Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Minimalism In A Not So Tiny House - Finding Your Motivation

We've all been there.

You found out suddenly that you'll be moving in two months and have never felt more motivated to finally paint those rooms you've been meaning to paint as well as finish remodeling that bathroom that has been half done for months now. After all, you will likely get a better offer on your house if you list it as having two bathrooms as opposed to one bathroom and one ALMOST DONE bathroom.

It is 4 o'clock in the afternoon and you just found out that your husband is coming home after work with...friends! But don't worry he says, they are bringing pizza so you don't have to worry at all about cooking for everyone on such short notice. Perfect, because now you have approximately one WHOLE hour to clean the ENTIRE house. Ok, well, maybe I can just concentrate on the main floor. But what if someone is in the bathroom and someone else needs to use the bathroom upstairs? And what if they go upstairs and the kids' bedroom doors are OPEN? GASP! Shivers go down your spine! Thanks for taking care of dinner, honey, you mumble under your breath while rushing to clean BOTH bathrooms.

Just in case.

Maybe your in-laws are coming for a visit and you really want to be their FAVORITE daughter-in-law so you spend the whole week prior cleaning and grocery shopping and organizing... Wait, you are their only daughter-in-law. Well, um...you still want them to have no question at all that their son picked really, REALLY well. 

The truth is...we all have things that motivate us and things in our home that we are living with that drive us nuts. But before you can tackle each room in your house, you need to know why you want to live more simply. 

Personally, I was tired of feeling overwhelmed by our home and stuff. I was tired of turning every corner only to see more chaos and more confusion. I desperately wanted our home to be an inviting, peaceful place for people to gather and rest. I also wanted to enjoy our home and not just brainstorm how I would fix it up someday, if we ever decided to sell it. 

I was so over trying to impress people or worrying about what other people thought of our home when they came over.

But it was something more than that for me. 

I think I just got tired of pretending. 

I didn't want to only have a clean home, only when I knew other people were coming over. 

I wanted to have an inviting, peaceful, and restful home all of the other hours inbetween too. It became less and less about trying to impress other people and more and more about simply wanting it all to be real.

But could we have a clean and orderly home AND have five children?!? I certainly asked myself that question countless times over the past five years.

And what I discovered was, YES! 

At first I discovered that having an orderly home, more often, was possible if I did one thing...invited people over more. By having a weekly potluck meal at our home for neighbors, you can just imagine how motivated I was to straighten up and clean our house that day. And all of that random junk that I had no clue what to do with...it all got thrown into a basket somewhere, and I hardly missed it at all.

Then I was motivated more as I started to implement solutions for the things in our home that were driving me nuts! Why are all of these backpacks on the floor? Why can't I ever find my keys when I need them? Why do I keep stepping on LEGOS everywhere I turn!?!

And that is when a new system would be born, something that I could communicate to everyone in our house the ins and outs of. I'll talk more about systems next week!

I uncovered a home that was becoming more and more peaceful and was enjoyed by all of us, not just our visitors. 

When we traveled to Mexico this past summer and listed our home on AIRBNB, I realized that being together as a family...anywhere in the world, was MORE important to me than EVERY SINGLE THING in our home. And since we were now suddenly paying someone to clean our home over and over, in between guests, let's just say that it made me re-evaluate every single thing in our home to decide if it was really worth keeping or not.

I'm currently writing all about our AIRBNB experience, with helpful tips and how to's for hosting, in an E-book that will be available to purchase this Spring. Maybe you've dreamed of going on a family vacation this summer and have considered listing your home. You'll have plenty of time to read the book and get set up to do that later, but first, you need to find out what motivates you. 

Seeing our home as a haven, a place for our family and others to rest and gather, discovering a way for us to fund family trips that we had only dreamed of going on and a deep desire to take care of what God has entrusted us with, has undeniably motivated me to live this way!

Today the question is, what motivates you?

Why do you want to live a simpler lifestyle or have a simpler home?

What motivates you to do the things necessary to change how your home has always been to how you've always dreamed it could be?

What dreams do you hope to accomplish by living more intentionally in your home?

Comment below, it will certainly encourage us all!

After all,

we have all been there.

But now,

we can all move forward and do the work to simplify together.

