Domestic Responsibilities, Minimalism

Less is Good

I ran into an old acquaintance in the grocery store last week. She’s back “home” for the summer and staying in her Hudson Bay house. It’s been for sale for awhile, and when they thought it was sold last winter, they had completely emptied it out. When I asked if they had enough furniture and such to make it “home” again, she described the few possessions they had collected to make it comfortable again. She remarked, “It’s amazing how little we need actually.”

And we settled on that idea for a moment or two … soaking it in.

“You’re right,” I responded. “That’s why vacations and ‘getting away’ is always so appealing. We have less, use less, are comfortable with less, and we are freed with less.”

“Yes, less is good!” we agreed.

As we carried on our way, I was grateful for the reminder once again of the importance of less … in our homes and in our lives.

I am writing today to remind you too about the importance of less …

Less clothing.

Less toys.

Less towels.

Less accessories.

Less dishes.

Less gossip.

Less hair stuff.

Less blankets.

Less ornaments.

Less water bottles.

Less commitments.

Less sugar.

Less movies.

Less utensils.

Less coffee cups.

Less paper.

Less makeup.

Less TV.

We seem to be fearful of less sometimes and are worried that a life with less will mean we won’t have what we need when we need it or that we might be missing out on something. I’ve been working on “less” for a few years now, and I have RARELY missed items or had to repurchase items that I’ve gotten rid of.

Instead, I’ve enjoyed the new “space” and “margin” that a life of less provides. Space that I can fill with exercise, afternoons at the beach, time with my kids, volunteering, writing, reading, or time with friends and family. I know, I know … who ACTUALLY has time for these things? Especially when we’re working full time, managing kids and a household? I get it … I’m not working right now (maternity leave, remember), so that definitely helps!

Of course, I am still a work in progress and I think living a life of less is a journey, not a destination. Certain life events require “more” or “extras” (like birthday celebrations) and certain pastimes require extra “stuff” (i.e. equipment). And I think that’s OKAY!!! I am certainly not advocating a life of NOTHING. There’s no reason for that.

I AM advocating a life of less “junk” and more quality though.

I am advocating a life of having “only what you need.”

I am advocating a life of sharing and blessing others with our excess.

I am advocating a life in which we share and trade instead of buying new.

I am advocating a life in which our days are NOT spent organizing our stuff, picking up our stuff, and moving around our stuff.

I am advocating a life with SPACE for joy.

I am advocating a life spent working on our dreams and deepest desires instead of having to organize or clean out another closet.

Recently, I’ve discovered that on days when I get caught up in “stuff” like cleaning the house, packing or unpacking, laundry, and the like, I feel frustrated that there was no space for joy in the day. I have trouble coming up with “the best part of my day” because it all kind of sucked. Naturally, there will be those “sucky” days when sh*t just needs to get done, but I hate when it becomes all-consuming. I HATE when I am CONSUMED by “stuff” and/or responsibilities. I hate when I don’t learn, when I don’t create, when I don’t engage, when I don’t revel in the beauty of a moment, or when I don’t take an opportunity to just “be”, because I am “busy” with “STUFF.”

Are you consumed with stuff? Is it time for a little “less” in your life? We are freed with less. We are less overwhelmed. We are less anxious. Trust me, we are MUCH better off with less. My old acquaintance seemed to discover this quite by accident, but you don’t have to. Go ahead … give LESS a try today. Pick one category … like those water bottles … and ONLY keep the ones you use and LOVE! Recycle or donate the rest.

Speaking of water bottles … here are a few we have grown to love. Be sure to check them out …

I personally only like drinking water with a straw (I have sensitive teeth), so I love this one (click to purchase). It keeps my water cold all day (if I don’t drink it right away).

The Thermos Funtainers are the best for the kids. I bought each of my girls these at the beginning of the school year, and they both go back to these repeatedly. Again, keeping water cold (especially when it’s hot outside) is a huge factor for us. Here are a few links (just click on the picture) for these ones:

Finally, we also have a S’Well water bottle as well, which we received as a gift (great gift idea by the way). This is a super awesome water bottle, just a little on the pricy side. Actually, all of these water bottles are a little on the pricy side, but trust me, they are so, so worth it!

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