Think about your childhood- what are the best memories? Most likely, it’s the little things. I remember Dad sharing his Cheez-Its. I remember Mom carving hearts in the peanut butter of our sandwiches, before putting the second piece of bread on. (Just like the commercial!) I remember Dad reading us stories at night when I was little, and I remember, later, all of us piling on my parents’ bed and reading stories as a family with the toddler when Dad was out of town. I remember big family trips too, but it’s the little things that represent my childhood to me. A rich life comes from “savoring the everyday.” Misplaced priorities keep us from having time to slow down and enjoy!
“When your home runs efficiently and when it’s free of all but the essentials, you are more free to enjoy life. You still need to cook and clean of course, but…they don’t rule over you as a master. Those tasks are simply part of your day, along with the playing and crafting.”
When we’ve simplified our homes, we’re free to enjoy:
- enjoy using our hands. We can make treasures and necessities, and allow for creativity. “Instead of wishing you didn’t have so much stuff or dreaming or that additional room devoted to your craft, make your home work for you now.” Tsh says “as a consumer culture, we’ve lost the art of self-sufficiency. Doing things yourself might cost you more in the short run, but remaining an adolescent in your ability to self-preserve cost you money, added material waste, and pride.” Umm. OK, wow. I’m convinced!
- enjoy cooking from scratch. Convenience food, dual working-parent families, increased technology, and city planning all happened AT THE SAME TIME (post WWII). My own side note, this is not a coincidence, folks. And, nothing’s been the same since. We have a generation of kids who think french fries from from trees, and the best nutrition advice is “check the label and know what you’re eating.” Cook your food, if at all possible. At least know some recipes so that you’re not at the mercy of the grocery store shelves, and the grocery store pricing, if a disruption comes into your life. Tsh goes on to say that cooking takes more time, but we’ll have better health, better stewardship of the environment, and we’ll set a good example for our kids. We’ll appreciate the seasons of the year. “If you feel too busy to cook from scratch, then I argue that you’re too busy, period.”
- enjoy entertaining and socializing. A simple home invites hospitality- we’re not buried under mounds of clutter, it’s easy to feel “prepared” for guests.
When we own fewer things, they mean more, and we can focus our resources on what really matters to us- one great skillet (instead of a cupboard full of mediocre ones.) A movie collection we actually watch.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
Again, I’m hearing echoes of my dad- buy one quality thing, at a decent price. Take care of it. I’m breaking myself of that bad, new-adult, habit of buying too many cheap products, all the while thinking that I’m being frugal. If I’d just purchased a quality piece in the beginning, I’d have saved money. I’ve never regretted the quality vacuum we bought as newlyweds, but multiple trips to the donation site at the thrift store show my regret over smaller, low quality, purchases.
After this chapter, we have one more chapter to get through before the BIG HOUSE CLEANSE! Are you ready? I am. Spring Break is coming up next week, and I’m shutting down the piano studio for the entire week. Our garage sale is set for June. Are you in? Will you join me in simplifying?
This series is based on the book Organized Simplicity, by Tsh Oxenreider. Her family of blogs can be found here.