May 4, 2016

Finding Simplicity

I've been reading a lot about minimalistic living since Charles and I started looking into tiny houses as an alternative home. We're not materialistic people; most of our furniture and household items are hand-me-downs, wedding gifts, Ikea pieces, souvenirs, (like serapes) and thrift store finds. You can save money that way and your place can gain a ton of character. My go-to clothing store is ROSS, but I do splurge on sweaters once in a while at GAP -- because no one deserves to stay cold during the Winter.

So we don't necessarily live extravagantly, but, like most of America, we could live with less. Lailah Akita calls simplicity 'the beauty of souls'.  You gain clarity as you clear your space. Things are easier to find. You stop purchasing for fulfillment and start finding contentment in what you have. You start devoting more of your time to intangible things like adventure, spirituality, and creating, which actually bring you joy.

I honestly have yet to hear someone say they regret down-scaling, when it was done wholesomely -- you will obviously feel crammed if you move into a smaller space with a heap load of stuff. You have to get rid of excess. Marie Kondo, the author of "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up", suggests to keep only what is functional and brings you joy. Less is more. Go through your things and ask yourself if you really need five different versions of the same item. Grab each of your things and ask yourself if you've even used the item you're holding withing the last year or so. If you haven't used it within the last two years, it's probably not that valuable to you anymore. Someone else could be using it. After sorting, the second hurdle is organizing your things in a functional way. That can be challenging but your life will be so much easier after everything has a place.

I'm not saying this lifestyle is for everyone -- but minimalism could help reduce tension and make more room for self-awareness, freedom, and gratitude. We aren't sure if we are going to take the plunge and buy a tiny house yet, but we're definitely planning of scaling down this summer. Like Lailah I would rather live a joyful simple life, doing what I love, than be unhappy and rich, surrounded by things.


  1. Amen! I stumbled across an article about the "tidy" lady you were telling me about, very interesting perspective on how to simplify material things. We are really looking forward to our yard sale this feeling liberated from material attachments! Can't wait to hear about tiny house hunting adventures :)

  2. I just started reading "The life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie kondo. I have so much to get rid of. Having a garage sale first and what doesn't sell will be donated. If it doesn't" spark joy" get rid of it!

    1. Us too! We're going through our things but we haven't started purging yet. I'm looking forward to doing so over the summer. Life is so much easier with less.