Eight Steps to Simple Living

Our home is our place of refuge, relaxation and comfort. By having a simplified home, it lends us more space to relax, think freely and be creative.

When I was thinking about how we created our slow-living/simple lifestyle, I thought, “where do I begin?!”. It has become such a natural part of our lifestyle now that I had to really sit back and dissect the ways we have made this happen for our family. It is still a work in progress every day as new challenges and more “stuff” pops up, but I am proud to say we have really embraced this style of living in a non-extreme, modern way.

Here are some of the methods that we've found useful in achieving a slower, simpler lifestyle.

 
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Start At Home

“Imagine your home as a place where time moves a little slower.” -Simplicity Parenting

Our home is our place of refuge, relaxation and comfort. By having a simplified home, it lends us more space to relax, think freely and be creative.

1. It may seem obvious but getting rid of stuff is the best place to start. We started slowly so it wasn’t so overwhelming, and broke it up by room. The closets are the easiest place to start. We asked ourselves “what haven’t we used in a while and probably never really will?” and donated those items. “What’s broken or missing pieces, torn or out of shape?” and trashed/recycled or donated parts if possible. By doing this we make more room for things we love and can therefore have easier access to them. This may be an ongoing process—a good addition to spring cleaning. We have also really cut back on shopping. We really only frequent the supermarket and the bookstore and small local shops. This way we aren’t tempted to purchase things we don’t need!

2. Handmade and homemade. We use our hands and creativity to make foods from scratch, craft DIYs and rearrange furniture and décor. You may be asking, “how is this a way to simplify?” but I have found it has had a HUGE part in making us appreciate the little things and motivating us to keep things simple. When we make meals and baked goods from scratch, we savor them and waste less. Crafting is such a beautiful way to enjoy being in your home, therefore motivating us to keep it a space that is simplified and a representation of ourselves and what we love.

3. Cleaning supplies and routines. We mostly make our own cleaning supplies using simple ingredients, and we try to stick to a regular cleaning schedule. This way we aren't scrambling to clean the house before guests come over and/or we aren't leaving tons of housework for one day of the week. I'm always more calm and inspired when our home is clean.

 
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4. Cozy nooks. Create cozy little spaces meant for quiet time, enjoying a book, craft or tea. It's all about relishing in the simple pleasures.

5. Meal prep and rhythm. We have a dinner rhythm that works beautifully! Each day is a different meal theme that we stick to each week. For example, Monday is a Mexican themed dish, Tuesday is a fish dish, etc. This helps to keep shopping and meal prep simple because it becomes routine. We aren't scrambling to put something together last minute, which frees up more time for us to enjoy outdoors as a family before dinner.

 
 

Savor Your Time

"Activity without downtime is ultimately - like a plant without roots - unsustainable." -Simplicity Parenting

I think this is often overlooked in our fast-paced, get-ahead world. There is a balance to be achieved for holistic happiness and success.

1. Free play. We do our best to not overschedule ourselves and especially our son. One of the most important things to me as a parent is to give my son lots of free time to play, explore and learn about himself without time constraints and lots of restrictions. The same can be applied to adults. There is nothing like enjoying a favorite hobby with no time limit.

2. We implement "rest days" where we enjoy our home and outdoors with no obligations for the entire day. I learned this in the book "Simplicity Parenting" and love the idea of it - if you have a busy day, counteract it by making the next day a no-obligations day.

3. Politely declining. We have become much more confident with saying "no" to things when we saw how it really improves our mental state and energy when we don't have commitment after commitment.

 
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These are just some of the many ways we have scaled back our lifestyle to make room for things that are most important to us. We are by no means experts on this area, but any help or inspiration that we can pass on means the world to us.

There is such a large scale on simple living, from those who move into tiny homes and get rid of most of their belongings to a more easily attainable conscious consumer who makes little tweaks to their lifestyle. It all fascinates me, and I love learning new tips.


Brooke Fiorillo is a wife, mom and creative living in coastal Connecticut. Brooke's adaption to simple living and embracing the present moment has fascinated me. They have done such a beautiful job raising their baby boy, Anchor, to enjoy nature, play freely and grow up at his own pace. Brooke and her family run a blog called root + dwell where they share craft ideas, simple living tips and more. Keep an eye out for their shop of handmade goods, opening very soon. In the meantime, this is one of my recent favorite posts on root + dwell.