Simplify by Downsizing
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I am the SIMPLE Life Mom.
For those of you who don’t know, one of the major reasons I started this website is because I needed to gather my research and knowledge into one place. Not only that, but I wanted to compile it for my children to use in the future. I want them to have mom’s recipes, methods, and other madness ;-).
We live in a whirlwind of a society… but I remember a time when it was not so. I am very lucky to have grown up in Zimbabwe, Africa. It’s a country that’s smaller than Texas and, at the time, was developing very nicely. As a kid, well…it was paradise! I would pride myself at being up AND outside before anyone else was awake. I would go outside and watch the fire being built under our hot water heater, climb a tree, roll around with our dogs, and just…wander around the yard. Later, I’d do some school work, get done within an hour or so, annoy my siblings, and then go play some more.
That was life as a kid. I don’t expect my life to stay so peaceful and blissful. After all, we have to grow up. Life is full of hard work as well. That’s life, and that’s ok. But I look at the life we build around us and for our kids now and I have to wonder if we are not caught up in something that is slowly taking control.
I recently saw this show on the FYI channel called Tiny House Nation (A new season starts December 22, Monday at 9pm ET/10pm PST. You should check it out. You can follow Tiny House Nation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
Have you seen it?
The show is really addicting, and I love its message. Here’s why:
- These are people who don’t want debt. They are ready to live in a space that’s about the size of a double car garage or smaller so they can live within their means and become more self-sufficient.
- They include all kinds of out of the box ideas, like composting toilets (my sister-in-law has one and I will say that I like my flushing toilet, but hey, there’s a lot to learn there).
- There is a huge focus on getting rid of “stuff.” I think most of us would say that we have a lot of “stuff.”
Clutter definitely causes stress, mess, and more work.
A huge thing that happened to us years ago was when my husband chose to quit his well-paying job for ethical reasons, and we were left without a home. A longer and more complicated story, but we ended up living in a two-bedroom townhouse with my most gracious parents in Los Angeles. What we didn’t anticipate was that my brother would also make the move and live with my parents as well. So, there we were – my husband and I and our three kids, my parents, and my brother, his wife and two children living in a two-bedroom home. My children slept in my parent’s room. My husband and I got the pull out couch in the very crowded living room (people stayed up very late and got up very early), while my brother and his family slept in the other bedroom. I will not go into all the ins and outs of living with a large group of people in a small space. You imagine it…it probably happened. It was not easy. I’ll leave it at that. But, the great thing is that we learned A LOT!!
We learned about trusting in God, as well as serving others when you get no acknowledgement or thanks (and doing it joyfully).
In terms of “stuff”, there was a wonderful simplicity to our lives.
My husband will still bring up how easy it was when he only had three shirts in the closet space we had. 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. I may have packed a few more, but not much. There was not much thought to getting dressed, you simply put on what was clean. Simple.
My kids had a little box of toys and one bucket of legos. This changed a lot in how we spent our day. We spent a lot more time just being together. It reminded me a lot more of how it was for me growing up in Africa (except that LA is in no way like the bush of Africa, LOL!). Having less stuff caused us to take more walks, read more books together, go for walks, work on little projects together, etc.
So, when I saw Tiny House Nation, my immediate thought was, “I remember how peaceful that simplicity was!”
Although I no longer live in as tiny of a space, I think there are still ways to downsize for simplicity.
Simplify by Downsizing
Don’t over commit your time.
- This is huge! It doesn’t have to do with stuff you can hold in yours hands all the time, but it has to do with the stress levels in our homes. I talk with people all the time who are constantly taking the kids here, then running there, then hoping they can get home to give their family something to eat before flying out of the house again. This should seriously be examined if you want to de-stress and simplify your life.
Start with one room at a time and go through looking at each and every item.
- Is it used often? If not, why are you keeping it? Do you really need it as a keepsake, or other reason, or is it just making your space a mess? Going room-by-room means you can take your time and not be overwhelmed.
Cut down on spontaneous spending.
- I know some people who will not buy anything for the home (or toys for their kids) until the following trip out to the store when they have had time to think about it and move away from the excitement of the purchase. Go home, write it down, and give it time. Make a budget for items like that. When you don’t want to go over your budget, it really cuts down on the buying.
The mention of Tiny House Nation is sponsored (I will always tell you), yet all ideas and opinions are my own (your best interest always comes first).