Living a simple lifestyle doesn’t “fix” everything. It helps you enjoy the life around you, enjoy the simple things in life and appreciate what you have been given. I think practicing minimalism can help find a better way to simplify things. I have done a few things to create a minimal lifestyle.

DOWNSIZING

We bought our dream home in 2015 in a little town called Celina, Texas. It was the home I had always dreamed about. It was fully upgraded and the kitchen was perfection. There was wood floor, white walls, stone fire place, an entry way that lead up to the second floor. This home could have been featured in Southern Living Magazine!

You can have the most beautiful home and still not be happy. Why? Things just bring temporary joy then we wonder why we are still unhappy when we seem to have everything. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my home and was thankful to have it. I just felt like something was missing. So we decided to move back to Arizona, where my heart never left.

We went from a 3,000 sq. foot home to 1860. We sold everything we could part with and our moving truck was still packed full. Our home in Arizona had all the space we “needed” and a bonus back yard. It was the same price as our dream home but needed work. I do miss my dream kitchen but only because of the space. I love our home now because we have made it our own. It’s smaller, but that just means we get to see the kids more!

EXPERIENCES OVER GIFTS

It has been 2 years since we decided to stop buying gifts for our kids. Spending time with them is a much better gift as they get older as I see them less. Creating a family is the most important part of this life. When we get old we won’t remember the things we had but the moments we spent together. I much rather take a vacation and go somewhere we have never been. Explore somewhere we have never explored. Learn something about a new place or culture. I want my children to pass on this new way of life to their children.

MONTHLY EXPENSES

So, we don’t practice Dave Ramsey principals BUT I do not like monthly subscriptions. I much rather pay an annual fee for something. It’s normally cheaper to for a year service than a monthly service. Also, every year I take a look at what I can live without and cut down on monthly expenses. I have caught myself paying for services that I don’t use but maybe once or twice a year. We cut out cable TV a few years ago and we never looked back.

STOP STRESSING ABOUT THE SMALL STUFF

This was a hard one for me. I grew up with two parents who were OCD. I remember not being able to sit on the couch as a child because I would get something on them. We sat on the floor to watch TV, even my parents. The couches faced away from the TV area. I wasn’t allowed to play outside because I would get my shoes dirty. I wasn’t allowed to touch anything when we got in the car.

When I became a wife and mother, I thought I needed everything to be perfect and clean all the time. It was just apart of who I was and I needed to learn to let go of things I couldn’t control. My house stays pretty clean, but my kids can sit on our couches anytime. I don’t stress out if there is a mountain of laundry or dust on my tables. I have taught myself to let go of the little things. It wasn’t easy to break this cycle, but there is a switch inside of me that I turned off. It’s going to be okay if there is muddy foot prints across your clean floor, make them clean it up.

GET OUTSIDE MORE

I try to get outside every chance I get. Living in Arizona it is not all that hard since it’s always sunny and the weather is always on point. If it’s cold put on more layers. If it’s hot than plan something near water. We can make up excuses or we can enjoy this beautiful world we have been given. I love exploring and getting out the house. I can’t be cooped up in a house too long before I want to hit the road or trails. We need sunshine to live. Our bodies crave it and it puts us in a better mood. Instead of going to the gym, try taking a walk or hike instead. Walk to the store next time it’s nice out.