What Simple Living Is (& What It Is Not) - The Simplicity Habit (2022)

Inside: Learn what simple living is and what it isn’t and decide how you may want to incorporate elements of living simply into your life.

When you hear the words ‘simple living’, what does it make you think of?

Do you picture Laura Ingalls Wilder? While times were much simpler back then in some ways, the realities of life were also very challenging.

Or maybe you imagine living in a five-hundred-square foot studio with minimal furniture and décor. That certainly could be one way to live simply.

There isn’t a right or wrong answer for whatever first comes to your mind. Everyone has a different frame of reference for what simple living means to them.

But there are also a lot of misconceptions about what simple living is. Today we’re going to take a look at what simple living isn’t and what it is.

Read on to learn more about living simply and why you may want to simplify certain areas in your life.

(Video) SIMPLIFY Your Life | 5 Minimalist Habits for Simple Living

What Simple Living Is (& What It Is Not) - The Simplicity Habit (1)

What Simple Living Is Not

Before we look at all the things simple living is, let’s first explore some of the misconceptions. Here are some of the things that simple living is not.

A political agenda

I am not here to tell you that there is (or isn’t) a government agenda to move people toward owning nothing personally. What I can tell you is the simple living/minimalist movement is not connected to that ideology.

People pursuing a simpler way of living are not part of some plot to get you to have nothing to your name. I see comments along these lines on my Facebook page at times, so I wanted to clarify that here.

Simple living is not about being dependent on the government or on other people. It is not part of a movement to a new world order.

Simplifying is about having freedom and flexibility. In the second section of this post, I’ll explain more about why people are pursuing simplicity and what the end goal is.

What Simple Living Is (& What It Is Not) - The Simplicity Habit (2)

Boring or lazy

Living a simple life doesn’t mean living a boring life either. Working to have less isn’t done in an effort to sit on the couch all day doing nothing.

It’s quite the opposite in fact. Your stuff can hold you back from the things that are most meaningful to you.

Simplifying your home and life is not done in an effort to create a boring aesthetic or an unfulfilled life.


Simple living is also not about depriving yourself. It’s more about focusing on the things that are important rather than the stuff that isn’t.

A life with fewer distractions allows you to live more abundantly than one that is collecting excessive items that don’t even get used.

Simple living isn’t like dieting. It’s about discovering a more fulfilling way to live.

(Video) How To Simplify Your Life

What Simple Living Is (& What It Is Not) - The Simplicity Habit (3)


Some people think of homesteading as being synonymous with simple living. While there are some aspects of going back to our roots and caring for the land that are tied to living simply, that doesn’t mean you have to live on a farm to pursue simplicity.

If you are interested in going back to basics but don’t live in a place with acreage you can incorporate some aspects of homesteading like cooking from scratch, composting, and container gardening in most living spaces.

However, even if you aren’t interested in homesteading, you can still pursue living more simply.

What Simple Living Is

So now that we’ve covered some of the misconceptions about simple living, let’s look at what simple living actually is.

Simple living is about getting rid of the excess and focusing on what matters most. Simplifying is making an intentional choice to minimize stuff so that you have more time to spend on things that are meaningful to you.

Opting to live more simply acknowledges that possessions are not the most important things in life and that more energy can be spent on important pursuits when distractions are minimized.

Here are some things to know about simple living.

What Simple Living Is (& What It Is Not) - The Simplicity Habit (4)


We live in a world that is busy and full of distractions.

The influences of modern technology on our culture cannot be overstated. Our devices are constantly alerting us with all kinds of notifications. The instant access we have to information can be beneficial, but also comes at a cost.

It’s challenging to be fully engaged in your life while being bombarded by various things vying for your attention. Simplifying works to live more intentionally and minimize those distractions.

(Video) The Key To Living A Simple Life

Advertisers constantly tell us to buy more and that our value is attached to what we own. While others work to amass more things, simple living rejects the status quo and instead focuses on being grateful for what you already have.

Instead of chasing the culture’s definition of success, you get to define what success looks like in your life. It doesn’t need to mean living in a huge house or driving a fancy car.

Simple living is about clarifying your values and creating your own version of success according to your unique goals.

