Simple living comes with many benefits but from our family’s experience, these are our top 5:
Time is the first thing we gained back after decluttering, organizing and saying ‘no’ to unnecessary commitments. The popular phrase about time states that, “Time is gold”. In my humble opinion, time is worth way more than any precious stone and metal found on earth. It’s one thing that once lost, its gone forever. Since we have less to clean and manage, we have more time to spend on things that we truly enjoy: family, friends, learning and travels.
Having financial security is freedom. We have simplified our finances and are now debt free except for the mortgage (thanks Dave Ramsey!). There’s a sense of relief with not having as many bills to pay and it allowed us more freedom to pursue things that interest us. My blog, YouTube channel and organization projects is a testimony of the extra freedom I have now that I did not before. Maybe to others, this is a silly passing hobby but to me is an opportunity to improve a lot of things I feel needs, well, improvement such as writing and story telling. I also get to learn new skills: video and photo editing. I also hope that thru my blogs and videos, others will be inspired to free themselves from being owned by things and truly start enjoying all that life has for them.
Our lives used to be cluttered up with many unnecessary obligations and things. The constant visual stimulation of the clutter and having to move things from one spot to another to make space would drive me into a toddler like meltdown. For those that work with children or are parents know that toddler’s give the worse meltdowns.
Neuroscientist in Princeton University found thru their studies that physically clutter has a negative impact in people’s productivity. They observed people’s productivity level in a organized and disorganized space and found that those in disorganized spaces had a harder time to focus, were more stressed and caused their performance level to decrease. The same was found by UCLA were they measured the stress hormone levels of mothers that lived in cluttered spaces. They found that the levels of stress hormone rose highest when the moms had to deal with their clutter.
Anecdotally, the findings of all the studies mentioned above are very true. I’ve experienced the stress myself and have also seen it in others. The removal of unnecessary clutter in my home and calendars have absolutely brought forth serenity for myself and my family. We really enjoy spending time in our home now and with a simplified family schedule, we get to spend more time in it!
Thoughtfulness & Intentionality
Looking back, I realize the mass amount of time, emotional health and money wasted due to lack of intentionality and thoughtfulness in the way we lived. Shopping was a hobby, relationships were complicated and many unnecessary obligations kept stealing our time.
We don’t want to go back to our old ways after having tasted how good leading a simple family life is. Our quality of life has increased dramatically and we are very protective of it by being intentional and thoughtful. We give a lot of thought to the things we buy and bring home. Anything that does not add value and takes up space is not welcome in our home. In regards to commitments, as parents, our children is our most important ministry so committing to anything that steals our time away from them is a big no-no.
Contentment with what we already have is the best and biggest thing we’ve gained from living simply. This is especially true for my husband and I will use our house as an example. When we first bought our 1200 Sq Ft home, 1800 Sq ft if we include the basement, we thought of it as a starter home. After two years in the home, I grew to love it and felt this house can be our forever home, or till all the kids are moved out and myself and my husband can move back to low maintenance apartment living. My husband did not see how that was possible until I started my massive decluttering and organizing of our things. The space gained back helped him see the potential and soon enough, he was on-board with me about simplifying our life.
There’s absolutely more benefits that comes with simplifying life and honestly one of the best decisions we’ve made for ourselves. The best advice I have about this is:
Don’t wait. Start purging today and no longer allow things to own your life.