The Fencerow: Be Less

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THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO GET ENOUGH. ONE IS TO CONTINUE TO ACCUMULATE MORE AND MORE. THE OTHER IS TO DESIRE LESS.”

G.K. Chesterton

This year, more than ever before, I am craving simplicity. My heart’s desire is to be less. I hesitate to call it minimalism, that is a little too trendy for me. I am not that cool. Plus, let’s face it, I have pack-rat tendencies. Being content, that is a word + action I can handle. I often find myself wondering why it is so easy to fall in to the lie of more, more, more. After all, that is what everyone is chasing, right? This is the funny thing about comparison, it steals our joy, and puts these crazy assumptions in our minds. We live in a world of more; it is quite obvious. More things. More information. More tips and tricks. More guac with our Chipotle. // M O R E // Deep down, we all know, more is never enough. More only leads to more.

“Don’t get me wrong, I admire elegance and have an appreciation for the finer things in life. But to me, beauty lies in simplicity.”

Mark Hyman

These words could not ring more true, as I slow down, and just BE in 2017.

In this season of smallness, I am determined to create a simple and tidy home. You know, pre-kids running amuck destroying my perfectly organized spice cabinets and such. While I once feared white space and silence, I now relish in it. I have always felt that too much white space would make our home feel cold and uninviting. I love a cozy, unapologetically lived-in, home. But, there is something refreshing about a tidy space; it makes you feel lighter. When my house is in order, I feel calm, I think clearly. While the process of paring things down might be tedious, there is beauty in carrying a lighter load.

In the midst of my Spring cleaning, I began thinking about all the things I choose to hold on to, what items I let go of, and why.

It’s interesting when you think about it. I’ve noticed that I am holding on to more things than I used to, I convince myself, it is out of necessity. Things may appear orderly on the surface, but I dare you to attempt to open the top left drawer in my kitchen. Bless it. It is stuffed to the brim…with necessities, of course. I have never been a fan of clutter, but I find myself keeping things around “in case I need it again someday.” Friends, this can easily get out of hand. Trust me. Does anyone actually need a storage tub with 80 rolls of burlap? The answer is no. My ‘make a wreath for everyone, and every occasion’ season has passed…. but, just in case, the tub remained. I am discovering that it not only takes aggressive determination to rid our lives of clutter, but to maintain that clutter free existence.

So, I am slowing down and purging. Some things we should simply let go of, some things just need a little room to breathe.

PURGING: 2 SIMPLE GUIDELINES

  • Things to let go of: Trendy or low quality items. Stop hanging on to these things. Yes, chokers made a comeback. If you must have one, it probably won’t be the one you wore in middle school. Let. It. Go.
  • Things to hold on to: High quality items and brands, classic shapes. Let me elaborate on the brands thing. I am not all about always buying designer or brand name things. But, if you do, and those brands have stood the test of time, often, there is a reason for that. We tend to circle back to these things, and sometimes a little space from them, breathing room if you will, is all that we need. When we discover them again, they feel new and exciting. You know the feeling, it’s like shopping without going shopping.

PRACTICING TIDINESS: 5 SIMPLE TIPS

Sometimes, in the empty space, you leave room for something new to be planted. A tiny seed might sprout. Early in March, we begin to prep our garden. The idea of the new growth that is coming is exciting; but it can also be daunting. Endless nights of weed pulling lie ahead. In this season it is easy to become lackadaisical, to misstep, fall off course, and be distracted. So, with the same excitement we felt, about all of the possibilities that lied ahead, those first few days of January, stay the course friends, Spring is coming.

We are in the season of sewing. Enjoy it. Grow in it. Learn from it. Find joy in this space. Because, in the end, we reap what we sew.

Tell me, what are your secrets to keeping a tidy home? I’d love to hear!

-by Cassie Carriger
The Fencerow


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