SARAH BEDZYK: SIMPLE LIVING DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN EASY

Simple living is all the rage. It is all over social media, It is on the latest magnolia journal, it’s something I have been striving towards in my own way of living. It has become a new way of life for many people. I love that it’s something people are striving for. Simplifying your life to make time for the things that mean the most to you. It is definitely something I can get behind.

Simple living is different for everyone. For some it can also often mean minimalism. I wouldn’t define myself as a minimalist, as I don’t want to be defined by my “things” or a lack of “things”. Honestly, I love my things. I love the simple pleasures of my home, like throw blankets on my couch to curl up in, family pictures on my walls and extra towels for when I get lazy and skip doing laundry.  Minimalism is not what I am talking about when I refer to simple living.

Simple living can also mean getting back to the basics. The basic life that really isn’t all that simple. I want to emphasize that living simply does not mean living lazy. Simple living does not necessarily mean easy. Living simply sometimes requires more elbow grease in order to have more time and money for the things that mean the most to you. This is why living simply involves intentionality.

Simple living isn’t about bare homes, zero color, and the lack of “things.” It’s about living intentionally for the things that bring you life.

To start on your own journey towards simplicity, you must first ask yourself the big what and why: what do you want to simplify in your life and why do you want to do it? For me, I want to take care of my family’s health and wellness. I want to cultivate a good work ethic and thankful hearts as we steward the resources we have.

I’m excited to share some ways that we have simplified our lives. Honestly, these ideas aren’t all “easier”, some are hard work. But it’s little steps that make a new normal and my new normal is more time with family and more money to save for our future. To embrace purposeful simplicity is the best decision we could make.

1. Homesteading

I’ll be the first to admit that this idea doesn’t resonate with everyone. In fact, a lot of my points below may not, because it involves hard work and time, but with homesteading we have saved so much money and learned so much gratefulness.

Grow a garden to cut out some food costs. Get some backyard chickens for eggs and to sell eggs (they can also help “mow” your lawn!). Start composting and minimizing waste in your home. Don’t have the space for homesteading? Join a CSA: support local farmers and reap the fruits of their labor.

If you need some help starting a homestead or taking steps towards one, Check out this blog HERE

2. Minimize Waste

Can we all agree that our homes are filled with waste? From mismatched Tupperware, to junk mail, to loads and loads of paper products, our homes fill with waste often because of the lack of intentionality…or laziness.

Grabbing a handful of paper towels to clean up a spill is easier then grabbing a rag that you will later have to wash,dry, and restock. Paper plates and cups are easier to clean up after a gathering then washing dishes. Sure, these things make my life simple and less complicated. BUT, I might unintentionally be cultivating laziness in my family for the sake of convenience. Remember, simple living doesn’t always mean the easy route. 

Here are some ways to minimize waste in your home: Use reusable bags for groceries, get a reusable water bottle, ditch the paper towels, start recycling, compost food and paper, use glass jars and Pyrex for food storage, get reusable napkins. Start making your own home products.

3. Homemade Products

This past year, this was the biggest thing I changed. We ditched the toxins and decided we didn’t want to spend the extra pennies to buy things organic or natural, so I learned to make all of them on my own. It saves you so much money and you are getting the cleanest ingredients. Here I am purposefully living towards good health and wellness while saving our family money.

An easy place to start is to think of the things you use every day and replace them. I spent 20 min one day with a piece of paper and walked around my house to think about the things I bought each month, I then tried to figure out a way to replace them. Things like:  – Laundry detergent, wool dryer balls, dry shampoo, all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, glass cleaner, facial scrubs, make-up, shampoo, soap.

4. Declutter 

This is a little different than minimizing waste. This is more about “things”. Ladies, purge that closet. Even if you aren’t ready to do the capsule wardrobe yet, just go through it and get whatever you can out of there. One thing I did, I went through my closet, got rid of some clothes, then told myself I would wear everything that was left in it at least once over the next month. if I didn’t, it’s because I either didn’t love it anymore, it didn’t fit how it used to, or it just lost its’ “touch”. – it was just taking up space so it had to go.

Clean out closets and shelves, even the pretty decorations cluttering your home. Think about what they mean to you. Again, I’m not talking about minimalism and giving away the simple pleasures of your home, I’m talking about getting rid of that clutter that you know is there and just keep “putting off” for that spring cleaning. There is no time like the present.

5. Buy Less

We all having something we spend our money on. Maybe it’s accessories, entertainment, or food. We all do it. But maybe we can take this a step further,  I do notice I spend money on things I do not need to because of laziness. For example, I have a band of hair ties and bobby pins and I’m making an extreme effort to see how long I can make them last (this one will be the hardest. Am I right, ladies?). For me personally, it’s the little things like this that I slowly lose money on. Mindless spending because I just need them, instead of purposeful effort to not lose them.

But really, make goals for yourself. Try not to buy a new article of clothing for a month, or don’t buy something when you first spot it. think about it for a week and then go back to it. Make a budget.

6. Cook at Home

This is such a simple thing that can really simplify your life. For me, I push this in our home, not because it is always simple, but because it’s an intentional effort towards the things that matter to me. We control the quality and ingredients of what we are eating, we get personal time with family slaving over the recipes, and money saved from the labor invested. Cooking at home can also become a way to allow creativity and independence in yourself and family. Also, eat as a family. I can’t stress this enough. Turn off the TV and your phones and enjoy the company of those you love most.

For me, living the simple life is freeing. It is the best decision we have made as a family. It is a slow process and we are nowhere where I would like, but it is a process. Some of these things may not resonate with you. The idea of getting backyard chickens or getting rid of shampoo, those are a little extreme. I get it. Maybe your idea of living a simple life is doing less, traveling more, enjoying friends more often. Sit down and think about your why. Make a list of the things you value most and go from there. Just start.

ABOUT SARAH: 

Sarah is a wife and mother who currently resides in Upstate, NY. She is obsessed with homesteading, gardening, and raising animals and babies. In the evenings and on the weekends she is a professional photographer, photographing weddings and families. Gift her a kombucha, RX bar or fresh eucalyptus and you’ll be besties for life.

Sarah has a heart to educate those around her to live simply and naturally. To find joy in the little things and live for the big things. Her mission in life is to be a loving wife, a gentle and patient homemaker, raising a family to love and serve Jesus.

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