Simple Living

February 11, 2017

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been on this adventure and I’ve learned some things I didn’t want to forget about simple living. In no particular order:

  • Less really is more.
  • I want to paint my entire house white. Haha. And only use white dishes.
  • Our children don’t need a lot of toys. I already minimized our toys a while ago, but since being here in, I have found this to be even more true. We came with only a few little toys to keep our children entertained on the plane. Besides checking out a few others from the library (yes! what a brilliant idea!), they have done marvelous with just a few toys. Books and adventure have filled a greater part of our day. I’d like to find a way to make adventure more a part of our day back home.
  • I wish our culture back home involved more walking. I love that we can to the library, beach, grocery store, or park within 5 minutes. Walking has invigorated all of us.
  • With the exception of Auckland (when we were near the absolute best bakery in the world! I kid you not, better than Paris!), we have home cooked most of our meals since being here. This has made our food budget stretch farther and also tastes better. We’ve been cooking really simple meals that don’t require a recipe and only basic ingredients. Eating this way has been deliciously refreshing.
  • We packed our entire family of 5 for 2 months using one large suitcase and 1 carry-on size suitcase, plus a backpack for each of us. Granted, our children’s clothes are small so they roll up very compactly, but I’ve learned that we can do with less clothes, as well! We have a washing machine here which makes living this way doable and I’ve loved hanging clothes outside to dry. We do have a dryer I have used a few times when I need the clothes done quicker.
  • A smaller house is where it’s at. I said it. I LOVE our house in Utah because it’s quite perfect for parties and large gatherings (and that is such a huge part of life for us!), but living in a smaller space here has been refreshing. I’ve already been thinking of ways to make our home more functional once we get back. And even though I majorly purged before we left, I bet there will be a whole lot more I can get rid of.
  • I’m wondering how many extra cooking gadgets and kitchen ware I can get rid of. We’ve only been using a small collection here since that’s all that’s available and you know what? We just wash them when we’re done so they are ready to be used next time. It’s worked better than I thought it would.

Obviously, there are many other factors that are playing into our simpler life here, of which I need to take into consideration and be realistic about once we are back. But, I love that we are feeling less rushed, less stressed, less busy, and less tied down to things here.

What ways have you simplified life? I’d love to hear!

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  • Cousin Jen

    I am a big minimalist and have been for a while. I think it stems from living with parents that kept EVERYTHING. I keep nothing. ha! Simple living gives you the best gift — more time!

    When we moved from Charlotte to Asheville six years ago, we purposely bought a house 1/2 the size (our main living space is 1100 sqft plus we have an unconditioned attic for guests and where we veg to watch TV) so that we could walk everywhere. We can walk to our dentist, doctor, chiropractor, grocery stores, library, dozens of restaurants, parks, school…I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I don’t miss a single thing about a larger house (especially not cleaning it) and we still have space to enjoy everything — including hosting large parties and dinners. We’ve dramatically reduced the amount of clothing we own as we realized we reached for the same few pieces over and over again. Same with shoes. I try to borrow special occasion things or single-use kitchen gadgets.

    I cook 95% of what we eat and typically it’s just whole foods in different combinations (We really don’t even eat meat anymore unless it’s at a restaurant) – a grain, greens, vegetables, oils and vinegars and spices. Always delicious and simple to cook but amazing flavor.

    And since we only have one child, it’s fairly easy to stay on top of minimizing toys. She has a basket of kitchen toys and a basket of dress up for her & dolls, a basket of stuffed animals, and a basket of art supplies. It all fits into a 4 x 4 IKEA bookshelf. Kid books we get from the library for the most part.

    I still have a long way to go and it’s something you constantly have to stay on top of doing. This year I’m focusing on not buying stuff. 🙂

    Love hearing/seeing your adventure in Oz! Can’t wait to see how you apply this stuff when you return.

    February 12, 2017 at 12:12 pm Reply
    • Melissa Sunday

      I agree with so much you say! We always pick the same shoes and clothes to wear, so why keep a closet full of stuff? I’m a bit jealous that you can walk everywhere! That would be a dream! I’m sure you don’t have “recipes” per se with your cooking style, but I would love to know your favorite combos and how you cook veggies that taste good. We love eating whole, but its finding ways to make it taste good that my kids will eat! We cut back on dairy and meat 5 years ago and have loved the change! I really love your idea about 4×4 IKEA shelf with 4 baskets for each type of thing. I want to implement that!

      February 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm Reply

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