A Simple Approach to Living With Less

I Am Considering Closing My Blog

Well, the post title sums it up pretty well. You may have noticed that I didn’t post here at all last week. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, sulking, and pondering lately about all the things I spend my time on. One of the things I’m evaluating is this blog.

When I first started writing, I felt like I could help fill the gap I felt for moms and families needing minimalist advice. Now, there are so many blogs on simplicity and minimalism these days that I don’t feel that need as strongly as I once did.

I realize that the majority of people live busy lives and I don’t consider myself busier than most. I homeschool my kids and I work part-time from home. I run this blog and a couple others plus I have several other sites that I am working on. I used to joke that I could be a professional juggler because of all the different ways I juggle my time. Lately I’ve begun to wonder if I want to do that anymore.

Minimalism has truly changed my life and it has simplified my thinking and my everyday life by eliminating most of our clutter. However, my recent thoughts have centered around the fact that I am trying to do too much. Having only a few t-shirts to my name does not impact my life in the way that having way too many things on my plate gobbling up my time does. Something has to give.

Obviously, I haven’t been taking my own advice when it comes to minimizing the distractions that steal your time. I am hopeful that this is just a rough patch and I’ll arrive on the other side of it all feeling successful and more in control.

My Current Plan

Perhaps it’s not the best plan to make decisions like this being exhausted and emotional from all three of my kids being sick for the last few weeks and a lovely dose of PMS thrown in, but I’m doing it anyway.

I’m putting my book on sale for 60% off.
I’d still like the message of Family-Sized Minimalism to reach as many homes as possible. For the months of April and May, both versions of my book will be 60% off if you use the discount code “SPRING” during checkout. (Update: the sale is technically over but the price has been lowered permanently.)

I’m not planning any more posts until June 1st.
If inspiration strikes or I simply can’t stand not writing here, then I may post before that time. Either way, I’ll be posting the first Monday in June with my decision about keeping this blog. If you join the mailing list (in the box on the sidebar) you’ll get weekly updates on Fridays of any posts I make.

Thank You

I would like to thank everyone who reads and comments here. I don’t take your participation here for granted. You’ve all helped me on my own journey. I just need to make sure I’m following my own advice of sticking to my priorities for my family.

If you’d like to stick around, please consider signing up for weekly updates (in the sidebar), for RSS updates to Minimalist at Home or follow me on Twitter. Thanks so much for reading!

SEE THE UPDATE & MY DECISION

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Article originally published on 04/11/2011

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Comments

  1. No! Take a break, not a leave.
    You have wonderful insight into minimalism for families and your writing on the subject is excellent. Maybe just take a bit of a breather? We need more women like yourself, managing large households and lots of family, to give the rest of us ideas. If you can find simplicity in your scenario, everyone can.
    Hoping more sleep and rest will give you the right decision.

  2. Seems like you’re not alone. I’ve been thinking the same thing and wrote about it last week. I’m taking a break. You should too! Don’t leave, just step back.

  3. I just started reading your blog about a month ago – so I’m not as vested in it as others who count on you, I suppose. But I would just like to say that if you want to stop blogging, then do it. What’s right for you may not be right for everyone (or anyone) else, but you have to follow your own path and your own heart. You will never regret it. Best wishes!

    • Faith Janes says:

      Thanks so much, Beth. One of the hardest parts is feeling like I’d be abandoning people who are still new to minimalism and new to this blog. I know there are others places to go, but it still feels like I’m personally letting people down if I leave. Thanks for commenting.

      • I would be one of those, but you wouldn’t be letting me down. I can reseach with tbhe est of them! Perhaps you have some favourite family minimalist blogs that you could share.

  4. Hi Faith. While I completely respect whatever decision you make, I hope that the break will be just what you need to feel a renewed sense of connection with this blog. Since I’ve just recently had the pleasure of finding you, I would be extremely sad to see you go. You’re touching lots of lives with your writing here and I hope you feel compelled to come back and share more of your perspective with us after getting some distance.

    I know you said there are more moms in the minimalism/simplicity arena now, but there is no other Faith. No one else has your unique perspective and life experience. You add so much value to this community by sharing YOUR experiences.

