Category Archives: Stuff

Learn to let go of the excess and declutter the things that are weighing you down. Read more about sharing, de-owning and how to live with less.

The sharing economy in action with Justin Morrissey of Toolo

The sharing economy in action with Justin Morrissey of Toolo

Adam Sherez

Way back in the day I used to run a blog called The Lavender Experiment. It wasn’t very interesting and I think approximately 6 people read it, but it holds a special place in my heart nonetheless. I can’t remember if it was on The Lavender Experiment or somewhere else, but I wrote a post many years ago about creating a tool sharing co-op. A place where people donated their under-used tools and appliances and, as members, could borrow from all the items in the library whenever they needed to.

It was an idea I first tapped in to after listening to Rachel Botsman’s TED talk, where she spoke about the average life span of a power drill, and how, on average, that drill might be used for 10-12 minutes. Ever. I loved the idea of pooling and sharing resources, but I had no idea where to begin exploring it, let alone how it would be received. Plus, I had two babies and no time, so the idea stayed in my head. BUT, fast forward a few years and that future is now.

Today I speak to Justin Morrissey, the founder of Toolo, the Blue Mountains’ first tool library and co-op, and I couldn’t be more excited. A huge part of slow living is based in community and environmental stewardship, and tool libraries are a big step in the right direction.

In this episode Justin and I get really practical, as he explains to me how he began the library (and what drove him to do so in the first place) as well as his advice for people who may want to start a library in their own community. We also look at how the organisation is structured and the work that went in to it before launching, as well as the vital role that volunteers play in its ongoing success.

We also talk about the issue of convenience, and why our mindset needs to shift from one of immediacy to one of preparation (we can’t expect these resources to operate in the same way as the local Bunnings or big box store) and how learning to let go of the ego of ownership is a big part in the change too.

If you listen to today’s episode and want to know more about starting or running a tool library yourself, I’d really encourage you to get in touch with the team at Toolo, as they’re a wealth of expertise and are happy to work with other communities looking to make the change. And if you live in the Blue Mountains, sign up and support Toolo! They need to make it to 150 members by 2018 in order to keep running and that means it’s on us to support them.

Enjoy!

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2.7 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Advice to my 18-year-old self…

Advice to my 18-year-old self - Episode 161 of The Slow Home Podcast

Hey, hey, it’s hostful time again! And (as always) the questions you’ve asked are excellent.

Things have been a little weird over here the past few weeks as I’ve been finishing the final edits on my second book so it was a lot of fun to sit down and chat through our thoughts on these questions:

  • I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you think the role of your job/career fits into ones life, if it doesn’t link specifically with your ‘why’.
  • What are some strategies to manage the paper that builds up so that it does not become overwhelming clutter? How do you manage filing things that need to be kept, and dealing with the rest?
  • What advice would you give your 18 year old self?
  • How do I throw away gifts without the giftee noticing next time they visit?!

I have some fun lamenting my hair choice as an 18-year-old, and we also take a minute to acknowledge the paper volcano that is our desk right now.

We do also have some genuinely helpful advice though (thankfully) as well as a request: if you have a few spare minutes today could you please answer our new listener survey? We’re trying to work out our next steps and want nothing more than to be able to help more people discover what it means to live a simpler, slower life. To do that we need to know what you’re struggling with the most and how you’d like us to help. The survey can be found over here and thank you in advance for taking it!

Enjoy!

——

Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Creating Empty Space

Creating Empty Space - Episode 160 of The Slow Home Podcast

We’re back with another simple experiment for you this week, and it’s all about empty space.

Emptiness gets a pretty bad reputation. Seen as a negative trait, a lack of personality, a boring experience for a boring person. But I personally am a big fan of emptiness and this week Ben and I talk about the fact that there is something wonderful to be gained by embracing a little empty space in your home, your days, your head…

At the end of the episode we encourage you to live with one completely empty space in your home – one shelf, a drawer, one wall or your coffee table – for a week. But the reality is that you can choose to create a little emptiness in a lot more places than your physical environment.

Emptiness allows your eyes or mind somewhere quiet to rest, somewhere that isn’t completely overwhelmed by options and stimulus, and when we notice that emptiness and the feelings it brings up (maybe we’re a little unnerved or twitchy?) it actually encourages us to go a little deeper:

  • Why do we feel that way?
  • What stories are we telling ourself because of it?
  • Are we holding on to things simply out of habit?
  • What if we fought through that feeling of discomfort?
  • What is on the other side?

