Going TV Free + The Minimalist Resource Guide

Don't worry, we haven't been robbed. :)

We've decided to live life a bit more fully...which means that the large TV that used to sit here has been returned thanks to a generous return policy at Costco. We are making some big changes in our life...and this is one of them. The room already feels completely different and we love it.

We are not anti-television. We enjoy it and feel that it does have educational benefits. We just didn't want it to be the main focus of our evenings and weekends anymore. We want our focus to be on relationships and connection...and getting rid of the TV just made a lot of sense for us right now. We are cancelling cable, but will keep one TV to watch movies/Netflix...just not in the living room.

I have big plans for this empty corner...it will involve paint and hanging things and light and other yummy stuff. Stay tuned for that update :)

One of my most recent eBook discoveries is "The Minimalist Mom" and it's partially responsible for our TV exodus. I LOVE Dusti's bold stance on her beliefs and I am completely inspired by her passion to live life on her terms. She recently compiled an AMAZING minimalism resource list. It will rock your world.

She also just launched a new blog, Undefinable You with all kinds of goodies happening in the next month. Check it out...she's a little firecracker :)

I am working on a new series about minimalism and the first post is on how I am downsizing my wardrobe...can't wait to share it with you all!

Have you gotten rid of your TV and/or cable? I'd love to hear your thoughts about it and how it has changed your life...

Simplify Saturday

If you've ever taken steps to simplify your life or home, then you know that it's not just a one time deal. It's an on-going journey...one that takes diligence and commitment to maintain. There are lots of little tricks that you can implement to make it easier for you. In our family, one of the things we try to do weekly is a purge of our "extra stuff". I've nicknamed it "Simplify Saturday". You could pick your own catchy name. Like "Thrifty Thursday" or "I Want Less Wednesday". :)

Every Saturday, we get out grocery bags and we walk around the RV and grab stuff that we are not actively using or something that we know someone else will use more than us. Most of it comes from our closets. It's amazing how few clothes a person actually wears on a daily basis from their wardrobe. You have to be brutally honest with yourself and only keep the clothes that fit these criteria:

  • I wear this on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • This makes me feel beautiful.
  • I have to wear this for work.

Yep. That's it. Get rid of the rest. If you don't LOVE it, it's gone. If it doesn't fit you very well, it's gone. You will feel free...like a bird. If it helps you, you can say Bella's mantra out loud as you go: "I can give more stuff away if I just try harder".  In fact, just today she told me that she really doesn't like hanging clothes up and she wanted to give most of her clothes away so she just had a few things to put away. I was all for that. So she went through and gave away another bag full...on top of the bag she already did yesterday! I love this girl. She's hard core.

To make it even easier, I've now implemented a giveaway drawer. Everything we come across during the week that we want to giveaway goes in that drawer. Out of sight, out of mind. Even items that we think we MIGHT want to get rid of go in this drawer. On Saturday, we go through it one more time and the drawer gets emptied into a bag with the rest of the stuff. Many people have another version of this...and it's just a box by the back door. That way, you see it when you're walking out and you remember to take it to Goodwill or your thrift store of choice.

Keeping clutter at a minimum is the key to a less chaotic home. Clutter saps your energy! It makes you feel overwhelmed. When your home is uncluttered, so is your mind. Live clutter free and be happy.

Happy simplifying!

A Life Without Complaining

In a recent letter from Laine, she spoke about gratitude and not complaining. It really spoke to my heart and I wanted to share part of it with you. If you are like me, by the time you are done reading it... you will feel like the most fortunate person in the world, no matter what your circumstances! A complaining and negative spirit builds upon itself The more you complain...the worse you feel. The worse you feel, the more you want to complain. Sarcasm can be a roundabout way to complain about life...and can suck the life out of you! Be careful what comes out of your mouth and fill your mind with positive words and scripture. This is an ongoing pursuit...as it's pretty difficult to "fix" a problem of complaining in our culture, when we have so much media bombarding us and telling us that we should be outraged that we don't have everything we want! But it can be done. :) It is fine to want to improve certain things in your life, but when your focus on them becomes a detriment to truly living, re-focus needs to happen.

There is so much beauty and wonder in every day things...you don't even have to look farther than your own home and family! So why not adopt a spirit of gratitude and look for the amazing aspects of your every day life? I find that it is helpful to list 3-4 things in my mind that I am grateful for each morning and evening. It instantly changes my outlook. Each of us has a choice at the beginning of each day to start with joy...we, as mothers and wives, have so much control over the "feel" of our home and life. Fill it with joy.

 Dear Sisters,

"Do everything without complaining or arguing."  Philippians 2:14

How I hear these Words in my mind over and over, especially when I want to do one or the other. Mostly the complaining part. So within the last year I have had this imaginary conversation with a woman from the mid 1800's; and when I am tempted to complain, rather than to thank God for His many goodnesses, I say this silently to her in her era:

How can I complain when I can hold the whole counsel of God in my hands and read it any time I want?

How can I complain when I can go to the sink and hot and cold water pours out for me at the flick of my wrist?

How can I complain when at the push of a button I can have instant heat on my stove?

How can I complain when it takes me minutes to load my washer and at the push of a button all the work is done for me?

How can I complain when I can get into my car and be at a market within 15 minutes?

How can I complain when I can have hot or cold air piped into my car while driving?

How can I complain when I can listen to the most beautiful music while driving?

How can I complain when I can see the doctor or the dentist on the same day I am suffering?

How can I complain when I can write a letter and send it to be received on the same day I sent it?

How can I complain when the shelves are so full of good things at my supermarket?

How can I complain when I can buy clothes cheaper than the cost of just the thread at garage sales and thrift shops?

How can I complain when I can turn on this machine called a vacuum and it sucks up all the dirt for me in my house?

How can I complain when I can sleep in front of a fan in the hottest time of summer?

How can I complain when I can go to the air conditioned library in the summer and use their computers for free?

How can I complain when I can talk to my mother in another state on a moment's notice over a hands free phone?

How can I complain when I can soak away my aches and pains in hot water piped right into my tub?

How can I complain when I don't have to use an outhouse, rather a lovely bathroom right inside my home?

How can I complain when I have this big above ground pool right in my backyard to jump into when it is so hot?

How can I complain when I have a closet full of clothes for my whole family?

How can I complain when I can turn on my t.v. and learn a whole new recipe from a celebrated chef for free?

How can I complain when I can buy canned food for my winter pantry already canned for me?

How can I complain when I can lay fully back in my chaise lounge chair on a heating pad when I am ill?

How can I complain when I want to go to a concert that I can listen to it right in my kitchen on a CD?

How can I complain when at the flick of a switch I can light up a whole room?

How can I complain?

How can I possibly complain?

"For if a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness...I say that a stillborn child is better than he...though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, even if he lives a thousand years twice - but has not seen goodness." Eccl. 6:3-6

How can I complain when every day is such Sweet Sabbath Rest with Him?

Love, Laine