Learning to live the simple life is more than pairing down some of your stuff. Although it starts at that point, it develops into a spiritual quest, and appreciation of what every day brings. Most people think that living simple is living without; this is not the case. You might start clearing out things that you don’t need or feel are necessary for your happiness and daily comforts of living, but soon you start realizing all the blessings you have, and all the money you wasted in so much extra stuff that was far from being needed. That is not to say that you turn into an extreme cheap and frugal person; it is far from that. You will learn to be frugal, but out of not being wasteful and out of gratitude for the blessings in your life; it is more like a natural state of frugality, and not imposed by the lack of something. You learn to be frugal because you recognize the abundance in your life. This is hardly being cheap. At the same time you will want to give more to others, and this is not being cheap either.
Living the simple life is surrounding your environment with healthy and simple things that have a functionality, as well as a purpose. You also like and love these few things. It is returning to simple forms and appreciating the job that these objects do.
For decorating the farmhouse, we will use the necessary furniture that we already have, and we are getting rid of extras. We will choose simple materials, basic in form and purpose. Some of these we already have, some we will scout for at a bargain price or recycled. It will depend on what we need and when – and availability.
We have decided to forgo the central air or air conditioning which we have grown so accustomed to and instead, learn to open the windows, and use ceiling fans in some rooms for when it gets too hot. We have selected a basic white ceiling fan with one center light. We also selected a simple design portch light made of aluminum, that will last for many years. The total cost for these two portch lights and two ceiling fans was $80.00. Before buying them, I scouted around for these items to see if I could get them for free, but most fans available were too big or required four or more bulbs. Since these were 19.99 a piece it was worth it to get them brand new plus it served the purpose in form, design, and simplicity. The lighting could not be more simple and durable too.
Here are some pics.
Simple Aluminum Portch light
Simple one bulb four-blade ceiling fan
My advice here is that you try to find what you need – free first or recycled – and give it a second life, but if you cannot find it, then go with something simple at a reasonable price. There is no sense in getting something for free if it does not serve the purpose. I could have gotten many ceiling fans for free but they were either too big or had too many light bulbs, a waste in my opinion. If you can wait for it to materialize in the future that is fine too, we are doing things in stages, so we decided to fit them in now.
Living simple is about saving money, but also about less excess, and the right form and function for the purpose. And of course, loving it too.