    Have a great break, and I’ll look forward to your final decision in June.

    • Faith Janes says:

      Thanks so much, Jenny. I really appreciate your kind words. With so much going on lately, I think self-doubt has really gotten the better of me. Everyone’s encouragement means a lot to me.

  5. I love reading your blog! I hope you decide to just take a break. But of course you should do what is right for you & your family, & if your blog is doing the opposite of simplifying your life, I can understand that you would want to stop. Enjoy the 2 months and I hope you come back rested.

  6. Now that you’ve said it, how does it make you feel? Do you feel a sense of freedom or despair? If it’s the prior, then move on. If you feel the latter, then perhaps its not time to quit just yet. Take the next few weeks to focus on what’s important. In the end you might even find it would be a better path for you to focus on writing guest posts on these “other sites”. It’s always good to know there are others who want to simplify their families and part of the battle is knowing we’re not alone.

    • Faith Janes says:

      Honestly, it feels kind of like a failure but it also doesn’t feel real. After all these nice comments, it makes me doubt closing it. I think I just need more time to see how I feel and find out if I feel relief or feel like something is missing.

      Thanks for commenting and for helping me find perspective.

      • As I’ve been reading some of the other replies and some of your responses, I’ve gotten this sense that your current dilemma is shared by a lot of bloggers who fear they’re just being absorbed into and failing to rise above the “white noise” that composes the rest of the minimalism blogdom (or whatever their “area” is). It is easy to want to shut down. Keep in mind, though, that the people closest to you (reader wise), are the ones who hear your voice loud and clear above the background hum of the other thousand minimalists bloggers and ultimately they’re here because they’ve chosen yours over the others because ultimately they’ve all connected with you on some level.

        • Faith Janes says:

          Thank you for this. It’s been several days since you shared this and I can’t get it out of my head. I really appreciate it.

  7. I was just………. thinking the same thing. 🙂

  8. You have to do what’s right for you and your family, first and foremost. But for what it’s worth, I’ve really enjoyed reading and learning from you. I think you have a unique perspective and a lot to offer in the blogosphere. I would be sad to see you go, but would understand your choice, no matter which direction you go!

  9. Faith,

    Like the others, I hope this will be a break. Your blog is my favorite, hands down. But as a mom of three as well, I completely agree with where you are coming from and that you have to do what is right for you, your sanity, and your family. Please know that you have been my biggest source of inspiration in my new-found journey towards minimalism.
    I look forward to your posting on June 1st, I hope it brings news of peace and happiness in your life.

    • Faith Janes says:

      Hi Kym. I’m so honored to be your favorite. 🙂 Best of luck on your journey to minimalism. Thanks for your kind words.

  10. I know this feeling! ‘Something has got to give’ is a phrase I’ve been saying a lot of lately. Kudos to you for knowing to step back. Good luck and enjoy your breathing space.

    • Faith Janes says:

      It sure can be tough finding the balance and know what to give up. It’s especially hard when all your pursuits seem like good things individually but collectively they’ve become too much. Thanks so much for commenting.

  11. Faith,
    Thank you for all the sharing you have put out in front of all of us. We have been following your posts for some time.
    If you are looking for a new niche, your posts about moving in with your parents…http://www.minimalistathome.com/back-home-by-choice/ would be good. We have a number of homeschool families in our area looking to do the same and looking for advice on how to make “The Waltons” work in the 21st Century. We have directed them to your blog for wisdom.
    Blessings on you, your family and your extended family.
    Thanks again for the openness God has given you that you have shared with us.
    Herb A.
    Olathe, KS

    • Faith Janes says:

      Thanks for writing, Herb. I’m so happy you’ve enjoyed your time here.

      Actually one of my current projects is a site I started with my mom called “Back Home by Choice.” It’s part blog about our life living as a combined household of 10 and part resource for other families wanting advice on doing the same thing.

      The site is:

  12. I share the sentiment of most of the comments here. I enjoy reading your posts, even if they were less frequently (think Leo and his once every 2 weeks posts!). Your blog is one of the few I subscribe to and I would hate to see it go. That being said, I firmly believe that you do need to do what is best for you and your family.

