Over the last three and a half years, my simplifying and decluttering journey helped me remove many things from my life that I considered to be unneccesary: objects, commitments, burdens, etc. My walls were bare. My counters were clear. My closet was organized. Everything had its own space. Once my space was cleared, I was inspired to fill it up again… with color and things that made me smile.
Since then, I have been consistently inspired to create colorful happy spaces in my home. I picked up knitting again. I started writing happy notes & letters with felt markers and stickers. My journal is filled with words from pens of different colors. Hula hoops hang on my wall. Watercolor paints have winded up on my table. Twinkling holiday lights decorated my kitchen. Incense is burned again. A variety of fabrics appeared in my home. Extra pillows adorn my bed and couch. The grays of my minimalist wardrobe were replaced with yellows, greens, reds, blues, and purples. Owl mugs sit in my kitchen cabinets, next to the plain white ones I used to have. Color creeped everywhere. My empty space felt full again. The color revived a creative spirit in me.
Until this month. Buying the RV has forced me to take another look at my surroundings and figure out what comes with me in the RV and what is donated or tossed out. It turns out I have a lot more decor and clothes and extra mugs than I thought I did.
Looking at my ‘happy’ things, I thought to myself, “Who am I trying to impress?”
Why do these things matter so much to me? Do these things really make me happy? Did I need another owl mug? Do I really need a fourth flow-y skirt? Will I even read those books again (and if so, can I get them from the library instead)? Or how about that cute, glass chicken sitting on my kitchen counter? Do I even love it? I was fine without all these objects before, why bring them into my life now? What if I removed them?
It’s easy to accumluate adorable objects. With the strong presence of Instagram and Flickr and similiar forms of social media, it’s so easy to share the beautiful things in your life and covet the beautiful things other people have. That cute coffee mug? Yes! Gotta have it! That awesome basket — must have. And so forth. Until soon, we mix up the things that make us happy with the things that we think will make us happy because of how other people percieve us. I’m guilty of this. You probably are, too.
Inside, we all know we don’t need these things. But we get them anyway. We smile and share.
I do feel happy when I sip coffee out of my cute owl mug. But is it the mug itself that makes me happy, or the act of drinking coffee on a quiet morning? There is nothing wrong with a little joy in a colorful collection. But I don’t truly love them. They don’t bring any more value to my life. The valuable things in my life are people. Food. Experiences. Connections. God.
Last week, I purged through even more possessions. It’s funny how I reach a point of “I don’t have anything else to get rid of” to “let’s get rid of more things!” a few months later. We are back to an emptier space. It feels so good. And yet. YET. After all this, I looked around and wondered aloud, “What else can we get rid of?” My husband had to stop me and remind me that I didn’t have to get rid of everything in one day. We still have four more months before we move into the RV. Patience, Laura.
Oh my gosh, though, the white walls are so comforting. The space is wonderful. I’m hooked. Addicted. I love having a clean slate and all my things in a few boxes. And I feel like I can appreciate God’s beauty so much more with this clean slate again.
I’m not putting down anyone that has a beautiful home filled with lovely things. To each their own. But this is how it works for me. I am still holding onto a couple mugs that makes me smile. I’m fine with one colorful quilt and a smile pile of journals. But I do not need more. I do not need more pretty pillows. I do not need more candles. I do not need more paintings. I need less. Carefully consider every item in your home. Why do you love them so much? Why are you really holding onto them? What is the real value? What objects really show your values? What objects can you do without?
I still love my colors. Don’t get me wrong. But the colors that I dearly love?
Theyare everywhere already.
In the trees. In your eyes. In the sunsets. The squirrels running through the snow, the handwritten thank-you cards, a child’s smile, handmade curtains, a yellow candle flame, and so much more. Yes, there is a lot of beauty and color in the things we possess, but there is so much in the world. Why bring pointless colorful objects in when you can go out and explore it?
Every day is a r a i n b o w of colors….