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Quote of the Day: Carol Deppe

February 24th, 2013

Before you were a gardener, you might have filled your schedule. Most non-gardeners do. But anything unexpected then results in overload. And most of life in unexpected. So you were always overloaded. You never had time for anything spontaneous or unscheduled. (And when a friend or family member needs you most it’s likely to be spontaneous or unscheduled.) You also seemed to live from crisis to crisis. You might have even thought your going from crises to crises “putting out fires everywhere” was because you were so important. In actuality, being always too busy for anything unscheduled or spontaneous are signs of a life not being lived as well as it could be, a life full of missed opportunities, a life too full of busyness for most of what makes life worth living.

Carol Deppe from The Resilient Gardener

realxing on the front porch
Mr Chiots and I have spent the last 4-5 years trying to cultivate simplicity in our lives. Simplicity doesn’t mean uncomplicated, it just means that you’re focusing on this things that truly bring you joy and happiness. Even though we don’t have much time to sit back and relax, the things that we spend our time doing are relaxing in their own way.

Have you found that gardening helps you manage your time better?

Lightening the Load

February 1st, 2012

Every winter, I spend time going through all the rooms in the house getting rid of stuff. It all goes into a pile in the attic for a yard sale. It’s amazing how many things can accumulate even when you don’t shop or buy things. Most of these items were purchase long ago and have simply been gathering dust.

Six years ago, Mr Chiots and I decided to go one year without buying anything we didn’t need; that year was a turning point for us. We quit accumulating things we didn’t need, we saved a ton of money, and we set off down the path to a more simple existence. Ever since, we have done a pretty good job at not bringing extra clutter into the house and we’ve been able to simplify our lives even more by getting rid of lots of stuff we didn’t really need.

Every two years we have a yard sale with some friends. If you’ve never had a yard/garage sale I’d encourage you to have one. There’s nothing more eye opening than seeing a garage full of things you spent money on being sold for pennies on the dollar. I used to just have a goodwill pile in the basement that would be donated every few months. In my experience, saving it all up is a great incentive to buy less because you see it all in one HUGE pile. If you want, you can then give the money you earn at the yard sale to charity, put it in savings, or pay down your mortgage. Do something proactive with it.

The more we simplify our lives, the more stuff we realize we can live without. We have also learned to focus on buying items that will last for the rest of our lives and items that can be repaired. As a result of our efforts we were able to pay off our house a year and a half ago and achieve financial freedom. Being debt free is so much better than having a house full of stuff that doesn’t get used!

Have you ever had a garage sale? Is getting rid of stuff easy or difficult for you?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.