I quit making New Year's resolutions years ago, but I find at this start of the new year a time of reflection, to re-evaluate goals. Maybe just getting them written down again, maybe breaking them down into smaller steps so they are more easily attainable. Today, I am just looking at ways to remind myself exactly why we chose this journey we are on. There are those out there that call it a "simple life", there are those that call it downsizing, minimalism, or self-sufficiency. To us it is all of the above.
Our goal is to get our overhead so low that we only have to work a limited number of hours to meet our needs and to have the funds to complete the projects we want. As a part of this, I need to add a few more clients and my husband's side of the business needs to continue to grow and we need to continue to reduce our expenses. We already, rarely eat out, I make things from scratch, we are green in that the only time we use paper towels is soaking up grease, we keep the thermostat down, especially at night or when we are gone, we have custom window blankets over the north windows in the winter and the south in the summer, we buy groceries when they are on sale, we buy our clothes at the thrift store, except for shoes, we walk as much as we can here in town, I can and bake and have a garden, I have made our own laundry soap for a couple years now, learn to drink water or tea instead of pop (or at least less pop than before, my husband is down to one a day) eat leftovers, either cut cable or reduce to the lowest tier, I'm sure there are many other ways to live with less expenses, I'm just not thinking of them right at this moment.
Second we are trying to continue to downsize. I am not a minimalist yet but I am slowly working at getting rid of things. I haven't got rid of much of anything yet, but my garage sale/flea market pile is getting bigger. Having stuff in storage these past few months has made it easier and easier to say "I really don't miss those things." We still want to hang pictures on the walls and there are some things we are keeping for sentimental reasons, and down the road the time may be right to move out some more things. However, every box that is still in storage will be reviewed. What is in this box, is it necessary, is it useful for our day to day lives or will it just sit in the box and take up space. I just ran across this article today and thought they had a lot of good points and ideas for simplifying. http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2014/08/journey-simple-living-begin.html#_a5y_p=2331673 or if you are on Pinterest, just do a search for "simple living"
I really like looking at the tiny/small homes posted on the various "Tiny House blogs" and eventually we want to downsize even more than we did, we went from 2200 sq ft home to less than 1000. However, I work from home and need an office or at least a place for my computer, I like to cook and preserve food and have lots of kitchen tools and store extra foodstuffs so a person needs a place for those type of items. I also like to do a variety of crafts and my husband has a number of tools so we need places for those types of things. I think a person just needs a good storage building/shop and a small place to live with room for an office desk. I have seen some people with Tiny/Small Homes utilize outdoor cooking/kitchen areas for food preservation such as canning in the summer. For those that have no idea what the "Tiny House" movement is here is a good article about it. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/tiny-house.html.
So I started this article on New Year's Day and today is January 6, I guess it is better to finally get the article done than not at all. At this point I don't know if we will ever move to a smaller place or what the future holds, but we are enjoying this adventure and what it has brought so far. We like our small house and the community we are in, just exploring opportunities each and every day.