The Art of the Essential, Part II

12 Apr

For the past two months, I have been living with only a suitcase-worth of possessions. Three pairs of shoes, three pairs of trousers, a dozen tops, two jackets, three novels, two poetry books, a make-up bag, a laptop and a couple of notebooks. For the past two months I have been experiencing the art of the essential.

Living with fewer possessions has had some amazing effects on my life:

I have saved time: having a limited amount of clothes to choose from, I did not spend hours trying out different outfits for one outing.

I have been tidier: fewer things means less mess.

I have had more space: seeing as my possessions fit in one wardrobe and one cupboard, the rest of the space is free, for movement, for dance, for yoga…

I have had a lot of light in the apartment: fewer things means more open space, which means more light.

I have been calmer: in my previous home, I had around forty unread books and a wardrobe of unworn clothes. I would feel guilty about not reading the books and not wearing the clothes on which I had spent money. Now, seeing as I make use of everything in my possession, I do not experience a feeling of waste, greed or stress. Instead, I have a feeling of comfort and simplicity.

I have had more time to do the things I love: I spend less time tidying up and no time at all sorting my things out, which gives me more time to do things that I enjoy.

I have had more opportunities to be creative: rather than obsessing over the world inside my apartment, my thoughts open up to the world beyond my walls.

I have focused on the things I do, rather than on the things I own: in modern society, it is most often our possessions and not our actions that define us. Having little possessions, I have been able to concentrate more on defining myself through what I do, rather than through what I own.

I have seen others differently: now that I define myself through what I do, I also define other people by their actions, instead of their clothes, gadgets, cars, or accessories. This has given me a whole new vision of the world.

Living with fewer possessions has many positive effects on our lives. It does not mean that we should deprive ourselves, but that we should simply reduce our possessions to the essentials: what we need and what we love. Everything else has no place in our home, our mind and our body; everything else brings us negative energy.

April is a perfect time to do a spring clean, so why not take this opportunity to clear that clutter that blocks your energy?

A great book on this subject is Clear Your Clutter, which explains the negative energetic and psychological effects of hoarding and the positive ones of clearing.

14 Responses to “The Art of the Essential, Part II”

  1. Seasweetie 12/04/2011 at 13:06 #

    Your post is perfectly timed for me. I am a “saver” and I am getting ready to move. Unfortunately, I am having to move faster than I had expected to. My daughter and I were going to sort everything out and discard a lot before moving, but now, it seems we have to just put it all in boxes and go. But we’re putting all boxes in the “new” house’s garage and promising each other that we’ll sort through it all before it crosses our threshold. The sense of freedom and ease your words generated this morning inspire me. Thanks!

    • l0ve0utl0ud 13/04/2011 at 10:24 #

      The most important thing is to be strict with yourself – make sure you sort everything out within a month of arriving in your new home. That way, you will be free to start a fresh life, with only the things that are important to you here and now. I wish you the best of luck with the sorting!

  2. Elvita Kondili 12/04/2011 at 15:24 #

    Spring cleaning, here I come!! 🙂

    • l0ve0utl0ud 13/04/2011 at 10:19 #

      It’s a great way to clear energy before those gorgeous summer days!

  3. Piia 12/04/2011 at 17:17 #

    Ah, once again, YES! To have more time to do the things I love, to define people not by their possessions by their actions…lovely, again. Your life sounds so calm, so simple…maybe one day this could be reality in mine as well. 🙂

    • l0ve0utl0ud 13/04/2011 at 10:22 #

      It’s only recently that I have managed to start making my life simpler, my recent move helped a lot with this. I wish you all the best in finding calm and simplicity in your life.

  4. Lenore Diane 13/04/2011 at 01:06 #

    Excellent post. This may be the inspiration I need to clear the clutter. Thank you!

    • l0ve0utl0ud 13/04/2011 at 10:18 #

      I wish you the best of luck in your spring clean! 🙂

  5. Sade Metellus 15/04/2011 at 22:03 #

    People have become to accustomed to Thier possessions. Instead of living and experiencing life they are wasting their time. I appreciate you opening your simple yet refreshing life.

    Learn how to date yourself while being simple

  6. Ashley in Open Lotus Garden 22/04/2011 at 15:04 #

    Holy Awesomeness! I’m planning a spring purge because I want to have less STUFF cluttering up my space, mind, and spirit, and your results confirm my motivation for doing it completely. Fabulous post- thank you! 🙂

    • l0ve0utl0ud 23/04/2011 at 18:05 #

      Yes, getting rid of excess material possessions really does clear the mind and spirit. Good luck with the spring clean!


  1. Art of the Essential Part III « Love Out Loud - 22/11/2011

    […] what most of it was), trying to get it down to the essentials (see The Art of the Essential, The Art of the Essential Part II). During the first few rounds of sorting, I reduced the quantity of my possessions by about […]

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