Tuesday, September 9, 2014

You Just Never Know...Reminder to Live Simpler

A few week's ago, my mom's basement flooded with two feet of sewer water from that big rain in Michigan.  A couple weeks ago, a friend was unexpectedly given three weeks notice that her husband's job change would move them back to the US a year earlier.  You just never know when the rug will be pulled out from under you.  These were slap in the face reminders to me to live simpler.  To be more organized...or as organized as this Type B personality girl can get.

Living simpler has been on my radar for a long time.  Moving to Germany gave us the opportunity to press the reset button on our lives.  It's amazing that when you know you are leaving a place for three years, how suddenly it becomes clear how much stuff we don't need.  If it's not important enough to store for three years or bring with me, then why did I have it in the first place?

I can't remember if I shared how utterly grueling the sorting, purging, packing and moving process was for us.  I was pretty sure I was going to have a heart attack from the stress.  Lots of deep breathing and exhaustion. Both mentally and physically.

Our lack of daily organization came to wreak havoc on us when moving day came.  I'm a regular purger.  Seriously, no less than five bags a time, several times a year.  But the problem was, there were areas of our house that never got purged from our first move, boxes untouched, paper piles unsorted.  Sure, I know, if you haven't looked at it for years, then just throw the boxes away.  But I knew that hidden within the piles of garbage were things like important papers - marriage license, etc.  So began the worst part of the purging process.  I could go on and on, but the point is, I don't want to go there again.  EVER!

By the time we left, I didn't even want to see my stuff or think about my house.  I was never so excited to have to take an 8 hour flight.  I couldn't wait to do absolutely nothing.  I made a pact with myself that I would not let "stuff" take over my life again.

It's tricky.  I'm living in Europe for Pete's sake!  There's a careful balance of buying a souvenir just because I was there or buying it because I really love it and it will be cherished.

My mom's flood and my friend moving at a moment's notice reminded me to keep my stuff in check.  Always be purging and be a strategic and thoughtful shopper.

We move again in two years and I just want it to be a matter of putting things in boxes.  We've already been in Germany for six months.  Time does fly and before I know it, moving day will be here again.  So I've constantly been purging my house in my head.  I already know several items that won't be coming back to the US with us.  The list adds up every day.

Everyone's simpler lifestyle is different.  I'm not to the point of moving into a 500 square foot house, but I would like to embrace life's rich moments and stop being weighed down by the stuff around me.

You just never know when the rug will be pulled out from under you and I want to be ready.
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