Owning less and being ok with it.
I had someone ask me the other day if I was going to upgrade my cell phone to the newest version. I had not even given it a thought until I was asked, and then I felt the instant pressure of maybe I should, and maybe I was missing out on something I needed! Within a few seconds, I came to my senses and remembered who I was and what I stood for, which is finding freedom in owning less.
While most of the world is looking for the next best electronic to hit the market, many like myself are turning our backs on consumerism and embracing the fact that happiness is not bought in a big-box store or in the latest version of the next best thing.
I truly believe living a simple life does not mean living with less or even doing without, it means looking for the simple things in life that bring us joy. It means changing old habits that keep us trapped in a must have must do life style.
For us it means we do not drive new cars or have a big fancy house, but what we do have we appreciate and find happiness in other things like our faith, family and farm.
When we moved to the country, we left most of what we had behind along with a lifestyle we were running frantically from. Eliminating the excess from our lives was all that was on our mind and with it came a sense of freedom by owning less.
Here are a few tips we use to keep us living a simple non-cluttered life by owning less:
- Stay out of the stores – Simplicity is about making do with what you already have not buying new and replacing things that can still be used.
- Limit exposure to ads – Companies spend billions of dollars every year trying to convince us we need the next best thing! Turn off the TV, watch movies without commercials and listen to real music rather than the radio.
- Use one thing at a time until you wear it out – Do we really need 5 pairs of shoes when we only have one pair of feet? How many outfits do we need when we can only wear one at a time?
- Learn to love being home – We spend thousands of dollars each year to pay and maintain our homes, many spend more time away from them than living in them. Find the joy in being at home!
We have learned that life is too short to spend time worrying about how we are going to buy that next best thing.
Now we spend our time looking for ways to live a more meaningful life on less.
Thanks for stopping by!
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Again…great article. I truly feel like you are talking to me personally sometimes.I appreciate what you do and the fact you share it with me. God Bless!
Carla thanks for sharing that with me. I really hope I can open eyes to what is really important in life. It took me many years to figure it out for myself! Thank you for being a faithful reader.
My husband and I are currently in the process of living a life with much less than we previously had–because we’re moving overseas with only a couple suitcases worth of stuff. And we’re already finding that it is very freeing, indeed!
It is freeing to know that you are really ok with less. We we went from a 2500 sq ft house, to a 800 sq ft camper, and then to a 1200 sq ft house so we have purged and organized our lives more than once.
I love this. My phone is a little ol’ flip phone that is at least 10 years old. Our newest car is about 14 years old. We are hoping our rigs last at least until our home is paid off. New & improved is usually new and not necessary:) Thank you for sharing ~ now I want to browse around your older posts:)
I am right with you. Our cars are a 2002 and 2006 and we are going to drive them until the die and I am perfectly ok with it!
I love these suggestions. We raised our daughters to love being home. While their friends were “cruising the downtown square” ours were home reading or some other activity. I find great joy in seeing them, now grown, loving to be home instead of shopping at the mall. And I’m watching their own children love being home, too.
I do have more than one pair of shoes…sigh. Need to work on that one! ~Pamela
I have to admit I have more than one pair of shoes as well but often have to remind myself that I don’t need any more since I can only wear one pair at a time. We love being home as well…there is no place I would rather be!
Great advice! Reuse, recycle, repurpose and Keep it simple. New follow:)
That is one of my favorite sayings and as my kids were growing up it was one of their most hated sayings!
Great post! I think this goes along with your second suggestion (avoiding ads), but I think avoiding all sorts of media (I’m thinking particularly of magazines…but that’s probably because we don’t have television). If I go to looking at modern magazines, I find myself becoming discontent with my home and feeling as though I need to buy more and have nicer things.
You mentioned being trapped in a must have/must do lifestyle. I know my experience is that that lifestyle really is a trap – which I often felt at the end of the month when the bills for it all came due!
I have felt that fear of the results of the must have/must do lifestyle with credit card bills coming due and thing I purchased but really didn’t need. I am not saying it is easy to break the cycle but the more I stayed away from those ads the easier it got. Now I can say that our credit card debt is all gone and the easiest thing for me to do is stay out of the stores. I can not tell you the last time I was at Kohl’s or at the mall!
We have the same exact mentality in our home! We don’t just “go” to the mall for leisure, we wear what we have, drive an old pick up (just one vehicle), my cell phone is probably the first prototype ever made 🙂 And we rarely leave home! Simple living is the way to go… Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays!
I think sometimes I offend my friends that want to always have to be going somewhere! I just love being home.
This is a good post… I also discourage my children (and me!) from saying things like “I wish I had __________.” or “I would love to get___________” etc. Such can lead to discontent and tempt us to covet more stuff and not be satisfied w/ what we have. Thank you for posting. 🙂
That is a great idea and you are so right in saying those kind of things can lead to us feeling unsatisfied with what we have and wanting more! Thanks for sharing this!
