Three │Simple Living

Living with less: But only the best

I’m coming to find that though the journey of those embracing a minimalistic and simple life is unique to the individual, there are common learning lessons that we all come to find.

We are almost done with phase 2 of our ‘mass’ declutter, in preparation for our RV move and there is one thing I realized. Much of the stuff that I let go of was cheaply bought and poorly made. The long lasting, great investments I kept, for the most part.

Through this simple journey I’ve come to redefine what quality means to me. Since I spend very little, I have the money to invest in quality things. Things that if I were buying all of this stuff would have been far out of my ballpark range of prices.

The last (or second to last) thing I got for quality’s sake was my dinnerware, which I wrote about earlier. I bought it from an American Company, HFCoors and got this set. While $140 is higher than I’ve ever paid for dinnerware, it was worth every dime to have sturdy, lead and cadmium free plates and bowls. I knew right when I opened the box that I got my money’s worth, the true opposite of buyer’s remorse.

As much as I love thrift stores, sometimes I feel that the ‘thrifted’ trend of hauls and whatnot encourages frivolous spending for the sake of cheap stuff. For not everything at a thrift store is of good quality, just as any store. I say we turn it around to promote better, not cheap. Though price is not an indicator of quality, that much have I learned. I’ve purchased three pairs of $50 Toms and won’t again. They lose their function all too quickly for the price.

This all really started for me when I switched my cats’ food and litter. Years back I made a point to acknowledge that their health is just as important as mine, that I rather give up another expense to cover good quality food for them. I’m a huge supporter of the company Blue Buffalo. They have grain free, by-product free food that has given them shinier coats (a sign of good health in cats) and they sell the most amazing litter. The litter I buy is made of walnut shells. I’ve tried a variety of eco-friendly litters, after learning of the harm clay does to the environment but also what they breath in from it when using the litter, and Blue Buffalo takes the cake in quality.

Now I make sure that every thing in my home, every thing, is something I’m just absolutely in love with. I use it, I adore it, I would promote it. I want every item, piece of clothing, electronic device and otherwise be something I’m proud to have. That even goes for things I make – I want to make sure I will love the heck out of them and so now I ponder my crafts a bit more, consider their place in my home. And lately, I’ve been saving my money and making some replacements to poor quality items.


23 thoughts on “Three │Simple Living

  1. Dorien Ruben says:

    I absolutely agree on that! I have been throwing out things too, a few more boxes to go.. And I think there is indeed a lot of things that have been bought because they were cheap. Or gifted by people that didn’t really knew what I liked or needed.
    I love this letting-go process. It becomes addictive after a while, because it gives so much light-ness.. :)
    Great to hear how your process is going!

    • Aubrey says:

      Oh my gosh yes – addictive might even be an understatement. It is so addicting because it feels so good. So I guess the addicting part is the joy it brings and, like you said, the wonderful and necessary lightness of it all.

  2. Charlotte says:

    Such a great idea, I love it, making sure you love everything you have, you love! I’m slowly coming round to this way of thinking, though clothes is something I struggle with, I change my mind so often, I find it hard to spend a lot of money on something I may never actually wear!

    • Aubrey says:

      Clothes are my struggle too mostly because I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to what I like and so, like you, it changes. So I’m working on replacing my clothes with universal staples that make me feel good and comfortable.

  3. Martina says:

    I couldn’t agree more, for the first few months after I moved here I spent a lot of time, effort and money simply filling my house with stuff – some of it necessary, some very functional and some beautiful but I also managed to collect a lot of not so great things along the way. Things I’m now slowly replacing – now I don’t buy anything I don’t truly love

    • Aubrey says:

      I love it Martina! You hit the nail on the head for me when you said ‘slowly replacing’ because now that I want only the things that I love it makes me research, think on it longer and take my time with it. Which, in a way, builds anticipation and makes me love the item that much more.

  4. Tori says:

    I totally agree with you, in fact, I’m writing a post about this same thing but with clothes! I share the same sentiment with you that I want everything in my home to be something that I love and that will last for a long long time. Thanks for sharing where you got the dinnerware! It seems like a great investment.

    Much love,

    • Aubrey says:

      Oh I can’t wait to read that post of yours. I’m leaving clothing for last but it is going in the everything category of having only what I love. Though clothing will take me longer to get to be what I want it to be.

      By the way, when I switched my blog feed reader from Bloglovin’ to Feedly somehow your feed didn’t get moved. So I’ve been missing out on your posts but I added you in and am excited to peruse all that you have written lately because I just adore our talks. You’re one of those people I’d love to meet in person and make a deeper connection with.

      • Tori says:

        It would be so great to meet you Aubrey! We’ve got a good thing going with our talks. What you talk about on your blog totally resonates with me. Maybe if the stars align and I take a trip to Austin (I have another friend that lives there) before you and your husband leave on your big adventure we could meet. Or maybe once you two get on the road and happen to stop in Oregon we could meet then. No matter what, I think meeting each other is in our future:)

        • Aubrey says:

          Oregon is one of the main reasons for us wanting to RV because we feel like either Oregon or Washington are meant for us. We tried getting jobs up in Oregon a while back but didn’t get calls back. Needless to say, it’s a mandatory stop for us and a permanent one.

