Initially, I was motivated to clear the clutter from my life by an intense desire to never again see, purchase or use bubble wrap in any capacity. Moving repeatedly will do that to you. But when a friend recommended that I read the book Simplicity Parenting, my motivation for getting rid of my clutter changed completely.
Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less To Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids is a must-read book for parents everywhere. Author Kim John Payne writes with great conviction about the importance of simplifying family life in order to benefit both our children and ourselves.
“We are building our daily lives, and our families, on the four pillars of too much: too much stuff, too many choices, too much information, and too much speed. With this level of busyness, distractions, time pressure, and clutter (mental and physical), children are robbed of the time and ease they need to explore their worlds and their emerging selves.”
Payne devotes an entire chapter of his book to the importance of simplifying a child’s environment, encouraging parents to toss toys, simplify clothing choices, and even reduce the number of books to just a favorite few. Payne believes that our children are often overwhelmed by the mental and physical clutter that surrounds them, and I believe that his theories apply to adults as well.
After reading Simplicity Parenting I found myself reading other books about the importance of simplifying our lives. Then, I made the decision to banish clutter relentlessly for the following three reasons:
- A clutter-filled home is a source of stress for all who live there.
- Clutter ties you to your past, and prevents you from embracing your future.
- Children benefit dramatically from a reduction in clutter.
I want to be surrounded by belongings that I love and use on a daily basis. I want my children to value people over things, and to grow up free from the belief that they are defined by their possessions. I want to make room in my life for new and exciting adventures, instead of holding on too tightly to adventures that have already passed.
I’m on a perpetual mission to keep my home clutter-free, and I’m asking you to join me.
Take a look around your own house. Are you living a life that is physically and mentally cluttered? Do you have more stuff than you really need? Is it affecting your children? How can you simplify your life?