Decluttering Frees Us Up to Live Purposefully

Several years ago I flew, by myself, with my then 2-year-old daughter and 6-month old-son. After checking my baggage, I still had a diaper bag, a small purse, a stroller for my 2-year-old, a sling for carrying my 5-month-old, a car seat, which was required on the plane for my 2-year-old, and a large assortment of odd things one carries around when they have small children.

We made it through security. We made it onto the plane. We made it to our layover stop.

And then my 2-year-old had to go to the potty.

We made it to the potty in time, but it would have been far easier without the worry of all of the STUFF I was saddled with. (and forget about maneuvering around one of those little airport shops to get a bottle of water, with all of that STUFF!)

Though my intention was to simplify our travels and be prepared for all.the.things, in reality, something simple became difficult.

This is how we often find ourselves in life: weighed down with clutter and stuff — stuff we believe we must have; stuff we can’t imagine living without, letting go of, or losing.

Then, when an opportunity or need arises, we struggle, because we aren’t free to make a choice we wish we could make.

Back to Basics


After the indulgent ’80s, wild ’90s, and the financial roller coaster that the ’00s dealt us all, the idea of slowing down and simplifying our lives has enjoyed a lot of recent renewal.

Though I don’t believe that the desire and need to simplify and live purposefully is a new concept, I’m sure this recent resurgence of the idea has to do with the fact that we’ve had to readjust old habits to keep up with the the crazy-fast changes that the digital age has ushered in.

When I add to the clutter in my life, and don’t keep it in check, eventually it will all begin to feel like the baggage at the airport.

Baggage that keeps me from being able to move freely.

And that is where many of us seeking simplicity are coming from. We aren’t looking to unplug or return to ye days of olde. Remember – when I mention clutter and a minimalist lifestyle, I’m talking about anything that weigh us down – thoughts, relationships, possessions etc.

Ironically, achieving simplicity requires a great amount of planning, preparation and clarity. But, when we take the time to sift through and remove our clutter, it allows us to better assess what (relationships, belongings etc) truly enriches our lives.

Some of the posts we’ve written to help you get started:

How to Begin Living a Minimalist Lifestyle
What Do You Really Need? Thoughts on Decluttering Your Home
Minimalist Living: create a NOT To-Do list
8 Tips For Decluttering Your Digital and Online Life
The Reluctant Minimalist

Related posts:


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  1. says

    Well said! As the daughter of a depression era mother, I learned great tips in frugality. I also have to battle near hoarding-type tendencies. I’ve noticed it’s something you have to keep after, as well. At least it is for me. The clutter sneaks back in while you’re not looking but I love what you are saying. It’s not losing, it’s gaining when you let go of the junk!

    • Karla Archer says

      Thanks for commenting, Jean. You are so right: you gain so much more by clearing the junk!

      Your experience is something I’ve seen my father deal with, for the same reason. I would purge (my own) stuff, and he’d go through it and pull it back out — ‘But it’s a perfectly good __________ (fill in the blank)” …

      I am a ‘piler’, and I have to fight that tendency, but it feels so good when I finally get through them and have order again. (I just did that today and I feel so much better!)

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