simple living isn’t always pretty

Moving house is eye-opening for the minimalists among us. Because when your belongings are laid out before you and you have a pile of boxes six-foot high in your loungeroom, you soon realise that “minimalist” is not an apt title for you. Not at all, not in the slightest.

The sorting and packing and subsequent unpacking has had me thinking a lot about simple living, family living and frugal living. Are they all the same? Most definitely not. Can you create your own version of the three that serves you well? Yes, yes, yes!

The past few years have been a two-steps-forward-one-step-back road to simple living and I must admit, it’s something that ebbs and flows depending on the seasons, my mindfulness (or lack there of) and my work load. Because simplicity does require time and awareness, as does sustainable, ethical, waste-free, frugal living. You have to constantly check yourself, observe your spending habits, consider the implications of your purchase and figure out the best way to stretch the leftovers in the fridge.

And then there is, of course, the tug of war between aesthetics and practicality. It’s a dilemma that’s fuelled by much of what we see outside the home; gloriously styled shots coming to us in droves via social media. And the way those photos effected my perspective on this new home has been confronting, to say the least.

Essentially we have bid farewell to a home that provided me white walls and the most marvellous light but offered little in the way of storage or ease of living. Now, we make a home where storage and space abound, where there’s a double sink and a pantry and a utility room that can house all the dirty washing and yet-to-be folded clothes. But the window frames are a 90s hue of teal green and the carpet in the children’s room is a similar shade. Before we moved in I was all glum about the fact that it just wasn’t very pretty. But then my friend Steph, ever so lovely and wise, told me that she doesn’t particularly like the look of her home but she loves the way she lives there. And last night, as I cleaned the kitchen and looked out towards the front door, I revelled in the sense of space and ease that this home has already provided us. Within these walls is a soft, welcoming energy; there’s a sense of happy and good and right. There’s room to move, (to dance!), the bath is big enough for all three kids,  there’s a big white wall for us to project movies on to at night and a jacaranda tree in the garden that is fit for climbing (and will be an absolute picture come September).

Needless to say, the work of family living is easier when you have a home that is practical. And while it may not look like my ideal, it definitely feels right.

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Showing 13 comments
  • Say Little Hen
    Reply

    Storage is the thing I value most in a home (and which this home unfortunately doesn't have). And as for the green hues – my walls are a very very soft green and the Windows are dark green. The floor was a brownish carpet that we've since ripped up and I can't wait to paint those walls!

  • Kari
    Reply

    Thanks for the dose of reality. So much of life is compromise, and it's nice to know I'm not the only one dealing with that. Hope you have a wonderful life in your new home.

  • Kirsty
    Reply

    Housing and compromise seem to go together! I hate the look of my house (especially from the outside) – but I love the space and light inside. Having room to dance and play and store things makes such a difference!

  • Kathy
    Reply

    Moving away from your neighbours will be a plus…..extra space….another plus….green walls…will challenge your photography but a jacaranda tree in the back yard..bonus plus. It's a new home, one for you to make new memories and photograph differently. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane (PS…my photobook came back last week with my 2015 photos in it and I'm thrilled to bits. Now keen to get the 2014 ones into a book too. By the way what sort of paper did you use for your blurb book you did as it feels recycled. Kathy

  • Kathy
    Reply

    Moving away from your neighbours will be a plus…..extra space….another plus….green walls…will challenge your photography but a jacaranda tree in the back yard..bonus plus. It's a new home, one for you to make new memories and photograph differently. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane (PS…my photobook came back last week with my 2015 photos in it and I'm thrilled to bits. Now keen to get the 2014 ones into a book too. By the way what sort of paper did you use for your blurb book you did as it feels recycled. Kathy

  • Debby Brady
    Reply

    A very wise woman is Steph. Comprise is what life is. I truly feel for young women now, (I am entering my 5th decade here shortly) , for they have been lied to about having it all. Yes you can have "IT" all, but it means pieces of it – for us the realisation that our children's babyhood came but once meant I gave up paid work for a few years to be their primary care giver – from there I never really came back to the same role- my husband travelled so if I opted for a much lesser role it made life more workable . It wasn't perfect but we made that decision believing that was the right decision for our family. My husband now talks of other Career aspirations , & I most certainly do so both of us made a sacrifice for our family. But isn't that what having a family is all about?
    Sorry a bit off the topic really of wall colour but a link to my personal mantra – "Bloom where you are planted" ������. I hope the move went well

  • bethany
    Reply

    I always adore your perspective, Jodi–and Steph's too. Living in (and slowly transforming) an unsavory house ourselves has reminded me that the beauty and peace of a home always comes from within us, not merely the space itself. Your spirit is alive and bright and will undoubtedly make up for the teal windows. Warmest to you in the unpacking process, and of course, welcome home. xx

  • Cristiana
    Reply

    Oh… the confrontation between aesthetics and practicality… I dream of reaching some kind of balance where it all feels nice, but it isn't easy. In the long run, practicality always win in my home… I'm gradually accepting it as it is but this post made me realize maybe I'm not embracing it as I should, as I would like to.

  • Jessica Large
    Reply

    This is such a good reminder that beauty isn't necessarily what first meets the eye. Your home isn't beautiful because of the color of the walls or carpet, it's beautiful because of the feeling it gives you and the love that abides inside of it.

    The Jacaranda trees in my neighborhood are blooming right now and it's glorious! One day when I have a house I would love to plant one in my backyard.

  • M
    Reply

    Steph's words are the exact thing I have been searching for to describe my home. It needs work and it isn't particularly nice but it has potential and it feels like a home and I feel comfortable and I like living here… The aesthetically pleasing aspects of my home can be added later when my children are grown and I'm happy to be back in the work place in the meantime I'll try to embrace the simplicity of life.

  • Erin
    Reply

    Such a great reminder and perspective!

  • Erin
    Reply

    Such a great reminder and perspective!

  • Kelly Newsom
    Reply

    good perspective to have, especially when "perfection" is coming at us from every direction.

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