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Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life

post #1 of 199
Thread Starter 
Anyone else?

We have had Simple Living tribes here before and I'd love to start something up again. I know we majorly fell off the the wagon and have accumulated lots of stuff and bad habits. Now that the twins are here and we are settling back into life we are really wanting to get back to building the life we want for us and our children.

From the first post of the old Simple Living Tribe...

here's a short and sweet definition of simple living via wikipedia...

Quote:
Simple living (or voluntary simplicity) is a lifestyle in which individuals consciously choose to minimize the 'more-is-better' pursuit of wealth and consumption.
The Simple Living Network says...

Quote:
Simple living -- aka voluntary simplicity -- has just about as many definitions as there are individuals who practice it. Simple living is not about living in poverty or self-inflicted deprivation. Rather, it is about living an examined life -- one in which you have determined what is important, or "enough," for you, discarding the rest.
thread with list of Simple blogs


Here's hoping others are interested!
post #2 of 199
I am interested!
post #3 of 199
Sign me up

As a side note: I love the book Your Money or Your Life
post #4 of 199
definitely interested. I don't have children, but I'm wanting to have a good strong foundation in simplicity before we do have any. My husband and I fell off the wagon too, as we just got married and bought our first house and there's a lot of stuff surrounding those events. Now that we're settled, we're ready to use what we have to create a simpler, greener life. My favorite book on the topic of simplicity is "Living More With Less" by Doris Janzen Longacre. It was written in the 70's, but becomes more current and meaningful to me every time I read it. It is quite religious, as it was written by a mennonite woman and published by a mennonite company, but that made it even more meaningful to me (but I know some people don't care for that). I hope to have some great conversations here on one of my favorite topics
post #5 of 199
Always working on this. It's more of a journey than a destination.

And now, with a probably big move in the next 12-24 months, I'm all about downsizing our stuff to make that journey easier and more enjoyable.
post #6 of 199
Subbing
post #7 of 199
I am always striving as well, certainly we have periods of 2 steps forward and 2 steps back. Finally after a couple of years of chaos I feel we are finally getting back into the groove and I am working on simplifying even more. I don't have a lot of chaos in possessions we own, but some mentally. I am hoping to strive to reduce our consumption even less and strive to see of what we absolutely have to have what I can make or recycle ourselves.
post #8 of 199
always working on this. There are several books on this very subject to borrow from the library to read when you feel you are off.

Not just pocessions, but living simply requires several other things in your life.

Like:
knowing when you're full.
Knowing when you are tired.
Saying No to people because you are one of the above or something else.
Not joining something.
knowing your limits and your families limits.
knowing how to slow down, smell the roses or whatever it is in front of you.
working to live not live to work


We as a family do not over schedule, double book, have to leave here quickly because we are late for this and arrive abrubtly and interupt the starting blah blah blah.
We tell friends and family no to things. But we also say yes to things. But we have no issue saying- No we are not coming to your house for insert holiday or whatever in here because we made plans to do insert activity here. We do not send one person in the family here so the other can go there. We tell one of the parties no we are not coming.

I remember last spring my dd2's preschool was having a night time golf thing. It was the same day as dd1's birthday party at our house. I told the chair person, we have my dd1's birthday that day. A friend standing by said, But Amy, your party is during the DAY, this is at NIGHT. And I said you're right and we are not attending. Later I found out from a mutaul friend the lady saying you CAN attend could not understand why I did NOT feel obligated to attend the golf thing since the party was during the day. Because, one night golfing didnt sound like anything we wanted to do. After planning a party all day, I would not have energy to golf at night esp since I dont want to do it!! I didnt share that, but its knowing you dont have to do anything and everything because someone else feels its the thing to do.
post #9 of 199
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that, Amy!
post #10 of 199
I'm happy to join this thread! My husband and I live fairly simply already, but it seems a constant conscious effort to continue on the path of simplicity. Right now we have a baby due and we currently live in a one bedroom apartment. This will be the case for a while after the baby is born. I find myself grateful when loved ones want to donate baby itmes, but I also have to think in terms of space and what we absolutely need, versus what we can do fine without.

I look forward to learning a lot from this thread.
post #11 of 199
I'm interested in this thread as well...
post #12 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
Not just pocessions, but living simply requires several other things in your life.

