Why simplify?

Hello there. I’m Sarah.

I just started back at work again after a year and a half of parental leave. I have two young kids, aged 3 and 1, to feed, clothe, and play with. I have a husband who is possibly on the cusp of a big life change with his career.

Everything just got a whole lot busier. It’s no wonder I feel the need to simplify during this time of life.

We live in a modest, 82-square-meter (that’s 883 square feet) apartment in Hamburg, Germany. We have a large kitchen, three rooms, a little closet, and a small attic space, and it’s full of STUFF. And you know what? I’m tired of it. I want to break free from living with piles of clutter. I want to get rid of things. To simplify.

For a while now, we have been (halfheartedly, because we love where we live right now) looking for a new, bigger place to live. But I wonder, what if we don’t actually need more space, but fewer possessions in our space?

So we have put our house search on hold and, in the last two weeks, we’ve taken several large bags of stuff to a donation box. That has given us the momentum to keep going and get rid of even more things!

Making room for the things that matter

There were a few things that inspired me to try to switch over to a lifestyle of minimalism.

One is that I stumbled upon Joshua Becker’s blog, becomingminimalist.com. I was encouraged and motivated by what I read, and then signed up for his uncluttered e-course and devoured two of his ebooks, Clutterfree with Kids and The More of Less. It all just resonated with me.

Another motivation was having recently visited a new friend’s apartment. They also live in a very small place, but it is absolutely gorgeous. Everything seems to have a purpose, and while of course it is possible that they cleaned up before we visited, it also seems that they simply have less stuff to manage. As a result, they have a cleaner and more beautiful living space. It made me feel quite jealous, actually! “There’s no way I could ever live in a place that nice,” I thought.

But because of the books I’ve read and the encouragement I’ve received by being part of the e-course, I am realizing that it is an attainable goal. It requires a complete overhaul – not only getting rid of stuff, but changing my own habits to prevent myself from accumulating more stuff- and I am now excited to begin clearing things out and gaining more space to breathe. A place where I have peace of mind and my children can grow up without thinking that having piles of stuff lying around is normal.

My biggest motivation is the life I desire to model for my children. I grew up in a home where both my parents kept almost everything ‘just in case’. But as a result, everything was always cluttered. I don’t want to blame my own habits on them, but I also know that I want to teach my kids a different way. A way where less is more, and there is more free space grow and learn.

Because life is so full right now, it feels kind of crazy starting another project – a blog! my own domain! – and adding yet one more thing to my busy schedule seems a little optimistic. But my hope is that this place will be an outlet for me, a place to boldly state my plans and to keep myself accountable, and a place for me to document my journey towards a more simplified, minimalist life.

It will not be easy. But it will be so worth it. I’m so glad you’re here. Come follow along!