When I first learned about simplifying and decluttering my life I was gung ho! I got rid of a bunch of stuff around my home and dropped bags of stuff at a local donation site. And it felt great to have more free space in my home!
Within months, I looked around my home and realized I had accumulated more stuff! The spaces that I had cleared had somehow filled back up. My closet that I had spent so much time removing what didn’t spark joy, was full again!
I kept asking myself, why did this happen? Why do I keep bringing more stuff into my home?
I soon realized the one thing that I think I missed the first time I tried to declutter my home was understanding my WHY.
Know your WHY before you simplify your life
When I first started learning about decluttering and simplifying I wanted to get started, NOW. I didn’t want to take the time to understand WHY I wanted to declutter and simplify my life. I thought that this step was just something that people say because it sounds nice. In my head I thought, “I don’t need to do that! I am ready to declutter!” I just wanted to get rid of the stuff and move on.
But what I didn’t realize was just how important your WHY is to maintaining a clutter-free home.
Everyone will have a different reason for wanting to simplify and declutter their lives. And that is a good thing! We are all different people and in different places in our lives. But the important thing is that we understand what our WHY is and how it impacts our decisions.
Benefits of understanding your WHY:
– When the going gets tough you have something to focus on. It can be overwhelming to declutter our homes, especially when simplifying hasn’t been a priority in the past. Having something to focus on and strive towards, my WHY, motivates me to keep going.
– Your WHY helps you to set your goals. Your WHY is not a goal per se, but your WHY helps you to set them and prioritize them.
– Your WHY helps you to answer tough questions that come up along the way. For example, should I add another activity/task to my schedule? Your WHY will help you answer that question.
Questions I asked to uncover my WHY :
I read a post on the Slow Your Home blog about questions to ask to help gain clarity on your WHY. Click over to the post to read the full list of questions, but the three questions that resonated most with me and helped me to understand my why are the following:
– Who are the most important people in your life?
– What experiences are most important to you?
– If you had a simpler life, what positive things could you move towards?
So to answer the question “Why make things simpler?” I want to spend more time with my kids and husband and really enjoy them. I want to have the time to read and play with my kids rather than spending a whole day cleaning or picking up the house. I don’t want to be a “stuff manager.” I want to provide simple healthy meals for my family. And I want to teach them the importance of living a simple life.
My hope is that by writing out my WHY I will be more likely to stick with this simple living journey. I hope that understanding WHY I want to simplify will help me to maintain a clutter-free home when the natural tendency is to fill the space back up.
To read more about finding your WHY check out these great posts:
Have you thought about your WHY? Have you written it down? What questions did you ask yourself as you defined your WHY?