Collect Moments, Not Things.

collect-moments-not-things-quoteIt’s not something I mention a lot, but minimalism is a theme that constantly flows through my life. Not only do I travel light, but I prefer to live light as well. I’ve always been drawn to it, with it’s clean lines and the quiet peace it brings. A couple of years ago I started simplifying “stuff” in our life. For me and us it means that we don’t keep anything around that isn’t useful or memorable. It doesn’t mean we go without, or only have one pair of pants, or that the kids don’t have any toys. We don’t overbook ourselves and are in control of our lives and schedules. The kids have ample time to play and learn on their own terms without being rushed from one activity to another and we spend time together as a family every single day.

We’re in the part of the year when school doesn’t afford much time for family trips so I’m left at home with my thoughts and a quiet chunk of time. We do go on a few local adventures, so we are not entirely stagnant. It is the time of year filled with long shadows and beautiful sunsets. It slows down for us to feel grounded, and to appreciate each other and what we have together.

This is the start to a series that will delve into our thoughts and practices regarding minimalism as a whole, and as it relates to me, travel, and our life at home.

For some more reading and inspiration in regards to minimalism, please visit a few of my favorite blogs; mnmlist, a merry mishap, and the unclutterer.

“ while you are alive collect moments not things, earn respect not money and enjoy love not luxuries” ― Aarti Khurana

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Do you do anything special to simplify your life?

45 thoughts on “Collect Moments, Not Things.

  1. What a great focus for your every day life.. I seem to have a lot of trouble parting with things, but just in the last few years I have begun to strive for less items. For more simplicity. It is still something I am working on, but it is always inspiring to hear how helpful it is to others.
    xo Nan – Simply Elegant Blog

    1. I feel like it’s always a work in progress. For some people progress comes quicker than others. My progress with it has had it’s ups and downs, and I have to admit I wish I were further along with it.

  2. Totally agree! Since moving to San Francisco into a small city apartment, I had to get rid of a bunch of material things. Living in a small setting has made it impossible to buy or keep a lot, and that has spread over into other areas of my life. I don’t really shop as much or need as much. I like to spend money on trips and dinners and good times, rather than things, and I feel better about it. Clean lines and clean spaces have always been my aesthetic, so minimalism works great for me. 🙂

  3. Downsizing from a huge house to a one-bedroom apartment was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

    I’m not owned by my stuff, and I only have things that I sincerely love.

    It feels good to let go of the material.

    1. Great job! Our house is already pretty small, so I don’t see us downsizing right now, haha. Maybe when the kids aren’t home anymore we’ll think about it. But I do like to keep it clean and open.

  4. I have been learning to love minimalism when it comes to my time. I used to fill up my schedule with so many plans, to do’s, and projects. Now I’ve found that I am way happier and less stressed when I focus on what is important and get rid of the “extras” wherever I can.

  5. I read this post as I sit here, going crazy, in my extremely cluttered office/guest room/laundry folding room/everything else room. I agree so much, but it is definitely something I struggle with. I have been saying for a very long time that I need to take a few days off of work to just sort and organize. I can’t wait to read more in your new series! 🙂

    1. Time is my big issue as well. It’s so hard to stay on top of things with a busy schedule and before you know it you’re surrounded by “stuff”.

  6. This is so true. I have such a bad habit of wanting and wanting. We are saving up for a big trip next Spring, and it helps remind me to say: Ok I can have a great glass of wine with a great meal in Paris or I can buy everything in my Forever21 cart. haha. It’s easy to get caught up. Thanks for the reminder!

    xoxo
    Candace
    http://www.FromCtoC.com

  7. I think you live life perfectly. I’ve been trying to declutter my life lately but I find it so hard to let go of my possessions, I think I’m just a sentimental soul. I wish my little family could have family time together everyday too but it’s always just me and my son as my partner is always working or at college. That’s something which makes me very sad but something I cannot change. Beautiful picture in this post too, the sunset is stunning.

    1. I don’t think you should beat yourself up over that, just spend time where you can and really make it count. It won’t last forever, right? 🙂

  8. I try to live a minimalist life stye. When it comes to buying something, or taking it from family I ask my self “self, do you want to haul this around for the next 50 years?”.

