Back in early December, I was invited to attend a TEDtalk for WCPO-TV and Scripps employees. It was pretty last minute, but decided to attend anyway. Besides, who couldn’t use some inspiration in their lives, right? For those of you unfamiliar with TEDx, they host events including live talks, performers, and videos to spark “Ideas Worth Sharing”. And here I am, sharing away!
That day during that TEDx talk, we watched a short clip of this guy, Graham Hill, who can literally fit all of his personal belongings into one box. It was inspiring to say the least. Being such consumer-focused world, it’s amazing to really step back and think about what is really necessary in order to live and be happy. Something just clicked and as soon as I got home that afternoon, I went to lifeedited.com and learned more about the concept, lifestyle and ways I could incorporate these ideas into my family and everyday life.
The general idea:
Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.
It seems like something that is fairly simple. It’s just one sentence. But watching Graham Hill, who has just one box that included all his belongings just really moved me. I felt so inspired. To be so free, and not tied down to everyday “stuff” has to feel so liberating.
Overall, I consider us a pretty clutter-free & tidy family. But when you work full time and have a young child, things do tend to get overlooked. It made me start questioning some things. Do I really need to hold onto every note I passed in high school – even if they’re organized & stored away in a closet rarely ever opened and out of the way? Do I really need to keep every cute outfit my son every wore? I then asked myself, if I could just live with one box of belongings, what would be in it?
In no means do I intend on putting all my favorite things into one box and call it a day, but I was inspired to see what it felt like to live with just your favorite items and all the unnecessary. Let me just say, I’m only about half way there and it feels amazing.
I believe everything in life happens for a reason. A week after I was inspired to go through boxes of keepsakes and things stored away we no longer use, our basement couldn’t handle a pretty significant rain storm and forced us to really get rid of a lot of things. While most people would look at this as tragic, I looked at it as a blessing. Our neighbors probably thought we were being evicted, but most anything I could donate, I did. Sentimental items like stuff animals from our childhood, we took a picture of before discarding them. It was hard. We went thought a lot of things we weren’t sure what to do with; but kept telling ourselves that we can live without all the extra”stuff”. As long as we had pictures and fond memories, that’s all we really need.
From there, we’ve been moving from room to room with a fine tooth comb; really evaluating the need for literally every single item we own. The things we didn’t want- we put into piles to sort later. From there, we decided if it was something we could sell (i.e: most of our sons outgrown clothing went to Once Upon a Child. And if it wasn’t something we could sell, we offered it to others who might have a need for it (like the old car seat and bases). The rest was donated.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need all these belongings to make us feel happy, when in fact, it does the opposite. It drags you down. Of course that isn’t the case for all of us, but for most.
So for this new year, I’m learning to let go. And as I continue on my journey, this saying is a nice reminder and can be applied to many aspects of life:
Here’s the video I watched that I hope will inspire you just as much as it did me. Less really does equal more.
Cheers to the New Year!