Small, not something I ever lived by… Big family, Big house, Big job, the list goes on and on. My husband and I wanted for ourselves the same american dream most of the population is striving for. We had two adequate incomes in our trade, six bedroom house, two cars, storage building with other items… but working overtime to pay for everything became the norm. More and more we were away from our lives and when we were at home the house was so unmanageable because of the size, and the fact that everyone was so spread out that we rarley saw each other or our children.. all while living under the same roof. Now this may seem like the new American dream but this is not what we had set out for. We love our family I like to see them. We sat down one night and we took an inventory about what we were gaining and what we had lost. Material we had… substance in our lives we had lost. We also took an inventory about what we were teaching our children. We realized we were teaching our children to consume, consume, consume. We had missed every opportunity to teach them to fill their lives with other things than material items. This was a slap in the face not at all what are big plan was when we began creating our family.
So we started our journey to living as minimalists. This meant down sizing in a tremendous way. We donated, sold, gave away it was astonishing how many un used items we were holding on to that no longer served a purpose in our lives. This was everything from materials to ideas about our future. This is a daunting task and we are only somewhere in the middle of this transition as we speak. There has been great resitance from all of us on what we wanting to give up and what we actually need. We will be building our next home with minimalizing in mind, now we are living in a rented minimalist apartment. We have been blessed through all of this with a family bond. Our children our sometimes struggling with this transition, especially the teenager.
Living as a minimalist has given us more opportunity to experience things we did not have the energy,money, or time for before. This will mean more vacations, more outings, more smaller expensive items but we still live more comfortable than before. With the children it has been a huge transition, they are struggling with not living as everyone else lives, I hope to someday see them embrace being different. This is a movement, we didn’t invent it but we have embraced it. We have adopted a new way, if we haven’t used an item in a 6 month span we have decided that it no longer serves a purpose and we will either donate it or sell it to purchase an item that will be used. This does not include heirlooms or things that are to be handed down.
I am not going to tell you that we done away with our storage we did not, we kept items that will help our children start their own homes with, furniture and other items. larger items that are handed down. We have also adopted a clutter free environment along with a healthier life style, we have all lost weight due to moving more , the small quarters of our home have forced us to experience more in our comunity which includes more walking and recreation. Along with this we are chosing healthier meals to supply us with more energy. This has been a win all the way around. Like I said we are right in the middle of this transition and i expect we will be taking this farther than we imagined when we started.
Final thoughts from Simply Mommy:
This has brought so much tranquility to our lives, I have gotten to know my children and husband on a level I never did before. We also cut our hours at work, I now stay home and I am part of the PTA, volunteer in our community, the children love me being at home and the mere mention of my going back to work brings a debate about how will everyone survive. My husband never have I seen him this happy. Our solitude, closeness, clutter free, freeing our debt, has left us in a spirtitual place we have not yet seen. I can’t wait to continue on this journey. Now there are people out there with their own opinions they believe this is cruel to children, or they say oh I love the idea but I could never do that… Well that is expected and we are alright with shaking heads in disbelief, disagreeing attitudes after all it is not my place to make them happy it is my place to make me and my family happy.