I posted my guide to living simply on my Instagram and I wanted to elaborate on it. Just an FYI, I am not a minimalist (you should see my garage and closet) though I do like some principles that it incorporates. I just like to live as simple as possible without being bored so to speak. When I was growing up, this was not my mentality until I went to Haiti one summer. I remember having so much fun being outdoors, working the land, watching friends and family build/make items from scratch. I noticed that houses didn’t have much, just the basic necessities, but everything was in its place. I noticed that people weren’t wasteful with their items. For instance, when I helped my family shuck corn, they would put the silk in a pile with other plants scraps. I realized later they were composting. Having that experience shifted my life for the better. See my guide below.
Simplicity doesn’t have to mean poverty or living without. Not at all. Everyone’s view of simplicity is different but the common goal to me is making life a bit less complicated. Here is what has helped me.
In the past, I always thought I just need to go through every little thing in my home and get rid of it. Only to come to the realization that a few weeks later, I was in the same mess. Then I heard someone say, what’s on the inside of you is reflected on the outside of you. Everything is connected. If I am cluttered or have so much going on on the inside of me, it will manifest in my house duties, job duties, and daily tasks. So how did I clear up the mess inside myself? I prayed, released old disappointments, became content and slowed my pace. When I did these things, my house came into order. My thoughts were clearer, I had a routine going, and I made sure there was a place for my items.
In other words, upcycle. Before I throw things out or give it away, I take a look at it and see if it can be used in another way. There are so many items that can get a new life with just a touch of spray paint. Or perhaps, place it in another location and see how it works. Try turning your own trash into treasure.
Buy for utility, not prestige
I state this in terms of reducing my cost output. I do believe in treating yourself with the best you can afford, but there should be a balance to everything. I’ve noticed that some store brand foods taste just as good as the name brands for a fraction of the cost, a Toyota drives just as well as a Lexus, and a mut will love you just as much as a pure breed. But the big takeaway for me is don’t buy things to impress others.
I like my output to be way lower than my input. Imagine having the option of not having to worry about a car payment or student loans. Imagine taking a year off of corporate America because you saved so much money last year that you can live off your savings. Well, it can come true. My goal is to be completely debt free but I know there will be times where I may go back into debt. If I do go back into it though, my down payment must be huge where I can pay it off in no time. It’s freeing not having to owe anyone anything. You’re less stressed and burdened. The best part about being debt free… you can give freely.
Are there some things in your life that can be simplified? Please share.