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READ THIS for the BEST Simple Living Ideas

Simple Living Ideas: 25 Ways to the Path to Simplicity. Simplicity…it sounds like such an easy breezy thing to do. Living a simple life sounds good on paper, but can sometimes be challenging to execute.  

If you’re looking for more ideas on the frugal lifestyle, Depression Era Habits to Start Today and Creative Ways to Save Money will help you on your journey.  

Simple Living Ideas - Woman in a field of sunflowers
Living a Simple Life for Peace of Mind

Simple living is a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of gratitude, contentment, and voluntary simplicity in daily life. It is about decluttering our physical and mental space to make room for the things that really matter, such as quality time spent with loved ones.

By simplifying our lives, we can shift our focus away from material possessions and towards experiences that bring us joy and fulfillment. For many people, adopting a simple living lifestyle has been transformative, allowing them to become a different person who is more appreciative of everyday life and the small things that make it special.

If you’ve lived a certain way for most of your life, it can feel like you’re climbing Mount Everest…alone…with no shoes…and one gigantic heavy backpack.

Living a simple life doesn’t have to be that way. The best way to start is to add a couple easy ideas to your life and put one foot in front of the other. As soon as you have those ideas mastered, move on to the next thing on your list of ideas. It’s not a mountain we’re climbing.

And while we’re at it, toss that heavy backpack and put on some shoes. It’s time to get started on a more simplified lifestyle with less stress from the modern world.

Simple Living Meaning

According to Wikipedia, “Simple living encompasses a number of voluntary practices to simplify one’s lifestyle.” 

The concept of simple living is creating an intentional life on your own terms.

One of the first things you must do when you decide to live a simpler life is to determine what that means to you. One person’s definition of a simple lifestyle can be the polar opposite of what someone else thinks.  

I have a friend who dreams of owning a 20-acre homestead, with cows, chickens, ducks, goats, and all sorts of other livestock. She wants to live off the grid and raise all her food herself.  

She also wants to find a farmhouse that needs a complete overhaul to restore to its glory days. That’s her definition of living a simple life.  

Simple Living Ideas: 25 Ways to the Path of Simplicity - Goats on Farm
Simple Living Ideas: 25 Ways to the Path of Simplicity

To me, her dream sounds like a lot of work. I fantasized for a time about having my own farm. Then I bought a house with a 1/2 acre of land, and I know now that 20 acres are way out of my range of abilities to handle.  

The most land I want to manage is one acre. That’s it. It’s enough for me.  

For you, simple living might be living in a condo where you don’t have to take care of any land.

We are all different. That’s why our plan shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all definition.  

The ideas listed below are to help you get started with your journey.  

Cozy Living Group  

Since you found this article on simple living ideas, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 120,000 like-minded souls.

It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug. Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cottage.

Here are the 25 Simple Living Ideas:

Wardrobe for Simple Living 

1. Minimalist Wardrobe 

Living a Simple Life - Minimalist Wardrobe - Stack of Sweaters
Simple Living Ideas – Simpler Lifestyle with Less Clothes

Clothing is something that most of us accumulate a lot of without being mindful of what we actually wear.  

Decide to create a wardrobe you love. Keep only the comfortable items you feel great in because everything else is just taking up room.

Sell or donate those unwanted items to someone else who needs them.

2. Simplify your pantry

Simpler Lifestyle with an Organized Pantry - Jars filled with pasta, grains, flour, and dried foods.
Simple Living Tip – Simpler Lifestyle with Organized Pantry

My neighbor called me the other day to see if I had condensed milk. I told her I would look and call her back.  

She immediately called back to tell me she found a can in the back of the cupboard and that she no longer needed one. I told her to look at the expiration date before using it.  

It had expired three years ago. What made me ask this question? Experience. 

When I went through all my food a year ago, I filled up an entire trash can. That was a lot of food wasted and money down the drain.

It taught me a valuable lesson. I now keep a running list of my supplies and their expiration dates.  

