I have always loved a good-clean line, minimal items on the walls of my home, only the necessary furniture, and little-visible clutter. My home is not pristine, but I do like less. I never thought much about it until an acquaintance dropped by.
She popped over to drop something off for one of my daughters who happened to be sick. It was the kindest gesture. She didn’t enter my home, but stood from the front door and glanced up at the large staircase that naturally meets any visitors eye. Her eyes followed the staircase up to the top of the wall where a fairly large-recessed shelf is situated.
She let out a small gasp, and then asked, “What are you going to put in there!”
I hesitated for a moment, not offended, but taken aback, “Um, I’m not sure. I haven’t thought too much about it. Probably nothing,” I said.
She let out another gasp, “I don’t think I could stand not filling that big space. It would be the first thing I did when I moved in.”
I had lived there for two years.
I think I closed the door a bit to shield her view from the rest of my home. It too was plain. It had minimal decor, but the paint was fresh and new, and I kind of liked it that way. So why was I feeling ashamed? Why was I closing that door to hide my home—the home I was quite comfortable in?
Oftentimes, some of the simplest moments, are the most defining moments.
I need simplicity. And in those simple-defining moments we can find hidden gems. I’ve come to learn that there is no shame in simplicity.
Shameless Benefits of Simple Living
If simplicity is what I need—or you need—to feel grounded, to feel peace and calm amidst the chaos, to lower anxiety, and to enjoy life more fully—then go with it. And don’t be ashamed. Soulful simplicity has its benefits.
1. Reduced stress.
I often have a lot running through my mind (don’t we all!), so the less my eyes have to take in, the better. Nothing speaks peace to my soul like a clean counter top. Lots on my mind combined with a visually appealing surface, equals less stress. It’s just so.
The same goes with the kids. They can make a quick mess, so it’s best to let them begin with a simple pallet. Less to clean up, equals less stress for everyone.
2. It’s more economical.
If you don’t need to fill every nook and cranny of your home with accent rugs, beautiful art, end tables, bookcases, etc. It’s simple. It costs you less money. Which leaves more money to save, and more money to spend outside of the home—creating memories. And that’s a beautiful thing.
3. It’s naturally easier to be more organized.
When my space is a mess and I have too much stuff, I find myself purchasing things because I didn’t know I already had an item, or because I couldn’t find it. Not good. On the flip side, I love having less and knowing exactly where my car keys are, where my purse is located, or where that paper is that needs to go back to school the next day.
4. A blank canvas lends to more creativity.
A nice open space provides more room for children to create, play, and move around. Too much stuff can be paralyzing, but just the right amount of stuff is freeing—especially for those little minds.
For us adults, a minimal space can inspire us to engage in more sporadic activities. If I have less to take care of, I’m more likely to pick up that book, head outside for a jog, get down on the floor to play with my children, or tinker with that project I’ve been thinking about.
5. Simplicity opens more time for things that matter most.
I’m currently working on an eight-week personal challenge to declutter and live with even-less. One unexpected benefit I’ve already noticed? Our family has begun taking frequent walks to the park after dinner. Having less means faster clean-up, which means more time to get outdoors and enjoy each others company.
Since that exchange with my friend, I’ve come to better learn who I am and what I need. Some may be okay with living with more, but it’s not for all of us.
Let’s embrace who we are and stop letting shame tell us that going bigger is always better—and that less is not best. For you and I that simply may not hold true. There is no shame in simplicity.