Do you own a fondue pot? I don’t know exactly when fondue went out of style. With the exception of a truly decadent cheese fondue I shared with friends last winter, I haven’t seen a fondue pot in use since the early 90’s.
Now what I have seen over all of these years are fondue pots hiding away in friends and family’s cupboards. And fondue pots for sale at those shops in the mall that sell kitchen supplies in brightly coloured hues. They’re still for sale, which means people are still buying them. They make a great gift right?.
After moving out on my own, I was gifted not one, but two fondue pots. I never used them, but you better believe I kept them! I moved them across the province in 2006 and into three different apartments I lived in. They stayed, in their boxes, because I never considered the idea of letting them go.
In 2008 when I began to clear away what didn’t serve me anymore, those two boxes finally left my life. It turned out to be one of many small, easy decisions that made more room in my life and paved the way to letting go so I could live happily with less.
Since then I’ve become laser focused on what I keep and don’t keep in my life to live simply and abundantly. I’ve donated clothes, sold sports gear, said goodbye to toxic relationships and more. Six months ago I even moved out of my home to live a nomadic life!
I’m excited to share the following five lessons about simple living I’ve learned over the years. I hope they’ll give you some insight into the journey of living your best life with less.
1. Simple Living doesn’t mean going without
I want to shout this from the roof tops! There’s a sweet spot between denying yourself nice things and being extravagant and wasteful where simple living can be just enough.
We’ve been lead to believe that we need more to be happy. More to show the world how successful we are. Like clockwork, we give physical gifts to show love for others on specified days of the year.
It’s a shame because so many of us who’ve been raised with safe drinking water pouring from multiple taps in our homes and a never-ending supply of any kind of food we can imagine, still feel deep inside that it’s never enough.
When your life is cluttered with stuff that you don’t love it just becomes a distraction. You lose sight of what you really love in life until you peel back the layers of excess.
Travel is my biggest priority. It’s what brings me the most joy in life and it’s where I choose to spend the majority of my money. So less stuff means more travel!
Since I removed the extra layer of stuff in my life that weighed me down, I’m content and feel richer and more abundant than ever before.
2. Decluttering kind of never ends (and that’s ok)
There’s a common misconception that one day your life will be decluttered and you’ll be “done”. Usually until that point, it’s easy to guilt yourself and think you’ve failed. Because no matter how much you’ve done, you’re still working on it.
What if I were to tell you that since I moved into a 112sq ft tiny home, I’ve donated 3 bags of clothing and housewares. Does that surprise you?
It never ends because my needs are always changing.
I always ensure that what I own fits my life right now. If it doesn’t, it goes. I accept this process as necessary upkeep so that my life stays simple and focused.
There’s no invisible finish line. There is however, a confidence in your decluttering decisions that develops overtime. You’ll learn to guard your life’s simplicity with each decision you make. It’s like a muscle that grows stronger with each repetition.
3. Less stuff means more time
The amount of time you have to spend on what truly brings you joy is precious.
We rob ourselves of time. We commit to things we don’t really want to do because we think we “should”. Our houses, garages and storage units get filled with stuff that needs attention and upkeep.
Never forget that the one thing you can never make back is time. Time to yourself, time to learn, time to explore, and time to be with loved ones.
This can’t be emphasized enough. How you spend your time is up to you. It may not always feel like it, but when you get intentional with your decisions and spending you’ll see how much control you actually have in your life.
I choose to have less physical items in my life so I can spend less time taking care of stuff, less time organizing stuff. This intentional simple living gives me more time with my family to travel, explore nature and pursue new exciting projects like my online business.
Think about it, what would you do with more time?
4. All that stuff you think you’ll miss? You probably won’t.
My husband and I spent over a year sorting, selling and donating most of our possessions before we moved into our home on wheels. There was nowhere to hide, everything faced the same decision- do we keep it or not?
It was both a liberating and painful process. But we knew in the end it would lead us to our goal of being free to travel full-time.
Do you have certain possessions in your life that you can’t imagine living without? Not because you love them, but because you hold on tightly and can’t let go?
When you remove physical items, you essentially acknowledge your impermanence. Nobody gets to live forever and you can’t take your stuff with you.
As for the items that we sorted, donated and sold? I can’t even picture half of them anymore since we hit the road six months ago. In the end, it’s just stuff and it will never define you, no matter how emotionally attached you are to it.
5. Simple Living looks different for everyone
I saved my favourite lesson for last.
Your life is your OWN journey. It doesn’t matter how big or small your house is or if you have kids or not. This is an individual process that is highly personal. It doesn’t benefit from comparison, jealously or longing.
You don’t need to move into a tiny home or a Sprinter van to get the sweet taste of the simple life. You don’t need an impeccably clean home 24/7, a Pinterest worthy kitchen pantry filled with chalkboard labelled mason jars or a capsule wardrobe with an exact amount of clothing articles.
These will be the results of some people’s intentional living efforts. They may even be yours, but they don’t have to be.
Learn to recognize the beauty in your own imperfect life and enjoy the process of designing it exactly how you want.
The wonder of it all lives in the smallest of decisions each and every day.
Anyone can benefit from simplifying their lives and there’s no perfect way to do it!
Now I’m curious, did one of these lessons strike a cord with you? Let me know in the comments below!