When I make a grocery store list, instead of checking all my cupboards – I  look on my computer and see if I already have it. If I do have it, I take it off the list.   

Now I have less food and use things before they go bad. Simple living means not wasting any money because your time becomes a precious resource.   

Here are some easy ways to simplify your pantry: 

A) It makes planning your meals easier  

Once you know what’s in your pantry, you can save money and time by using up what you have and not buying things you don’t need.  

B) Once you organize your kitchen, you will feel better 

Keeping things neat and organized will give you a sense of accomplishment.  Success begets success.   When you have achievements in life, no matter how small they are – when they compound on top of each other – you can move mountains.  

C) Simplifying your pantry can lead to a healthier diet

While cleaning out your pantry staples, look at all the ingredients in each item and see if you want to include them in your family’s diet.

Money Saving Ideas for Simple Living  

3. Simplified Expenses and Credit Cards

How to Live a Simple Life with Expenses - Stacks of Pennies
How to Live a Simple Life with Expenses

Monitor your finances for a month and calculate how much you spend on each category.

Challenge yourself in the next month to decrease the amount by 15% for non-fixed cost categories.  

I’m going through all my expenses now because I want to pay for only the things I need.  We all get busy, and allowing costs to increase because it’s easier.  

The irony is we have to work harder to pay for the increased expenses.  

Instead of having money for things we want, we end up paying for stuff we paid extra for because of convenience.  

Add up your credit card debt and look for ways to decrease your balances. You can sell some of your unwanted physical possessions and put the money toward the balances. These small steps will lead you on the road to financial independence.

4. Farm Fresh Food

Living a Simple Life with Farm Fresh Food
Simple Living Tip – Living a Simple Life with Farm Fresh Food

Buy your produce from farmer’s markets or co-ops. Your food will be fresher, and you will be supporting small businesses simultaneously.

When you think about how long it takes for your food to be packed, transported, and stocked in your grocery stores – it makes trying to buy local something to strive for in life. Buying locally will also make a huge difference in the taste of the food.

I read a book about a woman whose husband asked her for divorce after decades of marriage and lost her high-paying job in the same week.   

After splitting up the assets and paying off all the bills, the woman ended up with their vacation cottage next to a lake to live in. The house was small, about 400-500 feet, and the area where it was a seasonal place. Seasonal is code for brutal winters, and no one wants to live there during that time because of all the snow and ice.  

Her food budget was tiny. She decided to commit to eating locally as possible, and it was a fascinating journey about how she could eat well on a low budget through intentional living. The book is called The Feast Nearby, and you can find the book here on Amazon.

To say I loved that book is an understatement. The author took simple living to a whole new level. It takes a little more work to source your food, but think of how much you’ll get in return.  

Knowing where your food comes from makes meals just a bit tastier.

You could also start growing your own food if you have the space and time. I wrote a post on How to Start a Victory Garden.

Simplicity means saving time 

5. Combine Your Errands

This idea is a life changer. When you combine all your errands in one trip, you end up saving so much time.  

Yesterday was my errand day. One of the easiest ways to never forget anything is to make a list of where you need to go and to make sure you have everything you need in your car.  

I keep a cooler in my car for when I go grocery shopping, so my frozen items stay frozen.  

I also have a tote in the back where I put things that need to be dropped off. Some of the things I put in the tote are library books and items for donation.  

Think about how much time, gas, and energy is wasted by taking more trips to town than you need per week. At my last home, it took me 20 minutes each way to get to the main shopping area, so I made sure to incorporate this simple living tip. 

Saving money and the environment at the same time

6. Make your own cleaning supplies

How to Live a Simpler Life - Homemade Cleaning Supplies
How to Live a Simpler Life – Homemade Cleaning Supplies

When I decided to start making my own cleaning supplies, I thought it would be inconvenient. Now, I can’t imagine why everyone doesn’t make their own.  

I buy the supplies to make my cleaners in bulk, and I always have them on hand. You know every ingredient that goes into your cleaning supplies.  

