Organized Simplicity: Chapter Eight “A Home That Works”

“Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; from discord find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”  –Albert Einstein

Creating an uncluttered living space requires change of attitude, a habit of regular maintenance, and a lifelong commitment to place higher priority on relationships and events than things.  This change isn’t passive- we must choose it, and work HARD.

An economic theory regarding opportunities is this: For every choice we make, there is a cost of what we gave up.  If you choose college, you forgo 4 years of full-time employment, for example.  Choosing to purchase, or not purchase, an item has opportunity costs!  Only purchase something if owning it is worth the cash, and space, you will give for it.  I know a lot of my impulse purchases would be avoided if I stopped to consider that five years down the road, that thing would still be in the house.  Even a $2 item might not be worth that added clutter!

“Simplifying is not parting with love.  It’s gaining it.”

In the following chapters, Tsh is going to walk us through a “jump start” on simplifying our lives and homes.  We need to take a good look at our mission statement, and decide what it means in our home.  Take a tour of your home, and assess:

  • What’s the ideal purpose of this room?
  • Who uses it, really?
  • Are there things here that are used somewhere else in the house?

As you tour your home, you might be dissatisfied.  You want space for this and that, you’re just not happy.  She urges us to consider the following and decide if we REALLY need to move, or if we can be content and make it work.  Knowing the current housing market in our area, deciding to leave a home right now would be a very hard choice to implement.

  1. Is your mortgage too big?
  2. Is the house unlivable?
  3. Truly, truly, doesn’t line up with your purpose in life.

We were very blessed to find the house that we did.  Actually, all three of our family homes have been a perfect fit for that season of life.  Our little newlywed apartment was within walking distance of both our offices, and was a snug nest to bring our first daughter home to.  Our little house in the suburb shopping district was across the street from my sister’s family, and within walking distance of sidewalked neighborhoods, shops, and lots of parks.  Our current home has ample space for schooling, a backyard, a sunny front for gardening, and backs right up to an old growth bit of forest for the girls to romp in and look for fairies.  The streets are flat, with nice sidewalks, and the neighbors are great.  I know it sounds idyllic, but really…it is.  Yes, there are millions of weeds due to years of neglect, and there are always projects that need doing *yesterday* but it serves our needs perfectly.  Reading this first section (this is the end of Part 1) has been interesting for me- I recognize a lot of things that I want for my family and home, but had never taken the time to put words to.  I see lots of ways to further the baby steps I’ve taken to creating the life that we want.  I’ve really enjoyed getting this far in Tsh’s book.

Are you ready for the purging challenge?  Ready to simplify?

This series is based on the book Organized Simplicity, by Tsh Oxenreider.  Her family of blogs can be found here.

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