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Striving For A More Simple/Minimalist Life - Page 2

post #21 of 199
Can I join?

I am a stay at home mom to one wild toddler. We have gardens, horses, cows, chickens.... We are living "simply' raising most of our food and it SO not simple. My husband works full time and goes to school. Sometimes I want to move to a condo with one suitcase. I choose this life and I want it but I have to dramaticly simplify and streamline or lose my mind. I would love encouragement and inspiration.
post #22 of 199
Welcome Logan! USually the tribes have to do with a certain subject and we discuss it and occasionally make a new thread so the server dosnet crash etc.

We should try to keep it simple and start new threads more than not since we are trying to show a simple lifestyle! LOL

Lets talk decor. Are you striving for a more simple household and home or do you have one now and how did you get at it?
post #23 of 199
Our decorating/home is pretty simple. I am a pretty ruthless "declutterer" and we lost everything in a fire 2 yrs ago. So, I have only put back those things in my house that I either really need or love. There are some things I would like to change, but I am pleased with it now until we get money to replace a few things and add some organizational items. How everything is set up is fairly easy to take care of and keep track of everything. Dh is taking care of the last big thing to have it done before the baby comes- my laundry room- I am so excited to get shelves in there so I can organize my bulk goods better. I also have a dresser coming for the new baby, but that will go in my closet as it would be crowding the house to have it anywhere else.

I would like more "pretty" items but I am pleased enough to wait until I find just what I want, instead of just getting something in the meantime.
post #24 of 199
Oh I'm in.

I have been working on this for a long time, but am ramping up my efforts. Last weekend my two oldest were at their grandparents over night so I used the opportunity to get rid of some junk. DD1 does not like to throw anything away so I have to do most of my decluttering when she is not home. I love the fact that she has taken my comments on reusing, not wasting etc to heart, but she really doesn't want to throw anything away. I mean bits of paper, old bottles etc. She is sweet, but some of the junk in our house has to go
post #25 of 199
Amys1st ... thanks for putting in words here what I was suspecting and couldn't quite articulate properly .... now I know exactly why I was so upset with my eldest sister who was on holiday in our area a few months back ....oh ... the constant pressure on her part to do this and that and go here, there and some other place too.
I'm going to copy or print out parts of your posts and keep them where I can read them frequently so that I can be better equiped to say "no" a little bit more next time ....

I'm usually about Ok about our everyday life, it's just with some visitors that it gets out of hand (the further they come from, the more they feel they own "our" time ?... or that we "must" spend with them as much time as they have decided they want to spend with us ...). Maybe I need to read more about how to convey my "no" in a more forceful way with people who don't get it the first time round ? ... what surprises me is that my children's need don't seem to them much of a valid reason for them to renounce to whatever plans they had made for us without asking us first of course .... not all my relatives are like that of course but I still haven't found a comfortable way to deal with this type of problems ...
post #26 of 199
On the other hand it is also freeing to say yes! I had problems with this, always making excuses because I was too unmotivated to bother. I read the Yes Man book and it changed my life. (this was years before the movie, which is based on the true story from the book). I became open to all opportunities. I cant tell you how much abundance has come into our life from just being open to everything. SAY YES MORE, it works for everything, especially parenting! I find that most of the no's come from this auto-pilot of mainstream parenting of needing to be in control for no real reason. If that makes sense
post #27 of 199
Hi I'd like to join you. I'm definitely trying to simplify- last year we moved across the country to a much smaller house. We left some of our stuff 3000 miles away in storage, but we still brought too much for this house, so I'm trying to sell, get rid of, declutter, etc. .

Also, I'm happy being home with my family, relaxing, not necessarily doing every activity available. (And there is a lot available in the DC/Annapolis areas) but my husband is "Mr. see and do everything all the time"! It's driving me crazy because i"m exhausted, but he sees it as a given that every weekend we are doing an activity , ALL DAY. Any ideas on how to get him to relax?

he also has told me flat out "I'm not getting rid of my stuff". So what happens is I get rid of more and more of mine, and his slowly takes over, until I have no space at all. I'm just not sure how to simplify with such an unwilling partner. I think if I just forge ahead, maybe the rest of hte family will follow eventually.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollysmom View Post
Oh I'm in.

I love the fact that she has taken my comments on reusing, not wasting etc to heart, but she really doesn't want to throw anything away. I mean bits of paper, old bottles etc. She is sweet, but some of the junk in our house has to go
Yes - my seven year old daughter has a pile of garbage under the piano that is supposed to be used for crafts. But it 's been there for quite a while, and I really want to recycle iit. maybe if I take items out bit by bit. She puts it under there and never looks at it again. Today it was an egg carton that had been loitering on the floor in our entryway.

post #28 of 199
I confess I cut and pasted this from a different post. It was easier that way.