The bonus is that adding essential oils makes your home smell so great. I love making new scents with a combination of my favorite oils.

Simple living by making your cleaners is such an easy way to save money and help your health at the same time.  

Slow Living  

7. Learn to Say No – Even to Social Media

Say no to overcommitments and doing things that no longer serve you.  Most of us get into routines without ever pausing to see if how we spend our time is giving us the life we want. 

I’m sure you have things you’ve meant to learn or explore, but somehow they never get done because your time is filled with other activities.  

It’s time to look at how you spend your free time and realize that you want your life to bring you joy, not something to “get through.” Keep track of how much time you spend on social media every day.

Say “no” to more tasks and say “yes” to more experiences that leave you in awe.  

Simple living ideas take discipline, but you will love the end results.

Simplifying your space 

8. Less is More – Clear the Clutter

How to Live Life Simply - Host a Garage Sale
How to Live Simply – Host a Garage Sale

Simple Living Quote

“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”

Joshua Becker

I’m planning a cross-country move, which means getting rid of many things. Some of the things I donate, some sold, and others are given away.  

I was an antique dealer many years ago, and everything ended up in my garage when I quit selling antiques.  

One of the things I listed for sale locally was a stone plate with Mary and Jesus. The dish was beautiful and it was made in Italy – but it only worth a little amount.  

I sold it to a man that drove over an hour to pick up a $15 item. He took that plate from my hands like it was a long-lost work of art.  

He held up the plate to the sky and marveled at its beauty. For me, it was a plate that took up room in my garage. To him, it was something to treasure.  

Late that night, he sent me a picture of that plate he had put on a plate stand. Surrounding the plate were candles, and he took the photo with the lights off. To say it was stunning would be an understatement.  

Think about how many things you have in your home or garage that someone else will love. You’ll also end up with more physical space and less stuff.

Donate or sell one item per day. If you’re a dip-your-toe-in-the-pool type of person – this is the one for you.

Finding one item a day is easy. It can be a card or a piece of paper, or even a bookmark.

As you declutter, I promise you will feel lighter and happier…and it gets easier.

At the end of the year, you will have 365 fewer material possessions to dust, organize, and fix.

YouTube video
Tips to Help You with Decluttering Your Home

Peaceful Living in a Simple Life 

9. Avoid conflict.

Sometimes we can’t help ourselves, and we get involved with things that add stress and worry to our world. Most of the time, the best action is to walk away.  

I used to work in an environment where you had to juggle quite a few balls in the air, and if there were mistakes from anyone on any team – it would lead to problems. It was a stressful line of work.  

One of my biggest regrets in life was staying in a career that was so hard on the soul. If you’re in a similar profession, I will urge you to find a way to transition into less stressful work.  

For others, family gatherings are a source of heartache. Instead of pushing through things that cause you angst, is there a way you can spend time with the people you love one-on-one instead? 

Simple living means saving your energy for projects you want to invest. So many of us waste our precious energy fighting battles that end up being insignificant to our lives.  

Maybe your circle of friends has some members that always seem to bicker or want you to pick sides when they argue. No law says you have to invite everyone to every gathering if that occurs.  

Look at the areas in your life where you experience conflict, and find ways to change the dynamics.

Simplifying your beauty routine 

10. Time for Bliss

Living Simply - Self Care - Body Brush, Loofah, chamomile
Living Simply – Self Care

Make the time to do what you love at least once a week. Isn’t it crazy that this isn’t a priority for most people?  

We spend our time taking care of everyone else, and somehow we always get the short end of the stick.  Your friends and family want to see you happy, so take the time to give yourself the soul vitamins you crave.  

What self-care looks like is different for everyone. For one of my friends, a massage every two weeks is her must-do for herself. She only spends a little money on other things, so she feels that the expensive is well-worth the way it makes her feel.  For more ideas on simple ways to relieve stress, I put together 31 practical tips for you.

