For me, living simply means living consciously. I've always appreciated things which were well designed, simple and extraordinarily effective. The same should go for the decisions we make and the habits we choose to keep.
It's not easy. George and I started living simply because that was all we could afford. While attending college we lived in a small attic and only owned what would fit in our limited space. We had a garden and rummaged through dumpsters for exciting finds. We were always amazed at how incredibly wasteful college students could be. Bags of unopened food, new looking furniture and clothes, Spanish dictionaries, airplane tickets to Cancun... everything! Are you wanting to head over to your neighborhood dumpster yet? There are many ways to live simply, but being aware of your resources (whatever they might be) is the first step. Not wasting your resources is the next.
We hope to keep things simple. It’s tough, especially when you start getting that pesky monthly paycheck (“why Yes, let’s buy the pre-sliced cheese!”).
When we initially moved to Texas, we brought nothing but what could fit into our small car. Once we arrived and found a home, we lived without furniture for quite some time. It was tempting to run to WalMart and buy something quick and temporary just to fill the cavities in our home. Sitting on thermorests got old pretty quickly. But instead of buying furniture that would probably look like hell before we were even done assembling it, we decided to find and create anything we might need. We also wanted quality furniture; the stuff made from thick wood and nails, not particle board and sticky tack.
Today at least 90% of our furniture has been found, given or salvaged. Instead of heading to the landfill, it came to our home with a new purpose. Painting, refinishing and sometimes building our furniture from scratch was a lot of work. Although a lot more fun than a dreary visit to the furniture isle at WalMart... and a heck of a lot more fulfilling.
Most of our furniture was made from salvaged wood and other found materials: kitchen table, cutting boards, kitchen shelf, picture frame, coat rack, planters, sitting boxes (good for storage too), bookshelf, guitar hook, outside stool, bench (that converts into picnic table), outside table, glass bottles, postbox stand, bird feeder and oven timer.