To help you get even more motivated, check out this documentary on Netflix called, Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things. I heard one person say that she immediately organized all of her spices after watching it. I personally, went through every single thing in our dining room after I finished the film. The trailer is below!

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things from The Minimalists on Vimeo.

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  1. I am so anxious to read everything that you will write, but it is probably good that I am reading the posts as they come out (as opposed to all at once), since I need the one to digest and inplement.

    As far as our home, I would rather a simpler home and lifestyle. I value our family and people more than I do things, and I would like our home and lifestyle to reflect that view on life. Plus I cannot think clearly or operate at my best potential when there is clutter around - both physical and mental clutter.

    There are so many dreams that God has birthed within me (within us), and I wish our home to be a vehicle to accomplish those God-sized dreams.

    Keep on posting.

    1. Diana,

      I love that you are so eager to read this series, thank you for following along! I hope that these posts are inspiring, encouraging and valuable to you as you digest and implement each one. I think that your desire to have your home be a vehicle to accomplish all of your God-size dreams, is absolutely beautiful! xoxo


  2. Sarah,
    I'm really excited about this series you're doing!
    I've had a desire and tried to be more minimalist/simple for a long time now, but it wasn't until we moved here to Africa that I feel like we're finally "getting it". I love our simpler life because:
    ~ I don't want to spend my whole life doing things that don't matter, and streamlining where it makes sense helps me have time for other things. For example, I'm doing language learning right now. I have found that eating the same thing for breakfast everyday has helped me not have to spend as much time in the kitchen and therefore more time studying French.
    ~Moving and traveling is something we do a lot. The less stuff we have, the less we have to sort, pack and then unpack all the time.
    ~The more I see how little we need, the more I realize how fabulously wealthy we are compared to most of the world, and our extra is better off going to those who really need it, rather than to cluttering up our lives.
    ~We plan to work in a village. If we live more like the villagers (which is very simply), it'll probably be easier for us to connect and build relationships with them.
    "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." 1 Tim. 6:8 NIV

    1. Katy,

      Wow! It sounds like you guys have learned a lot of valuable tips for traveling and doing more of the things that you love by simplifying. I agree that when we limit our options (and therefore have to use less brain power to make decisions) we can really benefit a lot. So cool to see how it is playing out with helping you as you are learning French! Keep up the awesome work! xoxo


  3. I needed this post right now, or more the motivation it gives me. We recently moved into a new smaller home AND added a new baby. I'm so tired of moving and cleaning things that we haven't used since we moved in. Your comment on the baskets filled with random things you don't use really hit home for me. I have 2 rooms filled with them.

    1. Amanda,

      Congratulations on the new baby! Moving is the best and worse at highlighting all of our unused stuff. We feel guilty that we just took all of the time to pack it up and bring it along...and yet we also commit to ourselves that we NEVER want to ever move it again, ever! :-) Take that motivation and run with it! You can make the decision now to clear out the things that you aren't missing, don't use, don't need and that just cause you to feel frustrated and occupy your time moving/cleaning instead of bringing you JOY because they are no longer there. It takes motivation, and it sounds like you are off to a great start! xoxo


  4. This is so great! I can't wait for future posts and the ebook! I can totally relate to why you wanted a more clean and orderly home. I too have the containers of "stuff" that have no home - but I'm super organized with the items I use daily and weekly! For instance, when I get home, there's a satisfaction I take in hanging my coat on the coat rack, putting my keys and purse on hooks in the entryway near my coat; going in and changing out of house clothes - putting dirty clothes in the hamper, hanging up clothes that can be used again, and choosing an outfit for the next day. I look around and am happy with the items that have homes, and then my heart sinks when I see the random bits (feels like mountains) hiding in plain sight - all items needing homes. I've proven I can keep things tidy and clean when items have homes. But when they don't? Watch out! :)

    I can't wait to see how you transformed your home!!


Thank you for commenting, I read every single one. Because spam is so prevalent I moderate all comments. I also will delete any that are inappropriate or hurtful. All other comments will be approved and published in between me chasing around my five little tornadoes! For any specific questions feel free to email me at aninvitinghome@gmail.com. Thanks for reading and following along!

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