What Simplicity Means to Me: A 52-Week Exploration

simplicity

I had a huge long post written out on this topic, and looking back at it, it’s very meandering and not very well organized, so I’ve decided instead to explore the topic a little bit at a time, with something new each week. Since it’s Monday now, that’ll be the day I post my simplicity entries.

Hopefully throughout the rest of the year, I’ll share tips, reasons, and other things as they come up on the topic. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments or fill out the contact me form, and I’ll do my best to answer them in future posts.

But for today, I think I’ll talk about my family’s journey to getting where we are now.

It started with hubby. He grew up with a mom who, though not a simplicity or minimalism person by any stretch of the imagination, had no problem whatsoever throwing away toys etc… when they weren’t picked up. I grew up with a mom who was always frustrated with me and my brother for not cleaning our rooms, but rarely did anything concrete to solve the problem. So, now that we’re adults, it was much easier for him to get on the “get rid of stuff” bandwagon than it was for me. It’s still hard for me sometimes, although I’m getting better.

He started reading blogs about minimalism, and the idea intrigued him, so he brought it up to me to find out what I thought of giving it a try. I was definitely skeptical at first. I definitely fell into the “what if we need {insert item here]?” category. A lot.

“We need dishes for 8, even though there are only 4 (at the time) of us. We need lots of clothes so we have options. We need the old silverware even though we just got new stuff for Christmas; what if we get rid of it and then run out during a dinner party?”

You can see how that particular game can go on forever.

Then, when I was pregnant with Small Fry, he got me this Kindle book.

minimalist mom's guide

(The “look inside” feature won’t work on my blog; I just grabbed the image from Amazon.)

I devoured the book. I started reading Rachel’s blog. I started reading the other blogs she recommended in the book. And I got used to the idea of getting rid of stuff. She even dared to suggest not automatically keeping all the gifts you receive at your baby shower (gasp!). At the time I read this, I didn’t expect that I’d have a baby shower this time around since Small Fry was baby #3, but my step-mother-in-law threw me a surprise shower. And guess what? By the time the shower came along, I’d read the book again, and had started getting rid of some of our stuff, and even though it was weird at the time, we returned some of the gifts from the baby shower. Not everything. Mostly just the duplicates. But stuff went back. And we got some much needed supplies that didn’t come in during the shower instead (mostly diapers; we didn’t get many of those at the shower because people knew our ultimate goal was gDiapers or cloth).

Fast forward 6 months. We moved out of our 1100 square foot, 2 bedroom apartment into a 2000+ square foot (I’m not sure exactly), 4 bedroom house. We wouldn’t have chosen the house on our own, but we prayed for a domicile closer to our church, and about a month later my brother’s father-in-law called me up and said his rental was available and would we be interested in renting it. When I asked him the price, he essentially said “you tell me.” Since it seemed clear to us that God had placed the house within our budget, and it was 25 miles closer to church, we took it. But I’ve digressed. When we moved, we took two truckloads of stuff to Goodwill. We were able to move in one of the small U-Hauls plus two pickups.

Twelve months later, here we are. Christmas just passed. And guess what? We didn’t keep all of those presents, either. Only the ones that were necessary and/or met our life goals (things like “reducing plastic” and “toys that last only, please”). And while it’s still a little weird returning gifts, it’s less so than it was the first time around.

Now, don’t think this series is going to be all about minimalism – it isn’t. But we had to embrace minimalism in order to get to simplicity. It may not be that way for you, but it was for us. So that was the right place to start.

I hope you continue to join me the rest of the year. Maybe you’ll start to embrace the simple things in life too!

Blessings,

Wendy

P.S. I can’t post on January 6th without sending a special wish to my hubby: Happy Anniversary!! The past 13 years have been the best of my life. I love you.

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2 thoughts on “What Simplicity Means to Me: A 52-Week Exploration

  1. Sanz 01/06/2014 at 6:28 pm Reply

    I can’t wait to read more on this! I’m planning on doing some simplicity posts this year too! We aren’t minimalists and probably never will be, but simplicity is so important to me! 🙂

  2. dalynnrmc 02/04/2014 at 12:31 pm Reply

    It started simply like this for us as well. We moved, and the stuff wouldn’t fit, so it was time to downsize. We’ve learned how very little we actually do *NEED* and the differences in what our culture THINKS is a need. We aren’t at minimalism either, but are certainly in the ballpark and moving closer in all the time.

    Thanks for posting this! I’ll look forward to keeping up with you this year. I expect to be inspired and motivated by what you share; it’s just the right season for it in my life. Thanks for linking up with the 52 Weeks series and please continue to do so! I don’t want to miss what you’re sharing! LOL Blessings!

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