Ah, the simple life. Rainbows, sunshine, adventures, joy.
Okay, so maybe this is not REALLY what it means to live a simple life, BUT there is something seriously awesome about taking the reigns of things and simplifying life to make it fit you
I remember feeling so completely overwhelmed with trying to keep it all together: the house, the kids, the cooking, the cleaning (…the cleaning…), and then just dealing with the stuff.
I have never really been into things. They just seem pointless and annoying and in the way.
But, lo and behold, things, and life chaos in general, have a tendency to creep up easily and quickly, unless you take action to keep things under control.
Begin the Simple Life with these 5 Changes
I cannot over-stress how cathartic it has been to simplify my life. I am still pretty busy, but now it is with the things I truly value in life, like family, blessing others, and using my strengths and talents.
Here are my top 5 suggestions to start living a simple life now, without selling everything you own and buying a couple of acres in rural America, or setting out to live in a tiny house tomorrow.
1. Reduce your possessions
When we sold everything in order to prepare to move into a 250 sq ft travel trailer, it seemed IMPOSSIBLE to clean house enough.
I have since learned, though, that reducing possessions is a process.
Start with eliminating the extra things cluttering up your storage spaces, closets, garage, basement, etc., and then work from there. Allow the process to unfold while you gradually realize what is and is not needed in your home and life.
Kitchen gadgets seem to be right up there with diamonds as “a girl’s best friend,” but they truly can become lanky, cumbersome space suckers.
The biggest thing that helped me get the kitchen in order was prioritizing multi-purpose gadgets!
If the gadget was not something I used regularly, or I had multiple items that could do the same things, I passed and/or figured out a way to do things by hand.
The ONLY kitchen gadget I kept is my VitaMix! That thing has been with our family since my oldest was 8 months old, and it has more than paid for itself in the past decade-plus with the number of uses it has received, plus the awesome customer service the company provides (literally sent my first one in because I burned out the motor, and they sent me a BRAND NEW one).
2. Pay down debt
Debt is definitely a noose around the neck, but it can be managed with a little intention. The simple life is meant to reduce not only the external burdens in the world but also those that stress us out internally. Debt is one of those stressors. Even if it takes time, begin paying down your debt, and stop adding more debt in the meantime.
I have always been a fan of Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey, so much that I have given it to newlyweds for wedding gifts!
I love his snowball method for paying off debt. It has helped us immensely throughout our marriage.
3. Reduce spending
This one piggybacks off of paying down debt. Spending is definitely an important thing to get under control, especially when saving and reducing various needs.
There are a lot of different ways to save money on things. Start doing some research, ask your friends, check online, and see what options you can find!
I just recently participated in a Facebook group with some friends who wanted to reduce their monthly food budget. One lady went from $2000/month to feed her family of 6 down to around $600 a month! You can do it, too!
4. Live by this essential “simple life” principle
Are you ready for the most amazingly simple, yet life-changing idea?!
Something in – Something out.
Let me explain. Basically, if you want to buy something to bring into the house (a toy, a piece of furniture, a towel, etc.) in order to bring it in you must get rid of something of of equal or greater space.
This principle was revolutionary when I stumbled upon it. As a mom to now 7 kids (AH!), our old house felt jam-packed with a million pointless things that never got touched, collected dust, and gave me more to clean up or manage.
For the most part, we live by this principle in order to try to keep clutter to a minimum, and I still go through a deep de-cluttering around every 4-6 months.
It feels so, so good to clean out the stuff that has not been touched for months! Trust me…you’re gonna love it!
5. Master your Schedule
This one I think is probably the culmination of all the others. There is more time in the day to enjoy life when clutter is managed, debt is paid down, a budget is in place, and purchases are monitored.
We must also be mindful of de-cluttering our schedules, in addition to controlling the clutter of our homes and possessions.
I believe that far too often we make commitments to things that only keep us spinning our wheels, rather than feeding our souls. It is a critical and healthy part of life to have time at home to just relax and enjoy family.
Be selective about the commitments you make.
If you have older kids, you could only allow one activity a year/semester. Pray over the opportunities that arise and seek the Lord for appropriate opportunities for you to be used in your season of life
It IS okay to say no.