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Posted on May 22, 2013 in How to simplify | 10 comments

4 Steps to Make Your Home Support Your Life

Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. —William Morris

One of the most powerful ways you can begin to simplify your life and make room for the things that are really important is to build your surroundings to support your needs and reflect your priorities. But for most of us, our home is either designed around convention or by habit, where things just sort of evolve. Yes, some people even have new ecosystems developing under the stacks of their life’s artifacts.

Maybe your bedroom has become a gym/family room/office/closet, and you get no rest when you climb into bed at night.

This exercise could help:

  1. First, leave the room. Go somewhere where you can’t see into the room, and where you can take a few moments to think. Maybe this is at the coffee place down the block.
  2. Next, write down everything you use this room for. You can use this form. Or print a form and write it out by hand. The most important things: Be honest, and no peeking!
  3. Then, write down everything you need to have in the room to support these activities. Make sure to include furniture, lighting, tools, outlets, internet or cable connections.
  4. Now, start again. Use the second column for this. Write down everything you WANT to use this room for, and only those things. List the items you need for these activities.

When you go back into the room, what is in there? Magazines you didn’t get around to reading? Declare amnesty and recycle them. Clothes that no longer fit? Donate them to an organization that desperately need them.

If there are items supporting things that you must do (for example printer paper on the counter, when you don’t want to do office work in your kitchen), find a place dedicated to that activity elsewhere.

Did any other activities occur to you when you went back to the room? If the answer is yes, this is a message. If they were important enough to deserve space, you would have listed them. You can choose to make them important, or let them go.

This is a simple way to find what is important to you, and what is not important, but is lurking in your life. You can use the exercise for every room, or start with one small corner of your home that you can use as a retreat.

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  1. There is such a sweetness in simple living and a joy from letting go of some of the things that we feel we must have to be happy. Thanks for sharing and the follow on Twitter.

    • Thank you for the comment! I’m looking forward to hearing about your experiences in the house.

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    • Thank you! and thanks for the comment. There is a lot to contemplate, and I would love to hear what others think.

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