Category: Tips

16 Simple Living Icons Share Tips on How To Embrace Simplicity

advice living simply

I’m not comfortable with the minimalist label but I am drawn to the idea of living more with less. I like to call myself a simple living enthusiast.

What’s the best way for a “non-minimalist” to begin the journey towards a simpler life?

I recently asked this question to some of my favorite bloggers who are minimalists and/or simple living experts.

Some suggest starting with the physical world whilst others feel that the process begins with a change in mind-set.

Their response to my question has provided me with invaluable insight as well as practical tips for my journey in simple living.

I hope it will do the same for you.

Joshua Becker… Becoming Minimalist

The most important first step is to find a quiet moment and ask yourself this question, “How would my life improve if I owned less stuff?” We never ask ourselves that question. Instead, we constantly think our life will get better if we just owned more… or better… or newer… or trendier… because that’s what society has told us since the day we were born. But when you sit down and ask yourself the other question – probably for the first time – you’ll be surprised how quickly the answers come. And when they do, you’ll find conviction to pursue a new and better path.

Courtney Carver… Be More With Less

The best way for a “non minimalist” to begin the journey towards a simpler life is to remove the labels and comparisons.

What you call it (simplicity or minimalism) is much less important than what you do with it. Your version of simplicity will look different than someone with a different approach or living situation. Once you give yourself permission to make this YOUR journey, you can take advice and move forward without fear or judgement.

Lorilee Lippincott… Loving Simple Living

I believe the best way for a ‘non-minimalist’ to begin a journey toward a simpler life is to dream and read about it. When people talk about minimalism they often first think of things… and getting rid of things, but that isn’t what makes a simple life.What makes a simple life is change in the mind.

Once the mind decides it wants less and simple, it becomes (almost) second nature to purchase less and get rid of excess. Grab a cup of tea and dream about what you want your life to be. Read about it. Then simplify as you see areas in your life that don’t line up with these new ideals.

Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus… The Minimalists

Weather someone starts with all of their material possessions or just one room, they should carefully consider what’s truly adding value to their life.

Colin Wright… Exile Lifestyle

Take a step back and figure out what’s important to you. Not what you think is supposed to be important to you, but what’s really, REALLY important. The stuff that makes you happier than anything else. Then, start removing the stuff that doesn’t help you get/do more of that.

Markus Almond… Brooklyn To Mars

Anything that doesn’t have sentimental value and hasn’t been used in the past year should be discarded. Whether it’s donated, recycled or thrown away, getting rid of things that don’t hold value is a great place to start.

Jill Gaupin… The Minimalistas

The best way to begin this liberating journey is to spend some time thinking about the changes you want to make to streamline, to simplify, your lifestyle. Make a vision board. Journal your thoughts. Explore your feelings behind why you want to make a change. Connect with others who embrace simple living. And then start taking action.

Tammy Strobel… Rowdy Kittens

There are many small steps you can take today to start living more simply. First, clear off one surface in your home. For example, a reader recently sent me a photo of her uncluttered desk. She spent the evening organizing stacks of papers, mail, and other random belongings that were cluttering the surface of her work space. Now that it’s organized she’s able to sit down to pay her bills and she feels happier. Taking that one small step made her life feel a whole lot simpler.

Second, ditch the television (or watch a whole lot less). Television is a huge time suck and by watching less, you’ll have more time to do the stuff you love, like taking a long walk in the evening or reading a good book. And last but not least, let go of excess stuff. Start by giving away ten belongings each week to friends or to a charity of your choice.

Mohamed Tohami… Midway Simplicity

I would recommend that you start with a small experiment.

There is a very interesting experiment that I’ve done called The One Week Closet Experiment. I learned about the idea from Dave Bruno’s book The 100 Thing Challenge.

Here’s how to do this experiment:

Open your closet and pick up enough clothes for one week.
Store these one week clothes in a separate section in your closet.
Over the next month or two, only wear from the items in this section.
Evaluate the result.
I promise you’ll be hugely surprised!

Rachel Boreing… Intentionally Simple

When you’re beginning to simplify your life, a good place to start is your schedule. Stop over committing and learn that it’s okay to say no to some things. Once you have breathing room in your schedule, life suddenly seems a little simpler.

Vappu Aneri… The Cat’s Meow

I think it’s a change in mindset that is needed first. One should really think about their life, priorities, and values, and then have that vision in mind always.

Sometimes it works well to start out with the physical realm, de-cluttering one’s possessions, perhaps right-sizing the living conditions, and then the mental change follows.

Anyway, all of the de-cluttering in the world is of no use (and can be harmful if you re-purchase and re-clutter again) if there is no shift at a deeper level.