Like:
knowing when you're full.
Knowing when you are tired.
Saying No to people because you are one of the above or something else.
Not joining something.
knowing your limits and your families limits.
knowing how to slow down, smell the roses or whatever it is in front of you.
working to live not live to work
I like that list. Those things are very important to our family as well. Simply just enjoying life. and letting go of those things that are not important. We like to keep a simple schedule as well. It has made it hard for family relations though. Mentally I just need to let go of that, that is part of my mental chaos. Trying to let go of the expectations of others AND to let things roll off of me. Also, trying to balance being generous in spirit while living frugally and simplistically is very important to me as well.
post #13 of 199
Me!! Me!!! (I cannot find a smiley waving his hand wildly. LOL)

I have start working on decluttering a lot. I want my children to grow up in a home that is slowed down and peaceful. A refuge from the world.

I just ordered Living the Good Life: How One Family Changed Their World from Their Own Backyard. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1740663128
Has anyone read it?
post #14 of 199
I'm in.

I generally do pretty well with consumption, but lately I feel overwhelmed because I am trying to convince my husband homeschooling is a good option for us. I've been collecting books and materials and all of the sudden we have so much stuff! I know in relative terms it's not a lot -it fills a kitchen cabinet, it's nice high quality stuff all of the boys can use, some of it I made. But, it's still a cabinet full of stuff we didn't have a few months ago. It seems ridiculous to be stressed out from having too much when so many people don't have enough, I feel even worse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
Like:
knowing when you're full.
Knowing when you are tired.
Saying No to people because you are one of the above or something else.
Not joining something.
knowing your limits and your families limits.
knowing how to slow down, smell the roses or whatever it is in front of you.
working to live not live to work

What a great list. "Slow living"...kind of like the Slow Food movement, in a more holistic way.

I have been striving for this for some time, but I feel a lot of pressure from family and friends to be "out and about". Last week my car was in the shop and so we were housebound. When I got it back everyone said "oh you must be so glad" but I wasn't at all. I like staying at home most of the time! My kids and I do best when we can be at home following our own rhythm. But the social norm seems to be to go from playgroup to errand to lessons and so on. I wonder if anyone else feels this pressure and how they deal with it?
post #15 of 199
I want to do this but not sure if I can. I shall read along, anyway.
post #16 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by SageR View Post
But the social norm seems to be to go from playgroup to errand to lessons and so on. I wonder if anyone else feels this pressure and how they deal with it?

I used to. We lived in the van. It was AWFUL! The beginning of Summer I decided to stop it. We kept our homeschool park day on friday. And piano, only because their teacher offered to come to us instead when I told her what I was doing. My friends all thought I was crazy,and I think they are for running around everyday to classes,lessons,etc.

It is wonderful to know that I have my whole day ahead of us without running from here to there, gathering up "stuff" we need to bring, and stress. Oh the stress! I do not miss that at all.
post #17 of 199
I am glad everyone likes my ideas! I must say though its easier to list and read than done. It took me years to do this. And sometimes I need to read my own list to stay grounded because as everyone knows life has a great way of taking over. But it gets easier over time to do the list and get back to the roots of it. Its sort of like putting your life on a diet or giving it a shorter haircut if that makes sense.

Some ideas for reading:

Living more w less & the cookbook is awesome as well
the simple living guide (my all time favorite)
affuenza
Your money or your life

One thing I have noticed is when we practice simple living we are a much happier family. This works for us, some people it might not, they thrive off of always going going.

We get better sleep, we eat better, we stay trim, we are happier with our children/they us and its much better on our marriage. It starts with putting our needs and our children's needs first. If that means we cannot attend Sunday's bbq party because we had a late night friday night or a busy saturday, well then we are staying home or doing something our family wants to do together. Maybe we need to visit the pool one more time before it closes for the season, or maybe its time to take a drive and look at the leaves turning color this fall. Then doing a late lunch or early supper somewhere special or something the kids requested to eat.
post #18 of 199
Me too! I dream of a simpler life, and I would love some more motivation to make it happen! I'm looking forward to reading along and learning!
post #19 of 199
I dont understand how to join/keep up with the tribes on here yet But Im in....
post #20 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post

...doing something our family wants to do together. Maybe we need to visit the pool one more time before it closes for the season, or maybe its time to take a drive and look at the leaves turning color this fall. Then doing a late lunch or early supper somewhere special or something the kids requested to eat.
Exactly. Simplicity in activities for us means finding what is important to OUR family and not what is important to the rest of society. We do what makes US happy and enriches OUR lives in our own way. Most times it is an "out of the box" adventure and our kids are exploring and learning while having fun all in one.
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