5 Reasons why I want to live with less

Hands up who knows what I am talking about when I say Konmari…surely the articles haven’t only taken over my Facebook newsfeed!? Well for those out of the loop it’s a term coined by Author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo, a philosophy for decluttering your life. I am yet to read the book (STILL on hold at our local library) but I believe I have the gist from several articles. Only keep what you need and only if it gives you joy. The whole concept lead me to read ‘Clutterfree with Kids’ by Joshua Becker and discover a lifestyle which people call ‘Minimalism’. I have never been overly motivated by ‘stuff’ so lets say I find the idea of ‘less stuff’ appealing, therefore I have started the process of cutting down and here are 5 reasons why.

  1. Less stuff means less mess

Most parents will admit they spend a lot of time chasing their tails, cleaning up, as the path of destruction continues behind them. But, let me be honest, my home was littered with things well before the kids arrived; clothes, books, shoes, photos, pens, towels, rotting food 😛 Owning less simply decreases the number of mess possibilities. I gave half of our children’s books to goodwill this week and I tell you it has made a HUGE difference.

Books2. Less stuff = more money

When we strive to live like a minimalist we resist the trap to unnecessarily upgrade, buy duplicates or impulse purchase. Easier said then done when all the advertising in the WORLD is telling us that more = happiness. But a shift away from consumerism leaves us with cash in our pockets, or at the very least, less debt. Depending on exactly how much your habits change it could even mean following a career path that offers less money but is more aligned with your life passion.

3. Less stuff grants us more time and energy

Organising and looking after our things takes time. Searching for what we need through clutter takes time. Buying more unnecessary items takes time…. You get the point…TIME.

Also did you know there is something called decision fatigue? it’s why shopping for groceries can be so exhausting (seriously have you seen the cereal aisle??) and why American President Obama wears only gray or blue suits. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” Minimalism requires less energy because we are not overwhelmed with choice. Barry Schwartz’s TED talk on the Paradox of Choice is another great testament to this, and much more.

Bathroom4. Less stuff allows us to appreciate what we have

Remember back to childhood days when you had one special doll. You cherished it with all your life, it would not easily be replaced and so you knew care needed to be taken. These days children have mountains of toys, each birthday and christmas adds 5 new Barbies to the pile. But it is not just children. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Now think about if you could only own one pair…. seriously think about it…How would it change the way you choose those shoes, the way you looked after them, the importance they would have?

The fact is appreciation gets lost within a lifestyle of excess. One more pair of new shoes may bring us short term happiness, but sooner rather then later they become one in the pile of many.

5. Less stuff means more freedom to pursue meaningful experiences

Less mess, more money, more time and more energy means MORE EXPERIENCES. Whether that is spending time reading to your children before bed instead of bulldozing toys into cupboards, giving a spa treatment instead of a new blender for Christmas, or taking a family trip to the insanely beautiful Great Barrier Reef using money saved not unnecessarily upgrading.

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I love that this concept is being shared, embraced and celebrated so widely. I believe it is testament to a growing concern we all have in our consumer society. More does not = happiness. No…happiness comes from the meaningful connections in our lives. It is grown through the care and respect we have for the environment we live within. And nurtured by living with an abundance of wonder filled experiences shared with all those quirky people we love.

So I dare you to look around and pay attention to your stuff. Does it rule your life? Do you feel obligated to add more or improve what is there? How much of it brings you joy and appreciation? How much never gets used?  Looking forward to sharing our Minimalism journey with you more xo

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Does the universe try to encourage us?

This will be a short and philosophical post, do you think the universe tries to encourage us? Now what the bugs butt do I mean when I say that, well…We all have ideas (huge assumption on my part), sometimes we have an idea and deep down in the pit of our tummy or the center of our heart something goes “YES! yes yes yes yes, I like that thought so do it again!” It feels as if whatever just sprung to our attention is really important and needs more time, more investment.

