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Living Simply & Sustainably

Living Simply and Sustainabily

As I go along in life, I appreciate more and more, the value of living simply. Just now, I’m sitting in a very small 2 bedroom holiday cabin with my family of six. All four children are sleeping in one room and we have just the bare essentials with us: just enough clothes, just enough crockery, just enough food…just enough of everything. It’s wonderful!

Earlier today, in the chill of the afternoon, my husband and I sat outside on the cabin balcony with a hot drink in hand. We looked out at the refection of the trees in the river and listened to our children ride their scooters on the quiet road below us. You know those moments when just being alive feels good? This was one of them.

I said to my husband, “I like living simply like this.”

And he said, “So do I.”

Deep conversation, I know. {Insert sarcasm here}

Me: “We have too much stuff at home. Do you think we could seriously simplify things when we get home. Like get rid of a heap of stuff?”

Him: “Yes. We can.”

Now, I know very well that I’m romanticising “the simple life”, and in reality, things are not always what they seem (or easy to achieve). I also know what makes holiday life special, is that it is different to the every day challenges at home. However, experiencing life simply gives me an insight into what I value for my family. And it’s not stuff. Or wealth. Or keeping up with the Joneses.

It’s about finding purpose in the small things.

It’s about enjoying moments.

It’s about being concious about choices.

It’s about living life, not doing things.

I see these things coming to fruition in two parts:

1. Making life more simple

2. Living more sustainability

Making Life More Simple

  • The first thing I need to do is cull everything in the home our family doesn’t really need.
  • The second thing is to find ways to make sure we don’t accumulate stuff again.

I’ll explore these things in another post (when, and if I work it out — HA!).

Living More Sustainability

I recently wrote a series for KleenexMums about sustainable living. I love writing articles like this because it forces me to thinking deeply about the issues I tend to put in the too-hard basket. If you’re interested, you can read them below:

Save the Environment from Home

A guide to living environmentally friendly from your home.

Recycling from Home

All about making the most of recycling in the home.

Sustainability Shopping Tips

Making good choices about what you buy.

Recycling Tips

The ins and outs of recycling in Australia.

Putting it Together

Acting on these sort of enlightenments happen over time and can’t be rushed. I do know, however, that I want to simplify and unclutter our family life so the important things are not lost. How that plays out will be interesting. We’ll see.

What about you? Do you sometimes feel like you have too much “stuff”?

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Julie
    July 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    I ALWAYS feel like we have too much stuff. But, we live in a small house (3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 living area). I am challenging myself to find ways to cull, but also to store things more efficiently and effectively without clutter. A small house does have the advantage that clutter has nowhere to hide. It is noticed (and therefore dealt with) much more easily before things become too overwhelming!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      We’ve moved 10 times (so far) so we actually don’t have that much stuff (all things considered) but I feel we still have too much. It’s a challenge … And one, many who have very little in the world, would be glad to have…which just makes me more determined. *sigh*

  • Reply
    Debbie
    July 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I love the simpler life. We’re nowhere near there yet, but definitely on the way. We recently sold our home and moved to another area…in the process, we were able to get rid of so much stuff – and it was so freeing. We don’t miss anything we culled – and we’re really appreciating our family time. I am much more pedantic now when it comes to buying things – it’s always ‘is this helping our way of life, or just adding clutter?’

  • Reply
    Nikki @ stylingyou
    July 13, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Just gorgeous Kelly. Holidays are wonderful times for reflection and change. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Kate
    July 13, 2011 at 7:44 am

    We have way too much stuff! I crave fewer things and a simpler life… I’ll get there. I have a pile of our things that we no longer need in the corner of my room with the idea I’m going to sell them. I just have to work out how! It’s amazing how liberating it is to cull things.

    Love those moments when being alive feels good! Sounds like you had a great time.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      It is such an awesome feeling. O have thought of selling things too but I never seem to get around to it…so I tend to just give it away.

