How to Simplify your Overstuffed Life

“Simplicity” by Tamara Magnitsky

Tamara captured the sum of it all in her photo above. Simplicity equals happiness. We fill our lives to the brim with stuff, appointments, distractions… anything to hide the fact that we lack this simple delight. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we don’t have moments of joy, it is just that our lives aren’t paved in it. We think that next new blouse, new job, maybe even new husband, will get us the desired result however things just don’t work that way.

As January tells us on the other side of our “overstuffed lives”  is “truer, crisper Freedom.”


Moving Poem

by January Handl

So I am thinking…

I need to look at everything
in this house that
holds 31 years of marriage
and two grown children’s
and ask this
51 year old
almost single
what do you need?
Which books of 5 full book cases
do you have to have near you?
Which wall hanging/photos
are touchstones of your
equilibrium and peace?
How to condense
whole phrases
into power words…
A poem.

The apartment is lovely
but a 4th of what a house holds.
And I know it is good
I know my closets
and shelves and dressers
are brim full of
Yes, but-clothes
Yes, but its missing a button
Yes, but its too tight around here
Yes but I have no shoes to go with it.
As I survey for
the essential
I realize how over-stuffed
my existence is
with things
and photos
and art
and momentos
and on the other side
of this somewhat
painful, slicing
truer, crisper

This SIMPLICITY week is about finding our “truer, crisper freedom.”

It could mean:

  • Saying “NO” to requests of your time that don’t work for you.
  • Cleaning out your refrigerator. (I just did mine this weekend… truly liberating! –>)
  • Purging your Wardrobe. (Remember my 40 item Wardrobe Challenge?)
  • Taking time to SIP your coffee, tea, chai whatever!
  • Pledging to buy nothing NEW
  • Sharing a meal with your family

In my case it means clearing clutter in my home so that I can enjoy the special things that I love.

Noticing the places where life is “overstuffed” is also a great FIRST step.

Please tell us in a comment what or how you will SIMPLIFY this week!

(P.S. If you like what you’ve read here please use one of the sharing buttons, over there to your <– left and tell your friends! Thank you!)


Tamara and January are here each Monday to help set the mood for the week!

Tamara Magnitsky

Tamara Magnitsky, a child of the wild blue yonder,
has been an ardent student and advocate for poetry, photography and excellence in general.
She is the mother of a 6 year old daughter and a beloved wife.
She can be found most days.

Bio written by Cary Brosius ~Tamara’s husband  🙂


January Handl

January Handl is first and always a mother, has been a preschool teacher and parent educator for 25 years. She is currently the Director/head teacher at Gazebo Park School, and lives at Esalen Institute in Big Sur. She lives simply in awe of existence.

She calls her photo “hot tub bliss”  🙂

6 thoughts on “How to Simplify your Overstuffed Life

  1. Wonderful advice! I’m all for slow sipping and savoring. And I’m becoming braver in saying NO to that which does not resonate with me anymore. And taking time this year to purge the house & garden of things that we no longer use, need or love.

    • Kathy says:

      Tracy, you are definitely on to something with things you love… if I stopped tolerating the stuff I don’t love I would be well on my way to a clutter free life!

  2. Almost a week behind in keeping up. And reading this amidst a crazy few weeks (family visit – everyone but me being on holidays, constant interruptions, meals feeling rushed, reports due at work, other organizational obligations, apparently no end in site, etc) you know the story, was like taking time to sip a cup of herbal tea.
    Reading this has had me reflect on the simplicity in the moment of now. More so the blissful moments. Even if only 2-10 minutes long. The simplicity in the 30 seconds of sitting and petting the dogs. Feeling love, the texture of their coats, the sensation of their body across my feet. The simplicity in the moments of enjoying a bowl of cereal, toast/jam and coffee and relishing in the variety of textures.
    In total appreciation of this post, this week of simplicity – albeit a week behind, and the reflection.

    • Kathy says:

      Michael, if you notice I do not “date” the entries around here. It is my hope that they are useful when you happen upon them! I’m delighted that was the case for you!. Love how you are enjoying your simple moments… within the crazy busy times. That has such a lovely elegance to it! Thank you for sharing!

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