I have noticed something as I work toward a more simple, minimal lifestyle. Something that may sound silly or may make perfect sense.
While simplifying my life and eliminating the dross a couple of things have happened.
One, my house stays cleaner. I guess it is because there isn’t as much to clutter the areas now—to get rearranged or dusty, but it takes less time to clean when I do clean, and I have to clean less. It just doesn’t get as dirty anymore.
Two, My dishes don’t pile up as much. I have posted in this blog about my dishes in the past, even about failing to keep them washed as I want. However, by simplifying what dishes and silverware I own I am inspired by necessity to keep things washed up, which means I am washing dishes more frequently and so there is less dishes to pile up waiting to be washed. This is a big boon to this girl!
Yes, I could get a dishwasher but I don’t want the expense, I don’t want the maintenance, I don’t want the thing in my way, I don’t want another heavy appliance to move—I just don’t want one! Doesn’t take much water to wash dishes if you use two dishpans and don’t leave the water running!
I get more accomplished. Even though I have stopped using disposables in favor of cloth and started using a clothesline even indoors to dry things. Even though I have gotten rid of my mixer and other “convenience items in favor of a cutting board. Even though I started a frugality blog so as to simplify my thoughts and not bore you, making for additional posts to keep both active—I still have less to do.
I don’t understand it, yet I do. My life is much more peaceful with less in it. I think back to all of the years I would hunt and hunt for things—now I go to a single wall of shelves in my tiny room and locate it within minutes!
I think back to all of the years I tripped over things in the floor—nothing to trip over now!
I think back to all of the things that have been destroyed accidentally by being stepped on, knocked over or whatever—it just doesn’t happen these days!
I look at this shelf in the kitchen I placed here recently—it was stuffed full and now I may eliminate it from the kitchen entirely soon, for it is almost empty.
Amazingly during this whole process not once have I needed something that I have eliminated from my life! That’s a big one with me—when I was a kid my father would hold on to almost everything! He would become frustrated at all of the junk he had piled around and toss some of it—only to need something he tossed a few days later (it never failed). Then there was the common occurrences of having to re-buy something that he knew he already possessed because he couldn’t find it when he needed it—only to locate the needed item a week or so later while looking for something else!
The last side effect I have noticed is that while my possessions have been reduced the quality has increased. I find myself using the “nice things” that I would never use because I have eliminated the cheap stuff from my life. I have also determined ways to increase the quality of my food without increasing my grocery bill. Simply buying a small chunk of meat and slicing it myself at home has saved me an amazing amount of money—I purchased 5.5 pounds of beef round in a single section for a little over $13 and sliced it up into thin steaks that normally cost me almost five dollars a pound! It wasn’t hard, didn’t take any special equipment and I froze them on a pizza pan (it was the sheet I kept because it was newest and my baking sheet was in horrible condition) and transferred them to freezer bags for individual use. So now I have the quality of meat that I adore (the thin, versatile steaks) at a price ($2.48/lb) that fits much easier on my budget.
By investing less in junk food I have extra money in my budget for things I prefer, like mung beans from the health food store for sprouting and all-natural sea salt instead of the bleached regular table salt.
I’m even a bit healthier, by eliminating soft drinks from my daily diet in favor of water somehow I manage to wake up earlier without the help of an alarm clock. Coffee is drank a lot less now, as water is my morning libation of preference. Somehow I find that I don’t miss it. This morning I brewed a single cup—only to find I wanted about half of the little amount I brewed!
I am quite pleased with these side effects thus far, and look forward to experiencing even more of this phenomena.