This week isn’t about convincing you that emptiness is something you should like. In fact, you may discover that you really miss the photos, the books, the cushion or the vases that you pack away, which is great. Because what this very simple experiment is doing is asking you to pay attention, to be intentional, to tap back in to your reasons for having things, rather than operating on auto-pilot. So while it might look like an experiment about stuff or space, it’s actually a reminder to notice more.

Of course you may also realise (much like we did when we removed all the artwork from our walls) that you enjoy the emptiness, and that’s awesome too.

So this week, simply try living with one empty space. Pack up everything on the coffee table, the bedside table or the dining table for example, and just see how you feel about it over the coming days. See what you miss, see what you don’t miss. Notice what you do or don’t like about the emptiness and use that noticing to propel you towards a little more intention in your days.

Let us know which space you’ve chosen to empty and how you find the following week. What did you struggle with? What did you enjoy about it? What did you keep or let go of or forget about completely?

And if you have two minutes to spare, we would be so grateful if you could complete this super short survey for us. Thank you!

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

The Art of Frugal Hedonism with Annie Raser-Rowland

The Art of Frugal Hedonism with Annie Raser-Rowland - Episode 151 of The Slow Home Podcast

[HELLO! Just a quick note to let you know that we’ve fixed the audio issues in today’s episode. If you have any trouble getting the new version to upload, you can try refreshing your feed or unsubscribing/resubscribing in your podcast app. Enjoy the poggie!]

You know those conversations that change things? The ones that act as a delineation point? The ones you look back on and realise that, as a result of having them, your worldview is different? Ben and I had one of those a couple of weeks ago when we sat down to chat with the utterly wonderful Annie Raser-Rowland.

Annie was actually recommended to us as a poggie guest in light of The Art of Frugal Hedonism – the book she co-authored with Adam Grubb – and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to chat with her about life and pleasure and scarcity and ego and many other things.

One of the things I noticed about Annie almost straight away was the way she uses words. They have weight and meaning and feeling to them, and I sat across from her for an hour with an enormous, goofy grin on my face and simply listened to her. It feels like the way Annie speaks is very similar to the way she moves through life. Things are considered, but they’re also felt. Life is experienced, explored, meaningful, soaked up and revelled in.

And that’s what I love about this notion of frugal hedonism. There are many practical ways to start adopting it in to your life, and Annie and I cover some of those in our chat, but even more than that it’s about experiencing things, paying attention, giving yourself space and time to spend afternoons immersed in cloud-watching or 10 minutes eating an apple in the sun. It’s about deciding what’s important to us and putting those things at the centre, even if that means we give up on lots of other things along the way.

We also talk about envy and comparisons, and the role these have in the constant striving to keep up, the impact of advertising and social conditioning (and social media for that matter!) on our desire to fit in, and where Annie’s drive to simplify stems from.

In short, this is such an inspiring conversation that I hope you enjoy as much as we did.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 2 million (!!) downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Creating a Slow Home with Amelia Lee

Creating a Slow Home with Amelia Lee - Episode 141 of The Slow Home Podcast

Given the name of this podcast it’s perhaps unsurprising that Ben and I often talk about the idea of creating a slow home – that is, a home that works for you, dependant on your lifestyle, circumstance and priorities. So often we talk about this in really broad terms though, not necessarily getting in to the nitty-gritty practicalities of what a slow home actually looks like.

So this week we decided to go deep in to the question of home, and specifically, what does the ‘home’ part of a slow home really look like? How does the idea of slow impact the spaces in which we spend so much of our down-time? How can we adopt those ideas into the building we live in now, or the building we may live in in the future?

It was a complete no-brainer for me to speak with Amelia Lee about this topic, as Amelia is someone who walks the slow home walk. She’s an architect based in the beautiful Byron Bay hinterland, who helps people create homes that support the life they want to live, rather than create houses that require a life-support in order to exist, and what’s more, she’s been on her own journey towards intentional living for the past few years and understands better than most the impact it can have on the spaces we live in.

Today we talk about the philosophy of Slow Home design and why mindfulness and intention should be the cornerstones of the home we create. We also talk about Amelia’s personal journey towards intentional living and how a trip to Uganda proved the pivotal point for her in recognising the excess in her own life and society in general, as well as what that meant for her fast-growing architecture firm.

The idea of a Slow Home – one that is simple to live in and light on the environment – is something Amelia and I discuss in depth, including ways you can incorporate the idea of a slow home in to both your current house, or any future home.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.


Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Check out after listening:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

You may have heard that we recently hit 1.8 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! Not only does that fact blow my mind, it’s also thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!