  9. While I agree that we should strive to be less materialistic, I feel things often remind you of moments. Not everything is trash. Our brain can only keep so many memories. Sometimes, we need a little help from material things to remember more.

  10. LOVE this! It’s so important to focus on the people around you in that moment that the stuff you have <3

  11. I am very much a minimalist and have been training my husband to be as well. I grew up military and moved often and along the way just started having less stuff because it was a pain to move. As an adult I had the change bug, so I would move apartments every 1-2 years as well and the minimalism helped me keep friends otherwise all the moves would have scared them away! I love mnmlist, have you seen the http://www.theminimalists.com/ ?

  12. Oh, man. Living a minimalist life is a goal of mine. I’ve had a couple of attempts of decluttering and focusing on memory creation, but it just never stuck.

  13. This post is such a beautiful reminder of simplicity. I need to focus on this more in our lives. It’s so easy to get caught up in things that just don’t matter in the grand scheme of life 🙂

  14. i definitely love the minimalist lifestyle.. and though i feel like i’m not quite 100% there.. i hope to be.

    you should also check out http://www.theminimalists.com/. i loved their series on narrowing everything they owned down to 100 things. also, your blog is such a great reflection of the minimalist style. 🙂

    1. Yes, I read their site too but I don’t connect with it as often as I do the ones I shared. 🙂 I don’t think that there is a certain “number” of things that people should own, but this quote really resonated well with me awhile ago,”Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

  15. I love getting rid of things. They clutter my home, mind, and well being. Unfortunately, my children like to collect things (like rocks) that clutter the house and my mind. Honestly, I cannot get to work without a clean kitchen, free of clutter. I love your post and the focus on clearing your environment for well being.

  16. I look forward to this new series! we are moving soon and I am hoping/planning on being more intentional about what we allow into the house! A surplus of stuff really does stress me out.

  17. I’ve never thought of minimalism as a way of life, but I do think a lot about simplifying my work load. I do a lot of different things and eventually I hope I’ll be financially stable enough to cut back – not necessarily to stop doing anything, but to stop feeling like I need to do it to survive.

  18. I’ve been trying to work on that. Moving in with my boyfriend, I’ve start donating many an item, even those with a lot of nostalgic memories!

  19. Since moving to California, I have signifcantly decreased a lot of our belongings. It’s about the memories with friends, not the memories with… stuff. I’m so happy we live so close to one another 🙂 🙂

  20. I love this! I am trying to simplify my life and get rid of all the unnecessary objects. I am the type of person that when I see something, I obsess over it until I have it. So I am really trying to calm down and think about things before jumping in and buying them!

  21. I love this. I am awful for not being minimalist. I take everything with me all the time and find a link to everything. Wondering if I’ll need it again at some point. I have a lot of material items that I do not have the space for!

    Katie <3

  22. I think to simplify my life I try to remember that life isn’t about stuff. Andrew and I dont do gifts usually we take vacations instead so we can have the memories instead of a purse or watch or something. 🙂

  23. This post was really refreshing to read and left me feeling very calm and happy for the things we have and do in our lives. We also love to travel, and find ourselves on the go quite often. It’s nice to slow down every once and awhile!

  24. I love this – we are actually in the process of buying a WAY smaller home because I want to downsize everything. Life is meant to be lived simply – and filled with joy!

  25. I am so excited to read this! Since getting married, I have begun to embrace the minimalist life. I know I have along way to go, but I’ve been trying to simplify our belongings!

  26. I’ve really been focusing on getting rid of random little things I’ve been holding on to for memory sake. Simplifying is a big priority for me right now!

  27. Jessica, thanks for following me on Twitter.

    Your blog is beautyfull

    I practise MONO MOMENTS which is paring down to doing just. ONE. thing. The antithesis of multi tasking

    If I walk or run around the 7km Bay in Sydney, then I only run, or walk. No music, no distractions, just my thoughts
    If I swim lengths, then i just focus on swimming up and down, up and down
    When we empty our brains, and REALLy focus, it’s proven that it’s then we come up with magic!
    Did you know Einstein came up with his theroeis after breaks to focus JUST on playing the violin? It is our unconscious minds which needs to be unravelled of knotty thoughts to make sense – or nonsense! – of the World around us.

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