Editor’s Note: This is a post in the series, Simplicity in Action. If you’d like to submit your story of how simplicity has worked in your life, please read more here. You can write about anything from decluttering a junk drawer to simplifying your diet. Let your small and big changes inspire others.
Several years ago my wife and I decided to place our house on the market. We weren’t looking to move to an enormous house, but since we have two kids we were looking to gain another bedroom and a bit more storage space.
After several weeks of preparation and organization, a couple of things became clear:
1. We own a lot of junk. No wonder we were tight on storage space; we had too much stuff. As part of the organizing, we got rid of two pickup truck loads of stuff, and still had too much junk.
2. The homes that would be a “move up” in space and amenities were more than we wanted to spend. For years my wife and I have been working to live below our means. A move would stretch us a little beyond where we wanted to be – not that we couldn’t afford it, but why try to afford it?
Since my business is called Simple Marriage, part of keeping things in marriage simple is living, er uh, simply.
After deciding not to go through with the process, we noticed a tremendous weight was lifted off our shoulders. We began making plans to get completely out of debt and travel more with the kids.
In other words, living life more alive and less tied to things and stuff.
This process helped us realize how easily you can be trapped into living according to a perceived expectation of society.
How exactly did society evolve to the point that when you have x number of kids living in an x number of bedroom house, you must get a bigger house in order for everyone to have their own room, and an office, and a playroom, and on and on?
Didn’t our parents grow up with two or more kids in the same room? Plus, I heard that they walked to school through snow uphill both ways.
It also seems that as a society today, we feel entitled to a certain lifestyle. A certain amount of luxuries.
But at what cost?
Since my wife and I decided not to move, there was a new level of passion and love in the house. We were less worried about the finances. Spent more time with the kids. Planned future trips and excursions. Plus, we got away on the weekends for fun.
I think there is a correlation between living within or below your means and passion in marriage.
There is less stress. Less worry. And more room for adventure.
Try it. Spend some time organizing the house. De-clutter.
Then spend the time planning an adventure together. Spend time with friends. Serve others.
In other words, live and enjoy living, together!
Read more from Corey who writes regularly at Simple Marriage. His resources will help you keep it simple and make it better.