We live simply. We came up with a financial plan that was based on living simply and paying off all debt. As of jan. 2008 DH is home full time with us. We homeschool, so all 4 of us are free from any outer constraints. We do still live very simply and many people would not be comfortable making our choices. But we found it very worth it to make the simple sacrifices necessary. We will go back to work if necessary one day, but we hope to make it for 20 years until a pension kicks in. I hope to do something to make some income through writing if necessary. But it's not necessary yet. Only if the economy doesn't improve in the next couple of years will our plan not work. We are going to sell the house after the market improves and buy some acreage and build a small natural building.

DH used to work LONG hours 6 months out of the year. The kids love having him home. They used to go from sunday night to sat morning without seeing him sometimes and he didn't travel. I used to resent it so much. I really have struggled with being the SAHM.

Some good resources are Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Viki Robin and www.simpleliving.net.

I'm happy to talk about anything we've done to simply our life or get to FI ( financial independence) in anyone has any questions. I feel like I've been living a simple life for a long time. We've been doing this for about 12 years. I can't imagine living any other way. (Well, if I write a bestseller, I'll take a lot of trips that we can't right now)
post #29 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by enfpintj View Post
I confess I cut and pasted this from a different post. It was easier that way.

We live simply. We came up with a financial plan that was based on living simply and paying off all debt. As of jan. 2008 DH is home full time with us. We homeschool, so all 4 of us are free from any outer constraints. We do still live very simply and many people would not be comfortable making our choices. But we found it very worth it to make the simple sacrifices necessary. We will go back to work if necessary one day, but we hope to make it for 20 years until a pension kicks in. I hope to do something to make some income through writing if necessary. But it's not necessary yet. Only if the economy doesn't improve in the next couple of years will our plan not work. We are going to sell the house after the market improves and buy some acreage and build a small natural building.

DH used to work LONG hours 6 months out of the year. The kids love having him home. They used to go from sunday night to sat morning without seeing him sometimes and he didn't travel. I used to resent it so much. I really have struggled with being the SAHM.

Some good resources are Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Viki Robin and www.simpleliving.net.

I'm happy to talk about anything we've done to simply our life or get to FI ( financial independence) in anyone has any questions. I feel like I've been living a simple life for a long time. We've been doing this for about 12 years. I can't imagine living any other way. (Well, if I write a bestseller, I'll take a lot of trips that we can't right now)

Wow, you are an inspiration. I want to be you when I grow up.

To answer a pp, our house decorations are simple. We have small children so we put a way, gave away, all the breakables. I don't miss any of it. Even so, we are still surrounded by excess. Excess toys, excess clothes, excess kitchen items, just all around too much of everything.

My dream is to get back to the basics and learn to live they way our grandparents lived. I feel this strong draw to basic life skills (gardening, sewing, sewing, simple homemaking).
post #30 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by enfpintj View Post
I confess I cut and pasted this from a different post. It was easier that way.

We live simply. We came up with a financial plan that was based on living simply and paying off all debt. As of jan. 2008 DH is home full time with us. We homeschool, so all 4 of us are free from any outer constraints. We do still live very simply and many people would not be comfortable making our choices. But we found it very worth it to make the simple sacrifices necessary. We will go back to work if necessary one day, but we hope to make it for 20 years until a pension kicks in. I hope to do something to make some income through writing if necessary. But it's not necessary yet. Only if the economy doesn't improve in the next couple of years will our plan not work. We are going to sell the house after the market improves and buy some acreage and build a small natural building.

DH used to work LONG hours 6 months out of the year. The kids love having him home. They used to go from sunday night to sat morning without seeing him sometimes and he didn't travel. I used to resent it so much. I really have struggled with being the SAHM.

Some good resources are Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Viki Robin and www.simpleliving.net.

