Lessons In Simplifying: When Less Becomes More

Less Becomes More

I am so excited to introduce you to a fellow blogger and friend – Tasia of Batavias Best Bargains.    Today, Tasia is sharing a bit of her story with us – how her family found that living with less can become so much more – and how they are finding beauty in simplicity.  Enjoy! ~Victoria

Simplify.

What a powerful word.

But why is it so scary?

Four years ago I was at home with my first born child. All my friends were having their second and third child. They were all buying bigger homes.

I got pregnant with my second child two years later.   I couldn’t help but hear myself saying that we needed a bigger home.

We live in a small house.  1,296 sq. feet to be exact.  Some of you reading this may be  saying “that’s not small.”  Others  may be thinking very small.   However, for the average American its small.  According to the 2014 Census Bureau the average American home is 2,600 sq. ft.

I stayed home after my first daughter was born. Finances were tight.  Tighter than I had ever dreamed and I wasn’t sure what I wanted out of life.  I had to do some soul searching.  We began to accept that living a simple life is good.  We started clearing out the extras.

I found a part time job at Habitat for Humanity and we used my paychecks to pay off our debt.  It was not easy, but through this discipline we were realizing that more is not always better. We were seeing the beauty in simplicity.

In all my conversations, everyone was buying bigger houses.  More space.  More Land. More money is all I could see.

If you are not careful the wants and needs become so blurred you are left wondering what it was you were chasing after in the first place.

For our family it comes down to this one thing: Do not compare.That’s a big step in simplifying.  When you change lenses of comparing to compassion you see less wants and more needs.

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Our Kitchen Table Fitting Snug in the Kitchen

We could not afford a bigger house. My kids are sharing a room.  Until recently, our dining room table was in the kitchen snuggled up against the wall.  When we had family or friends over, the table was pulled out so you can back up your chairs in front of the fridge.

Snug alright.

I began to ask myself – Why did I want more? Why did I want bigger?  Our house has 3 bedrooms and a small room that we used for the playroom. This is a mortgage we can afford. This is a mortgage that allows us to live within our means. 

I prayed and found contentment and came to the place of being thankful for all that we do have.  I don’t need more stuff.   A bigger house to fill with stuff.

As an operations manager at  Habitat for Humanity I saw  families getting the chance at home-ownership.  It softened my heart and made me realize that we have plenty.

So instead of buying a bigger house, we chose to simplify in the aspect of finishing our basement for more living space.  We moved our living room down to the basement and made the kids a playroom. 

Living Dining Collage

Our New Living Room / Our New Dining Room

Now my dining room table has it’s own space. We can actually fit 6 people around the table.  Although the table snug against the wall would have continued to work God provided the means for us to work with what we already had.

This simple change feels amazing. So good. Like I have a new home.   And the best part? It cost much less than a new mortgage.

My encouragement to you: If you can reflect for a moment each day to see all that you do have, you will slowly pass by all that this world says you do not have

~Tasia

headshot

 

Tasia is a blogger over at BataviaBestBargains.comShe is a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters. She went back to work after her first daughter was born to pay off their debt . One year later all her debt (except for mortgage) was paid off. On her blog she shares in-store deals, exclusive small business coupons for Batavia area, her faith journey, and how they are living a frugal lifestyle and loving it.

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17 replies
  1. Celi
    Celi says:

    Thank you for this reminder I really needed to read this today. I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed with our small space and the kids sharing a room. Growing up so fast and we’re all sharing one bathroom. It’s tough but the good is that we have a house and food and cars and each other. So time to refocus and praise God for the blessings He provides. Thank you! ♥

  2. Susan
    Susan says:

    Loved your story, Tasia. The photos helped frame your words beautifully, and your message is so timely for some of my friends learning to simplify their lives.

  3. Clare Speer
    Clare Speer says:

    Thank you for your message on “simplifying”! We forget and everyone is “chasing the dream” and wanting more and more …. homes and stuff! This is a great reminder we can be happy with what we have.

  4. Bonnie Lyn Smith
    Bonnie Lyn Smith says:

    Oh, this is so awesome! Tasia, you are so well-matched to the vision of SimplifiedLife.net. I love this! I really enjoy your blog on your own site, too, but I am really glad you shared such an important message here. I think people can be afraid to live with less. We have been in a military lifestyle on and off for years (active duty and then govt contractor), and having moved so often and lived in army barracks/homes, we learned some great lessons by force. Our best times were going through our stuff and planning to live more simply in the Marshall Islands for two years. I LOVED not having my own furniture and making do with everything from government-issue-stuff to how to make a lot of things from scratch with the few ingredients we had. Our kids went to school with third-world kids who were thankful for new flip-flops for Christmas and came over to get some peanut butter sandwiches during lunch break at school. I yearn and ache for those days again. Such great lessons taught to my kids. You are an inspiration….well done! I love that you help others find their way at a simplified life. Blessings to you and also Victoria for your unique ministries in teaching people about this in different God-called ways.

  5. Jeannie
    Jeannie says:

    You are right on! What a blessing to discover early that less debt brings more freedom which is more valuable than “more.” We have 6 children with our 7th due in two months and live in a 1300 sq. ft. home. We have 1 1/2 baths which is sufficient. It’s cozy but our children are thankful and content… even our teenagers. We’ve always managed somehow with less. I love tapping into the power of creativity and prayer as we seek to make ends meet. We are debt free also except our mortgage. I feel so blessed as we’ve had our fair share of trials in the medical realm but God always provides. We have a second unfinished level in our home of 1300 more sq. feet and realize we don’t need it and are considering finishing it out as a rental for college students or for people who just want to come and visit. Thanks for sharing the truth about small spaces and the blessing of learning to live within our means and be able to bless others.

    • Tasia Boland
      Tasia Boland says:

      That is so inspiring to hear about your family living in a smaller space! What an encouragement and the value it is instilling in your children! Rental space.. great idea! I love watching the show in HGTV where they renovated space for rentals.. can’t think of the name but wow they can make some decent income! An adventure for sure!

    • Victoria Mininger
      Victoria Mininger says:

      Jeannie – Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing a part of your families story – how encouraging! Congratulations on the newest little one on the way. How precious life is. Celebrating with you. Blessings to you and your family.

  6. Kali
    Kali says:

    Simplifying is an area that I have been reading about a lot lately. It is such a good mindset to have. Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. JES
    JES says:

    Amen! Our home is just a bit smaller and with one bathroom BUT I wouldn’t trade the peace of mind knowing we are living within our means! Thank you for sharing this message on the Art of Home-Making Mondays 🙂

    • Tasia Boland
      Tasia Boland says:

      Yes the whole living within your means makes a HUGE difference on everything in your life! And everytime I say I need to vacuum quick I always am saying THANK YOU LORD I do not have a bigger space to vacuum up all this DOG HAIR!

  8. Sharon Rowe
    Sharon Rowe says:

    This is such an important message, we don’t need to live in the biggest house or spend more money than we earn. Thank you for reminding us about being grateful for what we have! Thanks for sharing on Monday Madness link party too 🙂

  9. Melinda
    Melinda says:

    Excellent points! What a wonderful thing to be debt free, except for your mortgage! I know God wants us to be good stewards of everything we own. I haven’t been of money, for many decades. I’m slowly learning. Thank God He’s patient! an forgiving!

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