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Category: Creating Simple Living

Trouble with organizing or getting organized? General organization? How can we create a simple life? Sure, declutter first, but how is minimalism applied to deeper areas of the life? Lets talk about how some of these ideals and how to apply them to our simple living.

Breaking 8 Emotional Chains to Stuff

Image: David Castillo Dominici

As we are sorting through the things we have collected in China, and deciding what to take with us on our move, I am reminded how much we have an emotional connection to stuff.

I think back to all the things we used to have and the process of our cutting back that took about 3 years to complete.

I think of all the people who have written to me trying to figure out how to cut back, but unsure what or how to give up their things.

Stuff is powerful – our emotional connection to it is huge.

But too much stuff in our lives holds us back.

I came up with 8 different emotions we, as a society, have connected to our belongings that make them hard to give up.


Letting Go of Anger

Image: David Castillo Dominici

I felt like I really needed to write about this.  Not because I have it figured out, but because it is something I struggle with.

Most of us know we need to let go of anger but it is everywhere.  Family, work, siblings, and open up Facebook and there is anger everywhere… especially at the government.  But anger is anger.  Anger is bad.  Anger helps nothing.

I was reading a few weeks ago and this verse popped out at me:

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” — Ephesians 4:31

I think we could all agree this is a good idea but it sure isn’t easy.


Waiting Sucks …. and how to embrace it

Minimalist Kids - Lily“It’s hard to be patient sometimes” – Lily

My need for patience seems pretty high right now, and I will be honest, it hasn’t been really easy. It seems there is always something to be waiting for or looking forward to – pay day, vacation, a life change, the weekend, or even just a coffee break.

What are you waiting for?

Sometimes as adults we can keep our waiting hidden but with kids waiting seems like a painful process. My kids are counting the days till the start of November, they are counting the days till my daughters birthday in November, and they are counting the weeks till we fly home to America for Christmas (12 weeks).

I have been struggling with waiting. As I write we have applications out all over the world for English teaching positions and our current contract is up in 3 months.  I am seeing plane tickets edge up in price but aren’t sure how to purchase our tickets (1-way, round trip, multi-city).  Last weekend the difference between a 1-way ticket home from Beijing and a round trip ticket was only $10!  Between that and not knowing dates for sure, I am just waiting.

There comes a point where you have done all you can and then you just have to wait – and it seems to happen often. Wait for the savings account to slowly grow, wait for education to finish, wait for a diet or exercise to be effective, wait for another person to make a decision, or wait for the right opportunity to open up.


Letter, Cool Movie, and random


As I sit down to write my weekly post this week my mind is a bit random… really my week has been pretty random.  Some in good ways, some in bad ways, and some in … just ways.  Because of where I am living and privacy issues I can’t say much more, but I did have several random things I wanted to share with you.

First, I got this letter from a reader

With her permission I want to share it with you.  This is why I write 🙂  My life is changing through the choices we have been making as a family and it makes me so excited to hear how others life’s are changing as well!

Hi Lorilee.  I just wanted to give you a little bit of an update.  I emailed you about a month ago with a few things, and one of the things I mentioned was that we were trying to buy a house, and that maybe “1000 square feet and three bedrooms would be plenty”.  I find this hilarious now.  While my family is certainly not minimalist by any stretch of the word yet, we are very comfortable renting our two bedroom, less than 800sq ft duplex.  In fact, we just got rid of our couch, our TV, two desks, half a truckload of boxes, and we’re still going.  My husband and I have made moves to simplify our time and our budget as well.