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Too Much Stuff?


woman's legs sticking out of pile of clothes


Tired of all the JUNK? Become inspired by Benedictine simplicity. Look for new ways to keep your space less cluttered.

Even though I first moved to Manhattan carrying only a few suitcases, I soon amassed more junk than I could reasonably carry as I moved from furnished sublet to furnished sublet. With each move, I would load up several trash bags filled with cheaply made items and toss them—only to purchase similar items again once I settled into my new abode. During this time, I also started to escape the city by attending retreats at local monasteries and convents. In addition to offering gracious hospitality to all who crossed through their doors, the monks also taught me about the Benedictine practice of simplicity. This practice asks: What does a monk really need in his cell? During my retreats, I could answer this question with ease—toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, body lotion, deodorant, notebook, pen, hand soap, and clothes to last for the duration. Electronics were either prohibited or discouraged. I was fed three meals a day, and I could peruse the library for any reading material. Like a monk, I didn’t need much in my room to keep me happy and content. I never thought of applying this concept to my ev …

About the Author

Becky Garrison

Becky Garrison is a storyteller/satirist based in Portland, Oregon. Follow her travels on Instagram/Twitter @Becky_Garrison or her Facebook author page BeckyGarrisonWriter.

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