The statistics on clutter highlight the stuff problem that we have in our culture.

Pursuing simplicity means being ok with not going with the flow. It is a countercultural choice that is driven by a desire to live intentionally and purposefully even if it’s not popular.

What Simple Living Is (& What It Is Not) - The Simplicity Habit (5)

Focus on freedom

One of the goals on simple living is to create more freedom in your life. When you simplify your things, it not only gives your space more breathing room, but also gives you more time back.

“Owning less means less cleaning, less burden, less anxiety, and less stress each and every day.” -Unknown

Simplifying your home minimizes the negative impacts on clutter. Choosing less gives you more time and money to spend on the things that you care about most.

Living simply is about getting out of debt and focusing more on the necessities rather than continually buying more unnecessary stuff.

Having less to clean, maintain, and move frees you up to pursue new adventures in your life. Simple living allows you to be more flexible and available for the unexpected circumstances that arise from time to time.

A way of life

Simple living is a way of life. It impacts what you say yes to and influences how you use your resources.

(Video) 3 Basic Rules For Simple Living I Use As An Extremely Type-A Person

Adopting certain habits will help you to simplify your life. It’s about choosing less and being selective with what you allow into your home and life.

For many it means opting for a slower pace of living as well.

Every person has a bit different comfort level with the stuff in their life. This is why I focus on simplicity, not minimalism.

Some people opt to go to extremes while others (myself included) opt for focusing on frugality and practicality. Wherever you land on that spectrum is up to your priorities. Your simplifying goals can also change with your stage in life.

What Simple Living Is (& What It Is Not) - The Simplicity Habit (6)

Create space for what you love

The end goal of simple living is to create more space in your life for the things that you love.

Sometimes that looks like decluttering your home so that you have more room for enjoying the people in your home without the added burden and stress of excess stuff.

Simplifying can also be cutting unnecessary things out of your schedule so that you have more time to spend on the people and things that you care most about.

Reduce the excess in the places you need to most and create a life you love as you make space for what matters most to you.

What is simple living to you? Let us know in the comments section!

Simple living will look different for each person. We’d love to hear what simple living means to you & how you’re working to simplify your life.

Check out these helpful posts on living more simply:

  • The many benefits of choosing to live simply
  • How to live simply in a culture focused on consumerism
  • How to live a simple life: 7 practical ways to get started

Sign up on the form below to get weekly decluttering tips and inspirations sent straight to your inbox. You’ll also get the free 5 Areas to Declutter in 10 Minutes Checklist to help you get started decluttering today.


What is meant by simple living? ›

Simple living refers to practices that promote simplicity in one's lifestyle. Common practices of simple living include reducing the number of possessions one owns, depending less on technology and services, and spending less money. These practices can be seen throughout history, religion, art, and economics.

What is the difference between minimalism and simplicity? ›

Minimalism is a process or journey, while simplicity is a state of being. Minimalism is about reducing the number of things you own, while simplicity is about living with less complexity. Minimalism can be applied to your physical possessions, schedule, and commitments.

What is the importance of living a simple life? ›

Less Stimulation Allows for Better Concentration. For many, living a simple life does mean living with less stuff. Less clutter, fewer electronics, and not as much to deal with will put you in a better space to focus on whatever you need to – work, hobbies, and conversations with family.

What do you understand by simple living and high thinking? ›

The proverb simple living and high thinking is the one that encourages us to make our lives more meaningful rather than affluent. Here a simple way of living refers to a simple and non-expensive standard of living. We should be worried about only the very basic needs essential for a living.

Does minimalist mean simple? ›

When you call a person a minimalist, you're describing their interest in keeping things very simple. A minimalist prefers the minimal amount or degree of something. In art history, the minimalists were artists whose work involved extremely simple gestures and ideas.

Is minimalist same as simple? ›

Simplicity focuses on the uncomplicated and uncompounded way of living. It does not necessarily aim to own as few things as possible but to use what you already have. Minimalism, on the other side, is centered around cutting down the number of possessions to the bare minimum.

