Saturday, November 9, 2013

Simplify, Simplify

Whether or not you like Walden, almost everyone can agree with Thoreau’s famous imperative statement: “Simplify, simplify.” The idea of simplicity has been on my mind lately. It is, in the churches that remember church history, a spiritual discipline; it is a way of life that leads to freedom.

I’m still figuring out what simplicity means on a practical level, and some preliminary thought has come up with this:

Weeding down the amount of stuff I own. “Have nothing your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” (Not sure who said this, but it’s great advice.)

Managing my time better so I can focus on my priorities.

Learning to cook, clean, and do other housework efficiently (before I have kids and have to be efficient!).

Focusing on one thing at a time.

Not obsessing over money.

Organizing my house so I can actually find everything.

Throwing away broken things instead of having a running list of “things I need to sew/patch/fix” but never do. (I’m all for reusing stuff, but I tend to keep those torn-crotch jeans I plan to recycle in my drawer for years without ever doing anything about them.)

Keeping my memories in a single journal, instead of scattering programs and ticket stubs all over the house.

Focusing on giving.

Reading more, surfing the Internet less.

Has this been on anyone else’s mind? What do you think simplicity means for you?



  1. This has been on my mind in recent months, but I needed a reminder of it lately, so thanks for posting this! I think your definitions of living simply are spot-on, especially your quote about having nothing that isn't either beautiful or useful. Good advice.

  2. I want for people to be able to look at my life and know immediately what was important to me. Until just recently it looked like my job was the most important thing. Simplicity for me, is knowing and showing that the most important thing is the people in my life. It's that simple.