“outside of the box” simplicity living tips

there are countless articles written on the steps to a minimalist lifestyle.  this is where we started: a guide to creating a minimalist home.

today, as a supplement, we offer 8 “outside of the box” simplicity living tips that you haven’t read anywhere else:

  • buy things for their usefulness rather than their status. stop trying to impress others with your stuff and start trying to impress them with your life.
  • reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.  refuse to be a slave to anything: coffee, cigarettes, soda, television, chocolate, alcohol…
  • develop a habit of giving things away.  most of us could get rid of half of our possessions without any serious sacrifice.
  • refuse to be propagandized by modern gadgetry.  technology doesn’t always make your life simpler. as a matter of fact, most of the time it just makes your life more cluttered.
  • learn to enjoy things without owning them.  ownership is nothing, access is everything.
  • develop a deeper appreciation for nature.
  • reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.  bananas, coffee, etc.
  • never underestimate the freedom of plain, honest speech.  a lack of simplicity in one area, such as speech, can undermine simplicity in every area.
Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    “Never underestimate the freedom of plain, honest speech.”

    Truer words have never been said. That is something that I have been thinking about and hoping to write about eventually. Simplicity in your speech is something that people are attracted to – you don’t have to use a lot of fancy words to convey meaning.

    And you’re right, there is tremendous freedom in just letting your yes be yes and your no be no. No worries about how to get out of your yes when you know that you wanted to and/or should have said no.

    Great post!

  2. Ceci says

    Very true. The essay Politics of the English Language, made me simplify the way i spoke. I was using big words in an effort to be dramatic in high school.

  3. says

    “learn to enjoy things without owning them” yes!
    I have been coming to this thought too. I realized that I have no strong compulsion to “own” music or art. It is enough to know that something beautiful and wonderful is out there somewhere, amking people happy.
    I have started to think about other things this way. It has made it easier to give away things I’m not using any more, and easier to appreciate a beautiful little trinket in the store and just smile and walk away.

  4. Luis Oliveira says

    Did get the “reject anything that breeds the oppression of others” part. Did not get the “bananas, coffee, etc.” part. If I understand, if it comes from the tropics, it’s somehow tainted by oppression? Is that it?

  5. says

    @luis – the coffee and banana industry were/are both widely-known for the unfair treatment of both their workers and the land. these examples were not meant to argue that anything from the tropics is tainted. they were just well-known industries that illustrated the point i was trying to make. sorry for any confusion.

    • says

      what about fair trade?
      and lets not forget China!!!
      this gets to be a hot potato real fast.
      i am a minimumist. i own 1 set of clothing,
      a 4″ mattress, a space blanket, a pot/mug,
      a spork, and a knife. there is no need for organizing at all.
      and NO PAPER WORK. pay it and pitch it. they have the records.

  6. Luis Oliveira says

    That may have been the case years ago, but it’s hardly true now. There are lots of people/orgs/companies working to make these and other sectors more sustainable/fair. Generalizations like the one you’ve made serve nobody: the people that live in tropical areas and depend on the trade and the companies that comply with fair trade standards.

    Guess that there is a lot of information clutter that must be disposed of as well.

  7. Luis Oliveira says

    BTW, did I mention that I really like your blog and the overall take you have on things? Did not? There you go, I really dig it.

  8. says

    “Reject anything that breeds the oppression of others.” Very good tip. We all need to research what we’re buying before we support companies that oppress their employees. Good for you!

  9. Laurie says

    The 8 “outside the box” principles were lifted directly from the chapter on Simplicity in Richard J. Foster’s classic book, Celebration of Discipline. How can you say this hasn’t been read before?

    • says

      Impressive. And a good clarification that I should have added later. Thanks for giving the proper credit. I had completely forgotten about this post.

      I had originally found these tips on some class notes from a college course that I had taken years ago – which were clearly lifted from the Richard Foster book.

      When I wrote, “which you haven’t read anywhere else,” I was speaking generally to my readers… which weren’t very many at the time.

  10. Laurie says

    Thanks for your reply. I was glad to see these wonderful simplicity principles in a new context (your blog). Because Foster’s book is about “Spiritual Disciplines”, many readers might not have come across it otherwise. Peace.

  11. Catz says

    I was going to ask… how do I stop drinking coffee, I need it when I’m stressed! Then I thought again…

  12. says

    “Develop a habit of giving things away. ~ I love this one!

    Giving away stuff is a statement that the thing doesn’t own you and it tells the universe that you’re open to accept more of Life and less stuff…

    Have you had someone get really confused when you offer to give them something for free? It’s funny. Sme people believe that they HAVE TO pay for things so they kinda freak when you offer something for nothing – Funny!

    Give away stuff and receive peace.

    • di says

      We’ve always passed things on to friends, family, neighbors and charitable organizations.

      It’s just a big part of who we are. It saves us time and others money.

      I keep an ongoing bag in the closet. When someone visits, I’ll ask them if they’d like to look through a few things that I no longer need.

      If they know of someone else that could use something, I encourage them to take it and pass it on.

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