A Guide To Minimalist Living
As most of you know, I have recently sold my trendy Sydney 3 bedroom-2 bathroom terrace house for a move to the country. A move that also happened to involve selling most of my possessions, so that I could start my minimalist country life anew.
Before that, however, I was in the same position as many of you: I had too much stuff, and wanted to pare down. In-fact the bills from all my consumer spending combined with my big mortgage weighed on me like hundreds of little anchors, draining me of my time, my money, and my energy. Then there was the stressful job that I absolutely hated – but needed in order to pay for all my stuff (very trendy stuff by the way). To put it bluntly I felt trapped in a life that looked glamorous on the outside but was actually not bringing me any happiness whatsoever.
So one day back in early 2012 I made a decision: I stopped buying things, and started to declutter and organise. I also started to budget so that I could pay down my consumer debt and plan for a more financial future. And to my delight, what I’d expected to be a rather onerous task was absolutely exhilarating! It is kind of addictive. I decluttered in the morning, in the evening, on the weekends. I gave thousands of dollars worth of stuff away to charity. When I wasn’t actually decluttering, I was planning for the future, reading zen teachings or coming up with frugal budgets.
The entire process was an amazing time in my life: with each passing day, I felt a little bit lighter, a little more serene, a little more free. The less stuff I was burdened with, the more possibilities life seemed to hold.
This change also inspired me to get down to a more grounded life. I started gardening, making my beauty products, savouring my cups of tea and I even took up knitting.
While I have an appreciation for what a city can offer, I am definitely someone who needs nature. I need big skies, mountains and lots of water. I need a yard where I can put a seat and sit in the afternoon sun. I need friendly neighbours, community gardens, reading circles and plenty of trails for morning walks. I also need a place where I can keep all my rescue animals (this is a longterm goal). I need a place where I can spend summer outdoors, enjoying greenery, wildflowers, butterflies, and the smell of eucuylptus oil from the leaves of the snow gum tree…and coming inside only to prepare a simple meal or afternoon nap. I also need a place where I can snowboard or horseride whenever I want and then come inside to spend the night infront of the warm fire while I knit some warm and fuzzy socks. I have always known that this kind of place would be in the Snowy Mountains – and after several years of planning – I am now here.
I urge you to think about where ‘your place’ may be. I also urge you to get strategic and plan on ways to get there. Yes…sure it is scary….but it is worth it. I hear many of you say ‘but I have a family to support’ or ‘I have a secure job here’. All I can say to that is…it may take you longer than you want…but start planning now.
Then there are others of you who love where you live, but need to find ways to declutter and simplify your current life so that you feel a deeper sense of connection and harmony. If this is the case with you then I urge you to start creating more simple habits into your daily life such as – tea rituals, gardening, knitting, reading, walks, shopping at farmers markets, spending more time cooking and so forth.
Simple living is not about white walls and open spaces. It is about finding ways that make you feel light and free – simple and minimal living can’t be defined – it is different for everyone. Below I have shared with you a bunch of resources that I value when it comes to simple living. Please share anything that you personally value when it comes to living a more simpler and minimal life.
Ideas To Help You Live A Minimal And Simplified Life
1. Declutter both your mind and your home. Be inspired with my free 30 day Simple Living Challenge. Click here
2. Learn to embrace the ordinary and saunter through the seasons of your life. Acceptance and gratitude is a key fundamental when it comes to living a contented and simplified life. Learn to romance the ordinary and don’t get distracted with all the gloss of the outside world – instead choose to really savour where you are now or ‘today’. Read through the posts from my free signature course A Year Of Simple Luxe Living. Click here
3. Have a sacred practice that uplifts your mind-body-connection. Choose something that resonates with you, it can be anything from a simple morning yoga stretch, afternoon meditation or sunday morning church. Zen philosophy blends so well with simple living. There is much insight and wisdom found within the ancient Tao Te Ching texts. Read my essays and listen to my free podcasts on how to live the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching on a daily basis. Click here.
4. Create a nurturing home. Your home should be a sanctum, a place that is mindfully decorated and designed. A place to rest your weary head and soul. A haven that reconnects you to ‘what truly is important’. I have a beautiful collection of articles which will inspire you to create a more mindful home. Read here.
5. Become a conscious beauty. Green your beauty routine – it feels good on both a cellular and spiritual level. I have a garden where I grow lavender, rosemary and other herbs and botanicals that I use in my beauty products. Read my comprehensive free Green Beauty Guide which has everything from DIY recipes, beauty tips, natural beauty brands to the ugly truths of the beauty industry. Read here.
6. Live green and sustainable. ‘Green living’ is the new black, with urban farms, locally sourced food and socially responsible consumer products on the uprise. Aspire to live more greener, gentler and kinder. Its a beautiful philosophy and way of life that protects the well-being of all beings and the planet. Read my green living archives here.
7. Seek out soulful and hand-made treasures. Or tap into your own creativity with DIY projects. Simplify your life and add character to your home with hand-made items. In a world that is so saturated in trends and fads, and an age of excessive consumerism – we can’t help but be naturally drawn to the charm of hand made items. Read this section [click here] of my blog which is dedicated to luxe DIY home projects which can bring about great joy for both the creator and receiver.
8. Get back to basics and create a stylish minimal wardrobe. Stick with timeless and quality designs and you will save a fortune on fashion. Read my how-to tips here.
9. Choose mindful spending. I love the challenge of being frugal. Set yourself budgets and discover ways that will help you reach financial freedom. There is so much freedom to be felt when you are not drowning in debt. Read some of my favourite tips here.
10. Turn daily living into a work of art. Whether your chopping onions, ironing clothes or on your morning commute to work. Learn to be in the moment. Every moment should be a sacred occasion. Read my resources on ways to make everyday chores a work of art. [click here]
*Photo credit: taken by me at my new home.