If you caught my FB post in January, I mentioned that our goal for 2017 is to simplify our life. This has been harder than I thought, but we are well on our way to a life with “less”. Below are our experiences thus far and some great resources for those that wish to embrace the idea of a more simple life.
This is probably the hardest part of our life to cut back on. We have a lot of family close by, and we don’t want to miss special occasions. We are involved in our church, which takes up time. We have 3 kids with 3 sets of homework, 3 sets of activities, 3 sets of friend birthday parties and playdates, and 3 sets of unique needs that all pull at our time. Let’s not forget to sandwich in time we want to spend with just the 5 of us. Point blank, it’s hard, life is BUSY. For now we’ve been able to schedule less get together’s with friends to make room for family time, and we hired some youth to help on the farm so we don’t have to spend all day Saturday catching up from the week. Instead, we’ve been able to free up time to spend together as a family enjoying games and activities. We’ve had to learn to say “NO” more often and realize that our family comes first, not everyone else. I have found that many families sacrifice time together in order to please those around them and in the end, the family unit suffers.
Getting rid of stuff is super easy for me. If it were up to me, we would all live in a Tiny House with a giant barn full of animals. Of course, it’s not just up to me and each one of us is at a different stage of letting go.
I purged my wardrobe last year and have maintained a pretty simple “capsule” wardrobe that I switch out each season. I also went through the kids’ closets and have begun to do the same thing. We are blessed to receive many hand-me-downs, but I used to keep most of them and the closets were overflowing. In reality, the kids had their top 5 favorite outfits and the rest of the clothes just sat there. Now, I’m more choosy about what we keep and I donate the rest. This had made it much easier to pick out outfits and it takes less time to wash clothes (since there is less to wash, I am forced to do the laundry more often but then it doesn’t pile up as much). Here is a great resource to create a simple wardrobe for your kids: Capsule Wardrobe for Kids
As for all our other stuff, I take it one day at a time. Since I began in January, I started with purging a lot of holiday decor. I spent years collecting decor in hopes of creating a Pinterest looking house for every holiday. My basement stored many, many, many boxes full of wreathes, ornaments, lights, garlands, etc. While I do like to decorate for the holidays, I didn’t need to decorate as much. For me, this didn’t bring me a ton of joy and the rest of my family did not partake in this activity. I dwindled each holiday down to about 1-3 boxes. It felt AMAZING. Who was I trying to impress anyway? Again, my family time was more important than pleasing (or impressing) those around me.
I’m going to tackle this one at another time. This is so huge for many Mamas and it can be very hard. It deserves a post all on its own.
BENEFITS THUS FAR
I already feel more calm. While purging and simplifying take time, I’m not rushing my days to get “done”. I don’t have an end in mind, so I don’t know if I will ever get there. The whole point is to slow down. Instead of overextending myself to reach unrealistic goals, I’ve cut back. Not as many posts, not as many items in the Etsy shop, not as many workshops, not as much time away from home… less. Less money spending, less TV watching, less time spent on organizing all our STUFF. More time with my family, more time reading, more time enjoying the life we have. Being content in the moment.
This is the video that really kicked my butt in gear, maybe it will inspire you too:
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
🙂 Mama Nice