What is simple living? Is that one of the questions that are in your mind lately Mamas, in the hope of achieving a more relaxed and stress-free or less stressful family life?
My family and I are on a journey of simplifying our family life and home since 2017, though we still have a very long way to go, we are very happy and contented with the results, so far.
So, today let’s talk about simple living as it might be a huge help, especially if you are constantly stressed because you think that you and your family are always on the go, doing a lot of activities without break-time in between, and a house full of clutter. Simplifying your life might be the answer.
So, What is Simple Living?
There are many different definitions of simple living, but in general, it means living with fewer possessions, less stress, and focusing on the most important things in life. It is defined by Wikipedia as a lifestyle that focuses on simplicity, which is the state or quality of being simple and uncomplicated.
It involves reducing or eliminating clutter in one’s environment, simplifying one’s daily routine, and reducing or eliminating unnecessary possessions. Whether you’re looking to simplify your life for personal reasons or to help protect the environment, it will surely make your life easier.
Some of the things that might be considered unnecessary possessions in a simple living environment may include multiple sets of clothes, large collections of books, expensive electronics, and clutter in the home.
These items can be replaced with items that are more affordable and practical, such as a capsule wardrobe, a small collection of books that can be read or borrowed from the library, and minimalistic electronics that are used for specific purposes and stored away when not in use.
Another important aspect of simple living is learning to live within one’s means. This means taking care not to overspend or consume more than necessary. It also means being mindful of how much energy or resources a particular activity consumes.
5 Things You Need To Know About Simple Living
Simple living is not an instant thing, it requires a change in perspective, planning, sacrifice, and a sense of urgency. It requires patience as well because you can’t expect everything to happen overnight.
1. Simple Living Requires The Decision to Really Want It
To start living a simple life, you first have to make the decision to really want it! You have to desire it deeply to achieve it! Your desire must be strong enough to drive you into taking action to achieve it.
Envision the simple life that you want for yourself and your family to motivate you to start and keep going until you achieve the vision.
When I was still single (while working as a househelp), I already felt the desire for a simple living when having a family of my own. I envisioned a house with less clutter, a house with a backyard garden, and kids who are relaxed and not enrolled in a lot of extracurricular activities. Thankfully, my husband has the same vision, and that is what we are working on, together.
2. Simple Living Requires Planning
After deciding to start living a simple life, you need to plan on how to achieve it. You have to plan where to start and how. One of the first steps in simplifying life is by decluttering your home, and you have to plan where and how to start.
You can’t just dive into something without making a plan, it’s a recipe for failure.
We started by decluttering our home of unnecessary things. Our decluttering journey was originally unplanned. Before my then-boyfriend (now dear husband) and I went to the Philippines for our wedding, I already moved my things to his home because I need to vacate my boarding house before the flight.
I took a lot of things with me because I was a hoarder when I was still single. I had a lot of clothes, shoes, accessories (earrings, necklaces, rings, bangles), belts, hair accessories, papers (receipts, magazine clips, books, notebooks), and a lot more things that I haven’t even used for a long time, and others remain unused (still with their tags on).
My first attempt at decluttering the stuff that occupied the entire room downstairs was futile. I only took out very few things because I had difficulty letting go of my things. I want to keep all and throw nothing! But I finally learned to let go when a few months before my due date for our firstborn, the husband asked “where should we put the baby?”. It was his subtle way of telling me to clear the room downstairs (that’s full of my stuff) because it’s the only available room and it will obviously be the baby’s room.
I finally succeed in decluttering the room. At least it looks like it because it has a huge closet, so I was able to hide some of the things that I wasn’t able to let go of yet inside the closet, so the outside was looking cleared of clutter (a bit of cheating, but it worked)!
3. Simple Living Requires Sacrifice
You have to make some sacrifices to achieve a simple living. If you are a hoarder like me (when I was single), you have to start reducing the number of things that enter your home – and that’s a big sacrifice for serious hoarders!
But the result will bring you so much happiness, and you’re going to realize that the sacrifice is all worth it!
4. Simple Living Requires A Sense Of Urgency
If you really desire simple living deeply, then you act in a way like it’s an emergency! You can’t just sit around and do nothing, you have to get started and take action.
Otherwise, the simple lifestyle that you’re dreaming of, will quickly become more complicated and overwhelming.
5. Simple Living Requires Patience
Patience is a virtue, and you need a lot of it in your journey of simplifying life because you can’t just expect everything to happen overnight, you have to take things slow and build up momentum over time.
Otherwise, you’ll quickly burn out and give up on your goals.
3 General Steps in Simplifying Your Life
Living a simple life does not mean living in poverty or giving up everything you love. It just means simplifying your life so you can focus on what’s important.
Here are 3 general steps to help you get started in simplifying your life:
1. Start With The Basics (Decluttering)
The first step to simplifying your life is to start with the basics by reducing the amount of clutter in your life and eliminating all of the unnecessary distractions, or in other words, decluttering. This will help you focus on what’s important and make it easier to live a simple life.
What are the clutters and distractions in your life and home? Start eliminating the obvious ones for an easier start.
2. Prioritize Your Time And Effort
The second step is to prioritize your time and effort. You have to set goals for yourself and make sure that you’re working towards them one step at a time.
This will help you stay motivated and keep moving forward toward your simple lifestyle goals (this is why planning is very important).
3. Take Action And Make Changes
The third step is to take action and make changes. You have to be willing to try new things and make changes to your lifestyle in order to simplify it. This will help you experiment with what works for you and find new ways to live a simple life.
Read blogs and watch videos about simple living to get more inspiration.
You Define Your Own Meaning of Simple Living
Though there are several definitions of simple living, it doesn’t mean that you have to strictly follow those definitions to be able to live a simple life.
The beauty of simple living is that you can define it and set rules in any way you want based on your own circumstances and situation in life. You can customize it!
Simple living is different for single people than for those families with kids. In short, you decide what’s simple living for you and your family, and use it as guidelines as you start working on simplifying your life.
For others, simple living means no TV at home, but it doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your TV, too. You definitely have control over how you define simple living.
Simple living for us is not filling out weekends with a lot of activities, staying more at home, watching less tv, growing some of our food, being slow-paced when traveling or vacationing, not rushing, eating together as a family, debt-free, and going to Church every Sunday and special feast days.
Go and start defining simple living based on your situation and circumstances and start working to achieve it!
Final Thoughts on Simple Living
Simplifying your life can be difficult, though it doesn’t have to be, it is achievable whether you are single, married, or parents with small kids.
And you don’t have to imitate others or stick to certain rules to be able to live a simple life. You can customize it based on your situation and circumstances.
Are you longing for simple living, too? Have you already started? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.