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

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Finances, shopping and rediscovering your Why

Finances, shopping and rediscovering your Why - Episode 139 of The Slow Home Podcast

It’s Hostful time! And, like every single month, in today’s episode we do our best to answer some incredible listener questions. But before I get in to it, I just want to let you know how much we enjoy these episodes. Not only do Ben and I get to have conversations about really interesting and important ideas (with quite a few stupid jokes thrown in for good measure) but we also discover things about slow living along the way.

So while I know people ask us questions because they think we may have something helpful to offer, we learn just as much from your questions as you do from our answers. And for that, I am so, so grateful.

If you’ve got your own burning questions or even a mild curiosity about an element of slow living, please feel free to leave a comment on today’s post and we’ll add it to the list of cracking questions we’ve got lined up for the next couple of months.

In the meantime though, today’s episode takes us through five varied topics, as we answer the following questions:

    • What impact did slow living have on your finances?
    • How do you judge if something is necessary and “valuable” enough to warrant purchase?
    • As your items start to get a bit tatty, when do you replace them? Or do you keep repairing or mending instead?
    • How does one re-learn oneself?
  • Other than decluttering, what aspect of slow living do you feel has made the most difference in your family’s life?

Some of these topics I feel relatively confident tackling, while there are others that I feel very much like a novice myself, so while we talk through our own experiences, I’ve also included links below that will point you in the direction of people who are much more knowledgeable than us.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a question for today’s poggie, and for anyone whose question we haven’t yet answered, please know we’re trying our best to get through them all.

Enjoy the poggie!

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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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Does slow living have a branding problem? With James Wallman – The Slow Home Summer Series

Does slow living have a branding problem? With James Wallman - The Slow Home Summer Series

WELCOME TO THE SLOW HOME SUMMER SERIES! BEN AND I ARE TAKING A BREAK OVER JANUARY, SO WE’RE WE REVISITING SOME OF THE BEST EPISODES OF THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS.

James Wallman is an ex-adman and trend forecaster who also wrote the excellent book, Stuffocation and coined the phrase ‘experientialism’.

This conversation was a really interesting one – much more of a true conversation than an interview – as I found James asking me as many questions as I did of him!

We talk about minimalism’s branding issue and why he thinks that experientialism is the way to make a life of less, more appealing to the mainstream. We also look at the overwhelming number of choices we face each day and why experiences will almost always trump stuff.

James also had some ridiculously straightforward advice for me when I tell him I sometimes just feel so damn defeated by the rampant consumerism happening across the globe.

I loved this conversation and have found myself thinking a lot about how we discuss the idea of simple or slow living, and I think James is right – we might have a branding problem! What do you think? 

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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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Decluttering #5

Decluttering #5 - The Slow Home Experiment So last week felt a little…desperate as we tried to find more things to let go of in order to reach our #minsgame target. This week though, Ben and I are a lot more accepting of the reality. The truth is, we’ve been at this simplification experiment for a lot longer than 31 days, so when we realised somewhere around Day 27 that we simply didn’t have anything else to let go of right now (more on that below) it was something of a relief. The last thing I ever wanted was for the idea of decluttering or letting go of the excess to become an obsession or a point of stress, and this experiment has shown me that it absolutely can be if we don’t focus on the why. Why are we choosing to let go of another layer of things? Why are we spending our time sifting through our belongings? For us, it was in order to make room for more life. More fun, more time spent together, more adventure and play and space and energy and slowness. And that is absolutely what we’ve discovered under many layers of crap. Yes there’s work involved to get to that point, but when you realise with every box of stuff you let go of that you’re getting closer to the kind of life you want, it is absolutely worth it. But when it changes to become something that takes us further away from those things we value – fun, time, adventure, play – then we know that it’s time to stop. In terms of totals for the month, I ended up at 470, while Ben was about 350. And that felt like a lot. We worked through the first, easy layer of stuff and then had to dig a little deeper for the rest. Every week asked us to more closely examine our things and why we kept them, and I liked that I needed to look at our things with a more questioning eye, as it’s really easy to become complacent over time. The other thing we learnt is that some decluttering takes more time than others. We’ve still got a big box of photos that need to be scanned and processed, as well as a lot of files to digitise in the office. Had we taken the time to do those tasks this month, we would have made the total by about 1.3 million. But that kind of clutter takes even more time to process and that’s time we simply didn’t have this month, which is OK. So I would call the October Slow Home Experiment an absolute success. It wasn’t nearly as easy as I’d imagined, but that’s actually a good thing. Here’s what we let go of in the last week of the experiment: Slow Home Experiment - Week 5 The Slow Home Experiment - Week 5 After we wrap up this month, Ben and I also talk about the November experiment – daily play. After this month’s work-heavy experiment it’s going to be lovely to return to a lighter type of daily change and I’m really looking forward to it. We talk about what daily play actually looks like and throw around some ideas for what we’re going to try each day. I honestly think that for me it will be much like the 8 Hours Sleep experiment, where not only did I enjoy the extra sleep, but found myself prioritising sleep more and making decisions that allowed me to do that. We also talk about what we mean by ‘play’ – a non-task oriented activity – and why we think it’s going to be a good one as we head in to the pointy end of the year. I’d love to know – how did you go with the #minsgame this month? I know a lot of you have been playing along so please feel free to tag your social media posts with both #minsgame and #slowhomeexperiment.

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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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