    Perhaps lately your schedule has felt a bit out of whack after working on Family-Sized Minimalism?? I know the time and effort that a larger project takes, so perhaps a break will be all you need.

    Wishing you all the best, regardless of your decision.

    Dr. Laura

    • Faith Janes says:

      Thanks, Laura. I always appreciate your comments. I think I probably did overwhelm myself with scheduling posts, rebuilding the site and writing two books since the first of the year. I’m hoping some time to step back will help me figure out what works, what’s important enough to find a way to MAKE it work, and what falls into the category of “that would have been nice.”

  13. I only just found your blog a little while ago, and I hope that you can make it work to keep writing here. But you do what you have to do for you and your family. That takes priority.

  14. Nothing is cast in stone and I hope that you will be happy whichever way you decide on this one.

    Good luck

    • Faith Janes says:

      Thanks, Steve. I really appreciate it. “Nothing is cast in stone” is an incredibly refreshing thought.

  15. Hi Faith Just to say that whatever you decide I’ll keep subscribed and if/as and when posts come through I’ll pick them up… Hope the kids and the PMS improve soon 🙂 – Take care of you and yours – Jo x

    • Faith Janes says:

      Thanks, Jo. 🙂

    • Good to know that my common sense logic is not that bad after all Unfortunately there is lots of (and i mean rlaely) lots of work before me until I’ll be able to do it myself. Anyway, could you please share your thoughts and say which way would you go? Would you draw a shadow casting object on top of a shadow itself or would you use a pixel shader to remove portions of a shadow that cover the shadow casting object? Or maybe some other way? Any clues?

  16. People change. Life changes people. If your doing too much, put things on hold. Even if it means putting this blog on hold. This is the only place I know you from and you have made a small impact in my life. Which is more than most. Don’t close the blog, just move it to a lower priority. Sure you will lose some readers. But the rest of us will be around when you feel inspired to write. I’m a quote freak and love to collect words. Here is one that made me think of your situation:

    Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it comes softly and sits on your shoulder. – Henry David Thoreau

    Do whatever you need to do to be happy!

  17. Cath in Ottawa says:

    oh, boo — I do hope you keep going! I have just found your blog and really appreciate what it offers to all of us struggling with this path. But I also hope you get a good break!

  18. As a homeschooling mom of six, I know the exhaustion that can come from everyday life. Throw sick children into the mix and moms end up drained and unable to imagine doing ANYTHING beyond the basics if you can even get the basics done! You have also been busy with several major projects. I think you are really TIRED, inside and out. You are wise to not make any decisions until you’re more rested, until your life has returned more to normal. At that point, I would suggest you consider posting less frequently….maybe a post each Friday afternoon or a couple of times a month. Like the others who have commented, I believe you have unique insights for families and your writing blesses and encourages. I would miss your blog if it was totally gone, but would understand if that was the best choice for your family. Once you are rested, I encourage you to make a list of ALL your committments…..other sites/blogs, your home-based employment, extra-curricular activities, whatever, and judge each one as to whether it should stay or go. You may be able to let go of other things or to lessen your involvement so that you have more room to breathe, to enjoy your family. Thank you for the time you have invested in your readers!

    • Faith Janes says:

      This is some great advice. As I’m thinking through all of this, I do think the possibility of posting less frequently and not worrying so much about conforming to some self-imposed schedule or topic list would be helpful.

      Finding downtime as a mom is pretty near impossible for me, but I hope to build in more time for rest and refocusing. Thanks so much for commenting.

  19. Faith, for what it is worth, I think for many bloggers, blogging is a process of evolution. What may have been right for a time, may not be right for another. I am on my 2nd blog myself, and now considering another. Do what is right for you and your family. Keep in mind that many bloggers only post once a week. If you choose to continue, do so on the terms that work for you.
    Peace and rest to you…
    Bernice

  20. I respect you so much for even considering this. I know it’s not an easy decision to make. Like most of the commenters here, I hope that after a break from it, you will find time to come back to us. I did a similar thing in December – said goodbye on my two blogs. After some much needed rest, I was inspired to come back. Now I post when I want to – not every day or 3 or 4 days a week. The break put blogging into perspective for me.