Is a simple life a good life? ›

Your health can benefit. Living a slow and simple life just feels good—great even. You have less stress and anxiety because you're not trying to do everything. This can result in huge boosts to your mental health.

What is the importance of simplicity? ›

Benefits of simplicity

When things are simple, they are easier to learn and remember. When your messages are filled with unnecessary information, it dilutes your message and takes attention away from your key points. When your message is simple, is focuses attention on the important stuff.

How can I live a simple life and be happy? ›

The following daily habits may help you achieve more happiness in your life.
  1. Smile. You tend to smile when you're happy. ...
  2. Exercise. Exercise isn't just for your body. ...
  3. Get plenty of sleep. ...
  4. Eat with mood in mind. ...
  5. Practice gratitude. ...
  6. Give a compliment. ...
  7. Breathe deeply. ...
  8. Acknowledge the unhappy moments.

How do you live a simple life with less things? ›

Here are 6 of the principles we use to live a simpler minimalist lifestyle while living with less:
  1. Don't go into a store unless you need something and go in and out buying only that.
  2. Look to family and friends to borrow those items you may only need to use once or twice a year. ...
  3. Always look for used before buying new.

How do you live a humble and simple life? ›

A humble person doesn't introduce themselves with accomplishments but instead, they do it in a subtle way that isn't too strong.
  1. 10 Ways To Be More Humble in Life.
  2. Admit you're not the best. ...
  3. Recognize your flaws. ...
  4. Be grateful, not boastful. ...
  5. Admit when you make a mistake. ...
  6. Don't brag. ...
  7. Be more considerate. ...
  8. Appreciate others.

What is simple living and high thinking of Mahatma Gandhi? ›

Simplicity is probably his greatest virtue. Truth: Gandhi believed in true living and his experiments with truth were countless. He always believed that being true to life can make your life easier. You may face quite a lot of hardships initially for being truthful but at the end you will emerge as a true winner.

What does a simple life look like? ›

Living a simple life is about paring back, so that you have space to breathe. It's about doing with less, because you realize that having more and doing more doesn't lead to happiness. It's about finding joys in the simple things, and being content with solitude, quiet, contemplation and savoring the moment.

Whose idea is simple living high? ›

You may even find a “simple living, high thinking” quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.

What happens when you simplify your life? ›

Simplifying your life will give you more time, space, and energy. The more space you have, the freer you'll be to truly enjoy everything.

How can I make real change in my life? ›

57 Small Changes You Can Easily Make to Improve Your Life
  1. Assume People Have Good Intentions. ...
  2. Avoid Using Negative Words. ...
  3. Avoid Spending Time with Stressed-Out People. ...
  4. Begin Each Day with Expectation. ...
  5. Breathe More Deeply. ...
  6. Celebrate More Frequently. ...
  7. Daydream More Frequently. ...
  8. Decide That You Must Achieve Your Goals.
19 Jun 2020

How can I make my life simpler and more fulfilling? ›

4 Things You Can Do Right Away to Make Your Life Simpler and More Fulfilling
  1. Develop a life philosophy. ...
  2. Divide up your tasks into must-dos and want-dos, and eliminate everything else. ...
  3. Reduce clutter, both physical and mental. ...
  4. Remember that a simple life isn't easy.
16 Aug 2017

What is an example of simplicity? ›

Clarity of expression. Simplicity is freedom from extravagance, luxury and complexity. An example of simplicity is sitting in a lush meadow on a summer's day. Lack of good sense or intelligence; foolishness.

How do you master simplicity? ›

11 Ways To Embrace Simplicity
  1. Get Rid of Excess.
  2. Reduce or Eliminate T. V.
  3. Buy Less.
  4. Simplify Your Wardrobe.
  5. Spend Less Time on Social Media.
  6. Read Selectively.
  7. Stop Overcommitting Yourself.
  8. Downsize.
1 Mar 2022

What are the qualities of simplicity? ›

The basic idea behind simplicity is, having a simple thought process. Being humble, not harming or cheating anybody, obedience to your elders, and not gossiping about anyone are all simple attributes of life that lead to other qualities that make a person appreciable in everyone's eyes.