Someone else I know takes one hour before bedtime to read. She had never made the time for it before, but once started, she couldn’t believe how much it changed things. She found that she could fall asleep more easily at night because she gave her mind a chance to wind down.   

Control your information for Simple Living 

11. Simplifying Life with Less Bad, More Good

Have you noticed how violent movies and television has become? Just turning on the news shows us horrific things happening around the globe in an instant, taking away our inner peace.

Is it any wonder that we have become a stressed-out society? I will never watch the news anymore.  You’re not able to control what comes across your screen.  

Instead, I read the news online. I can choose what articles I want to read, which is way less damaging than seeing a news item video.  

Look at the type of movies and television that you watch. No one knows how damaging it is to us to watch violence on an ongoing basis. I’m betting our subconscious minds tuck those scenes away in our thoughts, and we relive them in our dreams.  

Make a conscious effort only to add uplifting entertainment to your day. Your mind, spirit, and body will thank you.  

One woman in our cozy living group decided to eliminate the extra “noise” in her life. She turned off the news, limited social media, and muting commercials. She said there was so much noise in her life telling her what the good life looked like, how to look, and what items she needed to buy for her home. 

When we pause, we realize we don’t want to live a life designed for us by a person who works at an advertising company. Instead, it’s time to figure out what the perfect life means to each of us ourselves.    

It’s time to cut the entertainment umbilical cord because you have things to do.

Gardening for a simple life 

12. Learn to garden

Path to Simplicity - Learn to Garden - Chamomile Flowers
Path to Simplicity – Learn to Garden

There are so many different reasons to start your garden. Whether you want a garden filled with beauty, grow your food, or create an outdoor living space – gardening is good for the soul. 

When I finally got a house with a yard, the first thing I did was put in a massive flower garden in the front yard. I always wanted walking paths to my front door, with raised garden beds filled with various flowers.   

It was hard work for the first couple of years creating that vision. Now, I enjoy the fruits of my work years later, without all the labor.  

My flowers have been gathered for every neighborhood event you can imagine. Everyone knows my flowers bloom from early spring to late fall, and they are welcome to take some for themselves.  

I’ll be moving soon, and I’m going to do the same at my next house. I want a flower garden in the front yard and a vegetable and herb garden in the backyard.  

Even if you have a balcony or windowsill, you can still have a beautiful garden.

Seeing a simple life

13. Vision board

If we don’t have a vision for our lives, they sometimes go in a zigzag direction and end up looking like nothing we wanted.  

Starting today, create a vision board for what you want your life to encompass. You can have a board at home that you use, or you can create a personal board on Pinterest.

I think having the vision board in your home is more effective because it’s always staring at you. I don’t know about you, but I need a little nudge to stay the course.  

If you’re not living in the house you want, find a picture of your dream cottage and put it up. Find photos of every room in your new home.  

Do you want to start another career? How does that career look? Find pictures that will inspire you to create a work-life you love.  

Other things to add are: how you will be spending your free time, hobbies you want to learn, places you want to visit, how you envision your family life, and ideas on how to help the world be a better place to live.  

Learning new skills 

14. Master Learner

How to a Simpler Life - Master Learner - Making Pottery
How to Live a Simpler Life – Master Learner

I read a book about a couple who lived in New York City and had big careers. They decided to live a more simple life and gave up their jobs, apartment, and cashed in their 401s.  

They ended up moving to a tiny town in Arizona, buying a broken-down mobile home on an acre of land, and creating new careers.  

Instead of just hiring someone to fix their mobile home, they hired someone to show them how to fix it themselves. They worked side-by-side with their trainer and transformed their home into something livable.  

Next, they tackled creating a garden to grow their food, and even built a wall around the property. What astonished the couple the most about their new lives was how much they LEARNED by doing everything themselves.  

They both derived a lot of satisfaction from learning new skills. You can read about their story in this book on Amazon.

What’s something you would like to learn?

Teaching yourself to make cheese, unclogging your drain, or grooming your dog are ways to expand your talents.

