that I made in my life that has given me the most peace is getting rid of STUFF! This was not the first change I made by any means, in fact it was one of the last, but it seems to have had the biggest impact on my peace. My hubby and I moved into a small two bedroom condo last October. We knew there wasn’t a lot of room and that we needed to cutback our stuff, but my mindset was more about how to fit everything in and make it organized than to actually get rid of anything. Thus we ended up with a house that was always cluttered, had too many decorations, too much furniture per room, and was hard to clean. I have spent countless hours trying to organize and fit everything into this tiny home that it is a bit depressing. This stuff I was spending so much time cleaning and organizing didn’t add any value to my life and it took away my peace. So now I am in the middle of a harsh battle with the “stuff” in my life. I started with my linen closet. It’s just my hubby and I and we had over 20 body towels, 20! And most were ripped and given to us by our parents who didn’t want them anymore. So I went through them and we kept ten. Four are white for guests and the rest are assorted colors for us. I would have paired it down to eight, one towel in the wash and one in use for the both of us, but Tim isn’t as excited about getting our lives in order (lol). Also, why do we need more than two sets of sheets? One on the bed and one in the wash. How did I not think of these things sooner! Same with blankets, really, do I need like 20 different kinds of blankets? After the linen closet I took on the furniture. I had a desk and a workstation that I used for Lillian Grace’s shipping stuff. I realized I could combine the two and just use the workstation as a desk. This allowed me to get rid of a giant desk and now I can choose to sit or stand up and work. (That is another post altogether, but I am so excited about standing up and working!) I also realized that the dresser was barely filled with Tim’s shorts, so we put them in his closet, and we sold the dresser! I got it for free and painted it so essentially we made 60 bucks( heck ya!). Then I went through my business stuff, kitchen, and attic. I have pulled so much out for the garage sale that it is literally filling one side of our garage. I am far from done. I have to loose the weight, again, and then I will be going through my clothes more thoroughly. I still have to do our pantry, my dresser, and finish up a couple of other places, but overall it feels great. I noticed that cleaning is quicker since I don’t have to move as much stuff, I see what I have better and am more deliberate about putting it back in it’s place, and that it’s easier to find places for things when you have less stuff to begin with.
So how does less stuff bring me peace?
You know how you walk into a model home and don’t want to leave! There’s not a lot of stuff in each room, no clutter, and it’s all clean. That’s basically the affect less stuff had on my life. No my home is not a model home, but what I thought would seem empty and sterile actually feels peaceful. I am not going to lie, I kind of felt like I had a little war with myself through the process. I really felt, even though I had never used some things, that I needed to keep them! I felt that just because I spent money on something that it had to be kept or else it was a waste. What I didn’t realize is the fact I never used or will ever use it is a waste, and me holding onto it was just adding insult to injury. (Now before I buy anything I ask myself the questions that I will list below.) So I battled and came out realizing that my things are just that, things. I can’t take them to the grave with me, and I realize there are memories with some of them, but I am taking pictures and moving on! But we need things to survive, and oftentimes things can save us time and add value to our lives. So essentially, your things should be tools or they should add to your life, if they don’t kick em’ to the curb and concentrate on living your version of an amazing life! Looking at my stuff that way also gave me a peace about letting go. Do I need this? Does this add value to my life? Have I used this in the last year? Where will I put it? These are the questions I asked about all of my possessions. Questions you should ask too!
Next week I will elaborate on some of the other decisions that I made that are giving me peace in my life. I can’t wait to share with you all! If you’re visiting us for the first time please leave us a comment or message! We would love to hear from you about your lives or if you decide to implement any of these suggestions.