  5. McKenzie says:

    aw perfect! This is so true. Sometimes I buy stuff at thrift stores just becasue it’s cheap. But then it is ruined quickly. I believe that we should only own things that we truly love!

  6. Laura says:

    You inspire me to cut back in my life. I realize that if I buy a new pair of ____, I probably should get rid of at least one older pair. What is the point of hanging on to all that old stuff? However, I do not think I am ready to go to the full scale that you are. I applaud you for that! Keep it up!

    It’s so easy for me to walk through Target and buy things I really don’t need because, “It was only $3.99!” Even though it was cheap and maybe a “deal,” doesn’t mean that we need to buy buy buy. I have been going around my apartment finding various things that I really do not need. You should see all the nail polishes I got rid of…

    On a side note- Blue Buffalo is a great brand! My mom has always got that for our dogs and it is so much better for them than Iams.

    • Aubrey says:

      Sticking to the ‘only things I love’ motto has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. It will take time to get all the way there but I’m excited for it. I also agree with your approach of when you bring something in, let something go. Doing that keeps me balanced and my priorities in check.

      Isn’t Blue Buffalo so great?! I just adore that company.

  7. Alicia | Jaybird Blog says:

    You’re right about low prices encouraging over-buying…I found myself going a little too wild at Goodwill in the past, because if something cost $4, of course I could afford another! I guess the trick is knowing what you can “afford” in terms of space, distraction and care, and an over-stuffed closet isn’t on my list.

    • Aubrey says:

      I agree – knowing what you can afford (in terms of more than just money, like you pointed out) is most definitely the key.

  8. Nuria says:

    I actually wrote about this before. “Longevity makes more sense than recycling” Phillippe Starck. When you buy quality you get longevity, but when you buy cheap you will need to recycle or through away. It actually will get subject to the budget you have, for example for me as student it’s not that easy, but for daily things like a coat or a good pair of boots, I pay for the quality.

    By the way, I sent you and email or at least I think it was your email, sorry to bother you anyway. Have a great RV move.

    • Aubrey says:

      I really like that quote and the point about longevity. I think we’ve gotten too much in the habit of upgrading but when we find good quality stuff, we don’t need to upgrade.

      I’m so sorry for not replying yet. I am a bit behind on my emails. I did check out the website that you linked but wanted to give it more time to look through the site, since you were kind enough to send it to me. Thank you for the reminder Nuria!

      • Nuria says:

        There is not rush so take your time, I am sure there is a lot you can read there.

        It’s just I know you like to write about conscious consuming, a minimalist lifestyle and from some likes I learned from your other blog as well I thought you could like to take part of this or discuss, for that reason I wanted to let you know about it.

        It’s a network where the principa point is inspire people to create a change. I hope you like !
        Have a great weekend.

  9. Jade Ivy says:

    Again, another great post by you that I agree with and also wish others would take heavy consideration in. Right now, we’re tight on money but I want to make sure the ‘high expense’ items we buy are worth it, something that can and will last us for a long time even if we both swallow the lump in our throats and feel as if it’s something to regret. Cheap is comforting, find it for half the price of the expensive item and it’s still of good quality – GET IT! But it’s neer of good quality, it always breaks or leaks or falls apart a fee months later. Instead, I want quality. I want beautiful things that I can still have years from now without the worry of them breaking, tearing, etc. Recently we spent a little over $100+ on the pieces for our bathroom for our redecoration and once I took the tags off and placed everything in it’s proper place, I was quite pleased. I would exchange the rug for another but everything else is great! Like you, no buyers remorse at all.

    It’s funny almost because just a few years ago I decided to no longer shop Forever21 because they want more money for their poor material items. When you can’t place any of your clothes in the dyer without worrying about them getting a hole, they’re made from poor material. And the same about my own crafts. I’ve made necklaces this past year and once they were done, I made a face and asked myself, “Would you wear this?” Needless to say, I gave it to my tacky friend. It needs to have a place in my home, if it doesn’t then I think it’s time to replace it.

    Great post, it’s a wonderful eye-opening article. And you also made me take back my need to buy Toms, haha!

    • Aubrey says:

      I hear ya and plan to talk money in the future. You know, I just read of another person who said they are done with stores like Forever 21. I can relate in to that because there are some stores I’ve put a self ban on.

      I felt a bit bad about writing my thoughts on Toms because it’s never a good feeling to give a bad review. Yet I get so disappointed because the bottoms of the shoes lose their grip in a month or so, the fabric starts falling apart and I always get holes where my big toe is on each shoe.

      Thanks so much for reading and for taking the time to share your thoughts.

  10. Jane Y. says:

    this is a great post. i agree with everything you said. i like quality and i am willing to pay more for it. my dog love blue buffalo treats. it’s harder to switch his whole diet because he has a sensitive stomach (we once tried to switch over to wellness and it didn’t go over too well), but treats seem to be ok.

    • Aubrey says:

      Ya, sometimes we have to work with what they like and will eat. We tried another brand a while back and my cats really didn’t like it. So I put it up on Craigslist for free and went back to Blue Buffalo.

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