Mar 1, 2019

Simple Living, How Hard Can It Be?

One would think it would be the easiest of things to do, to live simply.  Wouldn't you think that?  I once did.

Over the years, life, family, circumstances make that almost impossible. One of my goals is to do just that, live as simply as possible.

How hard can it be?  I think, as blessed as we are, it can be extremely hard.

I've been trying to achieve this for years.  The Salvation Army and Mission Marts around have benefited greatly from my newfound love of simple.  

God has given many talents to me, and I realize this.  I may not take advantage of all, but should utilize them more.  The human problem, with such, is there are so many areas you could go into it's overwhelming.  

I suppose that is why I dabble in many interests.  The trouble, for me at least, is that I go on a supply buying frenzie.  Depending on the hobby at the time, every bolt of fabric in the store, every paint color they have, I will stock up (hoard) to have on hand.  I literally could open a shop out here and stay open for years.  I've gone through and had yard sales depleted all of my stock, only to have the urge to create and totally restock!

Recently, I've put a STOP on all of the buying.  It hasn't been easy and I've enlisted the girls to help keep me in line with what is needed, some wanted, nothing unneeded.

Happy to report, it's working!  Last trip to Michael's I spent only $30 and had one tiny bag!  I'm pleased! *Note* truthfully I had the shopping cart filled several times, then pulled a Gwen, and put almost all back on the shelves!  Friends that is progress! YES!

When I say, "I pulled a Gwen", I mean she, my sister used to fill up her cart/buggy with things and the next time I would see her in the store it would be empty.  I'd ask her why she did that and she would say, "Well I put what I think I may want and then decide, if I really need these things."  Worked for me last craft supply shopping trip!

Exception: Ordering for Special Orders Fabric and Supplies

Sharing a recent custom printed fabric & order for simple under the counter curtains. Client has a farm sink with opening underneath for these simple, yet exactly what he and his wife wanted for their farm home.  I hung in our pie safe for showing. 

Who needs clutter?  If you have a drawer like this, it's time to clean and clear.  This isn't mine but I have a small one left with assorted needed items.  In that drawer I have one of my daddy's old wrenches, and my first school sewing scissors.  Sentimental, irreplaceable items need a home.  I am one sentimental person, who rarely breaks anything and have a few items from my childhood I wouldn't do without.

I've since learned that the most important need a home.  If you have an older item from a loved one and can't even remember who that loved one was that gave it to you, safe to say give it away.

I now, know that I am OCD.  This picture of cluttered dishes really gets to me.  The colors are pleasing, but if you're going to keep an assortment of things, at least, organize according to type, size, and color.  Can you tell, that is what I once did in retail, organize, place, present?

Truthfully, unless there is a need for certain things, downsize and use what you have;  Downsize being the key word.

Home is where our story begins

Simplify, one very important thing to do.  Clutter makes one anxious, looks messy of course, and just says what?  "Did you have the windows open when the storm blew in?"  I have spots like that for sure and am working on them, well time permitting.

Even gardening can be simple, yet beautiful.  Yes, I've been known to buy out the nurseries in the springtime.  But as I get a little older and realize it takes a little more effort to keep up with so many plants, I'm changing that as well.

Ignore the crazy lady (me) taking the picture 

Even beautiful floral arrangements, such as this one given to me by Catie for Valentine's Day, can be displayed simply.  It was so gorgeous and simple surroundings made it the centerpiece.

You don't necessarily have to have a new car every year or two either.  Not that if that is what you want, you shouldn't have, but I'm merely saying you just don't have to.

I've been in the frame of mind about things in years past and thought, oh I want this and that and hate my old house, car etc.  Guess what, some of the most fond memories are of the older home, cars etc.

Okay, so the kids may have been embarrassed by the old blue car backfiring when I was in the school car line....But we laugh about it now!  Those same kids and their husbands have recently given me a new car.  I'm grateful and so touched by their caring. It was hard to take, I am not a good receiver but I am so proud to get into the vehicle and thank them every time I do.