Joel Zaslofsky… Value of Simple

Some of my best friends are not minimalists, but have lives of simplicity that most people would be envious of. For instance, I have a friend who immerses herself (quite literally) in a float tank and teleports her mind to another place. She achieves a state of raw simplicity unlike anything else I’ve ever seen or heard. But spending money to get into a sensory deprivation tank isn’t the only way non-minimalists can achieve simplicity.

Another friend practices gratitude throughout the day and the calming effect creates this radiating wave of simplifying. Practically speaking, I think the easiest way for non-minimalists to achieve simplicity is reading blogs, articles, or stories about the topic. Letters from a Stoic by Seneca comes to mind as each person can pick out the ways they want to incorporate simplifying into their lives without the disruptive effects that minimalism can have.

Patrick Rhone… Minimal Mac

It may seem simple but…
Make sure to ask “Why?”

I think so many of us begin a journey to a particular destination (in this case, simplicity) without really asking this simple question. What is it about your current lifestyle that is not working for you? What it is that is causing friction? Why would simplicity and/or minimalism help?

How often do we find ourselves far down a path, a choice, a decision, without knowing why? How often do we find ourselves with a new shiny device, and new piece of software, a new way of working, without knowing why? I would argue that for most it is far too often.

In fact, I believe that, if we stopped to consider this question more often, and faced it with introspection and honesty, it would lead naturally to a life lived with purpose. Which, to me, is the whole point.

Brooke McAlary… Slow Your Home

In a word: Small.

Small is absolutely the best way to begin the journey towards a simpler life.

We are taught that we need to go big, go hardcore, go for it all, and that’s all well and good. But when you’re just beginning a journey like this – one that is life-long – to try and tackle everything right away is the best way to fail.

Instead of de-cluttering the entire garage, start with the kitchen drawers. Instead of the toy room, just clear out the car. Instead of your wardrobe, start with your handbag.

You are more likely to get these small tasks done in one sitting, rather than become overwhelmed with the bigger tasks and give up altogether. Once you have some victories, you will be far more likely to succeed when you do tackle the bigger jobs.

Rachel Jonat… The Minimalist Mom

Take note of what truly makes you happy. Write it down. Bring more of it into your life. That could be down time or hobby time or sleep or a long distance conversation with an old friend. When you focus on the stuff that really gives back to you, and that you can give yourself to, it becomes clear what stuff you can let go of in your life. A new food processor or sweater or the skis you’ve been hanging onto for seven years thinking you’ll start again, they seem much less important and valuable and they’re easier to let go of.

Nina Nelson… Shalom Mama

If you want to begin the journey towards a simpler life, but don’t want to be a full-fledged minimalist, don’t worry. Take note of the things that are causing clutter in your life. Are you over-committed to activities outside your home? Does your house feel like it’s stuffed to the brim? Do you just do too much laundry? Identify what needs to be simplified and write down what steps you can take to simplify them, like saying no to a committment (or four) or decluttering your house (be it one room or drawer at a time). Realize that it won’t happen overnight, but that’s ok. Just take action. Every. Day.
Thank You All for Your Awesome Contributions!

You inspire us to step out of the fast lane, SLOW DOWN and begin a life, uncomplicated.

I guess the “best way” to begin a simpler life is not defined by what you do, but by the fact that you choose to do, on purpose. And you guys have given us a ton of ideas to get started. Thank you!

Now it’s our turn to take action.

What will you DO to simplify your life? Share your goals in the comments below.

If you were inspired by anything said above, take a moment and share this post by clicking on the icons below. Thanks!


81 Itsy-bitsy Ways to Live a More Simple Life

tips for a simple life


Simple food. Simple things. Simple play.

Is your day filled with work, errands, chores and schedules? Do you feel like life is passing you by? Are you waiting to enjoy your life after the kids are bigger or when the mortgage is paid off?

How about when you have more time?

If this sounds like you, you’re kidding yourself. Time is elusive. If you don’t grab onto it, you’ll always be waiting…

Take a deep breath. Or two. Or three.

Take a breath…of Simplicity.

Seriously. The following simple life tips will help you to slow down, simplify and enjoy life, TODAY.

How to Live a More Simple Life

Make your bed when you wake up.

Set your alarm at least 15 minutes before the kids wake up.

Don’t let the kids be your wake-up call.

Hang up/put away clothes when you take them off. Don’t leave them on the floor, or drape them over chairs.

Empty the trash daily.

Do a 15 minute clean up every night. If they’re old enough, include the kids.

Before bed, have the kids walk around the house and pick up/put away anything that belongs to them.

Don’t let dishes sit in the sink overnight. You’ll be glad in the morning!

