How To Live Simply

Learning how to live simply is one of the central concepts of personal rewilding.

The idea of living simply appeals to most of us, on some level. Modern society is complex, demanding, and steeped in “wants” and possessions.

To feed our modern addictions to large houses, new cars, the newest and flashiest technologies, our clothing and trinket binges on Amazon, and the dog-and-pony show of social media, we’ll tie ourselves to long hours at a job we despise, producing or selling more of the same items that we’re purchasing for ourselves.

How To Live Simply

That is the cyclical trap of our consumerist economy. It can often go on for years before one day we step back and see how utterly hollow it all is, and how pointless and wasteful the vast collection of private possessions feels.

The idea of “minimalist” living has gained traction in the past several years. This has been championed by people like Marie Kondo, who has written bestselling books and hosted her own TV series on the liberating joy of reducing your possessions to only those with real meaning. 

There is a tremendous amount of truth in this idea. Winnowing our mass of accumulated possessions down to those of real personal importance is one step toward a simpler, more enriching life.

It is far from the only step. 

"Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots."


Declutter Your Information Stream

There are many, many meaningful ways to live simply and reduce the chaos of modern life. Not only should we find ways to declutter and tidy up our personal spaces, we must also do the same to our minds, our hearts, and our spirits.

Our minds today are bombarded with an endless firehose of information. News articles, videos, advertisements, emails, text messages, social media – the stream is never off, and it is nearly impossible to ignore.

We carry around the weight of that information, much of which is stress-producing. One critical piece of learning to live simply is learning to filter and meter that flow of information. 

Reducing and controlling your online and social media presence is one way to positively affect this. Another is learning how to filter and reduce undesirable emails, so that you see only what is relevant and important to you.

Of course, learning how to live simply is a much larger topic than just minimizing our possessions or decluttering our information streams.

Find Joy In Simple Pleasures

Learning how to live simply is about finding meaning and happiness in simple pleasures such as books, poetry, walking, gardening, and music.

How long has it been since you read a book? Even if you are an avid, regular reader: how long has it been since you took a book into your yard or to your local park and read beneath the trees? Or hiked out on a local trail with a book of poems in your pack?

There are countless ways to experience the world, but many of us have winnowed our activities down to just a few. Some people feel the need for a phone or a computer or a smart device to fill their empty hours. Others feel they need to “go” – shopping, to the movies, to work, to the coffee shop…

Learning how to live simply is about realizing that our joys can consist in quieter and less busy activities, or that there is a greater variety of simple options open to us than we realize. Replace the daily drive to the coffee shop with a homemade brew and a walk. 

It is about cutting wasteful activities out of your life and in the process eliminating the wasteful and unsustainable by-products of those activities. It’s about reclaiming the lost time we thoughtlessly throw away every day on unrewarding undertakings.

In the process, we reclaim some of the meaning and connection to the earth that our lives are missing.

"How many undervalue the power of simplicity...but it is the real key to the heart."

-William Wordsworth

Simplify Your Life

Degrees of Simple Living

Learning how to live simply will improve your life. Decluttering your life and mind of all the accumulated possessions, anxieties, stresses, noises, and needs will help you feel less overwhelmed and weighted down.

But the idea of simple living is not a “one size fits all” concept. It can be as basic as winnowing down your excess possessions and reclaiming some of your lost time. Or it can be a much more seismic life-change such as homesteading.

How far and to what degree you simplify is up to you. Some of the links below can help you decide which changes you want to make and how to make them.

Read about our 10 ways to simplify your life.

How To Live Simply:
Routes to Simple Living

Learning how to live simply is also about: 

  • Re-prioritizing your time to remove or minimize unfulfilling tasks
  • Connecting with nature and finding your place in the larger web of existence
  • Reducing negativity and anxiety in your life
  • Minimizing your negative impact on the earth
  • Experiencing the daily joys of simple food and simple tasks
  • Finding ways to slow down, like choosing to take the scenic route
  • Making time for walking in nature and other contemplative activities
  • Relaxing in a hammock or bird watching
  • Limiting our reliance on technology and the "constantly connected" world
  • Finding creative outlets that enhance your sense of self-worth
  • Building more meaningful and rewarding relationships
  • Learning about sustainable living and a green lifestyle
  • Passing that learning on so that others can share in your rewards
  • And much, much more…