As you may know, my family has been on a quest of sorts to simplify our lives. It started in 2008 when we moved from Chicago to Richmond… and filled the moving truck! It was sickening how much stuff we had. Furniture and boxes stuffed to the brim. Then the journey intensified a year ago, when in an attempt to help The Ridge refinance its mortgage I volunteered to take a big pay cut and move my family into a mobile home (trailer) on the church campus. We went from a 2200 square foot, 4 bedroom home, into a 1200 square foot, 2 bedroom trailer. We need to simplify our possessions…. and fast!
I am proud to say that we have divested ourselves of well over half of our possessions that we moved to Richmond with. And we are enjoying it! We are finding more peace in owning less. Wanting less. Buying less. And I thought it might be good to examine how we are doing this room by room. Let’s start in the bedroom.
The bedroom should be the inner sanctum of your home. Your ultimate retreat and sanctuary. But it often becomes cluttered with stuff… furniture, paper, piles, clothes, etc. Then add the noise and light pollution of a TV and it can easily become hectic. Here are a few things I have done to increase the peace in my bedroom:
- Simplify the warddrobe. This deserves its own post, but I have given away about 80% of my clothing and shoes. How much can you really wear at one time any way? The less you have, the less you have to store. Find the 10-20% of clothes you actually wear and donate the rest!
- Simplify the clutter. Use the 4 Ps. Take it one drawer, one closet, or one basket at a time.
- Simplify the furniture. What do you really use? I recently moved all of the furniture out of my bedroom, save the mattress, two chairs (for dressing), and two small nesting tables used as bedside tables. This was a simple decision, since the dressers were almost completely empty (simplified wardrobe), and had decluttered the remaining drawers. The room now feels much more peaceful without being crowded with too much furniture. I store my clothes in a footlocker, but you can use minimal wardrobes, bins, and attractive alternatives to big, bulky dressers. IKEA always has good options. And because it can be scary to just get rid of a bedroom set, I moved it into another room for a month experiment. If I don’t like it, I can always move it back in!
- Simplify the laundry – this deserves its own post entirely. But I do one load of laundry a week. That’s it.
- Remove the TV. There are all kinds of reasons to not have a TV in the bedroom. Studies repeatedly show that couples with no TV in the bedroom have more sex (what more reason do you need?), get more rest, and sleep more soundly. Plus… why do I want to bombard my brain with advertisements when I am sleepy and most open to suggestion? Get it out of there!