In This Issue: October 2021
Our Fall Checklist Challenge
Any tiny house fans out there? Ever wonder how you could take everything you own and whittle it down to fit into one of those little casas on wheels? That’s one of the many trends in downsizing, and as you’ll read in our feature article, “Less Stuff, More Joy,” it’s all about living lighter. At the end of the article is our Living Lighter Checklist, which suggests all kinds of ways to live more simply. They’re categorized into three buckets: Minimalist, Ecological and Conscious Simplicity. What can you scratch off the checklist? What’s left on the list that you can attack?
Let’s start with the first one, Minimalist Simplicity. I’m sure you’ve had an episode or two of going into a store with one reusable bag for the “few” things you need, only to come out with more than you’d planned to buy—including more bags! I suspect we all have tons of bags in our trunks that we never seem to remember or think we need. What makes us fall into the old habit of buying more than we came for? When we reuse the bags we have and buy only what we truly need, we’re upping our game of living more simply. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we need to buy it.
On to Ecological Simplicity. If you want to go green, I suggest starting with your cleaning supplies. Since our two boys were babies, I’ve tried to buy only plant-based cleaners. Not only are they better for the environment, but they’re just better for our lungs. Who the heck wants to breathe in toxic cleaning products??
Conscious Simplicity: Now here’s something I’ve written about before. I love the very first item on that section of the checklist, “Spend on experiences, not stuff”! We stopped buying just to buy for the boys; we look at living in the moment with them and then reflecting on our time together. True story: Last month, while visiting our oldest in NYC, I decided on a whim to get Broadway show tickets. Only a handful of shows are open, and without much thought I went for it rather than walking the city doing mindless shopping for stuff nobody needed. And guess what? We all had the best time! We talked about it all night and into the next day.
We are living in trying times, yet so many positive life lessons have come out of this past year and half. Our family became devotees of the first category on the checklist: minimalists. We wasted less food because I only shopped once a week, we played more board games, we drove less and walked more because we appreciated the value of having outdoor space, we purchased less clothing because we had nowhere to go, and we purged our closets because we had time to sort through our clothing and give away what we hadn’t worn.
Spring is the traditional time for purging, but as we trend toward the colder months, now may be the time to refresh not just our homes, but our whole way of thinking when it comes to what’s worth saving and what’s not. Look around you and see what was and what is and what can be just by picking a category on the checklist. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels. Let this fall be the new spring, so you can bounce into winter with a skip in your step and more room in your closet.