The concept of simple living is self-explanatory – to live simply. Individuals who live simply tend to be happier and healthier; not to mention how these activities protect the environment. The primary tenets of simple living include:
- Reducing the amount of unnecessary items (“stuff”) you possess
- Reducing one’s dependency on money and technology
- Increasing self-sufficiency by living closer and in line with nature
- Promoting sustainability and protecting our planet
- Maintaining spirituality and gratitude
Tips to Living Simply
Reduce Physical Clutter
1. Go through old clothes – throw out what is unwearable and donate what doesn’t fit. You’ll have more room in your closet and you are helping those in need.
2. The items you just can’t get rid of? Place them in a box and write a date six months from now. Throw out or donate the boxes without looking in them when you reach that date. If you didn’t need it for six months, you likely don’t need it.
3. You have items you don’t use but can’t bear to throw them out. Start a “Want this?” bag to share with family and friends. If the items are that important, someone will need them. Donate whatever is left.
4. Have an old clothes party. Get all your friends together to bring old clothes they no longer want or need. Have a get together and people take what they want and donate the rest.
Reducing Dependency on Money and Technology
1. Do as much as you can for yourself. Do you need to drop that blouse off at the tailor’s or can you learn to sew a button?
2. Start gardening! Growing your own food is not only rewarding, it’s healthier and saves money.
3. Set aside a particular time in the day when you check email. Let others know, they will catch on and you won’t feel compelled to respond immediately and they won’t expect it.
4. Instead of surfing the internet, go for a walk.
5. When you go on vacation, ignore work this time. That’s right – no texts, phone calls, or emails.
1. In this day and age it is important we know what is in our food. Again, start a vegetable garden. You will know where it grew, how it grew, and what you put in the soil. Gardening also reduces your dependency on commercially produced foods.
2. Learn a craft. Ever think of making baskets, sewing, knitting, pottery? Do it. Kits are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. The benefits are obvious and two-fold: it is rewarding to make your own things and it saves money!
3. If you can read, you can cook – that’s all it takes to follow a recipe. Cooking ensures you can take care of yourself, it’s healthier than convenience foods and a restaurant, and guess what else? Saves money.
1. Our overindulgence has led to reduced resources and negative implications for our planet. Protecting our environment and promoting sustainability is the only way we can reverse the damage.
2. Decrease energy consumption. Turn the lights off when you leave a room. Open your blinds during the day and use the sun for light. Turn up your AC and turn down the heat, just a couple of degrees reducing energy consumption.
3. Recycle! For most of us, it’s as simple as putting that can in the right bin. Look at other things to recycle; many supermarkets collect plastic bags for recycling and some even give you money off your order for each bag you recycle.
4. Reduce how much you waste? Put food scraps in paper bag and toss in the composter or put vegetable scraps in a freezer bag and make vegetable stock when you have time.
Spirituality and Gratitude
1. Spirituality is the acknowledgment that we are more than just mere creatures on the Earth. People practice and acknowledge spirituality in different ways and all ways are important. Take time to reflect on your own purpose here and the purpose of all of us.
2. Pray, meditate, do yoga. Do anything that lets you transcend the one-dimensional physical world.
3. Be thankful. There will always be someone who has more than you do and always those who don’t have as much as you. Be grateful for where you are and what you have.
4. Thank others for what they do. It means more than you know to be appreciated and thanking others seems a dying art in our “entitled” society. Do things that make others thank you.