Moved - Minimalism Accelerated

Oh my gosh guys, as if we haven't already experienced enough change this year, here comes one more. We moved!!! 

With how chaotic things were getting in the home (as I mentioned previously in my minimalism post), we figured the best way to remove ourselves from it all would be to just start over.

So that's what we did!

We found a place to rent (just the next town over) and we literally got us a fresh new start! And it's been perfect with this whole new lifestyle of minimalism we've been applying to our lives. However, instead of taking it slow and steady like how we've been, this has given us an opportunity to speed up the process and go all out. Our quest to becoming minimalists has been accelerated. No more working on just one drawer at a time anymore. With the move it’s been everything all at once.

As we packed up our things, we found ourselves getting rid of more and more each day until eventually we had only taken over just what was absolutely needed. It’s crazy because we took over so little that most of the closet spaces in our new place are completely empty. Never before have I seen an empty closet or shelf in any of the places we’ve lived before (or even in my entire life), but there they are. Empty empty empty empty and ah, it feels so good! Who would’ve known how good empty shelves could feel?!

Even our wardrobe downsized a lot! A lot a lot. But the funny thing is, we noticed that we tend to wear the same items over and over again, anyway. Like out of all the clothes we have, why is it that we tend to wear the same clothes over and over again? Is anyone else like that? Or is that just us? So we decided, if it’s not something that we like to wear regularly, then we won’t even waste our time bringing it over. It’s just going to take up space and add clutter in to our lives, and the whole reason for this move was to simplify our lives by removing as much clutter and “stuff” as possible.

And to be on our own, of course.

Clutter is chaos. It is a suffocating presence that drains us of peace and joy and instead fills us with fear, hopelessness, shame, and anxiety.
— Unknown

So we are now ONE WEEK down and finally feeling settled in and good about everything.

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It’s been a lot of work this week and super stressful (I hate moving), but now that it is pretty much all done it feels so good. Less things, less stress, and having our own washer & dryer = less piles of laundry to do at once and pretty much always being caught up. This is freaking awesome! I needed this. I so needed this. I felt like I was drowning before and I just couldn’t keep up with everything (well, as of the past 4 months since I went back to work and started homeschooling), but now I can finally breathe again.

Financially maybe not so much (haha), but physically I just feel so free! Now I can handle our load. 4 kids, 2 adults. Now this is more manageable. Nothing against living with family or anything (especially my amazing care-free family), but trying to do laundry with 5-6 other adults was hard. I couldn’t keep up and it was stressing me out. Also, having to clean a two-story house? Also much harder and longer and time-consuming. It was just too much for me. But this? This one floor 3 bedroom house? Now this I can handle.

You don’t need more space. You need less stuff.
— Unknown

Oh, and with almost all the toys donated? Clean up has been a breeze.

The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.
— Mother Theresa
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Isn’t it beautiful? Simple, but beautiful. I love it! I love our temporary new home. And if you noticed, even our decorations are minimal. I am one that usually loves to go all out decorating, but in this process I have learned that you aren’t supposed to have anything in the home that doesn’t serve you. Everything in your home needs to have purpose and meaning. Minimalists are very intentional and if something (or even someone) doesn’t serve you, it shouldn’t be in your life. So when choosing how I was going to decorate I had to be very selective, and wow, what a change. I loved my decorating before, but there is just so much power and freedom in this way of living. In simplicity. I’ve been loving this whole concept of less is more.

There is beauty in simplicity.
— Gail Lynne Goodwin
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
— Leonardo da Vinci
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
— William Morris

But again, was this the smartest financial decision? Not in the slightest. A lot of our goals are being put on pause now thanks to this change, but as my husband said, We’ve gotta be happy in the now too. We can’t just wait for it to come in the future. We’ve gotta be happy now. And although I know he could’ve lasted in the family home longer, he knew I couldn’t, so we took the plunge and here we are.

But now the real struggle begins. The financial struggle. But hey, it costs to live in paradise, and if this is where we want to live, this is the kind of challenge that comes with it. This is the challenge we have chosen to take on.

But the thing is, this is home and there is no other place we’d rather be and no other place we would want to raise our kids. There is just no place like home and we seriously have the best home! Yes, it comes with the financial cons, which equals simpler living and having to be satisfied with less, but this is what we choose. And surprisingly enough, now all these years later, this is what we actually want and have come to love. Who would’ve thought that those things would actually be desirable? So now we don’t see those things as cons anymore, but as huge pros.

Now we are not distracted by all the things. Now the main things are the main things and wow, this realization has been so incredibly freeing for our souls. Really loving this minimalist movement and the impact it has had on our lives in just this short amount of time. And what impeccable timing too!

It’s interesting because we know what we can get moving elsewhere, and at one point in time, that is what we thought we wanted. You know, the nice big house on the mainland, no roaches to deal with, the cheap groceries, the cheap gas. We wanted all that. But since being back home the past 6 years we’ve realized that we actually really like our home. Like maybe we had taken it for granted growing up here?! But now that we were back (after being gone for 7 years—mission and college), we started appreciating all the little things that we hadn’t before. The simple things like a sunrise over the ocean, muddy shoes from a hike in nature, being able to jump off of a waterfall, swimming in the ocean, watching mini waterfalls appear on our lush green Ko’olau mountains every time it rains, the sense of pride our community has in everything, the culture, the family. 

All of a sudden all of these little things started standing out to us and we really started appreciating it all. The plan was to only move home for a year, but once that year was up my husband begged me to stay for just one more. Just one more he said. So I did it, but once that second year came up, I quickly reminded him that it’s time. Time to go back. But again, he asked to stay, already having fallen in love with our home. Not that I hadn’t, but I was ready to be on our own again and live a life that we could afford without depending on others. But he asked for a chance to prove it to me. To prove that we could still live here and be on our own.

So in to our first little one bedroom apartment we went. In fact, I don’t even think it really even counted as a 1 bedroom. It was almost like a studio (or some weird mix of the two), but you get my drift. We moved there with two kids soon to be three (as one was on the way), but he did it! We were living on our own…..in Hawaii! Then, as fate would have it, I landed my Honolulu-based airline job shortly after and that was it. That was when I decided we could stay. Like permanently. After 2 years of being back home, the mainland option was out. We were going to stay in Hawaii! :)

So we lasted in that apartment for 2 years before moving back in with my family. I didn’t necessarily want to do that, but because Spencer was ready to pursue a new dream it’s what we needed to do. But now here we are, another 2 years later, moving out on our own again! Haha! But this time we aint playin’ around. It is a 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, so considerably more space and considerably more money. And this time I told him we can’t go back. Once we leave that’s it! No more moving back in with Mom. So yeah, here we are going to try this out again. Crossing fingers we can make this work again, because we are loving it. We are loving our simple minimalistic life here in Hawaii and we hope we can stay forever.

Cuz there’s no place like home….there’s no place like home….there’s no place like home….

Wish us luck!