It’s interesting how after a big clean out you feel so refreshed and on top of things. Dylan turned 1 on Saturday and before his party we had a big clean out and tidy of all the things we wont be using again. (That’s right, we’re definitely only a 2 kid family!) Yet somehow we keep accumulating things, stuff we don’t need, or particularly want or value, but it seems to collect all on it’s own!
Coincidently I was listening to a lecture on simplification this week and was able to relate it to my trip to Kokoda. I hiked the Kokoda trial in 2000 with a team of 10 others from the Army Reserves. When we flew into Kokoda, to hike back out, we had to weigh our packs for the flight. My pack was the lightest in the group coming in at a light 13kgs (before water). That 13kg included a change of clothes (yes, only one set) my sleeping bag, a bed roll, toiliteries, a head torch, camera and food for 10 days. Oh, and paper and a pen to record my journal. I’d done plenty of hiking and figured out pretty quickly that if it wasn’t essential I wasn’t taking it.
When you have to actually carry everything on you, it gives you a whole new perspective on what you really need. I also knew my own limitations and if I started out carrying a 25kg pack I don’t think I would have been able to finish it. What amazed me was not the weight of my pack, but the weight of others packs. There was one guy on our team who’s pack weighed in at 30kgs and another girl who started with 23kgs. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but carry it day in day our for 10 days up and down the biggest hills you can fathom and a few kilos makes the difference between your knees working or not!
So I’d like to challenge you today to take a look at one small part of your house. A room, a cupboard, or just a drawer and clean it out. The challenge is to be ruthless, when I started this process I had a pile of ‘not sure’s’ and I ended up putting most of the stuff there… which ended up going back in the drawer. Only to be thrown out in the next clean out after I hadn’t used it for 6 months. The less ‘stuff’ there is in our lives, the easier it is to focus on the things that really are important, like families, health and having fun!