I’d like to think that I live simply. I envision myself as un materialistic homesteader, growing/saving/making my own of everything. I imagine pared down closets and empty storage rooms and no cluttered shelves. And the quiet inner peace so reflective of my outer simple living lifestyle.
I have Rubbermaid totes stacked in my storage room. I have multiple bookshelves full of books and yes, some clutter of my favorite things tucked in between the books. I have clothes in my closet that I don’t wear. I have a habit of buying more books when I haven’t read the last ten that I’ve purchased. My plant habit may be borderline out of control. I keep my pantry so well stocked, just in case. I have 5 feathers John found me last week that are too pretty to get rid of. And, can I let you in on a secret? I like it all.
So, I guess I am not a minimalist.
But there are aspects of simple living that appeals to me, and I am guessing appeals to some of you too. There is something captivating about having only what you need and ditching the noise and distraction.
But again, another reality check. Not only will that not work for me, I don’t truly know if I would want it to.
What I do know is this; there are aspects of living simply that I already exemplify in my life. And there are aspects that I plan on leaning into a bit more.
1. I want to strive to increase what percentage of our food comes from our farm. Some of that looks like expanding my garden a bit more this year, (I’m not complaining about that) and planning out my food preservation in more detail. It also looks like consuming more of our own farm raised, dry aged beef, and pasture raised lamb. It means choosing simple, healthful recipes, and feeling satisfaction knowing where our food was raised and grown.
2. Start a small decluttering routine. Instead of feeling like I have to pare my whole house down to the bare minimum, find one thing each day to throw away or give away. Small acts add up over time.
3. Be rooted in a gratitude that fosters creativity. I will choose to be thankful for all the things I have in my home and life. I am grateful for a full pantry and closet and bookshelves and activities. And instead of wanting more, I will choose to creatively utilize what I have for entertainment and enjoyment and for every day life. I believe that gratitude can help stop the cycle of materialistic purchases and always wanting more. Gratitude helps me list what I have and gives me more time to consider any future purchase.
4. Choose more sustainable practices. I want to compost more in 2021. I want to buy more of the products that we don’t grow or raise ourselves from other small farms and businesses. I am going to opt for more reusable products when possible, washable towels over paper towels, bees wax wraps over plastic bags, and my reusable shopping bags over plastic from the grocery store. And perhaps the best step toward more sustainable practices is in the age old mantra, “Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.”
5. I will not judge myself on the actions and success of others modeling the “simple life”. I will choose to prioritize what I have, be grateful, work hard on our farm, and be happy to provide for my family and so many others. If I do those things, I am successful.
What parts of simple living resonate with you? What parts are you working to incorporate into your lifestyle?