Simpler Living - What’s It Mean To You?

Simpler Living. Closer Family. Richer Education. Uncommon Adventures.

These are the 4 pillars that make up our Ditching Suburbia focus. We touched on our view of these in our Manifesto.

I thought it would be interesting to hear how other Ditchers and Becoming-Ditchers define them. I reached out to our Facebook Ditching Suburbia Group and asked for input.

We started with the first pillar.

Simpler Living.

Our Simple Definition

To us, simpler living means you:

Now let’s hear from our tribe:

Decreasing the Things

For us it has been deciding how hard we want to work, and fitting our lifestyle into that budget. For many, they choose a lifestyle that requires them to work more hours than they want to. We’ve decided to do the opposite. If we downsize our home (mortgage) we can have one person stay home, and only need one income. If we kept the large home, we’d both have to work and that’s not what we want.

It helps we’ve begun to see our possessions (including the house) as roadblocks to the life we want and the way we want to spend time. So, for us simpler is really ditching the things that are keeping us from the things we really want.Drew Swanson

Simpler Living is something we definitely sought after in the RV lifestyle and it has taken on different meanings as we’ve been out. Most recently simpler living means living in the present. I never realized how much time I spent waiting for the next best thing or planning every second of my day. RVing full time has forced us to just “be” and in turn has made me be more mindful of and thankful for each moment.Lindsey Chargin

Living simply to me is when we finally decided to ditch the normal lifestyle after thinking and praying about it for 1 1/2 years. Sold my 2700 sq ft dream house to move into a 16 ft Scamp that we already owned with our two kids and three dogs. We got rid of almost everything. The Scamp was a bit small so we quickly upgraded to a 34 ft Airstream. It’s not new. It’s an ‘89 but we for the first time out right own our home. We are getting settled into this life. We enjoy my husband being home all the time now. But we have had challenges ... we are all sharing a very small space. But we take more walks and more bike rides and we are out in nature more then we ever were before. We have already met some pretty cool people. It’s not for everyone but I can honestly say I don’t miss all my stuff…Jodee German Moffett

Simple living is about experiences but also about having material possessions that align with our passions and bring us joy. We aren’t into being minimalist but we are about using and enjoying everything we own. $1000 purses (no way) $1000+ for bikes (of course).Jen Charrette, @pedaladventures

For me it means not feeling this society’s overwhelming pressure to buy, buy, buy. Too much stuff weighs me down. I see all my friends and family around me buying stuff they don’t need and am so thankful I have escaped that life.Angela Churchill Krause

I had a personal epiphany about that this last year and recently blogged about it. This is what I wrote:

“[There is something] I’ve noticed in the society in which I live: the tendency to accumulate. We accumulate things, opportunities, affiliations, relationships, etc. And while all that we accumulate may have had significance or value in our lives at some point, there comes a time when their purpose has been fulfilled. Yet, we hold onto them — possessions that we no longer use or enjoy; opportunities that have been exhausted; affiliations that no longer align with our needs, goals, or the direction we wish to pursue; extraneous relationships that have become a strain to maintain; etc….

Sometimes we hold on too long to that which held our hearts at some point, reducing our capacity to embrace what else might be in store for us. As I’ve let this awareness sink in, I’ve begun to realize the value in letting go, moving forward, and allowing others to do the same.”

So, in essence, simplicity to me means only holding onto in my life that which has present value and/or significance.Stephanie Lyman

Decreasing the Commitments

To us simply living means… we can SIMPLY LIVE!  We don’t spend time taking care of a large home, yard, pool or garage.  We spend time LIVING.  We don’t spend our time organizing clothes, furniture or tools.  We spend time LIVING.  We don’t spend our time running to soccer, parent-teacher appointments, piano lessons etc… We spend time LIVING.Sandie Siemans,

...I see living simply as a future dream. Sitting outside our camper by the fire. Seven pair of feet casually resting by the flames. Quiet talk about the lazy day spent and the ones to come. No worries. No responsibilities. No pressing payments. Just quality time with growing kids and aging grandparents.

But before we get there permanently, we live small and spend small and save big. But we don’t skimp on experiences. We cruise and camp and travel. Together.Sharief Shirlinda Savahl

To my husband and I, simpler living means less distractions - less of a hold on our time. When there is less noise, time feels less constraining, and the world more captivating.Melanie Knott

Recapture Your Days

When thinking of “simple living” I like to consider the opposite, “extravagant living”. Both involve living, but one involves losing life in order to accumulate things and the other involves losing things in order to accumulate life. The question is…do we want to sell our life for things or sell our things for life? We have a passion to LIVE our days and to see others live their days as well. The stuff just isn’t worth it. We often use the the phrase, “we live simply, so others may simply live.” And to us, that means that people (including our family and others) are more important than stuff, so if I have something that is not essential to my survival and someone else NEEDS it, I give it away. Simple…no second thought given to it.Trent Walker, Everyday Family Adventure

For us I think it just means being intentional about what takes up mental space in our life. It could be physical objects or emotional relationships or time commitments. We just like to reassess what occupies our mental space regularly and prioritize the positives, and minimize the negatives.Macy Miller

Other Ideas

Living simply means you are:

  • living below your means
  • not locked down - able to change goals (or location) quickly
  • content with less, but fulfilled where it counts - purpose, people, productiveness
  • able to move forward in life without encumbering yourself
  • It feels like you should be able to have work to do, enjoy getting up in the morning, have life to look forward to, have people in your life who are supportive and available, enough variety or activity in your life to feel alive, refreshed and content.Kevin Shaper
For us…living simply means living for one another and living for the moments. All the rest is just noise.Lou Schaber, The Uncommon Road

What’s Your Defintion?

How do you define simpler living?  Leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear it.

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