Our ‘slow living’ story began when our 4th child joined us. At the time we had four children aged five and under. I was struggling with recovering from Ava’s traumatic birth, and Mr T had a spinal operation to relieve a slipped disc a few weeks later. We expected those few months to be hard, and they were. We expected things to get easier, but they didn’t.
We both desperately wanted a fourth (and last!) child, and we found caring for three young children relatively easy, we still had good and bad days, but on the whole things were good. Ava’s arrival combined, with having two children at school upset the balance, I felt constantly stretched and exhausted.
I stopped waiting for things to get easier and realised I had to make a difference myself.
I started to slow things down, I looked at the things that take up my time and I asked; Does this make me happy? Does it add value to my life? I read a few articles on simple living and I instantly thought we should give it a try.
What is Simple Living?
Simple living is living an intentional life, moving away from the fast-paced culture we live in, to spend more time doing the things we value. It involves simplifying things, like commitments, workload, possessions and stress. It sometimes refers to increased self-sufficiency. It involves spending less money and being satisfied with what you have, rather than wanting more.
My ‘wants’ list
I want to spend time with friends and family
I want to be a good mother.
I want to be a good wife to Mr T.
I want to be a good friend
I want to spend time walking and enjoying nature.
I want to read.
I want to help others.
I want financial freedom so that I don’t have to worry about money.
I want to visit beautiful cities and show our children the world.
I want a comfortable home with a bright kitchen.
I want to cook healthy meals for my family.
Simplifying our possession’s
We started to simplify our possessions, inspired by this quote;
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris
For each item, we asked ourselves, is it beautiful or practical? Does it add value to our lives? It’s not something that has happened overnight, we still have a lot of possessions.
Having less stuff means that I spend less time tidying it, organising it, cleaning it and more time doing the things that we enjoy.
The hoarder’s reaction.
When we first bought our house and decided to have children, we had debt problems. We could barely afford food and had more money outgoing than incoming. When money is an issue I think you naturally move towards hoarding and want to save certain things ‘just in case’ because you realize that you can’t afford to buy them again if you need them.
On the other hand, we did also sell things we knew we definitely didn’t need to pay our debt.
It’s important to find a balance between our needs. Mr T does like to ‘hoard’ some things, (like the double cupboard & attic full of computer parts and cables, just in case) and he doesn’t like change. But he loves things being neat and organised, he is happy to remove all the things we don’t use and he can see all the benefits. I don’t mind his hoarding ways when he can produce a cable of any variety when we need it!
Positives so far.
The great thing about having less stuff is that you have more money for the possessions you do need & truly love.
Simplifying things really and truly shows what’s important in your life, and helps define you as a person.
I spend less time tidying, organizing & cleaning and more time doing the things that we enjoy.