Before we came to the great state of Arkansas my husband and I spent almost 3 years in Florida. I wouldn’t trade those 3 years for anything. We were newly married and fresh out of college. We moved to Cocoa Beach where my husband had a great job as a business manager for a construction company and I landed my first job in medical sales. We worked hard but we also played hard. We bought kayaks and a wave runner and spent all of our weekends at the beach with friends and traveling around the state.
After two years, we were ready to do something different. We both felt like we eventually wanted to move back closer to family and buy a house one day but we weren’t quite ready. We had met working a summer in college at a dude ranch in Colorado and had both always craved adventure. So….we decided to do something crazy and went to work for a wealthy family in Miami Beach!
We were hired as “estate managers” and were given a beautiful two bedroom apartment on the property. They had 3 homes, the one in Miami Beach, a gorgeous mountain home in Quebec, Canada, and another on a private island in the Bahamas. We traveled to their different estates, shopped for them, and did just a little bit of everything. Needless to say, I also would not trade this experience for anything!
After a while, a perfect job opportunity opened for my husband in Fayetteville; and, I really wanted to be closer to my family…so we moved on. But…I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to get a glimpse into a world so different from my own. And, I know we both learned quite a bit along the way.
Some were true life lessons, and others were mere insights into how to achieve simplicity amongst such abundance. As a co-owner of Simple Spaces, this experience has been invaluable to me.
I was encouraged to do monthly closet and toy clean outs with the kids. They did get new things quite often, but in order to keep things simple and streamlined, a lot of old stuff was regularly given to charity. I did most of the grocery and supply shopping for the homes and, although they liked to purchase in bulk, the number of actual products were very limited. I think this is great to do with food, cleaning products, HBA products etc. Find one brand you love and stick with it, you’ll cut down on waste and confusion. Even the adults in the home had beautifully organized closets with mostly classic pieces. They were very expensive but there was not a ridiculous amount of anything and older items were regularly purged. Each bed in the home had only two sets of sheets that were kept in a labeled linen closet. When one was being washed the other would go on the bed until the next week. These are just a few examples of how their daily life (which could have been chaotic just by volume) was made easier.
The point of this is to share what I learned from this job. Simplicity can be achieved no matter what your income, your social status, the size of your home, etc. I took away a true appreciation for living simply…even amongst such abundance. They understood the importance of quality over quantity and the value of simplicity in a world of plenty. And, I can also never forget all the fun we had along the way!