It's been a few months since we all checked-in about our Living with Less project, right? And while the time that passed during the project was fantastic—I felt energized as I freed our home from the clutter and items we deemed unnecessary to our daily lives—about a month or so after the project, as we headed into summer, I realized the system I'd set wasn't foolproof: mail was piling up and clutter was appearing again. So, what gives?
If you're new to the Living with Less series, you may be wondering what I'm piping on about. Well, earlier this year I spent countless hours evaluating our belongings—everything from clothing and winter coats to baking ware and books—for their usefulness, beauty and longevity. The items my husband and I deemed unnecessary and of single function, we donated and have been living without.
While adventure was truly eye-opening and taught us many lessons about ourselves—My 10 Reasons for Living with Less—we've also realized there are areas that we can still improve upon and others we just can't change.
Here are five insights as we evaluate our post Living with Less lifestyle:
- Shopping Habits: Because we spent so much time wading through unwanted goods during Living with Less, we are now much more stringent about what we purchase. We no longer bring partially-loved items into our home.
- Experiences: We deemed 2011 the year of experiences, not goods. We've only given one gift this year and that was to a dear friend for her baby shower. Other than that, birthdays and other holidays have been recognized by gifting experiences, not goods. It's been GREAT! We've seen family, gone to plays as well as taken sailing lessons and made pizzas!
- Books: My efforts to control the number of books in our home is fruitless. We both love them. My husband reads several at once and it's a goal of mine to disconnect daily to read more. So, instead of trying to control what we have, I need to find a way to give it organization.
- Travel: Several weeks ago we went on vacation and only took a few necessary items. The experience was great; it made us realize further just how much stuff we don't need in our daily lives.
- Wireless: Going wireless and digital in our home office has reduced the amount of stuff and clutter we have in the space. Yes, it's an ongoing project, but it's worth the time and effort we continue to give.
Want to dig in and catch-up on past posts? Below is the full Living with Less series!
- Living with Less, Week 1: Setting the Agenda
- Living with Less, Week 2: Clothes and Coat Closets
- Living with Less, Week 3: Linen Closets
- Living with Less, Week 4: Incoming Mail & Electronic Files
- Living with Less, Project Update: Reader Suggestions, Questions and Comments
- Living with Less, Week 5: Home Office and Files
- Living with Less, Week 6: Books and Magazines
- Living with Less, Week 7: Medicine Cabinet & Toiletries
- Living with Less, Week 8: Kitchen, Cooking & Baking Ware
- Living with Less, Project Update: Readers Suggestions, Questions and Comments
- Living with Less, Week 9: Kitchen, Dining and Serving Ware
- Living with Less, Lessons from What We're Living Without
(Image: Landis Carey)