Simplicity in Action: Christine Li
Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action.
It all started with a book called Sink Reflections. I had picked up the book after watching the author on The Today Show. She seemed nice enough with her fancy feather duster. And I was in need of help. I knew at that particular time in my life, about 11 years ago, if I did not get my proverbial act together, the rest of my life would actually head downhill.
Sink Reflections offered me an option to live without the burden of disorganization, clutter, and anxiety. I had been looking for that option in my heart for a long time. By far the most important takeaway from the book was the idea, novel to me, that in order to be organized, I had to get rid of stuff. Twenty-seven items per day, to be exact. This task was pretty easy for me, as there was so much pile up from my life. I wasn’t a hoarder, a collector, or even much of a shopper, but I was disorganized. And so, out went the old receipts, mail, magazines, old clothes, and weird plastic items with no apparent function.
Right now, I can’t even remember the rest, but I do remember feeling things were going to be different because of this new-found tossing behavior.
The changes which happened were life-altering for me.
- I was no longer submerged by my stuff.
- I started to like being in my own home.
- I had space to live in.
- I began to feel calmer.
- I stopped shopping for non-essentials.
- I stopped shopping to fill my time.
- I therefore had more time.
- Having more time allowed me to feel even calmer.
- I began to feel more energized.
- I started to learn how to be organized (a little bit).
- I began to procrastinate less.
- My thinking became clearer.
- I began to feel more confident and empowered.
- I began taking better care of myself and others.
I began to make changes in my professional life as well. I think learning I could change something that had felt so unmoveable and massive caused a transformation in how I thought about my own potential. Wow. I guess a lot of feelings were held up and trapped in those old piles.
In all honesty, I want to share that I still have a ways to go with my clutter. I kind of stopped somewhere in the middle, rather than working my way to the end. That would be my modus operandi. Part of the reason I wanted to share these facts is to help you understand that living more simply does not mean being perfect or doing perfect things. But it can change your life for the better and help you to find more time, more clarity, less stress, and more personal growth.
You absolutely can make changes towards simplicity, and I sincerely hope you will.
Christine Li, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in New York who writes about Procrastination at www.procrastinationcoach.com. You can also connect with her on Twitter.