  21. Karen (Scotland) says:

    I agree with everyone above – do what is right for you – don’t feel guilt or stress. You’ve given us a lot of info/ideas/food for thought in the last few months – you owe us nothing. 🙂
    I just recently discovered the wonders of the RSS feed-thingies so now I’m happy to subscribe to blogs that only post every few days or even weeks – that especially goes for the mums out there who blog. Seriously, where do you find the time/energy/motivation?! I just appreciate you (all) sharing your thoughts and ideas whenever you have them.

    But, definitely, give yourself a breather, enjoy that extra few minutes a day and come back if or when you feel the urge.
    Thanks for a lovely blog.
    Karen (Scotland)

  22. I like this:

    “Having only a few t-shirts to my name does not impact my life in the way that having way too many things on my plate gobbling up my time does.”

    For me, simplicity is about time and freedom to do what you want to do. I have lots of t-shirts. They are not time wasters. It’s the other responsibilities like the ones you mentioned that suck our time and energy. I’ve often wondered if I should stop blogging too so that I could have more time writing books. Blogging, however, gives me instant gratification. Writing books, or more specifically, publishing a book takes for stinkin’ ever! Even right now, I am still waiting for a decision on a novel that I wrote years ago. It has been sitting on a major literary agent’s desk since last fall. They say they are interested in it, but swamped. So I wait patiently for a reply from them. Meanwhile, I can post something on my blog and get immediate feedback.

    I’m knew to your blog, Faith, but I like what I’ve seen so far. Joshua Becker posted a great article about 15 Reasons to Blog. I’m sure you’ve read it by now. I would consider what he said.

    I reposted your “Domino Effect” post on my site today (with permission). So even more people will be impacted by your thoughts.

    I pray you’ll make the right decision regarding your blog.

  23. oops! Typo!

    “knew” should be “new”

    I’m so ashamed.

  24. Faith,
    I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago and purchased your book. I’m about halfway through it and I love it. I can really relate to it. I’ve just started my decluttering journey and I’m about to move in with my parents and my two kids (I’m pregnant with the 2nd now). For us, it will only be for a few months but I enjoy hearing how you make it work long-term.

    Do whatever feels right for you but I hope to hear more from you after you’ve taken a break.

  25. I have enjoyed your blog and have it posted as recomend on my own blog. I know how it feels to have passion and feel like your voice is too crowded. Maybe after a break you will want to come back. How about if you post your on vacation for the summer and see how you feel in the fall? You have done a great job and you are really good writer.

  26. Even though you mentioned about the abundance of sites geared towards minimalism, I actually only follow 2.5 – your site, everydayminimalist.com, and once in awhile I check that “minimalist moms” site you created. I am not a complete minimalist, but I have recently grown interested in that lifestyle and have found what I have read from your sites to be insightful. I agree with a lot of these comments and think a break would do some good, but I hope to be able to read future posts from your site!

  27. Faith, I think it is awesome that you are thinking through everything! You are thinking about what is best for you and your family instead of what others think. Obviously, your blog is a well-loved one. If you decide to keep blogging, I would love to sometime hear some thoughts on minimal homeschooling. Does that sound crazy? I know there are many that visit here that are not homeschoolers so you wouldn’t want to post a lot on that. But, I am trying to take some time to step back and find ways to simplify my own life. We are homeschoolers. Obviously, we want our children to have a good education. But, I am trying to find ways to simplify even that area. Just a thought. I hope you enjoy your time off and find some direction.

    • Faith Janes says:

      Thanks for your comment, Laura. The more I’ve been thinking through all this, I’m realizing that I made life harder on myself my imposing deadlines and post frequency quotas that weren’t necessary. I also found myself NOT posting something I wanted to share because it wasn’t necessarily a how-to article to something with practical tips or deep philosophical implications.

      What I realized today is that this is my blog and so I can write not only about how to be a minimalist at home, but I also write AS a minimalist at home. That simple little thought was so freeing to me.

      So, yes I could see writing about minimal homeschooling. That’s a huge part of my life and if it helps someone else, then that’s awesome too!

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