keep it simple

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I’m a hoarder. Plain and simple. Not one you would catch on television, but if you came into my apartment on a day when I’m not expecting company, you might heavily question whether or not you should call Lifetime.

I am notorious for trying on clothes and leaving them on the floor for days at a time. I’ll keep an Easter card that my grandparents sent me in 2007 or a receipt from TJMaxx from earlier in the year (even though I’ve taken the tags off, worn the shirt, washed it twice, and long surpassed the return date). I’ll keep books I’ll never read again and DVDs I’ll never watch because you can stream everything these days.

But what if I need that receipt? What if I want that Easter card to savor when my grandparents are no longer around to write me another? What if the internet apocalypse happens and I can’t stream anything and all I’m left with is a burning desire to watch Agent Cody Banks on DVD?

The simple answer? Nothing. Nothing will happen. Because if I save everything I’ll never be able to find what matters.

A friend of mine recently said to me, “My new mantra: Keep it simple.” That resonated so deeply with me. “Keep it simple.” What an unbelievably normal concept.  Life can throw an array of complications at us at a moment’s notice; so why not keep what we have control over as simple as we can?

My messy studio apartment is kind of the physical equivalent to what the inside of my head must look like. I don’t donate any of my thoughts to charity, I hoard conversations I’ve had in the past, then pull them out of storage and leave them laying around without putting them away. My mind has become so over-capacitated that it doesn’t know where to put anything. Where is the line between deeming our jobs, our lives, our relationships as naturally “complicated” and turning to ourselves for over-complicating them?

We can keep the clothes we actually wear, the cards that mean something, or the furniture we use, but we have to give up the rest — put it on Craigslist and let it go. All the same, we can keep the lessons, the meaningful relationships, the really good memories, but we have to give the rest up — put it on your blog, in your journal, shout it from a really steep cliff in the middle of no where and let it go.

Keep what matters and let the rest go; you’ll want to leave room for the people, moments, and clothing items that will inevitably come through and become a necessity as you move through life (And if you hear from me in the next week asking you to take a bunch of crap from my apartment, now you know why).

So this week’s mantra — keep it simple: your mind, your day, your 290 square foot apartment. Life is already filled to the brim with complications.

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