Minimally living seems to be a trend these days. It’s a good trend though. Living with less can bring you so much more.
Our family had one of those “life moments”. If you have ever had one of those seasons in your life, you know what I am talking about.
It’s like a line drive right to the ol’ kisser! Smacking you so hard you fall to the ground with stars and little birds swirling around your head. When you come to – you wonder “what in the world just happened?”
Years back, (when the economy in our area took a dump) my husband was like so many and lost his decent paying job. Our life was turned upside down.
We made the decision to move to another home and start over, so to speak. We made a plan to get rid of most of our possessions. This was satisfying and sad all in the same.
During this major trial we were going through it hit me. That light bulb moment. I was viewing all of these happenings as a punishment of some sorts or a why me moment. Then I realized that this was just a message for my family and I. We’d put most of our happiness in what money could buy. We were making memories with our kids, but we could have made so many more meaningful ones.
It’s so easy to fall right into the
trap mode of buying things that we really don’t need. We live in a self-gratifying world and where advertisers know how to trap us into feeling like we can’t live without needless things.
When I was growing up the phrase “He who dies with the most toys wins” was popular. This is a terrible statement. Very far from the truth. I’m not sure what generation this way of thinking started. Maybe after the depression era when people were tired of having nothing. Maybe when the economy built itself back up people felt like they needed to collect and gather. Years ago, the houses where too small to fit even half of what we are used to possessing today.
My husband and I decided that we would NOT go back to that way of life ever again. We realized during this trial that this was our message from God on how not to get overtaken by worldly possessions. The more you have does not mean…
The More You Have!
You can not take it all with you. Your worth is not measured by how many knick knacks
dust collectors you have or how much you own.
My husbands Grandpa used to tell him:
“You never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul !”
When we found our current home we started over with pretty much a blank slate.
We were very fortunate to receive some furnishings for free. Because I am so
cheap, frugal thrifty, I did purchase almost everything else at thrift stores and some yard sales. It took some time, but we did it.
Then….. it happened. Over time, I kept finding neat things for home our décor. My “collections” started adding up. Even though I wasn’t spending much money, I was filling up our home again. Cluttering it with stuff we didn’t need.
You see, filling our homes with things we don’t need brings on stress. You might not even realize the stress that these things bring.
Are you thinking how in the world does having nice things and looking at pretty things that you enjoy cause one stress?
Things bring on stress because we have more to dust, more to move around when we dust or vacuum. This causes stress because cleaning takes more time. Additionally, we have more to keep organized.
If cleaning our homes takes more time than we are losing precious time we could be spending on doing other things we enjoy.
This, of course, will be different for everyone. We all enjoy different hobbies and activities. By eliminating some of the time it takes us to clean we are freeing up and creating more time to get back to what we may have once lost.
For me, this allows more time to play with our kids, work on my blog, re-purposing, organizing, (yes, I’m a crazy fool…I like organizing) cooking/baking, etc…
I started to realized that I (we) were slowly slipping right back into the same season we swore we would never enter again. It’s so easy to do when you don’t have that reminder in your daily life and you aren’t facing the same trials any longer. Sometimes we lose sight of what we went through because we aren’t going through it anymore.
I was making piles inside closets of the good deals I was collecting. I began to feel like I was drowning in things I didn’t have places for. Sometimes a good deal isn’t really a good deal after all.
I started feeling a heavy weight on my heart to get rid of things. I wanted to go back to the simple life my husband and I agreed upon. There was just too much. Too much to clean. Too much to move when I cleaned. Too much time spent cleaning. Too much to keep organized. You get the picture, right?
It wasn’t too long before my husband made a statement about the very thing that had been burdening me. He was making the observation of us reverting back to having “stuff.” Straying away from the simple life we agreed upon.
We discussed that we could use the money we were wasting (although not much, but every little bit counts) for more important things like going camping as a family, or going to the beach more often. Simply doing more as a family.
I want our kids to look back on their childhood and think of the times that I cooked with them, or we spent time together doing things as a family and just had plain ol’ fun. I don’t want them to look back and think “wow!, we had lots of toys and my parents house was full of stuff.”
I have gone to many estate sales and while I’m there I always think about all the “stuff” that people leave behind that their families don’t want. It’s quite sad when you think about it. It just proves you can’t take it with you when you go.
This is my definition of Less Is More:
>>Less money spent on “things” means: more money on time spent with family…making memories.
>>Less money spent on “things” means: more time to do the things in life that matter by having less to clean.
>>Less money spent on “things” means: more space for the important items in your home. Such as art supplies for kids, special interests or hobby supplies. (such as the drum set for Drummer Boy -& dad- in our garage)
I have a confession to make….
I like to decorate.
I like to create.
I like pretty things.
I like to have nice things.
&…I like good deals!
It’s hard not to want your house to reflect your likings.
I might add though, that I loath clutter even more than the above mentioned.
Even though I decorated our current house on a very frugal budget, if we were going to spend anymore money it will be on meaningful things, not clutter creators.
My husband and I went through our house in one afternoon and managed to put together enough *treasures* (for other people) that he took to the flea market the following weekend.
It’s amazing how much we managed to put together in such a small time.
Even if living minimally is a trend right now.I think it’s a great trend.
One that I hope lasts a long time.
It has definitely made our lives more meaningful and purposeful.
Are you ready to get rid of the “stuff” in your home?
Be blessed and de-clutter on!