Surviving On Less & Living With More

 I would like to see more of this world. I dream of frequent adventures with my husband to places I have yet to experience. I long to have a second home in a place I love to be when I am not needed by my demanding life. A house on the beach sounds lovely doesn’t it? If not, feel free to insert mountain, ranch, tree, etc in place of beach.

My husband and I decided that a great way to pay off debt, start saving for retirement, and travel was to simplify our lives and live minimally. We are determined to spend our money on things that we need and be more purposeful with our purchases of the things we want.

We have never dreamt of retiring and living out the rest of our lives in a huge paid off family home filled with wall to wall furniture and kitchen gadgets.

A little over two years ago we downsized from a five bedroom, thirty-four hundred square foot house. We moved to a three bedroom, eighteen hundred square foot condo. After our twenty-year-old boys moved out to be on their own we moved again, this time to a smaller two bedroom, twelve hundred square foot apartment. We are currently living in the apartment with our eleven-year-old son and nine-year-old rescued fur baby.

Ugh!, we had to get rid of a lot of “stuff” to make that work!

Why do we feel compelled to hold onto more than we need? It is amazing how much “stuff” we accumulate in life. How in the heck did we collect two hundred pens anyway? I’ll tell you how; every loan signing, class taken, convention attended, borrowed from a friend, coworker, or waiter, and office supply store visit to get a “good” box of pens has lead us to this. It is silly how guilty I feel. I’m only doing us a favor ridding us of pens that work perfectly fine but we don’t need or hate. It can be downright daunting!

The scariest thing is that I carried these same “feelings” to my closet, dresser drawers, makeup box and more. I held onto things I disliked, that were out of style, or didn’t fit. I “might” need it again someday, right? I can’t give up those super cute bling pocket jeans that I bought and have not fit my butt in for more than five years. Am I even sure I am going to fit in them again? Do I really think they will be in style again when I finally do?… In your dreams, lady!

I needed a sense of order in the chaos called my life!

Photo of a sunset on the Oregon coast
Photo by Naomi Bunch

What is a person to do when they find themselves held hostage by their lifelong collection of loved and unloved possessions?

The keyword used in the last paragraph was; “Feelings,” those pesky little things. I had to overcome a lot to feel that it was okay to get rid of something that worked perfectly fine but I simply didn’t need. To feel it was okay to pass on the jeans that I “may” fit into again in the future to someone that will be blessed by them now. Keeping only what I need and use in my life, holding on to only a few things that hold memories and still bring me joy. I have to add the positive note here: I may even unintentionally, better yet, intentionally pass some of these good habits on to my children. Potentially saving them from the same “feelings” I was, and at times, still experience.

One of the best things I did was sought out help.

My favorite resource I found was reading and following blogs. Reading what others did was inspirational and I found them helpful with the things I was struggling with. Some helped me figure out where to start my journey. Some even offered classes and support materials. I will share a few of my favorites that have and are still helping me along the way. I hope and pray you find a little something to help with your journey too. It is always nice to know that you are not alone in the struggles you face everyday. Here’s to surviving on less and living with more!

A few of my favorite Minimalist blogs:
*I have no affiliation with these blogs/vlogs and do not make any money from sharing their links.

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