Simple living is all about removing the excess from your life in order to have more time, money and energy for the things that matter most.
Have you read The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying? #1 is literally "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
I had spent 10 years living a life others expected of me. I worked 9-6pm every day, stressed about work over the weekend, spent way too much money on lunches and dinners and fancy bags and gym memberships... and felt unsatisfied and burned out.
I had a closet full of clothes but had "nothing to wear". I was jealous of strangers on the internet. I was too busy to make a change. I felt stuck.
In 2018, my husband and I moved to a 10acre farm in Pukekawa. I gave away 80% of my clothes and decided to treasure the ones I did have. When I do shop for clothes I try to buy from opp shops and to only buy things I absolutely love - not shop for the sake of shopping. We are growing our own food, we have our own water and heat source, and are steps to becoming self sufficient.
The other day I asked my husband, "how long did it take you to really see the trees?" Thinking he'd laugh at the question, he smiled and said "Right away, but I know it took you longer". And he's right. It's taken me a year to see the trees. What I mean by this is REALLY, truly see the trees. Our property is overgrown with native trees of all kinds, bamboo and wild flowers. My husband built a bench by the pond where I feed our ducks, and until 6 months ago - I couldn't really see or appreciate the beauty of the trees around us. Maybe because I was too busy being glued to my phone or checking off the next thing on the to-do list to notice. But once we slowed down and started living simpler, these simple pleasures came to light. And that's what I want for you (and to continue for me too).
You don't have to sell everything and move to the middle of nowhere to experience the pleasures of simple living. It's a conscious choice anyone can make, but a lot of other things need to be unlearned.
Here are a few Small Steps to Simple Living
Value experiences over things:
Collect memories. Gift thoughtful, handmade things or treasures you found in an antique shop. When you shop, choose quality over quantity. Try pre-loved clothes and used home goods. Be thoughtful about the companies you support. Cherish the things you have in your home. If you don't cherish them, give them to someone who will.
Read more, consume less media:
Visit your local library and get a good book. Dedicate an hour a night to reading, instead of scrolling social media or watching another Netflix episode.
With open space comes a clear mind.
Declutter your home, kitchen, pantry, inbox (try Unroll.Me), and those you follow on social media
Try following artists instead of influencers.
Reduce your to-do list. Give yourself 3x BIG tasks to accomplish each day, and allow time for your mind to wander. Take note of where it goes when it wanders.
Grow and/or make your own food:
Create meals together. It's time well-spent, and money well-spent. If you're unable to plant vegetables or shop for your groceries locally/regularly, try HelloFresh or MyFoodBag (order the larger meal options so you have leftovers for lunch the next day). By batching your meals you'll have more free time, which is the real gift of simple living.
Physical health = Mental wealth. And time outside with nature is good for the soul. Try to go for a walk in nature daily.
Make your home your haven:
Despite the size of your home, you can make it the perfect escape from the stresses of the world. Try to satisfy the 5 senses, and stay true to who you are when considering these:
Change the mood of your fall walls with scented candles (we recommend calming scents like Raglan Weekend)
Create a Spotify playlist of songs you love that bring about great memories. We've created a "slow mornings" playlist which you can listen to for free, here
Have food and drinks readily available that are nourishing and easy to make
Layer your living space with different textures. Setup a reading or movie nook with soft slippers, a cosy blanket and a stack of your favourite books
Consider the lighting of your home. Soft lights and different heights create pockets or little caves throughout your home, and can make the space feel cosy (or hygge)
Are you ready to live in abundance, with less?
Comment below with your simple living tips: