Friday, July 19, 2013

Simple Living: One Step at a Time

For the past two years, I have slowly decluttered our home and made changes to reduce our carbon footprint.  I am certainly not where I want to end up, but I am getting there one step at a time.  I believe that saving money, living green and conquering clutter are all intertwined.  When you simplify your life, you can do more things you enjoy doing instead of just taking care of stuff.  When you buy less stuff, you save money.  When you do things to reduce your carbon footprint like making your own cleaners, buying less, using less disposables, etc.  you save money and time as well as saving the planet.  They may be small steps in the right direction, but you can conquer big things one step at a time.  I think it will take about 5 years total to get where I want to be.  I am almost half way there.  I may go overboard in some things and have to pull back sometimes.  But, eventually I will find the right balance for us.  I don't want our lives to be about stuff, but about people.  We don't have debts we are trying to pay off besides our mortgage.  The reason we are doing this is to be more conscientious of what we do and how it impacts others and the earth.  A few years ago, my goals were just to live frugally and spend less money.  For example, I used coupons a LONG time ago for about a year and saved lots of money, but we weren't used to eating processed food and it came with a lot of packaging.  I rarely use coupons any more because I am trying to buy more in bulk and bring my own containers instead of buying things with lots of packaging.

Today we got rid of a bookcase and a lamp that we neither used or needed.  I got tired of dusting them over and over and so I just decided to get rid of them.  I didn't really love either one, so there was no reason to keep them.  We got 19 dollars for both of them.  It may not be a lot of money, but I don't miss either of them and am glad they are gone.  By getting rid of unnecessary things that we don't use, my home will take less time to clean.  Whatever our goals are, we can get there one step at a time.  The final destination may end up being a little different than we thought, but we learn what is best through experience.

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