Sign up to receive access to my monthly newsletter & printable library:

check to verify you want to receive the monthly email

   

This post may contain affiliate links, you can read my affiliate disclosure here.

A Mother's Education: Books to Read in 2018 - As a lifelong learner I want to constantly growing myself, yes, I get to learn alongside my children as I homeschool them but I also want to be learning on my own. This year I have chosen a literary mentor and a list of books I would like to read.
LIVING,  SIMPLE LIVING

Living a Life of Less | Possessions

This segment, living a life of less possessions goes hand in hand with so many other areas, especially clothing and spending.

If we were being honest I think most of us would admit to having way more than we actually need. How much of our stuff do we actually use on a daily or regular basis? I went on a major rampage at the beginning of the year and simplified our possessions a lot, but I still find more stuff that we never actually use.

Simplifying possessions can be hard but what I have found to be even harder is to keep it that way. I need to make a conscious effort to make sure I don’t just replace all the stuff I just got rid of.

I’ve found life to be quite a bit easier since getting rid of so much, previously I was (unknowingly) wasting so much time cleaning and organizing things I didn’t even use. Now that it’s gone I no longer have to think about it or organize it! Yay!

I think part of limiting the amount of possessions you own is making sure you purchase good quality items. I’d rather have five things that are going to last me a long time than twenty things I’ll have to keep replacing. Unfortunately this mindset is completely new to me. We still have a lot of items that I hope to eventually replace with better quality pieces in the future. This goes for clothing, furniture, small kitchen appliances and cookware, toys, etc.

Speaking of toys . . . this is one of the hardest parts for me. Raeca has been so good at getting rid of so many of her toys and putting lots of others away for now, but her birthday is just a few months away and I’m already cringing at the idea of all the stuff she is going to get. The truth is, she has a great imagination and can play for a long time with just a grocery store receipt, and I think that’s awesome, but it just makes me wonder why we buy children so many toys. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think all toys are bad or anything, but I’m trying to expose her to ones that are a) going to last b) aren’t plastic and don’t have batteries and c) help her to use her imagination. I’ve got a couple of toys in mind that I’d like to purchase for her, we recently got her this and this which she has been loving and I like the idea of getting her this and this.

I think the idea of keeping possessions to a minimum will be a life long journey since we will always be purchasing something. I’m just glad I’m starting to learn the art of less now as opposed to another ten or twenty years down the road.

How do you keep your possessions to a minimum?

Other posts on living with less:
FOOD | SPENDING | CLOTHING | MEDIA | STRESS & COMMITMENTS | WASTE
you can also check out some inspiration and the entire series here.

JENNA @ DEAREST LOVE

My little lifestyle blog is where you will find faith-inspired posts, DIYs, wedding photos, recipes, and random musings. I believe that dreams should be chased, fresh baked goods should be enjoyed often, and lives should be creatively lived. 

FOLLOW JENNA:
BLOG | BLOGLOVIN’ | PINTEREST

36 Comments

  • Caitlin

    Keeping possessions to a minimum is so hard for me! I have a hard time shelling out a large amount of money for everything, so I tend to take the used/vintage/thrift route, but that doesn’t always mean quality. It’s funny you brought up the idea of why we give children so many toys. Years ago when I was a nanny, a family I worked for banned toys for the most part. The kids had puzzles, a doll or two, but that was about it. The family said their “toy” was outside / nature / enjoying the day. Out of all the families I nannied for, those kids were the happiest. They would relish in activities like making mud pies instead of asking for computer time. It was pretty interesting!

    • Chantel -A Harvest of Blessing

      Oh I definitely buy a lot of my stuff at thrift stores, I love paying a fraction of the price for something in perfect shape.
      I love what you said about the people that you nannied for, I’ve really tried to keep out toys that would help build her imagination. If we didn’t have such crazy winters where it is impossible to play outside for months at a time I would totally get rid of more of her stuff but I’ll know she’ll be needing it again once October/November rolls around.

  • Amy

    the more i read this series the more i hone in one a constant message: quality over quantity.
    TRUTH…and i believe that is true for all areas of our lives. i was looking around my home last night thinking….man i own A LOT of stuff. not beautiful things, but stuff. it’s time to pair down those things, thanks again for yet ANOTHER kick in the butt 😉

  • Robyn Black

    i agree that it’s harder to keep things simplified! i have purged so many times, but always end up building it back up! consistency is the key! thanks for the challenge, Chantel!

  • Aimee

    I love this. I think more possessions means more clutter and more stress. At least for me. And you’re completely right that it makes more sense to buy one quality item instead of 5 cheap ones. As for the toys… when my daughter was three I sat her down and explained how some kids don’t have toys or blankets or clothes and suggested that we donated some of her things to them. I was so pleased by the amount of things she was willing to let go of. At the end we had several boxes for charity. 🙂

    • Chantel -A Harvest of Blessing

      I did that same thing with Raeca a few months ago! She is SO good at getting rid of stuff (honestly, she was willing to give up more than I was!). The problem just becomes other people getting her stuff all the time . . . I don’t know how to say no to people and once they’ve given her something it seems wrong to get rid of it right away.

