8 Lessons Learned From a Year of Living Simply

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2. Amazement – I am amazed at how much stuff we had. And how we’ve done just fine without all of that stuff for the past year. Lesson learned-You really don’t need a lot of what you own.

3. Contentment – I am content with the things we still have. I’m often asked if we have any regrets from anything we’ve let go of and one year later, I can still answer that question with a resounding “Nope!” Lesson learned-Making intentional choices leads to no regrets.

4. Generosity – We spent a fair amount of time selling items over the course of our year and a half of downsizing, but this past year, we’ve simply donated most of the items that we no longer need. The feeling of knowing someone else is getting (and appreciating) something that I no longer need is very rewarding and the time saved from listing and selling items has far outweighed whatever little cash I would have received for the items. Lesson learned-Give freely. The joy experienced on both sides is immeasurable.

5. Community – Even though I moved to a place where I knew only a handful of people, I’m feeling more connected to others than ever before. I have friends all around the world (and places to stay when I make it to their corners of the world!) There are a lot of good people in this world. Lesson learned-Get to know new people. What you’ll gain from new relationships far outweighs what you’ll gain from buying another “thing.”

6. Possibility – I’ve learned to encounter change through the lens of possibility and hope as opposed to fear and anxiety as I once had. Lesson Learned-You get to choose how you view life. Don’t be a victim. Find the good.

7. Exploring – Saying “no” to stuff has meant saying “yes” to traveling. Less money spent on housing and possessions and less time spent taking care of our house and those possessions means more time and more money for traveling. It’s a tradeoff that I’m enjoying MUCH more than I even imagined and the benefits this has had on our children is incredible. Lesson learned-Get out and see the world. And take your kids with you. You’ll all learn and grow more than you can imagine.

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