The Pros and Cons of Simple Living

simplicity

I have always felt drawn to living a simple life. It feels peaceful to me and helps calm my scattered mind.

At first living simply was a matter of necessity. I was a young single mother with limited resources and every penny counted. I could not acquire a lot of stuff and lived at a level based on needs with a few little extras thrown in.

Now, my simple lifestyle is a choice. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not perfect. I have “things”, but not as many as most people do. I gravitate toward light, color, room to move around in, and things that feel soft and snuggly.

I even joined the simple living movement and attended Simplicity Circles in the past, but there really wasn’t much interest and the groups eventually fell away.

That seems to be changing now as people are feeling more overwhelmed by crazy busy lives and brains that are overloaded. Clearing clutter, simple living, and minimalism are getting a lot of attention again.

Choosing to live simply is not about scarcity and living without. It is about discovering and focusing on what we find meaningful, beautiful, and useful. Our lives become full and rich because we have cleared the way to reveal what feeds our soul. 

There are pros and cons to choosing a simple life, but as you can see by my list below, for me the scales are definitely tipped in one direction.

The Pros

  • It feels calm, peaceful and less constricted
  • You are surrounded by things you really love
  • It’s easier to clean
  • You have more space and less clutter
  • You can find things quickly when you need them
  • It saves time and energy
  • Your ability to focus improves
  • Your focus will be on people and experiences before things
  • You are free from trying to live up to a false image
  • You know what you have and where it is kept
  • It’s good for the environment
  • You have more money in the bank
  • It’s less stressful
  • You can afford quality when you minimize quantity
  • You have more time and money to do what you love
  • You attract people who like you for who you are, not your image
  • You can cultivate more meaningful relationships and spend more time with family

The Cons

  • You have fewer things to give or donate to people in need
  • People may perceive you differently when you stop playing the image game
  • You may see them differently
  • You may trade old friends for new ones who are more open
  • Can you tell I’m really having a hard time with the cons list?

Living simply is not an all or nothing thing. You can try it out in a small way and if it feels good move forward at your own speed. If you are like me, each step you take will lead you to a more peaceful life.

In the meantime, you might enjoy these blogs about the simple life:

Be More with Less

Becoming Minimalist

Hip Diggs

The Minimalists

Joel Zaslofsky

The Simple Dollar

Don’t forget to comment! I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

24 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Simple Living

  1. I admire the move to simpler living, but must confess I find some minimalist websites and home decor as sparse. I love having color in my environment and the minimalists lean toward pastels and stark white.

    Since I have attracted a number of friends who engage in simpler living, I am finding myself decluttering and buying less. Although I don’t expect I’ll enjoy being a full minimalist, I am enjoying the benefits of clearing up more space and spending less.

    • Linda Luke says:

      Hi Flora: Simple living can mean different things to different people and is not for everyone. The idea is that you keep what you love and let go of the things that no longer serve you. You may enjoy the things in your home, but live simply in other areas, like the number of commitments you make or who you surround yourself with.

      You get to choose what feels right for you!

    • I hear you, Fiora. I’m a minimalist who knows a ton of other minimalists – and many of them dress or digitally design rather beige and grey (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

      But there are simple-living iconoclasts out there (like me) who embrace their bright orange and vibrant blue personality and project that in everything they do. We can be simple, minimal, and colorful too.

  2. Greg says:

    I highly recommend reading the happiness project, and particularly the chapter on buying happiness. To me it really helps to understand minimalism. It is about buying things that help you be who you already are and not using things to try and define who you are.

    • Linda Luke says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, Greg. In my experience, people who live simply tend to be a lot happier. They get to let go of people, commitments, and things they no longer enjoy and surround themselves with what they love. What could be cooler than that?

  3. I could really benefit from a simpler life. I would say mine is not so simple. I think to make a step forward in this I’ll tackle something this week that needs my attention: My closet. It needs cleaning out in a major way and I know I will benefit greatly from it., Why do we know all this and still neglect to make things like this a priority. Thank you Linda, for the reminder and the push for making things simple!

  4. Kaley says:

    I think the biggest thing for me when I decided to adopt the “less is more” mentality was how much differently I perceive other people. It really has surprised me how… almost uppity I have gotten in terms of judging people who obsess over things. I’m trying my hardest to reign it in!

  5. Ashley says:

    Love this! The simple life is just so utterly appealing to me mainly because so get so stressed out about visual clutter. I love the fact that you hadn’t a hard time coming up with cons 😄

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