Simplicity in Action: Aly’s Story

Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action.


If you had asked my mother or me a few years back what we thought about material possessions and the need to have more, we probably would have said that the best things in life aren’t free. We spent money on items we’d later toss, and didn’t bat an eye until the credit card statement or bills would come in. It had been a never-ending cycle of spending more but gaining less. We were in a rut.

Today, we each approach money and material items with a new perspective, thanks to opting for a simpler lifestyle. We honor the old saying of “Think on it” or “Sleep on it” for something we deem necessary in our lives. Before I decide to purchase anything now on a whim, I wait a week or two to see if my life would be improved with that item or if it’s just an unnecessary expense.

We’ve simplified everything in our lives, and it has lifted a huge stress off our backs. Slowly we have been embracing a life of simplicity, removing the clutter, and spending more time on our health and happiness and less on material possession. By doing so, we now have time for the more important things in our lives, such as each other.

My mother and I decided to create a website where we could chart our progress and challenges. This project has been a blessing, bringing us even closer as we tackle our challenges together while we learn who we are as individuals. Together, we offer one another love and support, advice for the hard times, or lend an ear when needed. We embarked on this journey together, but we are discovering who we are as individuals, and that is the most exciting thing.

Visit to follow the mother/daughter duo and read about their challenges, discoveries, and journeys.


  1. says

    Your story hits a nerve. I’d love to share my new journey with my mother who kept break the cycle of buying more. I won’t share too much of her story. I will say that I hope by example she will be inspired. On my way to your site now.

    Courtney, thanks so much for the series.

  2. says

    Hi Aly,

    I like your method of making yourself wait before buying something on a whim. That strategy helps when we have a perceived emergency as well. Most of the “emergencies” we have in life can actually be solved in a less expensive manner if we just take the time to think through the options and not jump at the first solution.

    Looking forward to checking out your site. Cheers!

    Ree ~ I blog at

    • says

      Hi Ree –

      That’s a good point. I know I’ve had my fair share of “emergencies” that just turned out to be me overreacting to the situation at hand. If we take the time to just breathe and approach the situation in a calm manner, many times the “emergency” is just someone overreacting and it can be solved with a less pricey solution.

      Checking out your website now! :)

  3. says

    Aly, thank you for sharing your story. We too have found that rarely, if ever, is there an item that must be purchased at that very moment. Walking out of the store, or – better yet – never walking in, often means we have to make a real effort to get back and make the purchase. Instead of breaking the spending habit, perhaps it is more “positive” to create a habit of not spending. What fun that you and your mom are doing it together!

    • says

      Hi Tammy –

      That’s exactly what we’ve started to do now. We rarely go into stores now unless we absolutely know there’s something we need inside. No more “window shopping” or “browsing.” It’s get-in, get-out, and get-going. Definitely helps keeping money where it belongs, and has significantly helped our savings. :)

  4. says

    We de-stashed after a major series of moves 10 years ago, but then it became all too easy for my husband and I to fall back into old habits. We have just moved again, the destashing is ever more rigorous now as we have 500 less sq feet. My closet space is 1/3 of what I used to have. So, at last, I said goodbye to the last of my good designer work clothes. I had held onto them of course hoping to lose weight so they would fit again, but also as a hope that perhaps the neurological problems and pain that I deal with daily would calm down enough for me to work outside of my studio at least part time. But if this has not happened in 10 years, it is not going to happen. I folded each blouse, each suit, slacks, even a few dress shoes into boxes and bags. I was surprised how I felt. First off, a bit foolish and selfish for holding on to this clothing so long, and really happy with the knowledge that someone who needs a classy plus size work wardrobe is going to find some fabulous bargains at Goodwill!