Get in the habit of putting things away when you get home. Don’t just dump everything on the nearest surface.

Teach the kids to do the same.

Go through the toy collection and purge, purge, purge (best to do this when the kids are out, or in bed!) Invest in a few solid toys that you know will last.

Go through your closet and donate anything you haven’t worn in the past year (in 2 weeks, you’ll forget it was ever there).

When purchasing clothes, buy solid colors that you can mix and match.

Eliminate white sugar, white bread, white pasta from your pantry.

Replace table salt with sea salt or Himalayan salt.

Eliminate trans-fats from your diet.

Keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand.

If you like to snack on chips, try munching on nuts instead or make popcorn and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

Go for a walk.

Read a good book.

Start a gratitude journal.

Go through each room in your house and de-clutter, one room at a time.

De-clutter one closet at a time.

De-clutter one drawer at a time.

Clear surfaces of clutter.

Get rid of knick-knacks. They’re visually distracting. Instead, decorate tastefully with one or two unique items in each room.

Find a home for everything (preferably out of sight).

Get into the habit of putting things away right after you’re done using them.

Take a good luck at the furniture in each room. If there’s too much for the space, move it or get rid of it.

Each week, allocate 15-30 minutes to go through the mail: Pay the bills and deal with the paperwork. Don’t let it pile up.

Start a basic filing system.

Allocate a special spot for school forms and let the kids know where it is.

Clear your kitchen counter tops. Leave out only one or two small appliances that you use daily. Give everything else a home inside a drawer or cabinet.

Do you really need the waffle-maker that you pull-out and dust off, once a year?

If you’re working on the computer take frequent breaks. Stretch. Get a drink of water.

When you feel overwhelmed or stressed, take 10 deep breaths. It will do you wonders!

Blast the radio while you tackle the housework. You’ll get more done.

Read inspirational quotes.

Limit checking your e-mail to once or twice a day.

Watch one less show on TV.

Exercise daily. You can start with a 15 minute walk around the block.

Don’t obsess over little things. Let it go. Breathe.

When you’re schedule is crazy and you have a million things to do, don’t get mad when your kid chooses that moment to have a melt-down. Stop what you’re doing. Cuddle up for 10 minutes and read a story, or sing some nursery rhymes. The distraction will do you both good!

Take a break.

Call your best-friend.

Touch base with your spouse during work days (call, e-mail or text).

Start a new family tradition.

Let the kids make a mess.

Create a weekly menu plan.

Teach your kids to do their own laundry.

Delegate house chores. Kids as young as five can handle simple chores like sorting socks.

Turn your cell phone off in the car.

Turn your cell phone off when you are out with friends and family (if you have small kids at home, put your phone on vibrate).

Make eye contact and pay attention when someone is talking to you.

Leave your credit card at home.

Pay your credit card off every month.

If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. Save up for it.

Teach older kids to pitch in. They can load/unload the dishwasher, take out the garbage, help younger siblings with homework, etc.

Do you really need 2 different blenders in the kitchen? (I had 3, before I de-cluttered)

Use bins for toys and teach your kids to pack up when they’re done playing.

Place an empty basket/bin (something nice looking) beside the stairs. Every time you come across something that doesn’t belong downstairs (toys, sweaters, books, etc), dump it in the basket. Make a habit of emptying this basket before heading up for bed. The kids should put away anything they find of theirs in it before they go to bed.

Eliminate sugary cereals for breakfast and replace with healthier ones. We enjoy Kashi cereals.

Make a double batch of pancakes or crepes and freeze them between wax paper. They’re a great way to spice up breakfast when you’re pressed for time in the mornings.

Make sure school bags are packed and ready the night before.

Prep lunches and snacks the night before.

If mornings are a mad rush, wake up 15 minutes earlier.

Get enough sleep (7-8 hours).

Enforce bed-times for kids, even older kids (my 13 yr old’s bed-time is 9:30pm).

Set times for snack (e.g. after-school). Say no to snacks at other times, especially before meals.

Don’t schedule after-school activities everyday. Kids need time to relax and just be.

Let your kids be bored. It’s okay to be bored.

Don’t allow computers or TV’s in the bedrooms (including yours)!

Limit screen time for kids (TV, computer, electronic games, etc).

Go screen free for a week. Or longer.

Go on a date with your spouse (aim for once a week).

Get rid of or donate 50 household items (dishes, gadgets, tools, blankets, small appliances).

Get rid of or donate 100 personal items (clothing, books, shoes, trinkets, etc).

Cut down your beauty products by half.

Be present. Stop and Pause. Look around you. Take note of all the wonderful things that surround you: Nature, people, your wonderful home.

Spend 10 minutes a day, doing nothing.


What can you add to this list?