Simple doesn't have to mean ugly by any means.  Simple wardrobe, makeup, style I find very beautiful.  A few elegant pieces, items, are all that are needed.  I mean how much can you use at any given time anyway?

Chanel No 5 is I guess my signature fragrance.  I've ventured off into a few other perfumes, but always come back.  Carly and John were in Paris not long ago and they brought a bottle home to me.  Let me tell you this, it smells fabulous!  Much more than the ones I'd purchased here.  Straight from the source is excellent!

Alright, I'm sharing this:  When they were in Paris shopping for this the lady said, in her french accent of course, "May, I spray for you to see?"  Carly quickly said, "NO I can't stand that Chanel No 2" ! The lady then said, "No no no it is Chanel No 5."  Carly replied, "I can't stand the smell, this is for my mama."  My crazy girl! John, carried that bag all around while sightseeing. I was so thrilled to get it!

You can own beautiful clothing, dressy and casual.  You don't necessarily need three closets full of them.  Simple can be less, but wearable, items that are beautiful as well.

Less, aggravation, stress and work, can be achieved when making things more simple.  Give me the simple life, because life itself can be very time consuming.  Those around you in need, things that stop you from achieving your goals, come up from time to time.  Sometimes it seems as if they stay around forever, one problem solved another appears, life happens.  So, the best you can do is lesson what stresses you.

Give me the simple life, God, family, friends, home, pets, and some peace that is all welcomed.  I'll take a peaceful quiet day, enjoying people, housekeeping, gardening, tending the chickens any time.

All we really need is a place to hang our hat and coat, right?  Right!  I think so.  Who says it can't be beautiful?  Have fun, improve your surroundings.

I make no claims about being an expert in any field, but enjoy sharing.  I share what I know personally, and what has worked, or is working for me.  We all get ideas from each other and that is how it is.  I'm still learning and that is a good thing.  When we stop learning, we stop living.

To sum it all up:

  • Go through your surroundings, every area, tackling one project at a time if possible.
  • Weed through, give away and sell good items, throw away trash. 
  • Buy only what is needed/wanted and will be useful.
  • Have a place in mind to store what your are buying, before you ever leave the store.
  • Ask yourself, "Do I really need this or want so badly, and does it have a place to go when I reach home?"
  • Less items, mean less storage and less work to do in the long run.
  • Keep in mind, things do not make the person.

I'm not saying you have to live like the Amish, (which I adore and wish I did), but lesson the mess.  That in turn lessons the stress as well.  I'm personally working on a lifetime of stuff and organizing as I go.  Hey, one would think that what one did for a living would be a piece of cake.  Not so, remember the shoe cobbler and his children's shoes?

Do the best with what you've got, and don't forget to thank God for what you have

Take care of yourselves!

Special thanks to Unsplash Photos


  1. Honestly,Dolly, I have always loved ALL your posts but I think that this might be my favorite ever. Maybe because I am at the same place in my life....letting go...simplifying....and it really feels good. I have a ton of stuff to sell and have already donated SO MUCH that it isn't funny.

    You are on the right track and really have your priorities in place, Dolly. Simplifying IS NOT SIMPLE! It is a lot of work and gut and heart wrenching sometimes.

    Thank you for this post. It motivates me to continue.!!!! xo Diana

    ps- Full cart to empty cart? My friend and I call that un-shopping! lol

    1. Hi Diana!
      Thank you so much! You make me smile always! I love the un-shopping cart thing! You also motivate me always!

  2. You are writing this about me - down to the "embarrassed by car in line at school" - we must be "chugging along" on the same life track. Good post!

    1. Hi there!
      So good to hear from you and we must be sweet friend! So many of our friends are writing to tell me this. I'm smiling and am glad I'm not alone.
      Thanks too!

  3. I love this post!!
    SO TRUE!!
    Lately, I have been doing the same. I am saving money (as per new year resolution) and simplifying my life so, when I go shopping I just avoid the home goods area and focus on things I need not want. Its so hard but Im doing it.

    1. Hi Marissa!
      It is hard and I find it hard to go home without so much, so I avoid those areas too! I'm proud of you sweet friend. So good to hear from you!