Today while secretly purging my oldest daughter’s room, I remembered boxing up almost all of their toys, clothes and books four years ago when my husband and I put our former house on the market.   Facing the seemingly impossible task of keeping my house in show condition with a 5 year old, 3 year old and 6 month old, I boxed up a majority of our possessions to simplify our lives.  Closets were emptied, cabinets lay bare and toys no longer littered the family room.  It was a glorious few months.  I was able to keep the house picked up and clean with minimal frustration.

In the kid’s rooms, we removed almost everything; books, stuffed animals and toys.  With very few things left out to play with in the house, the kids surprised me by not complaining.  In no time at all, they adjusted to fewer things and focused on what remained.  Their favorite new thing to play became "Shoe Store" with all the various footwear they could find.

As I stare at my children’s rooms and playroom today overflowing, I wonder why we ever unpacked it all.  The kids seemed happy with less. My husband and I simply didn’t realize at the time the beauty and peace we received by simplifying our home.

This time of year, messages all around us are about the importance of decluttering your space and life.  Maybe simplify should be a theme for the Jones family in 2011.   And by paring down our stuff, we could recapture some of that peace and beauty in our lives we missed the last time.

Copyright 2011 Lisa Jones