Simplify your nutrition 

15. Add more Fruits and Vegetables to your Plate

We all know we should eat more fruits and vegetables for optimal health, so why don’t we?  

I’m making eating more fruits and vegetables a priority for my health, the planet, and because they taste so good.  

I was a little late to the avocado toast club, but now I’m a big fan. I even asked the Cozy Living group how they liked to eat their avocado toast, and the answers were overwhelming. Eating avocado toast is one way to get some good fats into your diet.  

How about finding the perfect recipe for a healthy dip for fresh vegetables? Finding one is next on my to-do list. Baby carrots, cucumber slices, celery sticks, and red bell peppers are great snack ideas when paired with a dip.   

You can do the same with fresh fruit. Apples, berries, pineapple, banana slices, and fresh figs are all perfect choices to snack on.  

Go outside for the best simple life

16. Nature Girl

How to Live the Simple Life - Nature - Forest with Path
Simple Living Tip – Nature – Forest with Path

Humans belong in nature. We come alive when we’re able to spend time in the outdoors, intermingling with the plants, animals, and sunshine.  

I feel better when I’m able to get outside. I’m just as guilty as the next person of not prioritizing this.  

Set up a challenge for yourself for the year to devout a set number of hours outside per week.  

Your family can partake in this challenge and get the benefits as well. For more ideas on Slowing Down to Create a Life You Love, this article will help you.

Simplicity is not having too many things

17. Borrow, not Buy

Start a tool exchange with your neighbors. Our garages burst at the seams with tools and supplies we seldom use. Why not get together with your neighbors and share tools? Your garage will have more room with less material things.

I borrow one of my neighbor’s hedge trimmers, and he uses my paint sprayer whenever he has a project.

We’re conditioned to think we need to own every new tool out there when we don’t. If you feel uncomfortable exchanging tools with your neighbors, how about starting one with your friends?   

Simple food choices 

18. Week of Nourishment

Living a Simple Life - Healthy Meals
Living a Simple Life – Healthy Meal Planning

Create a week’s worth of a simple rotating dinner menu. Plan your most leisurely, family-favorite meals for the weekdays and try fun, new recipes on the weekends.

Learning how to meal prep is an easy way to simplifying life.

Staying home for a simple life 

19. Staycation

Who said we have to go away for vacation every year? Why not plan a family vacation around staying in your hometown and exploring all the sites in the area?  

I lived near Seattle for years before I went to the top of the Space Needle. Isn’t that how it always is? You never have the time to see what’s in your backyard?   

You don’t even have to visit the local sites, and you set a fun itinerary at your home that everyone will enjoy. Plan a day to watch movies in your pajamas, camp in the backyard, or have a culinary competition.  The possibilities are endless.  

Here are some Winter Staycation Ideas. 

Simple Gathering 

20. Project Party

Living Simple - Project Party - Painting Walls
Living Simple – Project Party

Do you have a considerable task you’ve been putting off? Make it a party.

Invite your friends to help paint, garden or clean out that garage and return the favor by volunteering to help them with their projects.  

Simplicity in collecting 

21. Vintage treasures

Buy used whenever possible. Buying second-hand is a simple way to save money on most things you purchase.

Most of the things I have in my home are from vintage stores, flea markets, thrift stores, or garage sales.  There are a few things I buy new – my couch and bed, for instance.  

It’s easy to paint a vintage dresser and transform it into a showpiece. This way of decorating saves you money, and your home is one-of-a-kind.  

Books = a simple life 

22. Book lover

Simpler Lifestyle - Reading Books - Antique Books
Simpler Lifestyle – Reading Books

I love the look of books in bookcases. But how many of us have gone overboard in this department and have more books than we have shelves and then end up piled up all over the place?

Read those books that have been lying around and donate them if you’re not going to reread them.  

I found a book I bought 20 YEARS AGO that I hadn’t read. It took me one night to finish it. The next morning I put it in my donation box. Here’s a list of ideas on where to donate used books.

