15 Advantages of Living a Slow and Simple Life
Updated: Mar 31
Obstructive, massive, problem-level clutter used to overwhelm me... until I decluttered thousands of items, created open space in our home, and found free time with simple living! Having used the reverse decluttering method for years, I have donated, trashed, sold, and repurposed many things. I am passionate about helping you simplify your life so you can fill it with the things that matter the most to you.
Simple living is better than feeling overwhelmed in your home. Simple living can reduce stress, minimize anxiety, and add free time to your day. Living simply means owning less stuff. The benefits of living simply that make the efforts of decluttering and reorganizing worth it.
There are several advantages to simple living. By figuring out how to live with less, you can create more space in your home and more freedom in your life to focus on what matters most to you. This blog post will demonstrate 15 advantages that make simple living better.
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Have you ever felt overwhelmed in your own home?
Even after reading books about decluttering and watching minimalists on YouTube, I still felt unable to start decluttering. I have felt overwhelmed in my own home to the point of paralysis. There was too much to do, so I did nothing. It is one of the reasons I began decluttering and living with less. In today’s modern world, clutter appears in many different ways: digital clutter, visual clutter, mental clutter, and more. We lead busy lives, and it can feel like we are always coming or going.
Keep reading for specific advantages gained from living simply, like:
What is simple living?
Is simple living better?
Is living a simple life hard?
How is simple living different from minimalism?
What are the advantages of simple living?
What is Simple Living?
Simple living is a deliberate lifestyle choice to live with less stuff. Living simply might include decluttering items out of your home while simultaneously reducing the things you bring into your home by shopping. Simple living also includes making decisions that uncomplicate areas of your home and life.
Shifting into living simply includes examples like fewer activities and commitments on your calendar. You feel less busy because you are less busy. Reducing the number of tasks and calendar commitments provides more free time in your day.
If you feel overwhelmed by figuring out how to be less busy, try a monthly reset to set intentions, list tasks, name goals, and do a brain dump to organize your time. You will also find a blank monthly reset sheet and other free printables and practical checklists on that web page.
Another example is changing the organization of a kitchen cabinet to include less in it. Most kitchen cabinets in our home have open space, which took years to curate and practice. Less stuff means less to organize. It makes it easier to put stuff away and get stuff out. Each time I put items away, I take the time to check that the cabinet remains 50-75% full.
Organizing your kitchen after decluttering can be fun but also stressful. When you decide to declutter and organize one space in your home but need to finish another area first to complete it... you have triggered a clutter avalanche.
The desire to update one area of your household has triggered an avalanche of decluttering and organizing. First coined by The Messy Minimalist, a clutter avalanche happens when you decide to declutter and organize one space in your home but can only complete it after finishing another area first. The decisions for these two spaces trigger decisions in third, fourth, or fifth areas of your home.
In the kitchen, I dedicated a cabinet shelf to storage containers. We have slowly integrated glass food storage containers as the old plastic ones fell apart—sustainable upgrades like this take time. Swapping out common household tools one at a time counts.
Small, practical decisions to slowly add sustainable living to your lifestyle take time.
One of my favorite books is by author Julie Watkins. Simply Living Well ais a resource book filled with swaps, tools, and favorites for a low-waste home. Her recipe for an all-purpose citrus cleaner is easy and inexpensive.
One last example of living simply in the kitchen is to utilize food waste. Storing vegetable scraps in a freezer bag means you can make homemade veggie stock later. Sustainable healthy living is a journey I am currently traveling. It fell in tandem with slow and simple living. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes!
Feel free to email me your favorites. In my kitchen garden this year, I have jalapenos, paste tomatoes, eggplants, beans, peas, carrots, and more. Experiments this year include homemade sriracha, salsa, homemade spaghetti sauce, homemade pizza sauce, and more.
In this video, I reflect on simple living after decluttering for several years. Specifically, I chat about the kitchen and how simplifiing has helped along the way.
Another example of simple living in the bathroom may concern your towels. If you have guests, keep two extra towels in your linen closet. Living simply may mean donating the rest of your family towels while keeping one per person.
After reducing the number of towels you manage, you could simplify the process of using them. Three things simplify taking care of towels for my family of five. First, I rely on a written laundry schedule to track how often I should wash our towels, wash clothes, wash dog beds, how often should I wash sheets, and more.
I do not necessarily wash every dirty item every single week. The written schedule on my laundry room wall reminds me to check if I should clean it.
Small, practical decisions towards slow and simple living add up over time. Easy swaps like changing your cleaning products are also part of carving a path to living simply. I switched to Dropps laundry detergent a few years ago. It’s non-toxic and does not have harmful ingredients. Dropps also makes non-toxic dryer sheets, but I use wool dryer balls.
