Nearly every day I drive by a quaint little home just a stones throw away from mine. I’m drawn to it. It makes me happy. I find it appealing.
It’s very small, but tidy as a pin. It’s tastefully and minimally landscaped and decorated, with a few cheery planters added in summer and always perfectly maintained.
Not to mention it’s the sweetest shade of yellow.
Why is it so neat and perfect? I would guess because it’s owner works hard to keep it that way, and it’s within the realm of what he or she can maintain well.
To me, that little yellow home represents an ideal, one that I’ve not lived to its fullest, but recognize for it’s many applications in my own life.
Essentially, simplicity is life-enhancing.
I would say this is true for two primary reasons.
1. Simplicity allows for a higher level of care for the things we have.
It dictates that we pay attention to what we already possess rather than accumulating, accumulating, accumulating.
And when we naturally have less, there’s less between which to divide our attention.
I think about it like this…
I have two bathrooms in my home. The master, and the hall bathroom. Because of the layout, during the day the hall bathroom gets heavily trafficked. Two children, all visitors, all over-night guests, and really everyone (out of convenience and proximity) use that bathroom.
I like it that way. I have one bathroom on which to primarily focus, and I feel like I clean it all the time.
This is much easier for me to maintain at a high level than three or more bathrooms spread throughout the house.
Everyone benefits from the quality-of-life-boost that a clean bathroom lends, and because my focus is narrowed, I can (and do) do a better job. I have to do a better job.
It’s the same with any other area of our home, whether it be toys, clothes, furnishings, yard items… whatever.
The more simple it is, the more thoroughly it can be maintained assuming the effort and time available are a constant no matter the size of the job.
I recently shared an article on my Facebook page about the benefits of living in a smaller home. It had a huge response! I think we know the truth of this message deep down, but society confuses us by constantly saying more is better. Not necessarily.
I would rather live in a modest yet clean, pleasant and tidy home than in a large, cluttered, gunky/dusty home. Quality of life is better in the former situation. Breath. Concentrate. Relax. Feel satisfaction.
(for the record, my house is somewhere in between… not the perfectly tidy & clean one, just ask my friends and family…)
2. Simplicity decreases the distractions of life so it can be more fully lived.
When I’m running around to too many activities or commitments, I feel stressed, and I’m not able to appreciate each experience individually.
When my life is too cluttered in some way, it decreases my enjoyment of everything.
Why not do less, be less, have less, and spend less, but in return open our lives up to truly relish the things in which we do choose to invest ourselves.
Focusing on what matters, clearing our lives of clutter and “busy,” will certainly increase their quality. We will see more of what is right in front of our noses, hear more of what is said to us, experience life more deeply, and as a result, gain wisdom.
“For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.” Proverbs 8:11