What does living a life of simplicity mean to you? Are you pursuing a life of simplicity?
If you have read my blog page “About” would know that I am pursuing a life of simplicity. But what do I mean by that?
Instead of just sharing my point of view, I searched the web to find what’s out there. The dictionary defines Simplicity as the state or quality of being simple. And a Life of Simplicity is a life absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.
A few quotes pop up, the words from Charles Dudley Warner resonates with me.
What does Living a Life of Simplicity mean?
For me, living a life of simplicity means making effort to simplify my lifestyle and to focus on the experience. These include reducing my possessions, being responsible to the environment and increasing self-sufficiency.
I have yet to achieve the life of simplicity that I am pursuing and I am making every effort to live it. My former colleagues who got to know that I have stopped pursuing the two Cs – Chanel and Cartier and cooking my own meals, were all surprised.
I hope my sharing will inspire you to consider living in simplicity, creating a positive impact and experience in our lives and the lives of the people around us.
The first step I took was moving from a 1,200 square feet 3-bedroom apartment to a 1-bedroom apartment of less than 900 square feet. By moving to a smaller apartment, I spend less time cleaning and the cost of maintenance is also lower.
I have also stopped buying luxurious handbags, watches and jewellery. I have sold some and selling more. For my wardrobe, I have reduced it by half, giving them to Salvation Army and the Neighbourhood Goodwill Xchange Store, to people who may have a better use of the clothes, giving the clothes a new lease of life.
By reducing my possessions, I lowered my expenditure, got some cash back and save some time. I could use this time and money to pursue my other interest like travelling, Lego builds and writing.
Reducing Consumption and Waste
Besides reducing possessions, I am also making a conscious effort to reduce consumption. I started to cook at home instead of eating out or buying takeaways all the time. Planning my grocery shopping based on the meals I plan to cook for the week. By cooking my own meal, I cook the right portion to avoid waste and also eat more healthily.
Next, I am making a conscious effort to cut down on creating waste, especially plastic waste. Do you know that the average time for a plastic bottle to completely degrade takes at least 450 years?
Instead of buying bottled water, I bring my own water bottle, saving both money and the environment. And how about bringing your own cup instead of the disposable coffee cup for your takeaways. Other efforts that I am making is bringing my own shopping bag when I go grocery shopping. I also make a conscious effort to look for refill packs for my detergents, hand and body wash. Buying refill packs save me money and reduce waste.
Another way to reduce waste is through recycling, dropping clean recyclable waste into the recycle bin. I have two recycling bags at my laundry area, one for papers and another for plastics and glass. I drop brochures, receipts, flyers, envelopes, newspapers etc into the paper carrier and plastic bottles, plastic containers, wine bottles, etc that I have washed into the other carrier. I usually bring the recycling bags to the recycle bin every other week.
How about repurposing things that we no longer use? I am using an old table calendar as a flip board, sticking Post-It with my favourite bible verses written on it. I also stick reminders, to-do list and favourite quotes on it.
Do you have unsightly cables and wires at your study or work desk that you want to hide? How about using a painting to hide the unsightly cables and wires? That’s exactly what I did. There are lots we could do by repurposing what we no longer use that help save us some money and at the same time reduce waste. And in this case, my painting is serving two purposes.
Next, if you are planning to buy a new item, invest in an item of good quality that can last for years and not one that spoils or disintegrate easily. For me, my dining set and chair for my study have been following me for 10 years. I brought them with me in all my home moving, four times in eight years.
Finally, do not leave waste lying around, drop them either into the trash bin or recycle bin as appropriate. Keep the environment clean and reduce waste.
Another way to simplify life is to grow your own food. By increasing self-sufficiency, we reduce our dependency on money and the economy.
I have seen city dwellers producing fresh home-grown vegetables in pot gardens or miniature indoor greenhouses. I attempted once and failed because I was away travelling most of the time and did not take care of the plants. Will make another attempt to grow edible plants on my balcony.
For more on how I am making progress on living a life of simplicity, check out my posts here and follow my blog by signing up for a regular update to your e-mail box.
Wrapping up with a picture of The Force of Nature 2008 sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn. You can find this sculpture standing at Marina Barrage, Singapore.
Thank you for stopping by and happy Living for Experiences!
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