Most of the questions my clients have about my Simply Living Model are focused on the practicalities of the process.
How long does the full process take?
What does each session look like?
Do my loved ones take part?
While these are important, I find the so-called “why” questions crucial.
Why should I prioritize changing my lifestyle towards “Simple Living”?
What is the difference this conscious process makes to me?
Why am I prompted to start now?
I put tidying and decluttering into the spotlight of my series “Tidying in focus – endless burden or leverage for joy?”.
Some of my stunning clients are highlighted as role models for conscious change.
Enabling you to learn first-hand how change benefited various settings of homes, personal wellbeing, relationships, and professional careers.
This time, I sat down with one of my former clients – Dusan – to explore his take on such questions.
If I were to describe in a phrase, the main theme of my work with Dusan was “creating space”.
To paint you a picture:
Dusan is an impact professional, working in the fast-paced social startup and innovation sector.
On top of his full-time job he also co-founded a non-profit organization.
He has a broad range of hobbies and interests – from running marathons, to exploring history, philosophy, and mental fitness.
All of this while living with his partner and maintaining his community of friends across Europe.
Dusan proudly completed a full tidying and decluttering marathon.
Within 3 months we reset his home, fostered his conscious consumerism, and reflected habits to focus on what truly matters.
Together with his partner he now enjoys a minimalistic but cozy home.
“Dusan, what drew you to explore Simple Living?”
“Simply described, I would quote John Lennon who said: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
In my definition of a great lifestyle, one designs their life in such a way that they find fulfilment in everything that they do.
This includes what is generally referred as “work”, people that they spend time with, and how they manage their “free time”.
For curious people like myself, the challenge that comes with this approach is that managing it all can quickly become overwhelming and too much, which in turn negatively influences all of these individual experiences.
I would catch myself having climbed a top of a mountain (literal or a metaphorical one), only to find myself already thinking about what else is on my to do list.
To me personally, simple and focused living is a school of thought.
It offers an approach that allows an individual to be present and make the most out of what truly matters to them.
Minimizing distractions and creating peace of mind – including the time spent in one’s home – are crucial ingredients.”
“How did you find out about methods and tools used in Simple Living?”
When thinking about your Simple Living methodology, three distinct fields come to my mind:
Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of tidying and organizing.
I have been aware of the minimalism movement for the longest – based on the principle that nowadays most of us tend to own more than we need.
I liked the idea of conserving energy and time spent on decisions such as “What to wear on a particular day?”.
When it comes to zero waste, I have discovered the practice through my work with sustainability.
Hence, realizing the negative impact that all the excess waste that we produce as society has on the people and the planet.
Although this message spoke to me and I understood that I can become part of the solution by changing my habits, I did not really start.
Acquiring all the needed knowledge and skills seemed overwhelming.
Lastly, I have heard about Marie Kondo and her book shortly after it came out.
Although it made sense that someone wrote a book about tidying, decluttering, and organizing your home, it wasn’t until I read about it from some authors that I follow that I considered it for myself.
They all claimed that going through the process was indeed “life-changing”.
I ended up ordering the book to find out more.
“Did you consider applying some of the tools from these fields on your own – before we started working together?”
Although I eventually ended up finding the time to read the book, I still couldn’t find time to actually do it.
It felt like one of the “important” but “not urgent” things that needed to be done.
Even though I would end up planning some time to do it, something else that seemed more pressing would come up.
Once I found out about your services, I realized that besides being able to tap into your knowledge and skills there is more.
You would also help me to prioritize it – by committing to it and scheduling the sessions in advance.
“How did you feel about the process before we started?”
I was happy I finally committed to it – by signing up and scheduling it.
But I wasn’t entirely sure how different the experience would be compared to trying to do it on my own.
I was asking myself whether one really needs a coach, and if this process really needs that much time.
But I was curious to try it out and positive that this was finally happening.
“What changed once we started? What did you experience?”
I immediately realized that I underestimated the time and effort required to go through the entire process.
Besides the actual process of going through my belongings, decluttering and organizing, a big part of it was about holistically looking at my lifestyle, learning about the entire “lifecycle” of the items that we dealt with.
I ended up learning things such as…
where to meaningfully and sustainably dispose books, clothes, tech gadgets, and other items that I wanted to let go of,
what kind of documents one needs to keep in physical form and which one is safe to digitize and find online,
and how to decrease the amount of waste produced in the household.
The whole process made me appreciate items I own more.
It helped me to strengthen the muscle of being more conscious when considering buying something new.
“How did you feel once we finished the entire “marathon”?”
It was the same feeling as ticking off a big item off my “to do” list.
I was surprised by the number of items that we ended up disposing of.
I was happy about the newly developed system for organizing and storing items that I kept.
I also became aware that essentially the way we buy, consume, use, and dispose of items is a set of habits that one can train.
Once we completed the marathon, I was also motivated to maintain the overall “system” of how my belongings are organized.
“It has been some months since you “crossed the finish line”. What changed for you due to our work?”
I managed to maintain the system of how things are organized at my home, and developed the habits required to keep it that way.
I also significantly reduced the number of items that I ended up purchasing since, reducing waste and saving money in the process.
I notice on an ongoing basis that I am overall more knowledgeable and mindful about the topics that we covered in the marathon – including minimizing waste, responsible consumption, and Simple Living.
I do think that your services helped me to become slightly more present and calmer.
It freed up some of my time, considering that I don’t have to spend it shopping, tidying, and organizing.
“What do you advise people considering to use my Simple Living services?”
Regardless of whether they end up deciding to sign up for your services, I think that these topics matter.
They are worth spending energy on.
They fall in the category of “they should teach this in schools”.
I initially thought that your services were more about the actual tidying and decluttering of my belongings (which was a big part of it).
But I realized it is more of a long-term investment into changing your mindset and developing new skills.
They help you to lead a simpler, more sustainable life.
I would especially recommend your services to everyone who has been considering these topics – but didn’t manage to find the time and energy to dive into them on its own.
Your services help to prioritize it and approach it systematically.
Moreover, you caringly hold your client accountable throughout the process.
Besides, I can’t think of a better person than Eva to do this with!
“Thanks from my heart to Dusan for sharing his deep, personal learnings!”
PS: Let it settle.
PPS: Don’t feel overwhelmed already.
We can start with a baby step, tidying one category – like clothes, books, or your workplace.
You will soon experience its stunning ripple effects on clarity, focus, joy, and much more.
Master your many hats with ease.
Let talents and focus become best buddies.
Live healthier and happier.
Eva Gruber – Habit Coach for Makers & Scanner Personalities