Every Monday I post Real Life Minimalists, a profile of one of my readers in their own words. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.
I think you’ll find this week’s story from Lorilee very inspirational. She tells us how minimalist living has brought her family a new sense of freedom and joy—and I just love the beautiful family photo she’s shared with us! Check out her blog to learn more about her journey.
I love simple and minimalist living! It has been a process for us since the beginning of the year slowly getting rid of stuff. In the process we also got rid of our house (we rented it out instead of selling it) and well over half of what we had in it. I feel free!
I just finished “The Joy of Less” by Francine Jay which spoke what I couldn’t put into words myself. I recommend the book to anyone flirting with the idea and needing it spelled out and broken down.
Minimalism isn’t about denying or loosing, it is about freedom, space and time.
What drove us to cutting back and minimizing?
I was getting very tired and stressed out. I was frustrated that I wasn’t the mother, wife or any of the other hats I was trying to wear, that I wanted to be. I was exhausted and discouraged. Stress was really starting to affect my health. Minimizing for me was a way of trying to get my life, what really mattered of it, back.
Also, our true passion is traveling and vacationing with our family, but our stuff was keeping us financially and maintenance wise from doing as much as we wanted.
What we did?
I have never been a pack rat. I didn’t have any of the kids clothes or toys (except a few sentimental items) that the kids had grown out of. I did garage sales and goodwill trips regularly. What we had was a fully furnished 2000 sq ft house and it was more than I could keep up with inside and outside.
Starting in January we went through the house from top to bottom pulling everything possible out and sorting it in the basement. We got rid of everything we didn’t love or use. Several garage sales and trips to goodwill later we had an empty house. I thought it would be harder for us, especially the kids, to see it all go but it wasn’t at all. It was great! Every trip or sale felt more freeing and made us feel lighter. The cats were the hardest to part with, but they didn’t fit in with the life we were trying to create.
Where are we now?
We moved into town, within walking distance of tons of stuff. We have a 2 bedroom apartment that is small enough to clean and has no exterior maintenance. We keep going through and getting rid of stuff.
A bunch of last winter we spent traveling with my husband’s work and staying in hotels. That is my dream to get to with my house. A nicely decorated, inviting and simple hotel/apartment. There is a reason people love to go on vacation… they need to get away… from all the junk, material and time wise. There is no reason why I can’t live in a ‘vacation mindset’ having a clean simple place to live and control over my schedule.
With our move cutting expenses and money from selling lots of stuff we took an amazing 5 week road trip with our kids up into Canada and all down the west coast. We haven’t regretted our move once! Hopefully, with our living costs cut back we can take many more of these family vacations before the kids grow up and move out. Not to mention I feel much better mentally and physically. Simple and minimalist living has given the freedom to have a life.
I have tried to blog through our experience at www.lovingsimpleliving.com as well as all my attempts of simplifying parenting and home schooling. We are well on our way of creating the life we want to have and I am so excited.