Live a Beautiful Life with Voluntary Simplicity

There is a lot of talk about voluntary simplicity, or living simply, but you may wonder exactly what those terms mean. For many people, when they hear "voluntary simplicity," they imagine someone living off the grid in the middle of nowhere, growing their own food and making their own clothing. For some, that may be the case. But what it means to live simply is different for every person and every family. Living simply is not about deprivation; the idea is just to look carefully at your life and consider what you truly need and what you don't. It's about discovering the things that are truly valuable and important to you, and eliminating the things that are unnecessary.

There are many reasons why people choose to live simply. It could be about reducing their impact on the environment, saving money or having more time and energy to focus on family. You may have your own unique reasons for wishing to live a simplified life. Often we are overwhelmed by cluttered homes and cluttered schedules, and we just feel the need to get back to basics. Here are some tips to get you started on living a simple, joyful life.

  • Consider your commitments. Most of us have calendars filled with work obligations, school activities, social commitments, lessons…the list goes on and on. Take a look at all of your commitments, and decide which ones are absolutely necessary and which ones truly bring you joy and enrich your life. Eliminate everything else from your schedule.
  • Consider your finances. Look carefully at your budget. What can you spend less on? Nonessential expenses such as cable TV, a second car, take-out dinners and designer clothing take a big bite out of your family's finances. By reducing nonessential expenses, you'll have more money available to get out of debt, to invest or to work less so you can spend more time with family.
  • Consider your stuff. Look around your home with a critical eye. Most of us have tons of stuff around that we don't really need. It's hard to feel peaceful when you're surrounded by clutter. Go through one room at a time, eliminating everything that you do not regularly use, or that you don't absolutely love. Another benefit of having less stuff is that your home will be easier to clean, allowing you more time to spend with your family.

These tips are just the beginning. If you find that you're ready to further embrace The Simple Life, there are lots of books and Web sites on simplicity and the voluntary simplicity movement that will help you on your journey to a peaceful, simple, beautiful life.

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