Jamie and I are on a quest to simplify.  I don’t really know when it started, but somehow we ended up here, questioning every single one of our possessions and “needs”.  When Jamie first got saved, he dumped everything.  He even gave away his bed and slept on the floor for a very long time after coming home from a mission trip.  He needed to purge his old life, the good, the bad, the neutral, in order to start a new life.  So many times our stuff, the things we think we need, get in the way of what life is really all about.  We aren’t in a place where we are just getting rid of everything, but we are seriously questioning everything.  Do we really need a set of 12 glass punch cups? Do we really need 2 waffle makers, even if they do bake different shapes?  Do we really need 3 bedrooms? Do we really need a tv? Do we really need all these clothes that just sit in the laundry basket or get shoved to the back of the closet because we never wear them?

We started in the closets, purging every piece of clothing that hadn’t been worn in a month or so.  We got our closet cleaned out, organized, and were able to consolodate into one dresser.  Which meant that one dresser was empty and ready to leave the house.  Then we moved into the kitchen.  We packed away all but a set of 4 of everything.  I knew that at some point we would have more than 2 other people over, so we did keep the extra place settings, but we packed them up so they don’t get used every day.  I mean, really, is it that hard to wash 4 dishes a day as opposed to grabbing a new dish everytime until you end up with empty cabinets and a messy kitchen?  Then my purging turned to Charlotte’s stash-o-everything.  That child has more of everything than is ever necessary.  I am so grateful for  wonderful friends and family who bless us with just about everything we need for Charlotte.  And my word did we get blessed with stuff.  So I wanted to bless someone else with our excess.  I packed up all the things that she didn’t wear but I wanted to keep for future children, then everything else went to Good Will.  Charlotte went through such an exaggerated growth spurt that she completely skipped a couple of clothing sizes, so I had a lot of things with the tags still on them!

And now we are turning our simplicity campaign towards our house search.  Part of the reason we are selling our house is to simplify.  We want to be able to save more money and have more disposable income to give where it is needed.  And while you can get amazing deals right now on houses, and technically we could get a larger house for less money than we pay for ours right now, but how is that helping us simplify?  So we are on a search for what will really fit our family’s NEEDS and not just WANTS.

In what ways have you simplified your family’s life?

photo by Miss Jee’s Photography


7 thoughts on “simplicity

  1. I started doing this same thing a few months ago. When I moved back to NC I only brought what fit in my car, so I really had to consider everything, but one mistake was bringing EVERY clothing item I owned. I had to get all new ‘stuff’ when I finally got my own place, and moving this last time I saw that I have a LOT of junk. I got rid of a lot of clothes, some still with tags, some so busted up and loved that it was hard, but now it all fits into one small dresser. I was shocked.
    I went through a time when if someone had something for me, I would take it, whether I needed it or not, but now I am having to say no, because I REALLY don’t have anywhere to put it.
    I am still digging stuff out of boxes and selling them on craigslist.
    Hopefully I can get all of the stuff out of storage soon… I don’t know how I managed to collect SO much stuff.

  2. chris and i began that same quest early on in our marriage…we are constantly trying to go back to the basics…it ranges from daily disposable items to, yes, the toys for the girls…and at the same time we endeavor to find others who are in need that we can bless! last year, around this time, we actually went through the entire house and went on a selling spree. we were able to make $1500 from things we sold that we did not need or use….just lying around the house.
    Praise God for the simplistic life we can lead…life is so not about getting …it’s so not about having more…i want my girls to grow up knowing how to use their imagination and being grateful for the small things in life! good blog, Jennifer! thanks for sharing

  3. Very very interesting. Robert and I will be praying on this too…. cuz for sure I have lots I could give away. I see this different than a yard sale, just giving away “junk”. It is different to give away things you love but really dont “NEED”. Thanks for sharing!

  4. We are doing the same thing right now!!! We have been going through alot of things looking for anything we dont need. We went through the kids toys and conslidated it down to one small tub each. and we go rid of alot of clothes whic is something I had been needing to do because I had a lot of clothes from my “old life” that I just didnt need to be wearing anylonger and all the stuff Carl couldnt wear ( i thought I got all of it but found that carl hid a pair of shorts with a big rip in the backside and he wore them to church last night!!!! i was so embarrassedLOL) I think simplifying is a great thing good for you!!!! Pray for you and Jamie to have the simplicity you want and need.

  5. beautiful post! Jamie has more discipline than I & I think that he is pretty incredible for knowing & disciplining himself to “purge himself of his old life”. Amazing!

    I haven’t given my bed away recently, but I’ve always had this mind-set. I constantly go through our home & make big boxes of things to give away… clothes, toys, shoes, anything. It drives Brian crazy sometimes, but I’ve always had a need to be simple, structured, & organized. If we don’t need… I mean REALLY need it, then it goes. I love knowing that I’ve given away some of our “extras” to provide someone else with their “neccessary”.

  6. its interesting that write this bc I was just talking abotu this with Rob. This past month I have been throwing excess toys away and giving stuff away and selling stuff on craigslist. Rob and I have even thougth about selling our house. We have 5 bedrooms but we only need 4. But, I understand 100%. I even have been going through my closet. It’s so awesome to know that someone out there is on the same page with me. i think you are doing a great job! I even have been taking my lunch to work cuase I mean seriously why waste good money and food out here I rather keep those extras to bless some one else and go out with my family during the weekends! I like this post! Soo awesome. I was getting a bit tired in quest but you just gave me even more motivation! awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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