Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it. ~Robert Brault
Spring is here! It’s a time for new beginnings. Time to bring new and fresh energy into our lives. A great time to simplify so you can really focus on the areas of your life that you want to grow and expand!
What does simplicity mean to you? Could you remove “stuff” from your life (material or otherwise) to create a more simple life-style? Spring is always a great time for that, isn’t it?
I believe that simplicity is knowing what you value and using life’s wealth (time, money, energy etc) focusing on what you deem to be important. When we understand what we value most in life, we don’t waste this precious life wealth by following advertising or keeping up with the Jones’s.
I am in my 30’s. I once heard it referred to as the Acquisition Years. It’s the decade that we bring so much into our lives – the wedding, the spouse, the kids, the house, the cars, the toys, the debt and the careers to pay for it all….pressure, or what!!??
In order to avoid this pressure & maintain a sense of balance (financially & with material things!), I’ve given a lot of thought to what is really important to me. Here are some of the things I’ve realised:
Keep my Home Simple – I love a modest well-kept home. I don’t want a huge house to clean. A couple bedrooms and bathrooms, a good-sized kitchen to cook & entertain in. A must is a private backyard that I can garden and spend time relaxing in. Big house means more stuff to buy to fill it with. How much space do you need? According to US Census Bureau, 60 years ago the average new home was 800 square feet, today it’s over 2,300!
Where I live is important – I love living in a city. My grocery store is within walking distance and so are many local amenities. I work from home, but it takes my husband less than 10 minutes to get to work. Years ago I lived over an hour away from where I worked and so did my husband – we spend about 2 hours each day driving to and from work & the stress from these commutes would leave us tired, miserable, and irritated by the time we go home. Never again. Here is an interesting video I’ve watched on this very topic – http://youtu.be/Q3uvzcY2Xug
Older Furniture is OK – I would say 80% of the furniture I have is second-hand. My bedroom furniture (minus the bed!) was given to us when we bought our first condo (10 years ago), the elderly man didn’t have a use for it anymore and asked if we wanted it. We took it; sure it’s a little old fashion, but it was in perfect condition. Plus, we kept it out of the landfill & we were able to save the money we would have spent acquiring all new furnishings.
Older Vehicles OK Too – Would you give money to a stock-broker if he told you he would put it in an investment that was guaranteed to drop 20% in the first year? You’d think he was insane, right? Well, that’s what we do when we buy brand new vehicles. Did you know that Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in the world – worth $44 Billion, still drives the Lincoln Town Car he bought… in 2001!!?? Oh and his license plate is “Thrifty”.
Get a library card – I only buy a book if it’s something I want to read over and over again. Otherwise, I get it from the library. Most libraries have an on-line search where you can search & hold a book right from the comfort of your own home & an email comes when it’s ready for pick-up!
Clothing – I’m still learning with this one. I don’t have a lot of clothes, but I still have a habit of buying clothing I don’t really need. I recently went through all the summer clothing that I have and got rid of anything that doesn’t fit or I didn’t like how I felt while wearing it. I then thought of a few items that I could buy that would help utilize what I already had (i.e. a new pair of shorts that would go with 3-4 different tops that I have). Shopping with an intention helped me focus on what I was really after & I ended up coming home really happy about my purchase and a fatter wallet!
Stay tuned for more ideas on simplifying your life!
Do you make purchases with intention? Do you have any tips on simplifying your life? Did any of the above resonate with you? I’d love to hear your comments or ideas, please post them below.