Treat Yourself to the Luxury of Simplicity

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo Da Vinci

Many people equate minimalism or voluntary simplicity with austerity or deprivation.

They picture minimalism as cold hard days with the most basic of meals and a home that echos with emptiness- instead of seeing what remains they see what is no longer there. Minimalism or living with less sounds like a grueling diet one should avoid.

For my family simplicity has actually brought us more luxury.

We have less but what we do have, both in our home and in our life, is better. More resources like time, energy, space and yes, even money. Donation requests from friends are always answered. Weekends are unhurried affairs with lots of time to wander and explore for our kids and for at least one parent to sleep-in an extra hour or two. Dinner is never rushed. When our second child arrived there was already an empty drawer, or four, for his tiny clothes. Simplicity has allowed us more luxuries.

Yes, even some of our ‘things’ are more luxurious too. We’ll spend a bit more on shoes so they last longer and can be repaired rather than replaced. With casual and emotional shopping not eating up our budget we can splurge on organic produce and some out of season treats. It’s not all gruel and deprivation – I promise!

Read this rest of this post at Life Your Way

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  • Love the look of the website!! Enjoy reading your blog entries–I usually find myself saying “YES! EXACTLY!” while reading :)

  • I love this post! I found myself really excited to purge my house, AGAIN! Although…my excitement might stem from the fact that I would love to splurge on a pair of Fry boots too! :)

    Love the new look of the website!

  • Glass half full / half empty mentality for those that only “see” what is no longer there perhaps. Less clutter, less to clean, less to worry about. To the greatest feeling of freedom – having that weight off your back, quality over quantity, a sense of peace upon returning home. Truly it’s now “RELAX – you’re home” – rather than seeing all that I have to do to just maintain the clutter!

  • Recently I put a cardboard box in the entry halfway n I decided to leave it there. We just went through the summer outfits to see what its needed and realized there where lots of outfits stored that the girls wouldn’t wear even if they fit. I tossed them in the box. And simply realized its just better to keep it simple than to keep stuff just because it still fits.and looks good. Same w my closet but I’m completely trying to change my style this year so its hard to let go of clothing Im used to.

  • This agrees entirely with our life-long philosophy. Buy something nice, that will last. Maintain it, store it neatly. I don’t need 80 pairs of boots. Some people do but this site really falls in line with our thinking. Thanks!

  • I must admit that I got distracted from the look of the new website by the “Come Apply for Extreme Cheapskates Casting” ad that popped up on the right. The difference in message between that ad and the content of the post was quite the foil…

  • Thanks so much for this post!
    I was in the middle of muddling through the recreation booklets, trying to schedule swimming and soccer classes for the summer for all the kids and wondering how I was going to make it all fit the schedule.
    You have just inspired me to simplify it all, skip the formal registrations and make a point of packing a picnic lunch and heading to the park to play soccer as a family or going to the beach to have a swim. A lot less rushing, a lot more time to just breathe and a tonne of opportunity for me to enjoy time with my kids and not be the taxi driver.
    Thanks for the reality check!

  • What Josi ^ resonates so much to my life right now. For years I felt guilty listening to other moms taking their kids to karate class, ballet, soccer, or any after school activities, first because I didn’t have the money. Then when I started making more money, because I could’t really get all the kids to try to enjoy at least together the same activities so we would always end up not joining any team or class. Now that my kids are a bit older, I realize they really haven’t missed anything. I have always taken them to parks, museums, taught them about things by coin hands on experiments, trail walking, fishing, swimming in the lakes, learning about new towns. Recently I got my little one who is 9 y/o enrolled in three things, because she wanted to try them. I’m really stressed out those two days of the week and she seems to enjoy it, but gets a bit stressed coming home so late do finish homework’s, I find her more grouchy on those days by the end of the day. So in the end I believe that less is more when it comes to extracurricular actives, and may I add, specially when you have a big family and everyone wants to do something different.

  • I found that once I stopped thinking I needed things I could enjoy the things I had and I actually did need a lot more. I also enjoy shopping much more now, mainly because I don’t feel any urge to buy anything but I can admire a beautifully made dress or, as I did today a funky and practical camera bag from Crumpler, without any feeling that I needed to buy it. It’s a bit like going to a great art gallery.

  • this is what i love about minimalism. it allows us to invest in experiences – spending precious time with family rather than cleaning or rearranging the house that never seems to get that “styled” look, going to restaurants or enjoying quality food. it inspires me to focus on the adventure that is our life. :)

  • With hindsight, I’m still in two minds whether organised activities are good or not. My eldest really benefitted from going to ballet and learning to play piano, which at the time I thought she “should” – she still really enjoys those things as an adult and the outlay was very worthwhile. The other two each learned an instrument (briefly) and spent a couple of semesters doing ballet but apart from a school gym club there was nothing else much on offer, and attitudes were different here in Switzerland. I could have saved my money with the younger girls!
    However, all my kids grew up in a country village with lots of outside, unsupervised play in streams and fields and small farms, on bikes and horseback, with animals and with other kids from the village, so I think the balance worked out. Fortunately they are far apart in age so I rarely had to stress about fitting their activities in – most of it they could walk to by themselves (kids here are still expected to walk to kindergarten and school on their own from the age of 4/5, town or country! It takes my 5 yr old grandson 30 mins each way…).
    This is all changing now, unfortunately, with more pressure to join paid and organised activities and sports put on the kids (and parents) now than 10-20 yrs ago. Very sad. I think simpler is better!

    • Inspiring to read that your grandson is walking to school on his own. That is one of the perks of living where we live – it’s a bit like the 80s still in many ways. I’m not sure my son will be ready to walk on his own next year but I hope that he’ll be ready in a few years. I walked to elementary school every day with my twin, siblings and neighborhood kids.

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