Today’s post is from Nina from Shalom Mama. She writes about simple, natural living and get this – she lives in a bus! With her husband! And four kids! Now I don’t want to ruin the fun of her sharing her story with you guys, but she’s here because every time I read one of her posts, I feel like I’m chatting with an old friend. Reading about her life, her faith, her struggles… her desire to not just survive, but THRIVE with less – it inspires me, and I truly hope it inspires you too. So without further ado, please welcome Nina!!
Reading has always been my favorite hobby. Since discovering the blogging world, I’m never want for anything wonderful to read. Minimalist blogs top my list because I enjoy learning about people who have increased their quality of life by decreasing their possessions.
What I love most is that each writer has unique reasons for embracing a life of voluntary simplicity.
My family has been on our own simplicity path for the last few years. We started our journey after deciding to get out of debt, which prompted me to see how we could best decrease our expenses.
Then, I was inspired to downsize. Everything. So, over the years, we’ve done just that and have downsized a lot – possessions, commitments, spending.
We’ve even downsized our home. After many, many discussions, we moved into a remodeled school bus so that we could travel (someday) and save money while we look for the right piece of land to build a modern homestead.
Did I mention we have four kids?
Many people think we’re crazy. How do we have any privacy? Aren’t we damaging our children? What about all the stuff we’re missing out on? And those points are valid, though we thought all that through beforehand and our children even enjoy this lifestyle.
However, many people have contacted me to say that they’ve been wanting to do something similar because they just aren’t happy with the amount of debt, stuff, etc. they’ve accumulated.
And to those people, I say, do it. Simplify. Embrace the freedom of not pining after more stuff and being so caught up in what others think. It really is wonderful.
And to those who aren’t so sure about voluntary simplicity, I offer you a few points to ponder, some excellent reasons to let go and live with less:
The Benefits of Living with Less: Fewer Expenses
I mentioned earlier that this whole journey started so we could get out of debt. And it’s the main reason we were able to do so in just a few years. Even if you don’t go crazy like we did, and dramatically downsize your home, you can still save money by simplifying.
By choosing to have fewer possessions, you reduce how much you shop. By choosing to take part in fewer activities away from home, you save money on fuel and meals. By choosing to be more intentional about everything you do, you naturally save money.
The Benefits of Living with Less: Easy cleaning
The other night, I walked into the bus and looked around. There was a pile of dirty dishes, cluttered surfaces, and I think the kids had conspired to see how much of our floor they could cover with blankets and stuffed animals. It was enough to drive me to hide under my covers.
Instead, I opened up my computer and hit play on my favorite Spotify playlist. Rolling up my sleeves, I told the kids it was time to clean up their stuff and I got to work. Less than thirty minutes later, I had clean dishes, clear counter-tops and a very tidy bus. Ahhh. No more chaos.
(And it didn’t take so little time just because we live in less than 300 square feet. Cleaning took almost no time in our 1300 square foot home … after we simplified.)
The Benefits of Living with Less: Peace
When I walk into a cluttered space, my muscles tense and I hold my breath. I feel anxious, ready to leave and just can’t relax. My home used to feel like this. I spent as much time out of my house as possible; usually shopping and bringing even more clutter into the space.
Since clearing the clutter, I actually enjoy our space. My home is free of those things that make me feel the need to escape.
The Benefits of Living with Less: Living more with less
Getting rid of stuff is only part of the equation. Voluntary simplicity leads to questioning. Why do I have all of this stuff? Why do I keep myself and my kids so busy with outside commitments? How does what I eat affect my health? Is everything I’ve been told really truth? I feel like I’ve woken up since I started down this path.
Everything about my life has become simpler, from the amount of possessions I own, to my healthcare to my faith. My life becomes even more abundant with every burden shed. One step leads to another and I can just so feel God in every bit of it.
Simplify your life so that you can live. Yeah. That’s it.