Saturday, June 11, 2016

simplicity 2016: receipts

At the end of December, when the Lord gave me this theme of simplicity, He also gave me three specific areas in which He wanted me to cultivate it.

They were/are: finances, technology and stuff.

January was a solid month. I was on my phone less. I was watching my budget. And I told myself I would start purging through my things soon.

But I didn't.

You see, I am not a hoarder or someone who is messy.

I am organized and tidy. I try to live simply.

So, I didn't see the need to rush through purging and cleaning because I was already so organized.

(insert eye roll)

However, the Lord gently nudged me and said I would need to have the plurging done by June.

At this time it was March, so I knew I had better get started.

And I did.


As in three boxes. One night when it was raining and all my friends were busy.

Because for all my order and love of structure, my house can sometimes be procrastination station, and I put off the things that I don't love doing.

Like dishes. Or laundry.

But last month, my landlords came to me and said they were going to be putting their house on the market and it would probably be sold by the end of the summer.

This was in May.

The Lord said by June.

Now it's making sense...

But moving....gross.

Not my most favorite pastime.

Sure, the new adventure will be fun, but right now I am in Whine Town.

Tears about not wanting the stress of moving.

Inward fits about the hassle of finding a new place to live.

Because, I live in Seattle.
And everyone and their mother wants to live here right now.
So that means that any and all available housing is expensive or unavailable.

Also, ambiguity of any kind is super annoying to me. As well as being in limbo.

Which is how apartment hunting feels to me.

Some people love it, but it's just not really my thing.

I like my lists and my order and the consistency that it all brings to my life.

So needless to say, this moving thing had me feeling all out of whack....

And when I feel out of whack or have a problem I cannot solve, I clean.

And organize. Purge and throw all manner of things away.

Don't ask me why, but it helps. Every time.

So Wednesday night I cleaned. And binge watched "Rizzoli & Isles." And ate tater tots.

I only intended to go through one box of miscellaneous papers and then settle in for the evening.

Since I don't have that much stuff.... (imagine this said with sarcasm)

6 hours, yes.... 6 hours later, I sat down on my couch.

Pretty pleased with myself.

Also ashamed.



Once upon a time, I kept every receipt known to man because, identity theft is a thing.

And I was convinced that someone out there wanted to steal my identity.

It didn't matter that I had no credit history and made barely $1,000/month.

I thought the only responsible thing to do was shred all of them, therefore and forevermore removing the temptation for someone to steal my identity.

And maybe it would have been.

Except that I never actually made time for that.

I made time to put them all in a box to be shredded later.

But I never actually did it.

Well, there was that one time I took a bag to Office Depot and paid them $1/pound to shred it for me.

So that's something.

But all the rest were put in a box six years ago. Never to be heard from again until Wednesday evening.

In comes the shame....

At the end of the night I had two and a half bags of receipts, to do lists, old planners and car insurance paperwork for a car I haven't had in five years.


Now that it's done, I feel tons better.

Moving feels a little less overwhelming, packing doesn't seem as stressful, and I feel like a total boss for all the work I got done.

Still ashamed of the clutter, but proud nonetheless.

It's almost the middle of June, I only have a few more spaces to clean in my apartment and I am waiting to hear back from a few housing opportunities.

Things are feeling manageable.

All because of this practice of simplicity.

This year is teaching me that simplicity isn't necessarily about having less stuff. Or even in doing fewer things. Although I think those are definitely parts of it.

I'm realizing simplicity for me is about uncomplicating my life.

Boxes of receipts are complicated.
Unused decorative pillows are complicated.
A digital camera I haven't used in eight years is complicated.
Not being able to get into my hall closet because of boxes is complicated.

So in getting rid of/gifting/shredding/throwing away stuff, I am clearing space (both figuratively and literally) for anything the Lord wants to bring into my life.

And that's more important than any of those old receipts.


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