IMG_4152Then in the following days or weeks information and other ideas that compliment our initial light bulb moment begin to appear. Everything that comes at us seems to be cementing belief and encouraging us forward, whispering “turn that idea into an action”. ACTION YES! That would be the next logical step when an idea has got you all warm and fuzzy and overexcited.

This is what I mean when I say ‘does the universe try to encourage us?’

Only the thing is, many great idea’s never really get put into action. Or maybe they get put into just a little half hearted, to scared to fail, sort of action. Now I am definitely speaking for myself when I say this, but feel free to identify with me. Of late I have been having one of these inspiring universal shoves. Though, I am not completely ruling out the possibility it is my subconscious doing some pretty clever happy connections. Either way I am feeling excited and this time I want to take ACTION. Hopefully I can share my journey soon and inspire you to embrace some warm and fuzzy and overexcited idea’s.

The Art of Receiving

24 hours ago we launched a fundraising page for our son Boston. It felt really weird…

As many of you will know our little guy, cute as a button busy as a bee, was born with Saethre-Chotzens Syndrome which caused craniosynostosis. He has already had one major surgery for cranial vault remodelling, and this year we hit what seemed to be a medical storm resulting in… Boston needing another major surgery.

IMG_3867_fotorWe’ve decided to travel to ‘The Australian Craniofacial Unit’ in Adelaide. They are an amazing team who have dedicated their professional lives to understanding this incredible field. Founded and lead by Professor David David, an extraordinary man who learnt from the father of craniofacial surgery, Paul Tessier.

Although the choice seems easy I can assure you it took time and much deliberation. One factor that crossed the table was money. We are lucky in Australia, most medical expenses will be covered by medicare, but repeated trips to a city in which we know no one…that would be our responsibility. Adding together flights, transfers and accommodation for just pre operative visits…BOOM $3000. By the time we are heading home from surgery we’ll be up around $9000 and then there will be post operative check ups 8 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 12, months. BUT there was no way we would let money be the decider in our son’s health, this is his skull we are talking about, his vision, his brain…his future. So the house deposit we’ve been saving got promptly dipped into, and we felt lucky we even had the option.

A few weeks ago my very good friend brought up the idea of fundraising. “hmmm like selling freddos??” I asked. Clearly I had no experience or idea about fundraising, but the other issue I had was it just felt weird. Asking for help felt strange, and for me asking for money felt very strange. Of course Boston’s health is an amazing and worthy cause, in fact any fundraising we did would also help to spread awareness about craniofacial abnormalities and that is a wonderful cause. But it made me nervous, were we worthy? did we have a right to ask? there are people fleeing war torn countries, surely we should suck it up? I set our original goal at $4000 until my husband pointed out that would only cover a small portion of cost and “ah what are you thinking Nell? just set it at $10000″… Why did it feel so awkward?

Well 24 hours ago we launched gofundme.com/bostonsadventure and we have just hit $7330 IN DONATIONS! Ahhhh YES-ONE-DAY- SEVEN-THOUSAND. To say we are completely gobsmacked, awed and overwhelmed is an understatement. The love and generosity that has spilled in has been the most heart warming thing EVER. Whether people have donated, sent beautiful well wishes or shared our cause, it has just been so beautiful to see the love that surrounds our son. And what have I been doing today? Predominately walking around with a stunned confused look on my face.

We live in a society in which we are pushed to focus on what we have, and are constantly encouraged to have the biggest and best of EVERYTHING. You can do it alone, and do it better then the “Joneses”. The reality of being connected to our community and village takes more energy then waking up next to your cousins hut, these days family is spread across the country and around the world. Yes, we are all connected through technology… yet rarely do we hold each others hands… and sometimes we forget. We forget that we are nothing without each other. We forget that giving to those we love can be the most cherished part of our lives. We forget how to rely on others, and how to let others feel the joy of helping us.

To everyone who has taken part in Boston’s fundraiser today and into the future, we can not thank you enough. Now with every flight, appointment, blood test, scan and surgery, I will carry the thought of all of you. You have ownership of Boston’s journey…we are in this together… and that beyond all dollar signs is the most important thing xox