I'm happy to talk about anything we've done to simply our life or get to FI ( financial independence) in anyone has any questions. I feel like I've been living a simple life for a long time. We've been doing this for about 12 years. I can't imagine living any other way. (Well, if I write a bestseller, I'll take a lot of trips that we can't right now)
Oh, I do love simpleliving.net I always go there for inspiration. Would love to be FI, but for dh it doesn't seem to be a big goal at all. We will have the house paid for in 8 yrs- quite easily- I will be 38 and dh 41 by then- I would love for dh to have the option of at least working less then or taking that excess money and investing it heavy so he can retire early, but who knows what the future holds. It is constant journey here to cut expenses, but to also make sure to keep at a level that doesn't seem like deprivation. So, also constantly revising my thoughts and feelings towards things as well. Living in a world that lives with so much more sometimes can by dizzying when thinking about priorities and at times can make it seem like there is deprivation when there is abundance. Thankfully- I have friends who all try to live simply as well. Of course how this looks is different for everyone as we all have different goals and needs, but to just have people that get the fact that we want to live w/ a minimal amt of things is wonderful.
post #31 of 199
:
i feel compelled toward simplicity more and more each year. like pauletoy i'm also loving all the self-sufficient skills, homesteading is probably the best work for it for me, just now...though i live in a huge city. we're a homelearning family, and i try to keep our commitments pretty low. 3 or 4 regular activities feels like a ton, we love to do so many things at home and really like to have free time to play and visit friends.

we live in two countries just now - so i have two households, which isn't simple at all in ways, though the one in canada is a suite that already belonged to the family, and we've just added a bit of furniture + filled the kitchen out. we have one bench + a couple of baskets of toys there, and a lot of books - it fits right in and when we're not here, my family can have visitors stay. for now it works, and we'll see how things go. i'm doing my best to make sure we haven't replicated very much, and that i keep our belongings limited. i know what i have, and if i want it in england i'll take it with me when i visit, rather than buy it again. the things that are really important are quite few.

i was happy to declutter a LOT when we sold up to do this, and i'm happy with our spaces for the most part. i don't keep things if we don't love + use them. my partner has joined me in that, a lot more, which makes me happy . we recently 'lent' a lot of toys to friends, so that we can visit the toys sometimes but just have a lot less. it feel reasonable for the first time in years. it is all certainly both loved + used.

the thing i find funny about simplicity is that it isn't simple as in 'easy'. i love to do things myself, and that can take a long time, and sometimes can even be more expensive, though definitely of better quality. i love the creativity unleashed when i decide i want to make it all myself, or fix it up myself. for example, my children have always received gorgeous, new clothing from a couple of very generous family members. but what they'd really like is patterns and fabric, so we can make our own, exactly as we like, not very much, and learn how to do it, and have the pleasure of making it ourselves. hopefully that will catch on

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post #32 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by artparent View Post
:
the thing i find funny about simplicity is that it isn't simple as in 'easy'.
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This is so true. My dh and I talk about this. Our life isn't easy doing all our own home repairs, so we can sell. Or homeschooling. Or living on a small amount so we can have our freedom. It's much easier to throw money at things for convenience. But the time and freedom and independence we have is worth the times when it's hard. DH can go help his parents now that his mom is dying. He wouldn't have been able to do so much before. He talks to his dad everyday which he wouldn't have done before, has never done. I can deal with health issues at a relaxed pace. I can stop and help a neighbor who needed help today. Even is we get the flu, we have time to deal with being sick. All the simple things we do give us space and time in our life, a margin. That is the new luxury, time.

We don't schedule too much. We do 1 homeschool group and have just added another. That's still just one day a week. We don't do classes or activities much anymore. The kids would just rather play with friends and do the activity stuff at home together. We do library stuff a lot. We play and watch movies and live our life together.

I love to encourage people toward a more simple life. It is so much like swimming upstream in this culture. You have to surround yourself with people that are doing it even if only on the internet. Or go to the simpleliving website and see if there is a group in your area. That's how we got started after doing a lot of reading.

And for the pp whose dh isn't on the same page, that's tough. Maybe if you are the nerdy spreadsheet type you could show him in numbers what your savings would be or how much you could live on each year after saving x amount. Sometimes seeing is the motivation people need. That and knowing others are living in different ways. That helped us.
post #33 of 199
I so want to join - but what I really need to do is get off the computer and throw stuff out.

Not sure how much I'll post but I'll definitely look here for inspiration.
post #34 of 199
enf i love that if we got sick, it really wouldn't matter. the most we would miss is a good field trip, sometimes. however we do soccer, dance, and music, and i'd like to take them swimming, as well as more regularly to the homelearners park day...but it all adds up fast, in time + money. actually, all of those classes are only 4 hours a week!! but they still feel like a lot!! probably it all will be easier as my youngest will be 4 and a napless, weaned life is just a lot easier to organise.

i'd love to learn more skills in repair - although i rent right now and it is all left up to the landlord at the moment. my father built our house underneath us, renovating an old building, and i wish i had paid more attention! i shall have to get him to teach me next summer when i am home.