Click this link to see all my recommended laundry products here.
Second, I donated extra towels to a local animal shelter. Assigning one towel per person (I do not use a second towel to dry my hair) meant I had TEN extra towels. I used to rotate towels in and out of a storage basket in my linen closet. Used towels would sit in the dirty laundry basket for weeks because I had extras.
Lastly, I converted the towel basket to a guest basket. The guest basket holds two towels (different colors than our everyday towels), washcloths, and hotel-sized hair and soap products. Our family towels needed a new permanent place in our home. Hooks on the back of the bathroom door solved that problem. No more folding after laundering - right back onto the hook from the dryer!
Store your towels on hooks in your bathroom and simplify the laundry process. Hang them back on the same hooks after laundering, and remove the need to fold the towels into your linen closet.
For families with young kids, simple living may look like weeks of dividing toys into piles, such as trash, donate, or keep. Our home looks like this for the weeks following Christmas and birthdays.
Simple living typically focuses on stuff and how simply something functions in your home. The number of items does not necessarily matter. Concentrating on how something works in your home rather than how many things you own shifts the focus to simplicity.
If you have young kids, can you relate to the following feelings about toys?
overwhelmed thinking about the number of toys you own
it feels hard to tidy each day
unable to find certain toys
anxious about organizing toys
anxious about decluttering toys
These feelings might be signs it is time to declutter. They may not be signs that you are unorganized or untidy. They might be signs you are ready for growth and change. I spoke about clutter as a sign of growth in this video.
I have felt all of these feelings about toys in the past. The #1 solution was to have fewer toys. Simplifying and decluttering to a reasonable number of toys made managing it easier. Additionally, I organize toys in clear bins without lids. Organizing toys this way makes it easy (and faster) for the kids to tidy up their mess. I mean, toys. Tidy up their toys.
Effortless, a book authored by Greg McKeown, breaks down methods to make it easier to do what matters most to us. Read more about making life effortless here.
Is Simple Living Better?
Simple living can reduce stress caused by clutter and disorganization. Living with less can reduce the anxiety of being unable to find items. It can add free time to your day because you manage fewer items, tidy less, organize less, and simplify life.
If you constantly feel overwhelmed in your home or cannot find things you own, then simplifying your life could be a better choice.
Is living a simple life hard?
I am biased, but life before living simply was harder. However, carving a path to achieve living simply is not necessarily easy.
Prioritizing free time at home means saying “no” to commitments, events, and maybe even friends. Saying “yes” to those past obligations does not simplify the “life of less” you are trying to have now.
Living with fewer things means you have to get rid of items. Decluttering may be hard (or very hard) for some of us. Especially sentimental items, gifts, or things we spent money on but didn’t use. Guilt is hard to process when letting go of items.
A simple life is hard to earn if you start with too many belongings, but the effort is worth it after you’ve decluttered, prioritized, and reorganized your home.
How is simple living different from minimalism?
Minimalism is about removing items from your home and life, while simple living focuses on eliminating the complexity of owning things.
Indulge me in a gardening metaphor, as growing food and flowers is a significant hobby of mine. Decluttering means getting rid of the seeds you don’t use, need, or love. Minimalism encourages you to select the three seeds you want to grow in one pot, then get rid of the rest of the seed packet. Simple living guides you to enjoy the number of flowers that grew from those three carefully selected seeds and suggests you keep fertilizer and a watering can nearby to simplify the actions needed to care for the flowers. Slow living practices teach you how to smell and appreciate the flower.
Whether you want to declutter, try minimalism, or practice slow and simple living, you can gain several advantages to living with less stuff.
What are some advantages of simple living?
The whole house is easier to clean and disinfect.
You feel less stress caused by clutter.
You begin to identify items that have value and find strength to get rid of clutter.
The importance of shifting from disposable items to reusable items becomes apparent so you can reduce wasteful packaging.
Gaining control of the organization in your home because it's hard to organize too much stuff.
Feeling less overwhelmed in your home because you can manage it better.
Less to clean and less to organize equals more time in your day.
Less to organize means less to clean.
Life begins to feel more purposeful and intentional.
Your relationship with money changes.
Learning to want fewer items means you own less.
You will feel more comfortable inviting friends over.
You will sleep better.
Simple living can improve family relationships - you spend more time together.
Removing extra clothes cluttering your closet makes it easier to get dressed.
Simple living typically focuses on reducing the number of things you own and simplifying how you live your life. The many advantages make the effort to live simply worth it… one day at a time.
Watch this video discussing these 15 benefits of simple living: