Time: A Non Renewable Resource

My home looks amazing. There was a reporter here last week and she kept saying how clean it looked. I’m not a fan of housework so this was a huge compliment. It does look amazing. I love it.

My home, all 1100 square feet of it, feels huge. It feels peaceful. It’s easy to keep tidy even with three adults living in it and a 13 month old that can now get just about anywhere with his hand on a wall and some side stepping. I feel relaxed and rested here. And that’s coming from a woman who hasn’t had a full night of sleep in over a year.

I spent an afternoon reading and relaxing and just enjoying the space last week. My to do list was quite short, nothing urgent and Henry was sleeping. Pretty sure my blood pressure was a few points lower than normal.

Now what? Now I reap the rewards of living with less stuff. So does my son. So does my husband. Less time distracted by clutter piles and more time at the park. Less time organizing stuff and more time reading. More time focused on ourselves and each other and family.

If you had an extra two hours in your day what would you do with it? If you decided to move to a smaller home within walking distance to work you could get rid of that second car and your two hour commute. There’s ten hours each week for you to do whatever you like with. Without the payments + gas + repairs for the second car you could cut down to four days a week at work. With your saved commute time you now have 18 hours to enjoy. To do whatever you like with. To do all those things, the getting in shape, the eating better, the staying in touch with friends or picking up a hobby, all those things you say you would do if you just had more time.

Time is a premium. As I am now a lot more considerate with how I spend my money I am just as considerate about how I spend my time. How are you spending your time?

Looking for a how to guide? I love this post Prioritize, Don’t Organize by Faith at Minimalist Moms. If you’re feeling overwhelmed give it a read. Looking for inspiration? Check out The Story of the Mexican Fisherman at Be More with Less.

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  • There is one thing that every person has equally and that is the number of hours in the day. It is how we choose to spend them that makes the difference. I love the fact that your house looks amazing – yay!!, because I too am not a fan of housework (understatement), and have started to notice that my home is improving and yet I am spending less time doing house stuff and chores. I’m not a cushion plumper it brings me no satisfaction. Today we held my Grandmothers funeral reception at my home, so accommodated and fed an extra 8 people and yet it took less than an hour to sort after their departure. If I could cut back on that second car, but as you say, Rachel, it’s a work in progress – so who knows what the future holds?

    • I’m so sorry for your loss, Jo. Take care of yourself.
      I too wonder what the future holds. Maybe I will decide later on to get rid of the wedding china. For now I’m quite content with what I have.

      • How funny I used the wedding china yesterday! I have been giving it some bad press of late – constantly telling everyone (including those who contributed to it) that it’s clutter (nicely of course). Then what’s the first thing I get out the cabinet for such an occasion? Jury still out on it – reckon as it gets damaged it won’t get replaced, that’s what I am doing with a lot of things and can see certain categories of things reducing – the china may take a while though! Just glad I never did get round to purchasing the canteen of cutlery that I had planned on…

  • Time is indeed a non renewable resource and I so envy you coming to that realization at your age . I don’t quite know how I could have missed it until my late forties. Even then it was more “do I really want to spend another 30 years living like this?” I suppose I had to find some real happiness before I could fully appreciate the time that held it.

    I’m going to check out your links as I definitely need plenty of minimalist motivation at the moment. We’re in the throws of finishing renovations and moving. I know I should be enjoying the process because our next place will be much more minimal but I’m feeling so tired I just want it all to be over. I’m even feeling too tired to Blog!!

  • We recently decided to make a move towards minimalism. Time is a big factor in that decision. We’re currently purging a lifetime of accumulated stuff. Our hope is that we can get rid of enough stuff to move into a smaller place closer to work. There isn’t any place in walking distance, but we can drastically reduce the commute time. I’m hoping to get that extra 2 hours a day. :)

    • Nice work and good luck with the downsizing and moving. Two hours back in your day is huge. For me that is time to exercise, make a healthy meal, connect with my family and friends or just sit and be.

  • This totally reminds me of how great our house felt when we were staging it for sale. More than half of our stuff was in the garage. Just the feeling of space was so refreshing. I remember sitting in the living room on the floor just revelling in all the space around me. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Hooray for you! When we were living in a bigger house with our new baby, I never napped when he did. I never felt I could with all the housework! But now, with MUCH less stuff in a smaller home, I nap when the kids do. It’s a beautiful thing.

  • Your blog and recent experience has inspired me to aim to keep my job search to businesses within walking distance or a short transit ride from home to maximize my time with my family and minimize time in the car/in transit. I needed to go to the other side of downtown last week and even that felt long and hectic as there was a transit transfer involved (no time to settle in but still took a long time). By the time I got home, my energy was zapped from the commute. On the other hand, long commutes on public transit can actually become relaxing “found time” if you bring a good book with you. I used to savour that time on my way to/from work. Speaking of good books… any suggestions? You mentioned reading in your blog…

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