What Does Simple Living Mean To You?

by Merissa on May 17, 2012

in Simple Living

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I sat in my living room the other night and just took a look around. My living room is pretty small and also is my kitchen, dining room, laundry room, and entry way. I actually love having it all in one room because it makes it feel a little bigger.

Of course I've sat in my living room many many times before but this time I just sat and looked around. I thought about what I had in each of my cupboards in the kitchen. I looked at the things on the counter top and on the table. (My coffee table and side tables only hold a lamp and a vase of flowers so not much to look at in the living room. :) )

The next thing you know I had everything in my kitchen pulled out from my cupboards and drawers. One full box of get rid of and 3 ( yes 3!) bags of garbage later I looked around at my much more empty cupboards with a better feeling.

Right now we are going through our upcoming house plans that we will be building this fall or later this summer. Building a house forces you to look at your home in a whole new light. Going over things you think you need then going over them again and again adjusting what you think and what you want.

During all this process I've been forced to take a closer look at what simple really means to  me. I think that everyone interprets this word differently but here's how I see it:

Simple living is having (or at least trying to have!) and organized lifestyle. To clear out the clutter and have the rest of your stuff organized so it's easy to use or to find.

Simple living is being unplugged. Not totally unplugged but maybe being more so than the rest of the world. To me this means not always feeling like we need to have the latest and greatest inventions.

Simple living means working hard for the good things in life. Raising backyard chickens isn't the easiest thing ever but they are so rewarding! Having a garden is a lot of work and so is preserving in any form but it's more than worth it.

Simple living is be thankful for what you have, even if it's little. Sometimes changing your situation just means looking at it differently. Instead of always seeing the glass half empty I try to see the glass half full.

Simple living means stopping to smell the roses. People that have embraced simple living know that life can getting going on dizzying speeds and sometimes we have to remember to stop and take a break. Make time for a break, enjoy the color of the sky or the simplicity of the birds' songs.

There are so many different ways to describe simple living and like I said above, I think simple living means something different to everyone. What does simple living mean to you?

 

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacey May 17, 2012 at 9:18 am

I liek this post. It speaks to me. The last few years ever since moving to our new place I have been remembering to take time out to be thankful and enjoy the simple things… like watching the chickens scratch at the ground or enjoying a pretty sunset (which of course is much prettier in the country than it was when I lived in town). Its something about living in the country that makes it easier to enjoy the simple things in life… at least for me.

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2 marci357 May 17, 2012 at 9:22 am

For me, it’s just always looking for the positive in things :)
Taking it easy, and knowing what I have is more than enough.

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3 Bills KuntryKabin May 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

Going back to the Basics of living. Working hard on your homestead and being self-sufficient.

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4 Allegra May 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Sooo good! Thanks for sharing!

“Live simply so that other’s may simply live.” This is what I like about living simply. For example, when I buy from my local organic farmer I am supporting someone who is doing things the right way (growing food in harmony with nature). And I am helping the environment because the food didnt travel hundreds of miles to get to my plate. And I am helping the local economy. When I buy less junk from Walmart, and instead carefully consider what I really need, and buy Fair Trade, I am not supporting slave labor. Our everyday actions- as simple as they might be, affect other people!

Like you, I love cleaning out the clutter in my life! It helps me focus on what really matters. In the pursuit of living simply, I have changed my purchasing habits, what I eat, and where I spend my time. I am constantly learning how to live more simply.

