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7 Ways to Simplify Your Life

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7 Ways to Simplify Your Life

By Wanda Urbanska, Experience Life

For a while there, in the early 2000s, Americans went on an extended spending spree, living beyond their means and buying bigger houses, fancier cars and far more stuff than they really needed. The financial crisis of the past two years served as a powerful wake-up call, though, and today many people are looking for ways to change course.

On the whole, we’re choosing to save more and consume less — and we’re being more thoughtful about the purchases we make. Meanwhile, we’re making more time for family, community and spiritual pursuits. And we’re taking new interest in life-enhancing personal routines, such as exercise, sit-down meals — even the lost art of housekeeping.

In short, we’re turning our time and attention toward living well instead of living beyond our needs or means.

If you’re interested in getting on the path to a simpler, happier, more harmonious life, I have some suggestions for you. As a 20-year simplicity advocate and host and producer of the first national television series on sustainable living (Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska debuted on PBS stations in 2004), I have personally witnessed some amazing transformations take place as the result of some surprisingly minimal lifestyle adjustments.

I draw on material from my latest book, The Heart of Simple Living: 7 Paths to a Better Life (Krause, 2010) to lay out seven paths to simplicity that anyone can begin taking today. Let’s get started!

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51 comments

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2:19AM PDT on Jun 19, 2013

Great reminders! Thanks for sharing.

11:01AM PDT on Nov 2, 2011

Thanks for this!

Terrie - if you ever come back and check this - why don't you print it up and stick it on the fridge or somewhere you can see it often? You'll probably learn it by heart very quickly and be able to recycle the paper!

11:25AM PST on Dec 6, 2010

Interesting. Thanks.

1:18PM PDT on Aug 15, 2010

Ok, so almost 2 months later, this is still in my inbox. Today, between other chores I decided to clean out my inbox.

Dilema: if I put this into a 'folder', it might get forgotten about. If I print it, it will probably get put into a folder, where it will be forgotten about. Not to mention that if I print it, it makes actual clutter vs. visual clutter if left in my inbox.

Neither of these are doing anything to help me simplify my life!

If anyone is still monitering this post and has any ideas, I'd greatly appreciate them!!!

6:55PM PDT on Jun 23, 2010

I really liked this article, especially after reading Juliet Schor's The Overworked American. If you're interested in the economic standpoint of the work-spend cycle Juliet Schor is a good place to start. My goal is to learn to live a "simple life." I have not yet chosen how I will define "simple life" for myself. The idea of life "off the grid" is sometimes a romantic preoccupation, but I am, at this moment, still to addicted to my modern conveniences. Anyways, I don't want to hid from the world; I hope to one day change it... after grad school xD

1:24PM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

i'm spending a lot of time on the web. anybody notice how much time we spend on care 2? so, anyway, since i'm here at this desk so muc, i decided to plant flowers in the garden and orchids up and down the trunks of all the trees outside the (5) windows. that way i get some peace while i am online: i don't feel guilty like i am wasting time ~ being online is like taking time out for meditation - which everyone would agree is a good thing...?

8:32AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

So happy to read this...I am from Mexico and I think that all of the things you mentioned here will improve the lives of a lot of Mexicans. Thank you!!

7:52AM PDT on Jun 22, 2010

idk....this is so over-simplifing simplifying . And like Krista R. says ...do what you love? Very unrealistic. And this is not real life. Most people cannot or do not have the resources to begin a business. If I try to simplify my life too much I get STRESSED OUT! Life is not easy it is hard work. And stress....I can't give up my car or ride share .... Don't make making life "simpler" simple. Not being negative...being realistic.

3:58AM PDT on Jun 21, 2010

I like the community life and garden of your own concepts. I have a little balcony, but am dreaming of having a garden. Even finding an allotment here is proving hard. But not giving up.
Community life is a challenge and questions your dedication and motives. I'm getting involved in promoting the English speaking community here - to help others integrate and to find more outlets and possibilities for our bilingual child. But as each commitment approaches, I find I question my resolve, motives and desire. Most of the time, I'm glad I've committed though.

12:04AM PDT on Jun 21, 2010

Thanks

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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