Moving house is eye-opening for the minimalists among us. Because when your belongings are laid out before you and you have a pile of boxes six-foot high in your loungeroom, you soon realise that "minimalist" is not an apt title for you. Not at all, not in the slightest.
The sorting and packing and subsequent unpacking has had me thinking a lot about simple living, family living and frugal living. Are they all the same? Most definitely not. Can you create your own version of the three that serves you well? Yes, yes, yes!
The past few years have been a two-steps-forward-one-step-back road to simple living and I must admit, it's something that ebbs and flows depending on the seasons, my mindfulness (or lack there of) and my work load. Because simplicity does require time and awareness, as does sustainable, ethical, waste-free, frugal living. You have to constantly check yourself, observe your spending habits, consider the implications of your purchase and figure out the best way to stretch the leftovers in the fridge.
And then there is, of course, the tug of war between aesthetics and practicality. It's a dilemma that's fuelled by much of what we see outside the home; gloriously styled shots coming to us in droves via social media. And the way those photos effected my perspective on this new home has been confronting, to say the least.
Essentially we have bid farewell to a home that provided me white walls and the most marvellous light but offered little in the way of storage or ease of living. Now, we make a home where storage and space abound, where there's a double sink and a pantry and a utility room that can house all the dirty washing and yet-to-be folded clothes. But the window frames are a 90s hue of teal green and the carpet in the children's room is a similar shade. Before we moved in I was all glum about the fact that it just wasn't very pretty. But then my friend Steph, ever so lovely and wise, told me that she doesn't particularly like the look of her home but she loves the way she lives there. And last night, as I cleaned the kitchen and looked out towards the front door, I revelled in the sense of space and ease that this home has already provided us. Within these walls is a soft, welcoming energy; there's a sense of happy and good and right. There's room to move, (to dance!), the bath is big enough for all three kids, there's a big white wall for us to project movies on to at night and a jacaranda tree in the garden that is fit for climbing (and will be an absolute picture come September).
Needless to say, the work of family living is easier when you have a home that is practical. And while it may not look like my ideal, it definitely feels right.