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5 Charity May 21, 2012 at 8:06 am

Simple living means to me:

1. Faith in my Jesus and living a joyful life because of Him.
2. Having a child like joy – seeing the joy inside of my children and rolling down a grassy hill with them and going “creek stompin” as we used to and all the other fun kid things. Keeping child joy in my heart every day – seriously.
3. Snuggling on the couch with my kids and hubby.
4. Living simply – realizing what joy it is to live off the land, doing your own things with your own hands and finding reward in them.
5. Making the most with what you have.
That is simplicity to me :-)

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6 Brenda Slye July 20, 2012 at 10:47 am

I agree with everything you said. Plus I love what Charity wrote. We are so blessed in our little family. We live in an apartment and are blessed to have a big yard and an understanding, open-minded landlord. We have our garden, our fruit bushes, herb garden, chickens and soon a rabbit. Plus we are able to have our dog and 3 cats.
I think living simply means staying home more. Appreciating every moment with each other. Trying to live more self-sufficiently. Baking and cooking from scratch. Canning and freezing our food that we grow or buy from locals. Teaching these things to our children. Going for walks on cool days. I can just go on and on, haha. I love living the simple life.
There are so many people out there that work so much to earn more money to buy newer cars, bigger houses, name brand clothing, going out to eat, etc etc. But we have a used car, live in an apartment, shop at goodwill, yard sales and sale racks at the stores, we eat out once in a while and we are happier. Plus I can stay at home with the kids and be a homemaker. I love that! that’s another way to live simply. But there are people who do have to both work and I respect that! I’m just blessed and very thankful that we don’t have to both work.

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7 Elaine January 7, 2013 at 12:12 am

My simple living looks very different than yours, and it’s something I aspire to more than I actually attain it. However, I’ve noticed people often compare themselves to those who have more than they do – and so feel poorer than they really are. So I choose to do the reverse. Most people in the world don’t own a house, or a car, or [fill in the blank]. Why should I feel I need to own these things, then? Who am I to claim a right to things most people in the world don’t have access to? Nothing wrong with having things, but there’s no reason to buy into (literally, BUY into) the lifestyle middle-class, white US Americans came to define as normative in the 20th century. So living simply for me means not comparing myself to people who have more than I do, but rather to people who have less. It means thinking for myself about what I really want to buy, own, do, etc., and not caring what others think of it; not carrying debt if possible; and being content. Also, reduce, reuse, recycle! I’m sure there’s more I could add, but you don’t want me to be exhaustive here. ;) But as you can see, and as I’m sure everyone here can appreciate, it’s about forming and owning my own values and questioning the values that permeate the culture. It also involves not judging others. I’ve known too many people who have a superiority complex about the fact that they ride a bike instead of driving, or they don’t eat meat, or whatever. I stopped eating meat after reading an article arguing for vegetarianism based on St. Thomas Aquinas’ principle of least harm – a principle that allows me to admit that for some people, not eating meat would be a greater harm (if they ruined their health, e.g.). It seems inconsistent to me to give up meat for ethical reasons and then do something unethical as judging others’ lifestyles or trying to force my own beliefs/lifestyle on them!

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8 Patty April 20, 2013 at 11:20 pm

THANK YOU for this post! I’ve spent my life striving to live simply and I feel like I’ve ‘arrived’ but your posts sure help me see even more ways that I can do that!

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9 stephani September 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I try to reuse, recycle, shop smart, donate and I have an open door policy. The children(technically young adults now, my children to me) related non related or just needing a door that would be open to them come to my house for homemade meals. Fresh veggies from the garden and especially the zucchini bread. Simple living to me is having something for someone else when they need it.

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10 Jeana September 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I love that you include organization as a part of living simply. This is one thing I really want to improve on in our own home. I have begun organizing just one room/closet at a time and it amazes me how much time and energy it saves me to simply be organized, and put things away where they belong. I’ve got a long way to go but an excited to get organized :).

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11 J. January 6, 2014 at 7:54 am

Hi

I don’t live in America and in my country there aren’t any real nature disasters. Despite the fact that I live in a densely populated country and don’t have to face some of the problems people describe in their comments I REALLY like your blog! You’re just so positive and inventive about everything! I have great respect for your way of living. :)
I don’t think I could call myself a real simple liver (although I really want a grocery garden and some chickens when I have my own house), but for me it’s important to focus on what you have. People should be more happy with the basic things in live like a loving partner, a roof above your head, family…. I am gratfull for everything I have, try not to spoil things, try to cook without conservatives, milk products and taste enhancers. And I will proceed reading your blog!

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