What's a minimalist lifestyle? ›

When you live as a minimalist, you strive to only use things that serve a purpose. It's about living simply and having only what you need to go about your daily life. For instance, some people may start a no-spend challenge or only fill their home with items they absolutely need.

What is the opposite of minimalism? ›

As you may have guessed, maximalism is the opposite to minimalism. It's best described as the reaction to minimalism, where 'more is more'. Maximalism lets color, shapes, tone and texture do the talking. It doesn't have to be loud or overbearing, but maximalism does grab your attention.

Why minimalism is a better way of life? ›

Minimalism allows us to focus on our priorities. “By maintaining a clutter-free environment, you're able to increase focus and productivity thus reducing stress," Backe says—and this increase isn't just psychological.

How are minimalist products? ›

Minimalist is committed to bringing 'transparency in beauty' by using CLEAN formulations only. Products are free from well-researched toxins and do not sensitize your skin – irrespective of their natural or naturally derived tag.

What is simplicity and minimalism in photography? ›

Minimalist photography is a form of photography that is distinguished by extreme, austere simplicity. It emphasizes spareness and focuses solely on the smallest number of objects in the composition process.

What is minimal design? ›

Minimalist design is about prioritizing the essential. A minimalist building, object, or interior design is stripped to its core function, realized using limited materials, neutral colors, simple forms, and avoiding excess ornamentation to achieve a pure form of elegance.

Why should we always lead a life of simplicity? ›

Simplicity is a must in order to lead a purposeful life. Simplicity saves man from unnecessary expenditure and distractions—things that hamper him in working towards achieving his goal in life.

What the Bible says about simplicity? ›

Proverbs 15:16, NIV

Here we are reminded of what holds value in this bible verse about simplicity. If you have little, but you fear the Lord, you have everything! Wealth without God is worthless. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

What is the value of simplicity? ›

Simplicity avoids waste, teaches economy, avoids value clashes complicated by greed, fear, peer pressure, and a false sense of identity. From simplicity grows generosity and sharing. Simplicity is putting others first with kindness, openness, pure intentions — without expectations and conditions.

How can I live my best life? ›

Top 5 Ways to Live Your Best Life Now
  1. Live in the present moment.
  2. Do Things You Love.
  3. Take care of your mental and physical health.
  4. Build/repair meaningful connections.
  5. Set healthy boundaries with yourself.
11 Jan 2022

Why is it important to live with less stuff? ›

But when we declutter our homes and simplify our lives, we can reduce the amount of time and energy we spend on maintaining our belongings. This gives us more time to focus on the important stuff. Additionally, living with less can help us appreciate the items we do have.

How can I enjoy living less? ›

you could benefit from living a little bit more minimalistically!
  1. Stop buying things that you don't need. In a modern world, we are always told that we need this or that. ...
  2. Give fast food consumption a miss. ...
  3. Try to make your life less media focused. ...
  4. Declutter your home. ...
  5. Understand the spiritual meaning behind minimalism.
24 Jan 2019

What is a humble lifestyle? ›

Truly humble people keep quiet about their accomplishments and the good things they do. Humble can also mean "low in station or quality." If you come from a humble background, you didn't grow up wealthy, and if you live in a humble apartment, it isn't overly grand or showy.

What does a humble person look like? ›

A humble person does not flaunt their wealth, status, accomplishments, or anything else they may have. They are modest and often embarrassed by praise. Instead of being proud of themselves, a humble person will be happy for others who deserve the credit.

What is a good example of being humble? ›

Letting someone ahead of you in line when you see they are in a hurry is an act of humility. Cleaning the bathroom of your office, even though you own the company, is an example of humility.

What defines a simple person? ›

Simple people, or people who claim minimalism, simplicity, and easy-going lives, are relaxed, patient, and present in their everyday lives. Simple Person. A simple person is someone who is uncomplicated. They're grateful for the little things in life. They don't try to impress, they're humble.

What do you call a person who is simple? ›

A simpleton is the opposite of a genius. However, the word simple implies more than lack of intelligence; it suggests being innocent or naive too. So a simpleton could be considered a hillbilly or yokel as well as a dullard or dunce. Definitions of simpleton. a person lacking intelligence or common sense.

