Friday, July 12, 2013

Why I crave simplicity

At a time when many are celebrating their career successes with new cars, big homes, the latest technologies, designer threads, expensive dinners out, nannies at home, and luxury holidays abroad, I feel myself being pulled in the opposite direction.

It's at this junction in life - right now when it would be easy to reward hard work with bigger, better, best - that I feel compelled to slow down, calm down, live sensibly and discover that a life with less stuff means more of the things that count.

Money comes and goes. Fourteen hour working days have a limited lifespan, before their frightening toll becomes real. Years pass by in the blink of an eye. I don't want this to play out in the pages of our life. I don't want us to be trapped into a life that is unsustainable and unhealthy.

I don't know precisely what it was that kicked it off, but I do know that spending less, owning less, making conscious decisions, and enjoying more is at least part of the answer.

I have so many ideas, dreams and plans. The decluttering continues. I've successfully pared back some key areas in our home: the kitchen, the bathrooms, the linen cupboard, the boys' toys and books, and my clothes, shoes and accessories.

I've donated a huge amount to charity, mainly via - you can search for items that are needed urgently and respond with anything you have that fits the need, or you can list your items and wait for a charity to contact you.

I've found it remarkably easier than I feared. I have barely hesitated over a single item. I have certainly felt cranky at times - at the wasted money particularly - but the harsh truth is that the money is already gone. The best thing we can do is to not repeat the same mistakes again.

Ask me if it's still as easy when I get to the boys' clothes. I get very sentimental over those. They are such reminders of just how much they've grown, of things they've achieved, of adventures they've had.

I predict areas like the garage, under-the-stairs, and the spare room cupboards will be laborious, but I think that's where I'll get the greatest sense of satisfaction. Imagine, we might even be able to get two cars into our double car garage. Who'd have thought!

Once the first full declutter is achieved, new habits will need to be reinforced. Rules will need to be applied, and regular clear-outs will form part of the rhythm of our lives.

I hope that by eliminating unnecessary stuff, the maintenance, cleaning, thinking, shopping, and and time associated with it is eliminated too. I hope extra time means less hurry, less stress, less pressure, and more enjoyment.

I dream of a little veggie patch, despite having the world's blackest thumb.I dream of a gentle and slow rhythm and ritual to our days. I dream of continuing to create days, months and years that build a beautiful childhood for our babes. And I dream of raising children who understand that things and love are not one and the same.

I feel inspired. And that feels good.


  1. This is such a great post. I could have written this 5 years ago. We left our busy jobs and lives in London behind to come home to NZ, a small town and a quieter "lesser" life. I have less "me time", less money, less extravagance in many areas of my life. But I have never been more happier and content. It is a journey truly worth travelling xo

  2. Beautiful, inspiring post. Thank you xx

  3. Good on you Jen for taking the step towards making changes. I live by a 'slow and simple life' motto and while not every day follows my mantra, it is always at the forefront of my mind and of any decisions I make for our family x

  4. Such a lovely post.
    After being in the States and seeing just how much stuff everyone had, I was very glad to come home to our simple home.
    I completely agree about the baby clothes though...I have piles of them and I just cannot bring myself to go though them. I have given some away to friends who have had babies but most of them are just sitting under the house, waiting for the day when I feel brave enough to admit there probably isn't going to be another baby.
    And I would love a veggie garden too! I have tried one more than one occasion but so far I have been forced to admit that I just don't have the time necessary to tend to it.


Thank you for posting! You've just made my day :)