A lot of people have been asking me lately, “do you really save time by having less stuff hanging around?” And the answer I always give them is without a doubt, yes. There seems to be a skepticism that our frugality is exactly that: frugality and nothing more. But the fact is that since we cut back on what we own and what we buy and consume, we’re finding that we have these little pockets of time that really add up. A weekend now isn’t spent deep cleaning every nook and cranny of our home, but rather a weekend is about sleeping in, sitting in the hammock, going for hikes, visiting with friends and family, and ultimately relaxing. Here are just a few of the ways that we’ve maximized our time by minimizing our home.
We Shop Less - We’ve never been big shoppers in general, but now that we actively ask ourselves (and each other) if a particular item will add value to our lives, we don’t go to the shops half as much. I can never stress enough that minimalism isn’t about not being a consumer, but we’ve definitely become a lot more conscious of what we need vs. what will only bring temporary satisfaction to our lives.
We Clean Less - If you know me well you might consider me to be a total germaphobe. I used to spend hours deep cleaning every little crevasse of everything that attracted dust or cat hair. Don’t get me wrong I still clean like a maniac when I have to, but the result of having less useless stuff laying around is that there is less to clean - resulting in more time spent in other areas of life!
We Save More - I can’t expand on this much because it’s pretty obvious that when you spend less, you save more!
We Talk More - This is a huge one for me. Not only do Tim and I find ourselves connecting more in compelling conversations, but I find that I’m spending more time talking to God - and yapping Tim's ear off <3.
If there is one thing that comes out of our minimalistic lifestyle it’s that my relationship with Christ has blossomed in ways I’ve never experienced. And that makes all of this 100% worth it.
If you know me you’re probably aware that I struggle a lot with prayer. Just talking to God always seemed so synthetic and one-sided. Tim knows that I’ve never been comfortable praying out loud and meals are often previewed with Tim praying over us. I’m still not very comfortable with praying out loud, but changing our lifestyle has transformed my prayer life and relationship with Tim, Felicity and God - which is pretty neat!
We Enjoy More - After Felicity came I found myself disliking certain things that I used to love doing. Cooking, being social, eating, reading, organizing, working out, etc. Call it postpartum depression or just the funkiness of being exhausted while raising a baby, but things that I used to look forward to became chores. Now that we have more time to be a family, I’m finding that what became chores are now enjoyable. Vacations are actually vacations, reading fiction isn’t a waste of time, drinking coffee isn’t just about getting a caffeine fix, and going for a walk isn’t about burning calories.
There is an overall sense of joyful awareness that we’ve noticed creeping into our life since we spend less time focused on materialism.
We Write More - Obviously a blog needs articles, but we make sure to remind ourselves that this blog should never become a chore. We only continue writing for it if it continues to add value to our lives. In other words, we read and write about a topic that we find genuinely fascinating. Writing has always been a hobby for us and with an outlet to write down our thoughts, we’ve been a lot more proactive in using this blog as fuel to our minimalist lifestyle.
Overall, we strive to live by the Apostle Paul’s teachings in Phillipians on how Christians ought to live. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things and the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:8). Not only are we striving to “think” about such things, but we try to truly live by them day to day.
Father, you’ve made this world and everything in it to work for your good. Allow us to use our time and the gifts you’ve given us to inspire each other and our circles to come closer to you.