Family life together 

23. Dinner Unplugged

Set the table for every meal. Have a rule in place that cell phones are left in the bedroom, and the television stays off.  

I know one family that dines by candlelight every night. Their grown children carried this tradition into their own lives when they left home because they loved it so much. Here’s a list of themed family dinner ideas to try.

For more ideas regarding this topic, I wrote a post about more dinner traditions to start. Hygge Family Dinner Traditions to Start Tonight.

Simple Living Routines 

24. Create morning and evening rituals

Simpler Lifestyle - Evening and Morning Routine - Bed, rug, and slippers
Simple Living Ideas – Evening and Morning Routine

I’m a big believer in starting and ending your day on the right note. Develop routines that help give you the best outcome for your life.  

If we go to bed stressed from the day’s activities without being able to take the time to unwind, we probably won’t have a restful sleep.  

On the other hand, if we wake up with nothing ready to go and frantically to try to get everyone out the door – it sets our day off in the wrong direction.

Cultivating good routines is an important thing to do on your journey to a simple lifestyle.

Here are two posts I wrote that will help you create a morning and evening routine you’ll love: 

Cozy Hygge Bedtime Rituals to Try Tonight  – these ideas will lead to better sleep

Cozy Hygge Morning Routine Ideas to Try Today  – little things to help you create a beautiful day

Simplify your world 

25. Consider a Smaller Life

One of our cozy living members purposely decided to downsize her life. Her family sold their large home and moved into one that was less than 1,000 square feet.  

They only have one car, one television, and no fancy gadgets. Every family member has a small wardrobe, and they always buy used clothing. 

Simple living to her meant not working her life away, so instead, she gave up the trappings of modern life to gain experiences. Minimalism doesn’t have to be a punishment if you keep your eye on the rewards. Start by removing one unnecessary thing in your home every day.

Once you start seeing positive results in your life, you’ll become addicted to how lighter you feel!

YouTube video
Small Space Organizing Ideas

We’ve reached the end of Path to Simplicity: 25 Simple Living Ideas. I hope you enjoyed it. 

Let me know in the comments below how you liked this article on how to live a simple life and if you tried any of the ideas.    

Make sure you join our Creating a Cozy Life group. You’re not going to believe how amazing it is.

Pin this simple living post below on your my simple life board on Pinterest so you can refer back to it.  

You can follow me here on PINTEREST. If you try any of these ideas and take a photo, be sure to tag me here on INSTAGRAM.

Thanks for stopping by. I’m so happy you found us!  

Related Posts to How to Make Your Life Simple:

25 Simple Living Ideas - Path to Simplicity. If you're looking for ideas on how to live a simple life, you've come to the right place. Here are 25 ideas you'll love! / Slow Living / Minimalism / Minimalist / Simplicity / Simple Life / Simple Living / Living Simply / How to Live a Simpler Life
Benefits of Simple Living = Happy Life

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Holly

Monday 26th of June 2023

Love this. I wish it was a lists. Hard with all the ads, to print up. This was beautiful!

Kelly

Monday 26th of June 2023

I'm so glad you loved the article Holly. Thank you for letting me know. - Kelly

Sherry Overton

Sunday 20th of November 2022

Very nice ideas for the simple life I am looking to create. Thank you.

Kelly

Monday 21st of November 2022

You're very welcome Sherry! The simple life is a slice of heaven. - Kelly

How to Live Simply and Why It Will Change Everything : Letter2Self

Friday 7th of October 2022

[…] If You Read One Article on Simple Living – READ THIS […]

Spring Cleaning - A Simple Life Manifesto

Wednesday 27th of October 2021

[…] Fore more ideas, check out my friend’s post: 25 Simple Living Ideas. […]

Vladka

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

I never knew such a term existed. Going through this post I realized many people in Europe live a simple life but call it differently.

Kelly

Sunday 24th of October 2021

So glad you read the article. Simple living is the dreamy way to live. Kelly

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