Such a good reminder! It’s so easy to get caught up in a consumerism-driven world and miss the simple pleasures in life!
It is so easy to get caught-up and we have to fight it all the time!
Right there with you, Tracy. In fact, my June 23rd journal entry was three quotes I love and we try to live with.
1. Don’t be a T.R.O.L.L. (Totally Ridiculously Obsessed with Living Large)
2. Don’t spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to impress people who don’t care. And
3. (taken from my Mother’s girlhood during the great depression of WWII) Use it up. Wear it Out. Make it Do. Or do without.
Yeah, what you said. Blessings,
I love it! T.R.O.L.L. (Totally Ridiculously Obsessed with Living Large)
I love my home and my husband and I enjoy spending time together at our home. Many of the people who live in my community live in expensive, beautiful homes. We have noticed that they actually spend very little time there. They are always on the go, spending money on entertainment. Something is not right with this. Pools, media rooms, and outdoor kitchens not really used.
I have to admit that ten years ago I was one of those who had a big fancy house and spent very little time in a home I spent hours working paying for. We are so much happier now!
Love this simple post on living simply! I chose it as my favorite for our From the Farm blog hop. Thanks for linking up!
Thank you so much for featuring it on the Farm Blog Hop…that is one of my favorite hops!
Just beginning our journey to living with less. Thanks for the post . . .
Just take one step at a time and don’t get discouraged…any step is one step closer to living a simple life on less.
you are so right, i talked about this a few days ago to a friend of mine, i told her that i think we have to many choices, we want and want and want and want. The better Tv, the better car, the best family, the perfect job.
I don’t want to live a life like that anymore.
It came last year in my head “you don’t have to live a life like that, you are more happy with less” yes, I am 🙂
I don’t care what other people thinks how we live, i know we are happy that way and this is the only thing that counts!! 🙂
I have more peace!
That is wonderful! I think we all come to a point when enough is enough! I know I came to that spot and it sounds like you did as well. You will have an inner peace from owning less and stopping that buying cycle. Best to you!
“Things” have to be maintained, stored, walked around, and paid for. Many times they don’t work as they should or be what we expected. All those things cause stress! Besides, when you buy and own less you get more pleasure out of what you DO buy or own.
I couldn’t agree more!
My husband and I are turning 50 this year. We are so ready to have much LESS. We are constantly looking for a place to down size.
What is it about getting older and wanting to purge? I know I did the same thing when I turned 50!
We started down the path of minimizing and simplifying our lives a few years ago. There is a certain freedom to breaking away from the consumerist mentality. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Cathy we have really embraced owning less and the freedom we feel is like nothing I can explain!
Downsizing – I do this every time we move, we’ve been at our farm for 5 years and love it – it was a downsize practical kind of lifestyle move for a simpler life. Our kids are moving on with their lives and I’m so excited for them but my husband and I decided it’s time to go even smaller. More cleaning out starts this week – I find it to be freeing. Over time I discovered I’d rather have a life with experiences than stuff. So in a couple years a new move will approach – more land smaller much smaller home.
Carole @ Garden Up green
Carole that is me too! I would much rather enjoy the times I get to spend with my kids and grandchildren other than buying things that mean nothing! Thanks you for your great comment!
So much wisdom in this post! We also have old, prepaid cellphones (just my husband and I – not our kids), most of our furniture is hand-me-downs (our clothes, too, by the way), and our cars are a 1998 and a 2006. We are looking to replace the 1998, by the way… but we’re looking for something that’s probably a 2008-2010. That will be WAY NEW for us! 🙂
We don’t replace things, either, unless they break. It’s wonderful to feel the peace of contentment rather than feeling that we always need more, more, more.
I am not sure if it is because we are getting older or just smarter, but out need to buy new of anything has gone away! Thanks for your great comment!
I love this outlook. I don’t own a smartphone (yet) but I haven’t really felt like I was missing out. It’s easier to live a simple life if you look for the joy in the everyday.
Couldn’t agree with you more. Say no to the pressures (and madness) of never-ending consumerism and your life will be more peaceful. Great post!
I went into a big box store last Saturday to buy a planner and some notebooks. I was waiting for someone and had time to walk around the store (I am usually in and out quickly). What I found was that I started thinking about buying this and that, and the other. All things I didn’t “need” before I went into the store, but suddenly felt the “need” to have now. Amazing how that works. Fortunately, I stopped and questioned if these were true “needs” or just “wants”. I left with only the planner and notebooks I had come for. But it wasn’t easy, and years ago I would have made the impulse purchases.
The first and biggest step in living a simple life and owning less is adjusting our attitudes. And I find it requires constant diligence not to get sucked into the consumer lifestyle. Thank you for sharing your story and the inspiration you provide to all of us!
Tracy that last one really resonates with me. We spend so much money to maintain our homes in good condition, why should we not enjoy them. I am hosting a new link party called Sweet Inspiration and would love to have you join us. It runs Fridays 10am est to Tuesdays.