  • Whitney @ Journey Mercies

    Ok I would love to see a post on how you explain your new lifestyle to others. I am so thankful for family that want to lavish love on our little guy. How do you still honor parents while living simply? (Aka tell them, please don’t buy my kid a lot of stuff). Also – I read somewhere that one family dealt with toys by giving away an old one every time they were given a new one. Sounds like a good idea!

  • Rachel Nordgren

    My husband and I have definitely talked about this one!! We’re a loooooong ways off from having kids, but I think the way we’ll handle it is by asking family to give our children experiences rather than possessions. Like tickets to a fun event, a trip to the zoo, going to a museum…stuff like that. I still cringe at the thought of all the “treasures” they’re still going to want to give us, though!! >_<

  • Rachel G

    What you said about cleaning and organizing–I’ve definitely found that to be true now that we’re down to a mostly-empty home! I love how clean everything looks…I mean, literally, the only thing in the room where I’m sitting now is a folding table, chair, my laptop, and a couple books on the table…it’s easy for things to look clean when there aren’t many things! Angel and I already plan–because of what we know of our friends and family and the community where we’ll be living–I think we intend to not buy our future children any toys, and probably not any clothes either, simply as a way of limiting stuff. I don’t necessarily believe in limiting what others give you, especially in the community where I’m from, giving is considered a big source of joy…but we figure with how much stuff our children will get from family and friends, they won’t need us adding to the load!
    I really do like the classic, really high-quality toys, though–I would love to have those for our kids but that won’t make sense overseas.

  • Lorraine Yeung

    Okay, okay, okay, so… I’m at the Gospel Coalition Women’s conference, and I D.A. Carson is talking, and he’s talking about options and quotes Barry Cooper saying “The god of open options is also a liar. He promises you that by keeping your options open, you can have everything and everyone. But in the end, you get nothing and no one.”

    Anyway, I you might find this article interesting! 🙂

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/january-february/imprisoned-by-choice.html

    Am currently living 10 days in Florida with about 10 items of clothing. Finding it super freeing to have such a limited amount of possessions – feeling more motivated to get rid and simplify. Feeling freer having less choices. Feeling like the “god of open options” is a liar and I’ll be more content with less choices.

  • Gina Alyse

    Awesome thoughts! It is so hard to not be in the habit of buying more things–especially for me and probably many others since we live in a culture that loves the idea of going to the store, “just looking” and being surrounded by sales, etc. Even online! I’m so glad that you were able to downsize on things and make an effort to simplify possessions. Thanks for being an awesome example! xo, gina

    • Chantel -A Harvest of Blessing

      You are so right, it goes completely against what those people in marketing want us to believe, they WANT us to spend more because of course that means more money for them, but it’s a vicious cycle. And if you don’t intentionally try to stop it it will just continue.

  • Lindsy Wallace

    I’m loving this series Chantel! I agree, getting rid of stuff is fairly easy -it’s keeping junk out that is hard, particularly with kids! We have an in-out rule. If a new toy comes in, an old toy goes out. I even explain this to grandparents when they ask for gift ideas. I also always request experiences over stuff, for example zoo, museum or science center passes, gift certificates for ice cream, summer camps, etc. I really want my kids to value experiences and time with friends and family over things and this helps drive that home! 😉

    • Chantel -A Harvest of Blessing

      We aren’t completely strict with the one for one rule but we definitely practice it a bit. And I love the idea of grandparents getting the children experiences and different passes and stuff, I’m totally going to use this idea in the future!

  • Molly Walter

    For kids birthdays I try to limit what I buy, but understand that I can’t really control (I can suggest and hint though) at what other people will bring, mainly grandparents since we don’t invite friends until school age. For holidays and birthdays we stick to a three gift rule (works nice around Christmas, because who else only got “three gifts”?) and while it might seem like a little, it’s a lot! Particularly for little kids 1-3 gifts is plenty and they don’t even have to be anything big.

    • Chantel -A Harvest of Blessing

      I love these ideas, we do most of them. We plan on starting birthday parties once she enters kindergarten (still a year away) and I’m hoping to come up with an idea on how to avoid gifts for that, like maybe kids can bring money to donate to the cause of her choice or she can pick something out of the Compassion or Gospel for Asia catalogues . . . still thinking about this one.

      • Molly Walter

        I also like the idea that the kids bring something that related to the party – like a craft you plan ahead of time and everyone brings a part of it. It’d could even be a decorate your cupcake thing and one kid bring frosting, one brings sprinkles, etc. That way they still get to bring something, but it’s usable and it’s not lingering around afterwards (kids can take home what’s left over from what they brought).