One of my goals for this year was for my family to learn to live more simply. The irony of this goal was that we were about to welcome our second child. Babies are blessings, but boy do they come with stuff! Luckily, this was my second boy, so all of the essentials were already purchased and just needed an organized landing in their new homes. Two points for saving money and using what we already had! (One of my favorite things to do when helping clients by the way.) Alas, that still meant my goal of simplicity would be a bit derailed by the not-so-new-but-necessary items that would be taking over my home for a while. I’m not one to give up easily, so I embarked on my journey anyway and, so far, have made more progress than I thought, while making an unexpected turn along the way.
Here’s what I’ve done so far:
Finances: One of the first ways my family began to live simply was to create a budget in order for us to become debt free and bulk up our savings. We chose Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps to help us achieve this goal. We’re currently on baby step 2 and are excited about our financial future.
Home: This has been where the most significant changes have occurred. Not only have I started to clean out my corners, but I’ve had to make some hard and fast decisions on the amount of things we need. We are a family of four with a few visitors during the year, so do we really need 10 sets of towels and 7 sets of sheets? Do I need 10 coats, when I only wear one or two? How about the amount of personal care and cleaning products, clothes, shoes, toys, food, dishes and silverware, electronics, and small appliances? The list goes on and on. Plus, less stuff means less to move around and clean. Hello!
When we began to purge I realized just how much excess we truly had. We give bags and bags of things away every year and we still have tons remaining. It just doesn’t make sense in the scheme of things. This is why we’ve reinstituted the “in and out” method to make sure that this is the last big purge we do for a long time.
Health: I knew we needed to become healthier and that living more simply would help us achieve that, but what I didn’t consider was that we would move towards vegetarianism/veganism in the process. All of the sudden a lightbulb came on. Choosing to be intentional with what we eat leaves us healthier, as well as save us time and money. We were sold! We will begin juicing soon, which will hopefully open up a whole new view and feeling of health for us. Can’t wait!
Another fun and healthy benefit was to begin to make our own homemade items. From making baby wipes to cooking from scratch to making our own household cleaners, not only do we save money, we know exactly what ingredients are being used AND we can use those same ingredients for a host of other products. Yay for less chemicals and multi-purpose items! You can check out the video I used to make the all-purpose cleaner here. I made it in lavender for the bathroom and lemon for the kitchen. I’m so in love and they clean well too? Shut the front door and lock it!
Our venture into simplicity is just beginning and we’re definitely enjoying the ride. What are some things you’ve done to make your life simpler?