Today I’m very pleased to share a recent interview I did with Lorilee Lippincott from lovingsimpleliving.com. Lorilee is the author of several books on simpler living and has an inspiring story to share that we can all learn from so let’s get to the good stuff! Carl
1) Hi Lorilee, thanks for joining us. Why don’t we start with you telling us a little about yourself and where in the world you call home?
My name is Lorilee I am 34, married with 2 kids (10 and 7) and currently living in China. When you ask home it gets tricky. I was born and raised in Canada, came to the US for college and fell in love with a farmer… and now am raising my kids on the other side of the world. So there are a lot of places I call home.
2) Your blog, Loving Simple Living, has a great story behind it. Can you share a little of that background for readers that may not have visited yet and also what they can expect from the blog?
Loving Simple Living was where I documented my family’s changes… and since it was public it kept me accountable. Several years ago we decided we wanted to make family a priority and we also wanted to spend more time travelling together. Since we aren’t independently wealthy we had to learn to say ‘no’ to other things to be able to make this happen.
“We had to learn to say no”
Over the years, Loving Simple Living has documented our move from a ‘typical’ family home, to a 2 bedroom apartment, then to a 1 bedroom apartment, then across the world with a few bags of luggage.
The blog has followed the practical pieces of how it all happened as well as the mental shifts we have gone through. Different from many other blogs it has also documented our kids change and how they are learning and living with minimalism.
3) Simplicity, living simpler and living with less are obviously themes through your writing (as indeed they are here at Frictionless Living). What have been some of the main challenges you have faced since trying to live simpler? Have you felt resistance from others around you?
I am a people pleaser and, deep down, really want to just fit in to the crowd. Making these changes felt like (logically) that they shouldn’t be a big deal. But it really challenged everything I thought I was supposed to be going for.
It is hard to give up the idea of a bigger house, fancier things, and even better jobs because of the things we valued more.…. but there was so much self-doubt. I kept thinking I was missing something – with everyone around me seeming to go in the opposite direction ‘materially’ speaking I figured either:
1) I was crazy
2) They were crazy
I didn’t like either option
Then there was people thinking we were going (or gone) bankrupt and there were people that thought it wasn’t fair to the children.
4) That sounds a very challenging period but thankfully you stayed committed to your cause. Is there anything that you miss from your previous (less simple) life? Do you miss any possessions for example?
My house before we downsized had a whirlpool tub… I miss that. Back in the US we had a nice blender we couldn’t bring with us because the electronic voltage is much higher over here. Beyond that, no. I honestly can’t really remember a lot of the things we used to have filling the house.
5) And what have been some of the major benefits of some of the changes you have made?
Wow, um, there are a lot. First, I think it has really helped my marriage and my family. It has allowed me to homeschool. We always wish we had more money, but living below our means takes a lot of the financial stress off.
While in the US we were able to take longer road-trip vacations and my kids have seen all but 12 of the states. It wasn’t anything fancy, we slept in tents and did a bunch of hiking but it has created amazing family memories.
“Living below our means takes a lot of the financial stress off”
Without us downsizing we would never have been able to move to the other side of the world. We are now volunteering full time and everything we learned about living small and cheap were lessons we needed to learn for this time in our lives as well.
So, I think I can safely say, that simple living has completely changed my/our lives. I can’t imagine where we would be or what we would be doing if it hadn’t been for these changes. …and I wouldn’t want to
6) Wow! Inspiring stuff indeed. What are two or three things readers can take away and do today to make living more simply a reality for them?
I always say ‘dream’ about the life you want. Simple Living is more of a mind change than it is a physical change. What do you want your life to look like? What do you want to be able to do? What do you need to make that happen? Fall in love with that reality, stay focused on it, and the pieces will fall into place.
“Simple Living is more of a mind change than it is a physical change”
On a more practical note, I would say keeping an area (room, shelf, box) in your house where you can collect things to donate or sell. It needs to be easy for things to leave your house. When you are cleaning up or pass something and think ‘I really don’t need that’ then you have a quick way to help it exit. When the box or area gets full than take it do the donate center or have a yard sale.
Oh, and probably one of the most important ‘Stop buying things’ basic, but really hard to practice. This includes things on sale, great deals, or cute decorations… you are trying to change habits and that takes changing buying habits as well!
7) I know you have written a few books sharing your message, can you tell us a little about each of them? Also, any new projects in the pipeline?
I have two books on Simple Living:
- The Simple Living Handbook – This is my first book, and the most complete. It tells the story of our simplification as well as including a lot of tips for helping others simplify. It goes beyond the house to include a lot of other areas of the life.
- Simple Living: 30 day to less stuff and more life – This is a simple/practical ebook. There is a short lesson for 30 days (or 30 weeks, however it works best to break it down). Each day has an assignment to work in one area of the house/life. The idea is that there is 5-10 minutes of reading and 30-40 minutes of work (but different people/homes will be different). Once you finish the book you can go back to any one of those areas and do more work. It is ‘getting the ball rolling’ in 30 different areas that need simplifying.
8) Great, thanks for your time and for sharing with us and all the very best for a simpler future!
Thanks so much for having me!
I hope this interview inspires you as much as it did me in your own simple living quest.
Make sure you take the time to check out Lorilee’s site if you haven’t already and also her books. As well as the two books mentioned in this piece she has also written two further books on home-schooling for the parents amongst you who want to explore this option.
As well as the usual posts here at Frictionless Living you can also find posts by me at my home (away from home) at the Huffington Post.