Friday, October 18, 2013

SIMPLE // MEET DENA

I've had the pleasure over the past few weeks of getting to know Dena, who writes the Blog Live. Love. Simple. I fell in love with her Blog title first, if I'm being honest, but my admiration for Dena + her wise ways soon grew. Take a peek at her deep and intelligent writing, and adorable fam dam... you'll soon be star-struck, too. I'm so glad to have found her! I asked her to share with me how she manages to keep her life simple. Because, duh, that's something I struggle with daily! This is what she said:




HOW TO KEEP LIFE SIMPLE AS A MAMA (AKA How to Accomplish the Impossible)
 
Four years ago, I embarked on a journey toward minimalism. I got rid of a lot. You can read all about that here, but today I want to write about minimalism -- or simple living -- and motherhood.
 
It may seem like the two things are impossible to put together, but it can be done... sometimes! We live in a small house and don't have many possessions as compared with the average American family. We've always felt that stuff not only clutters your space, but it also clutters your soul. Plus, if I'm being honest, it's hard enough for me to keep our little house and our little stuff clean as it is. Because simplicity is such an integral part of our lives/happiness/sanity, we talked a lot about simplicity + parenthood before we decided to start a family.
 
I am a big fan of conscious living. I think it's important to evaluate my life and decisions often. One way that I do this is to write down my values once in awhile and reflect on how I am doing in terms of living them. Every time I write down my values, simplicity ends up in my top five. My values usually look something like this: 1. Family / 2. Creativity / 3. Simplicity / 4. Health / 5. Kindness. I have found that the easiest way to keep life simple is to constantly evaluate my decisions (purchases, actions, and so on) against my values. Before I bring anything into our home I ask myself: Does this align with my values? This holds true for things, people, and even ideas. I constantly ask myself: Is this serving me (and my family) well? If the answer is no, I just get rid of it.
 
I have ended "friendships;" quit jobs, and purged many possessions through this method. It's simple but it's also incredibly effective. Motherhood definitely adds a challenging element to the mix. I thought that my husband was going to keel over after my baby shower when I arrived home with a Ford F150 truck bed full of baby stuff. Literally. He said, I don't understand. It's just one, little baby. He was genuinely confused.
 
The fact is that, yes, babies and children need a lot of stuff. But really they don't need as much as the big baby/kid stores would have you believe. We received more little clothing and blankets than we could have used if we'd had triplets. A lot of the stuff ended up going back to the store and got exchanged for other practical necessities like baby food and diapers. It may be tempting to have fifty different adorable onesies, but it's not necessary. Excessive-ness like that will only cause you more headaches and more laundry.
 
Roman is just five-months-old but we plan to maintain our family value of simplicity throughout his life and to, hopefully, pass it along to him. I am happier and healthier since I've started living simply. It doesn't always work. I would be lying if I didn't admit that Roman has three adorable pairs of shoes and he can't even crawl yet, let alone walk. But, at the end of the day, it's all about balance. Like I always say, "Give a little. Take a little. Donate A LOT.
 
 
Thanks for reading. You can check out more about my little family over at my blog, Live, Love, Simple and you can connect with us at Live, Love, Simple on Facebook, too. xo    -Dena
 
Let's keep the positivity + simplicity going! How do you keep life from getting out-of-hand?
Is it a priority for you? What have you found that works and what have you found that doesn't? Please comment below.
 
and as always, please: 

28 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for allowing me to share on your precious blog, Crista! xo

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  2. Good for you for being able to get rid on lots of your THINGS. I am not so sure I would be able to do that.

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    1. Thanks, Terry. It wasn't easy! But ultimately it was worth it. <3

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  3. Thank you for this post! I am a clutterphobe, yet I can manage to purge a ton and then somehow it all seems to find it's way back. We just purged a lot for an upcoming move and I feel we really could purge a ton more. I love being simply and I love a clutter free home. ONE day, I will get there!

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    1. It sounds like you've already come a long way. But simple living never ends, haha. Best of luck and congratulations on your move! xo

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  4. Woo, I need all the help I can get to live simple. Thanks for giving me some ideas and I will bookmark your site to follow along as you accomplish this with child and hubby in tow LOL

    Great post!

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    1. Why, thank you! I'm so glad that the post gave you some ideas! I'm looking forward to checking out your blog, too. <3

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. Glad you liked it. :o)

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  6. This is a great post. As a review blogger it is difficult to keep things in order and under control all the time. One thing I do in my "regular" life is go through my mail daily.l I throw out what is junk and file bills etc. it does help keep things in order and when I pay bills I am already organized.

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    1. Oh, Melinda! I hear you on that one. Mail and review products are always piling up on me. I find that adopting the "deal with it NOW, not LATER" philosophy helps a lot. ;o)

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  7. I find that as I get older that it is very easy for me to live simple or simpler than I did say 20 years ago. Yes, part of that is that my children are grown but most of it is because I have grown. I love simple. I really do.

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    1. That is wonderful, Pam. I hope that as time goes by things get simpler for me, too. Something to look forward to! <3

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  8. It's difficult not to buy your little one the cutest things. My husband and I don't shop for ourselves but we are addicted to collecting cars (probably more than my son). Living simply is hard!

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    1. It is hard -- especially when there are so many cute things for the littles!! But, for us, simplicity & happiness (usually!!) win out. Every family is different though and I dobn't think there's a right or wrong. Only a "what's-right-for-you." <3

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  9. Wonderful post and tips, Dena! I agree with you fully. I am constantly bothered by the amount of unnecessary gifts that my niece receives. How many toys and clothes does one little girl need? It creates so much more mess and headache.

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    1. Indeed, I try to avoid as many messes & head aches as possible! ;o) Thank you for your kind words!

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  10. I inherited what my family calls, "pack-rat syndrome". I can totally relate.

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  11. I struggle with this thought a lot, I am so tired of all the crap we have around and I sometimes wish we lived in a tiny house so that there would simply not be room for all of it. Love the concept of simplicity and really need to start purging around here.

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  12. Nice to meet you! Thanks for the great post. I definitely need to work on being more minimalistic. :)

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  13. Give a little, take a little - donate a lot! What a great statement to live by! Great goal to shoot for!

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  14. We also strive for minimalism but warmth, if that makes sense, not cold minimalism.

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  15. what a great reminder. We have way too much stuff and I would love to minimize what we have for sure. Especially all the kids stuff. Thanks!

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  16. What a great reminder and a wonderful post! Thanks so much!

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  17. You are so inspiring! This really made me think :)

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  18. Great read. Definitely an eye-opener. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. I have a lot of things to get rid of but I don't know where to start.

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  20. Even though we are a military family and move frequently, we still somehow have way too much stuff. I applaud your decision to simplify your life. Our society and culture definitely do encourage a lifestyle of accumulation and materialism, when truly our needs are quite simple. Having more or better things doesn't make you a better or happier person.

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