Minimalist Living Changed My Life

March 20, 2013 in Creating Simple Living by Lorilee Lippincott

Minimalist Living Changed My LifeImage: by Bryon Lippincott (my hubby)

I might get a bit teary-eyed in this post… ever since I had kids I get teary at a lot of things…

The truth is, now that I look back, our change to a minimalist living has made such a huge impact in our life.

Not as huge as my faith that tells me I am saved and have value, or my amazing husband who loves and believes in me,

…but right up there after that. 

We were living a fairly normal life, just struggling to stay ahead (or at least not fall behind), trying to stay out of debt, and trying to survive till bedtime with our two kids.  It seemed that this was just what life was about.

But when we really started to question if we needed everything in our life things started to change…

I am not going to say we live a perfect life now, or that we never get stressed, or that I never lose things, or that the kids never fight.  But at the same time we can now say that we are very happy with our life.

The Minimalist Lifestyle Difference

Money

Money is always such a big thing.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much someone has, they still spend lots of time worrying about money.  We often wish we had more too (… this is just normal) but money has never been a huge worry since we simplified.

I would love to say that when we cut back we were instantly rolling in money… but that wasn’t the case.  I think it was a miracle we discovered minimalism when we did because shortly after we downsized my husbands work also slowed down.  Part of it was a slow-down we chose.. and some of it wasn’t.  Because of our minimalist living we were able to still spend less than we made.

But, except for some slow times at the beginning our minimalist living has allowed us to buy a new car (and pay it off in 4 months), and take a roadtrip the last 2 years for about 5 and a half weeks each.  Without having the extra money we could save each month and having the low living expenses when we are gone, we would have never been able to do this.   … and we make right around average income in this country so I really believe it is possible for others :)

Family

I love living close to my family.  I love that, no matter where in the house Bryon or the kids are, I can still talk to them and usually I can also see them.  I love working on my writing while the kids play on the floor.  I love doing the dishes while watching Bryon work on the computer or play with the kids.

Sure, there are disagreements but I know my kids and all of us get along better because we live close to each other instead of being able to run off and hide.  We all learn to be more patient with each other and to share… pretty much everything.

Being a tight family and really connecting with my kids is something I have always really wanted to do.  It isn’t something that comes easy for me.  I know that living arrangements can’t make this happen, but I know it does help.

House work

Hello!  This is a huge one!  It is one thing to take care of a house for myself… another thing to be picking up after a construction worker husband (who is really good about helping when he is around), but it is something entirely different to keep up with the house with 2 kids as well.  I have no idea how people do it with more kids… kids create a lot of work!  I know the kids should be helping, and mine are starting to get to an age where they can be a help, but it is still work getting kids to help with house work (if you have kids you understand this).

I have a small apartment to clean instead of 2000 square feet with a garage and full yard.  That is a huge difference!  I can get the spring cleaning bug over breakfast and be done going through the whole place, all the closets, cupboards and have time to wash the windows by lunch… not that the spring cleaning bug hits often.. but it has happened once or twice.

The amount of stuff I have to buy, sort, put away, organize into labeled totes, hunt for, fix, clean, hide, pack, or replace is so much less. When we had our house we would have to designate weekends to get caught up on the yard, or the basement, or the garage, or the kids bedrooms but not any more.  Now all that time is ours!

Personal Growth

I know there isn’t a direct relationship between personal growth and minimalist living, but minimalist living does allow a person to have more time for it.

It is my birthday this weekend (I am turning 33) and it is so fun to look back on the last year of life.  In the last year I have released 3 books that I have loved working on … except for the editing part.  I have had a chance to work on my blog and meet so many other really amazing people online.  I have had a chance to spend lots more time homeschooling my kids and watching them develop a love of reading (and now for my daughter, writing).  We have spent to many weekends exploring and have created so many memories.

I have had time to read books I often didn’t have time to before. I have started learning to play the piano. I have finally gotten into a habit of doing yoga.  …I even did some public speaking… which was really terrifying.

Through all of it I feel I have learned so much more about life and about myself.

My husband has had time to do amazing things with his photography and work on building it into a business.

Follow Our Dreams

For years (well, really since we got married) we have dreamed of traveling and living overseas for a while.  We have finally realized this dream by moving to China several weeks ago.

Minimalism has helped with:

  • time-to look for possibilities
  • money-we aren’t in debt and have created some other income sources,
  • stuff-I don’t know if I would have ever thought we could pack up and store all our junk, and what about the house?

You don’t dream of traveling?  That is fine, no matter what your dream, minimalist living can help :)

Sometimes I downgrade the minimalist idea.  Looking back it just seems like a no-brainier and not that hard.  I just writing about getting rid of extra stuff…  it seems like such a little thing.

But when I look back, it is amazing the difference it has made!

How has minimalist living changed your life?  How do you plan on it changing your life?