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post #35 of 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
On the other hand it is also freeing to say yes! I had problems with this, always making excuses because I was too unmotivated to bother. I read the Yes Man book and it changed my life. (this was years before the movie, which is based on the true story from the book). I became open to all opportunities. I cant tell you how much abundance has come into our life from just being open to everything. SAY YES MORE, it works for everything, especially parenting! I find that most of the no's come from this auto-pilot of mainstream parenting of needing to be in control for no real reason. If that makes sense
I agree but for me, its saying YES to what works for our family or us as a couple. Saying YES to someone's idea of a holiday that it totally unlike what we had in mind or saying yes to someone else's idea of a vacation is not for me.

We say YES when last saturday afternoon we got a call from some friends who said- Hey bring your kids (theirs same ages) we are grilling veggies and chicken. Grabbed a bottle of wine and the kids and off we went. We said YEs to a night out to celebrate Octoberfest with some neighbors at a German restrnt near out home for tomorrow. We know the inviting couple, but we havent gotten to know two of the couples going. No kids and we can have adult conversation. Not too spendy either. OTH, if it was a chain restrnt w a 4 hour wait and crowds upon crowds, we would opt out. Thats not a way to get to know the other couples but stand in crowds. Not for us.

We can say YES to a neighbor or friend who needs to drop their kids off in an emergency because we are home most of the time. We can say yes as the emergency number person that sort of thing. We say YES to the neighbor who needs to borrow a tool, a cup of sugar, needs help moving a sofa etc and we also can have them for a beer on the patio etc. Our home is not perfect and wont ever be, but its extremely inviting. I know so many people who dont have others over because they are afraid of the state of their home. Its too messy, too dirty, too small, too big, dont cook, dont like to plan etc. Most of the time, the worries are easy to overlook and just have fun.
post #36 of 199
subbing because i need to do this. i think the constant clutter (not much compared to what i grew up with) is contributing to my anxiety and i need to learn to get this under control.

for those of you not running at breakneck speed, how do the homeschool kids socialize? i have 1 dd(4) that we are homeschooling. i try to go to the preschool homeschool 1/week but everyone who lives around us is mainstream and going to PS. do you make a special day each week to go to a playground? maybe if i can get my panic attacks and house under control we could do something like that.
post #37 of 199
We went head on into making our lives more simple and then some crappy things happened about a year ago. Now we are so needing to get back to the goals we had for our family. I'm currently working about 50 hrs a week out of the house and my DH is gone 12+ hours per day sometimes 6 days a week. It's becoming too much for me. I'm having health problems, my DH has continuing health problems, and my older DD is overweight. I *need* to focus on caring for my family but feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place.
post #38 of 199
hugs to those who need it!
we're homeschooling, i have a 4 and 9 year old (nearly)...in canada we have lots of friends homelearning and make regular dates with them, but in london we're pretty new and are just making friends slowly...there's a regular homelearners park day, and i try to do a library day, then 3 different lessons - it is a lot! we'd like more social time but don't know very many people yet. we make dates with PS kids after school or on weekends as well. our best resources in both places are the email lists - is there one for your area? is there a group meeting up? it might get easier when you connect to something like that. when i just had one child, it took some time to meet people! good luck!

and yes, i find if i get rid of the clutter, and stay with routines, it is much easier to pick up and go to the playground regularly take your time, do a little each day.

jenn, that sounds pretty rough. is there any way to change things up? sometimes if i think of things in a completely different way, it can really help me find a way to the things that are really important to me. sometimes i also think that preparing things in advance, say, meal planning, or putting things together at night, or asking everyone to sit down together at meals, will take a lot of energy, when often they don't take much at all.

good luck.
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post #39 of 199
Anyone feel like the term "voluntary simplicity" doesn't exactly apply to you? I mean, I know I'd choose this lifestyle no matter how much money we had, but the truth is that we don't really have a choice right now.

post #40 of 199
Quote: Purple Sage Anyone feel like the term "voluntary simplicity" doesn't exactly apply to you? I mean, I know I'd choose this lifestyle no matter how much money we had, but the truth is that we don't really have a choice right now.

I am in the same boat but am happy with the lifestyle. Im okay with the title. Even low budget people can make bad buying choices so yes, it's a choice.

Purposely living simple keeps me conscious of what I bring in the house and what I spend money on. When my husband and I lived over in NZ while he was in school, our home was very small. It reminded me of living on a boat. After a while I started to think of things in terms of how much space they take up. The more "things" we had, the less room to move about. It became real clear how important things were and how unimportant other things became.
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