This month’s simple living interview is Zoe from The Minimalist Plate. The monthly interviews are designed to give you a glimpse into people’s lives who call themselves minimalists, or are pursuing a simple lifestyle or living slow.
Each month the bloggers are asked the same questions in order to see the similarities and differences in their experiences. It’s a wonderful way to be encouraged in simplifying our own lives! You can read the other interviews HERE.
Can you introduce yourself to my readers Zoe?
Hello! I’m Zoë, author of Minimalism for Families and Founder of the blog, The Minimalist Plate. There, I write about practical minimalism, letting go, creating new habits, and cultivating opportunities to give.
I’m a Christ follower and creative who loves people and nature. I am passionate about helping other families let go of what’s weighing them down so they can find and experience the freedom of owning less. My husband and I, along with our 4 kids ages 4-12, live just outside Atlanta, Georgia.
What initially attracted you to simple living?
Freedom. I first stumbled onto simple living through Bea Johnson’s blog, Zero Waste Home. When I saw photos of her home it spoke freedom to me. Less waste, less stress, more time, more freedom. From then on I never looked back.
I realized how hard it is to try and improve your life (eating better, exercising, etc) when you’re taking care of too much stuff. The true weight and cost of my stuff hit me in an instant.
Why was I holding onto so many things I didn’t even use?
What are the benefits that you have found in simple living?
Ultimately, living a minimalist lifestyle has brought a new level to every aspect of my life. Intentionality to use my finite resources, such as time and money, in a better way. That has brought greater contentment to my life.
I’ve found there are so many things you learn from letting go of the stuff weighing you down. Things you didn’t even realize were weighing you down. I can now make better room for what matters — in my home, in my mind, and in my heart.
Living a minimalist lifestyle has also influenced my parenting for the better. I now have the knowhow and tools to teach my children. They have a strong sense of what enough looks like and they have no reservations about letting go of things they don’t use.
If someone wanted to start living simply, what advice would you give them?
The whole idea is to begin removing all the things that don’t support your better self. Most people, like myself, start with their physical possessions. This is a practical place to start—it’s hard to change other areas of your life when you’re still stuck taking care of too much stuff.
Sometimes starting, and keeping the momentum, can be sticking points for people. Think on your approach. Are you an all or nothing or a slow and steady kind of person? Deciding this ahead of time will better prepare you to choose decluttering jobs that keep your momentum going — which you’ll find out is very important!
It really doesn’t matter where you start, so long as you keep going. Start with areas in your home that will bring you the most momentum and motivate you to do it again.
Connect with a local or online community living simply for encouragement, tips, and inspirations. As your journey continues you’ll find more ways to live simply — finances, relationships, your calendar and the list goes on.
Lastly, minimalism and simple living are lifestyles, not finished place to arrive. So with that, let it grow you.