Minimalism, Chaos, Order & Downsizing

I have never struggled to make a mess.

In childhood, a messy room was par for the course. It was part teenage rebellion – a response to the high standards and OCD tendencies of my maternal lineage. I judged them as too intense, uptight and unnecessary, so I bucked them.

As an adult, it grew into a pile of papers, a pile of clothes, a pile of half-read books, and numerous notebooks full of random ideas. It’s not that I’ve lived in utter chaos, but a manageable level of chaos had become my norm.  It was something I embraced, playfully telling myself that it’s the inevitable by-product of “non-linear genius.” Ha!

Well, perhaps the familial gene ramps up in the 40’s, because something shifted within me. The desire to have Less Stuff and More Order really took hold. One drawer, one notebook, one item of clothing at a time… I began touching and sorting through every single item I own.

Once I decided to take on the experiment of Nomadic Living, I really shifted into order overdrive.

And, you know what?  I love it.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

I am now an advocate for order and simplicity. I may even be a bit of a zealot in the making.

Less truly is more. While the process was daunting, and going through every item I owned to determine whether to keep it, sell it, donate it, recycle it, or trash it was exhausting at times … in the end, it feels so goooooood— so gratifying, so clarifying, and so freeing … to have released so much “stuff”. (My ‘8-Day Downsizing Countdown to Nomadic Living’ post goes into this in more detail.)

With every carload of “stuff” I passed along, with every drawer and shelf and closet I sorted, and with every notebook page that got either recycled because it was no longer relevant, or went into a binder organized by category …. I have found that the benefits of order and downsizing go *far beyond* what I would have expected.

It’s about so much more than having a clean desk, or knowing exactly where something is when I’m looking for it. The true benefits are a clearer mind. What it has given me is a terrifically streamlined approach to moving forward (both personally and professionally). I have a deeper sense of inner peace and focus, and I no longer feel the energetic burden of owning things that I don’t need, love, or both.

At one point, while sorting through a trunk of memorabilia, I came across a $10 bill tucked into a card. It was addressed to me in Australia (I studied abroad my junior year of college). It had been sent by my sweet grandmother for “ice cream with a friend”. That envelope had traveled with me, since 1996. While years later,  “ice cream with a friend” was indeed how it was spent.

So, today I am celebrating how profoundly and positively efforts to amp up order is impacting my life, my business, my heart, my soul, my mind, and even my body. For me, this is a lifestyle choice.

What about YOU? I want to hear from you. How does order support or inhibit YOU? Do you agree that less is more? Why or why not?

Eager to learn more about Nomadic Living?  >>> Be sure to check out this awesome-ness! <<<


Tara Sage

Master Coach, Location-independent boss lady, Author, Speaker, Nomad, Salsera, Life Hack Pro