Back in the year 2000 I was building my forever home. It was big it was beautiful and it was custom built. I was living in my 1,100 square foot 2 bed apartment at the time (that I was going to rent out) whilst I was building my new custom home. I was living the dream, on my way up the ladder Read More
of house sizes as is the so called norm ~ from a small home to an even bigger one with a baby on the way, not to mention my status and ego went up a notch too!
I had it all, the new baby, the brand new kitchen, 5 bedrooms, 3 large living rooms (yes, that was not a typo!), 2 bathrooms and to top it off a handful ( I mean a lot) of new modern furniture pieces to fill my large home. And my personal favourite an indulgent outdoor spa. This forever home also came with a bigger mortgage but who cares... did I mention I had 3 large living rooms!
For many years I was happy and content (or so I told myself). I was an extremely organised person even with two little kiddos in toe. My cupboards where mostly organised but still pretty full. But I was lucky (stupid) enough to have one of those large living room just for the kiddos toys so all was just dandy, happy days!
Fast forward to a decade ago and I stumbled upon an article on a boring plane flight back home that talked about all things Minimalism. Which then lead me to read this fascinating gem.
I had never heard of the term being referenced in a home or our minds before, only in the art world. This article literally changed the entire course of my life in that moment...sounds dramatic, but true.
I got home and literally started decluttering my entire life, starting with my home first ~ stuff and furniture needed to go. Then I explored my finances, my mind and my calender.
As I mentioned earlier I was always an organised person and lived with a pretty clean minimal aesthetic but my cupboards (even though pretty organised) where still full of crap that needed to go.
It took me roughly three months to go through absolutely every nook and cranny of my home including the garage and garden shed. (I chose the go hard option to declutter, but that may not work for all). Once I finally finished I was living in a still comfy but very spacious home with cupboards begging to be filled, but I’d learnt my lesson and refused to get caught up in the consumerist BS that we are fed by marketing companies, I now had my eyes wide open and was a sponge to learn even more.
I literally and instantly had lighter shoulders and felt calmer than I ever had before. But over the next few years to come I started to really question even more, consumerism and learning all about essentialism and mindful intentional living.
I also started questioning the size of my ‘forever’ home. Did I need all this space, did my two kiddos and I need 3 living areas (I think even blind Freddy could answer that one).
I started thinking how great it would be to have less mortgage, less utility bills and less cleaning. I started focusing on and re-designing the life that I actually really wanted which did not include keeping up with the Joneses, or the rubbish we are fed growing up that bigger and more is better. How much space did I really want and need, where did I want to really live long term etc. Lots of questions to be answered and I couldn’t wait to find those answers.
Fast forward to 2014 and I met Mr DL (we actually dated in high school) and we moved the kiddos and my business and the fur babies thirty five minutes away from where we lived in the suburbs, to a semi rural town surrounded by beautiful mountain views. We now live in a comfortable cosy 1,800 square foot 4 bed home with...wait for it, one living room.
I took a year off from my business when we moved to take a well earned break. Because I downsized and I lived intentionally over the years with my finances I was able to take this break for myself without pressure.
From the person I was building my 3,000 square foot ‘forever’ home to the Minimalist Intentional person I am today in 1,800 square feet, are two completely different people. Never in a million years did I think I would ever leave my custom built home to downsize to a smaller home in a smaller town with a growing business, multiple fur babies and the kiddos who are now teens and a young adult.
I thought I was content many many years ago in my former home (and maybe I was to an extent), but for me real contentment is not in having bigger and more or keeping up with the Joneses, whoever the hell they are, (which is the lie we are fed growing up). It’s being more intentional with your life money and health choices and for me it‘s living smaller with less. Less stuff, less stress, less commitments, less debt...you get the gist.
Downsizing the size of your home may not be an option or a want for you and that’s fine, you don’t have to live in a small or tiny house to be intentional or a Minimalist, but you can definitely feel lighter and calmer by downsizing your stuff, your mind and your finances ~ give it a go, the only thing you have to loose is...well, Less.