  • Reply
    Kellie @ Three Li'l Princesses
    July 13, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Sounds like the perfect holiday, Kell.
    Yesterday I emptied a cupboard full of “stuff” into a box to make room for more “stuff”! *sigh* This is something I really need to look at, especially because I’m such a hoarder! xx

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      I know a way to solve the hoarder problem…move 10 times…that worked for me lol. Holiday is wonderful!

  • Reply
    Global Kids Oz
    July 13, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I am with you Kel, we enjoy living simply too – we also believe that as we move things out of our lives it makes room for new and different things to enter…Happy holidays x

  • Reply
    Laura
    July 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Kel,

    Check out this blog – http://walkslowlylivewildly.com/
    This woman and her family traveled around USA on a bus motored primarily on vegie oil. She also talks a lot about minimal living, living with less stuff and in smaller confines. She is a really interesting lady.
    Enjoy your holiday and be safe 🙂
    Laura

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

      Thanks Laura! Sounds so interesting. I look forward to checking the blog out.

  • Reply
    Kate @ Puddles and Gumboots
    July 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful holiday…it’s amazing how getting away can change your perspective inst it? I am always trying to de-clutter our house and get rid of stuff! I don’t know where it all comes from as we are not big consumers. I think that my stuff gathers together in dark corners and breeds. Freecycle is a great Internet group for passing your stuff on to others who might want it…the only problem is getting tempted by the posts others put up of the stuff they don’t want 🙂

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 13, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      I’ll take a look at that site. Thanks.

      I know what you mean about stuff…it does seem to grow and creep into our lives.

  • Reply
    Kris
    July 13, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I want this too. We’ve been thinking about living the simple life a lot. I really need to reconsider things. Really really.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm

      Well, let’s really keep talking, and maybe we can think about it together. Really.

      • Reply
        Kris
        July 13, 2011 at 10:17 pm

        We’ve moving soonish, perfect time to simplify life.

  • Reply
    Buse
    July 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Oh you are right Kelly, living simply makes us happier, more free, more relaxed… In here (Turkey) we have a saying about this thing: When you have lots of stuff, at the end you’ll become slave to them. We become some kind of slave because we waste a lot of time for taking care of them. I don’t know whether I can express what I am trying to say but simply I am with you Kelly:)

    • Reply
      Kris
      July 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      That makes sense, that actually makes sense!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 13, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      Buse, that makes so much sense to me. Thank you so much for sharing that wisdom with me. A very wise saying indeed. It’s so easy to become a slave to material things in our western culture…and it breeds so much discontentment.

  • Reply
    Wendy McKay
    July 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Kel, Welcome back! We missed you! I totally agree about clutter. I need things to be in their place. I find it hard to function when the house (or classroom) is a mess. I am slowly going through the boxes that arrived when we moved in 3 years ago (one box to go) and am hoping to have a garage sale. Unfortunately, like you, I find these things too hard, so I end up giving it all away. Which is fine really. There are so many others who haven’t been as lucky as I have been and I am more than happy to share my blessings with them. Buse is so right. We become slaves to whatever we own and sometimes, it is just overwhelming and unnecessary.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      July 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      I too have boxes from years ago that I haven’t dealt with yet. One day… 🙂

  • Reply
    The Small Blessings That Make it All a Little Better
    December 12, 2011 at 12:15 am

    […] I watched the smiles creep on their faces. As they came closer, I noticed their swollen backpacks and a sense of dread filled me at inevitable. Some of my prior exuberance leaked out of me like an injured balloon fading fast. More stuff to deal with. More rubbish. More things to find a home for. I get so sick of stuff sometimes. […]

  • Reply
    Karenh
    August 2, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I have recently gone through all my cupboards and de-cluttered plus sold lots of things we no longer need , I work as a manager on a waste transfer site and see every week the amount of rubbish plus items people throw away it has actually cured me from buying a lot of things as it made me realize they often don’t last long and it’s waste of money which could be going towards something else ….loved reading your thoughts tonight … one month I sold $300 or more worth of items and I brought myself some pots that I can cook with on our wood heater.

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