How do you stay simple? ›

Not every tip will fit your lifestyle, so just choose a few that do and apply them accordingly.
  1. Learn to let GO of what wasn't meant to be. ...
  2. Stop berating yourself for being a work in progress. ...
  3. Don't wish your life away. ...
  4. Forget what everyone thinks and wants for you. ...
  5. Stop worrying and complaining. ...
  6. Start making moves.
22 Dec 2013

Does God want us to live a simple life? ›

God wants us to Live a Simple Life

God wants what is best for us, and He doesn't want us to live a life tied to our stuff or our schedule. He wants us to be fully devoted to Him. Whether God has financially blessed us or not, we are to use what He gives us for His glory.

Is living a simple life better? ›

Your health can benefit

Living a slow and simple life just feels good—great even. You have less stress and anxiety because you're not trying to do everything. This can result in huge boosts to your mental health.

What does simple living mean in Sims 4? ›

Sims 4 Cottage Living that centers around farm life introduced the Simple Living lot challenge. The Simple Living lot challenge requires your sims to have all the necessary ingredients in order to cook any meals and your sim will no longer have access to quick meals for an extra bit of a challenge.

Who said simple living and high thinking? ›

One is his simple living and high thinking philosophy and the other his love for literature. Gandhi was revered by the world and look at what he wore, ate or the way he lived!

What does the Bible say about living a simple life? ›

1 Timothy 6:6-8, NIV

This verse reminds us that we started simply. When we were born we had God, when we leave this world if we focused on God, then we leave with him. Living simply gives you margin in your mind and heart to focus on God and to seek him.

What does the Bible mean by simple? ›

1. The Simple Person. The simple person is basically ignorant and naive (although not stupid). He just doesn't know; he lacks instruction and information. The majority of simple people are young (in age, and/or in the Lord).

How should I live my life according to the Bible? ›

  1. PSALM 37:4: THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. ...
  4. JOHN 10:10: ABUNDANT LIFE. ...
21 Jul 2020

Can you be happy with a simple life? ›

Simple living enables you to enjoy the small things

Many tend to overcomplicate life. Letting go of things can be liberating, enabling you to see the beauty in simple pleasures, according to Minimalray. Basically, minimalism is the essence of happiness. Simple pleasures are all around us.

What is the Simple Living Challenge Sims? ›

Cottage Living also introduced new Lot Challenges, and one of them is called Simple Living. This challenge uses the ingredients you have in your inventory, which is perfect for using our fresh eggs and milk from our farm animals!

How do you get a golden egg in Sims 4? ›

You can also get a rare hatchable golden egg or a hatchable obsidian egg. Increase your chances of getting a Golden Egg by giving a Golden Treat to a Chicken. There's also a guaranteed chance to get a Golden Egg from really happy chickens. If it's a hatchable golden egg, you'll get a golden chick.

How do I get rid of my lot traits? ›

Now look to the upper left corner for the icon in the screenshot above. Click it, and a menu will come down showing all of the selectable lot traits. You can hover over an existing lot trait and remove it if you don't like it, assuming it is not one of the apartment traits that you cannot remove.

How did Gandhi live a simple life? ›

Gandhi promoted simple living, non-violence, and forgiveness as a way to unite all people peacefully. These principles helped him to liberate his people and to teach them a lesson that all can learn. Much of Gandhi's philosophy is rooted in what he learned as a child. From his mother, he learned Hindu teachings.

What does think simple mean? ›

“think simple” is just trying to convey the idea that you should do things as simple as possible.


1. WHAT IS "SIMPLICITY"??? Defining What It Means to Live A Simple Life
(Solutions for Simplicity)
2. Minimalist Lifestyle vs. Simple Living vs. Slow Living: Which Is Right for You? (Minimalist Living)
(Conscious Originals)
3. 9 Amazing Facts Good Simple Living Tried To Hide
4. 3 things to get rid of before 2019 | Minimalism and simple living
(The Simplicity Diaries)
5. COMMON MYTHS ABOUT SIMPLICITY: Is Simple Living Possible?
(Solutions for Simplicity)
6. the beauty of an ordinary life - social media and simple living

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