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Benefits of Living Small – Downsizing Your Life

Larry Chasse

The benefits of living small or downsizing may seem like we are giving up luxuries at first.

Our family thought the same thing when we first took the leap to start simplifying our lives.  What we found out is that by simplifying our lives, some magical things started happening in other areas of our lives.

The first part of our journey, we actually got rid of our expensive vehicles.  Let me tell you, getting rid of a V8 SUV loaded to buy a very used mini-van was not as exciting as it may sound when you read this.  A small part of me felt like it died inside me on that day.  The benefit for us financially was to get rid of a $300 payment each month for a vehicle we paid for with cash.

I thought, how am I ever going to pull a boat or camper without a big truck?

Getting rid of our expensive vehicles was the first step for us to be able to downsize so my wife could be home with our son.  12-13 years later we know that was the best first decision we ever made.  Our son got to have his mom around during those first years of his life.  We all gained in a big way by simplifying through gaining family time.

What is important to you?  Is it money, family, personal time, travel?

Larry Chasse

On Valentine’s Day, Kellie and I watched the documentary on Netflix.  The documentary is called “I am”.  Below is a link to a preview that you can see on YouTube for the video.  Currently if you have Netflix it is available to watch.

The message matches my post and the lifestyle we are very much trying to attain.  I still fight my urge to make as much money as I can and cut where we can.  We have come such a long way from our 2,000+ square foot homes, new cars, credit cards, etc… to be where we are today.

At one point in the documentary they refer to consumerism as a disease.  Trees, plants and animals in nature are very sensitive to only take what they need to survive.  Anything that takes more then it needs to survive is actually called “Cancer”.  Admitting we are taking more then we need is a tough pill to swallow.

Are we so greedy that we are harming the world and people around us?  I know this can seem like radical thinking and maybe it is my age starting to show a bit.  The issue is as we have been simplifying our lives, I have personally seen our family become happier with less.

  1. We spend more time together.
  2. We are not attached to data plans and cell phones.
  3. We are intentional in our time together.
  4. We eat together every day.
  5. We have all the essential in life and quite a few luxuries, that we enjoy.

Just a month ago Kellie was going through the closet getting rid of even more and I was amazed we still had extra stuff laying around, which is not being used all the time.  The moral here is once you begin this journey, we are never really done.  It takes a lot of time and effort to change into what we want to be.

Do not look at your journey to simplicity and connection to your family and the world around you as a daunting task, but as something we take one step or change at a time.  My son will look at the driveway with me after we get a big storm and say, “How are we going to shovel all this?”.  I smile at him and say one shovel at a time.  Eventually we will have the whole driveway shoveled and be in the house having some hot cocoa.  🙂

Remember:

The only way to win is not through money and acquisitions.  We do not need to accumulate stuff to win and be considered a winner.  Life is not like Monopoly, that is just a game we play(ed) with friends.  Some people still try to play the game in real life however, measuring themselves by their acquisitions, titles, and money vs. based on the relationships and bonds formed with friends, family and the community around them.

Living simply does not mean giving up, it means gaining more than you ever knew you could.

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