Skip to Content

What’s simplicity? A state of not being driven nuts, I think.

living room curtains hung higher

You guys have shared so many great simplicity topic ideas in the comments on Monday’s post…thank you!

Reading your comments has made me ponder the whole idea of simplicity these last few days.   What’s simple? What’s not?   Sometimes complication masquerades as a kind of simplicity.

(Homesteading comes to mind.)

These are the dictionary definitions of simplicity:

1. the state, quality, or an instance of being simple (not complicated)
2. freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts; i.e. an organism of great simplicity.
3. absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.; plainness
4. freedom from deceit or guile; sincerity; artlessness; naturalness
5. lack of mental acuteness or shrewdness

I’m not looking for #5 (ha!), or #4, really.   And the Amish-like simplicity of #3 is also not what I’m going for.

#2 sounds almost right, but really, I think #1 is where I’m at.     There are multiple meanings for simple, but the one that sticks out to me is “not complicated”.

When I feel an urge to simplify, it’s because life is feeling overwhelming.   The complications of my life start to press in on me, and I want to do something to make things simpler.

What's simplicity?

So for me, simplicity is about trying to make sure my life doesn’t drive me nuts.

That’s not a very fancy definition, but I think it sums up the way I (and a lot of you) yearn for simplicity.   We want   to figure out what in our lives is driving us nuts and how we can best fix those things.

I like that this is a pretty flexible definition because what drives me nuts might not drive you nuts, and vice versa.

But no matter what it looks like, all of us want a life that doesn’t drive us nuts.   😉

decluttering papers


Maybe for some people, that’s a 10-piece wardrobe, even though other people would chafe in that situation.

Maybe for some people, that’s living off the land, even though a lot of us would lose our minds trying to do that.

Maybe for some people, it’s canning home-grown veggies, and for others, it’s giving themselves a guilt-free no-canning pass.

Maybe for some people, it’s making homemade detergent, and for others of us(!), it’s deciding to give up and just buy detergent.

Since an ideal state of simplicity/lack of complication varies from person to person, it’s kind of a tricky topic to write about.

But I think that within all of the questions you submitted, there’s a common theme of wanting to know how to minimize, reduce, and just manage homes/lives/schedules/events in a less-complicated way.

Sooo, I’m going to try to address the simplicity topics from that angle, and as you read, I’ll trust that you will remember that simplicity is about making sure your life doesn’t drive you nuts, and you can apply (or not apply!) the posts accordingly.


How do you define simplicity?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Amy S

Saturday 17th of October 2015

I love this. I felt compelled to comment because I found myself nodding in agreement to your words numerous times! I now have the words to describe my deep-down gut feeling and reasons for pursuing simplicity: ensure that my life doesn't make me nuts! Doesn't get simpler than that!


Friday 16th of October 2015

Oh man, I just wrote a blog post about this. I had kind of an epiphany where I realized that I'm a highly sensitive person and being stimulated makes me act crazy. For me simplicity isn't just about clearing mental clutter, it's about being able to act/think/be normal!


Friday 16th of October 2015

When I get overstimulated/worn out, I tend to just shut down and pull inward...interesting the varying ways people react to stimuli!


Thursday 15th of October 2015

I forgot to add: like your title CHEERFULLY living on less. Attitude, attitude, attitude.


Thursday 15th of October 2015

For me it is not having more belongings than I have a well-lit, roomy place to be. No clutter. It is having a calendar that is not filled to the brim with places to be. It is learning how to say "no." and knowing what is important to me and I enjoy and what isn't.


Thursday 15th of October 2015

The older I get the more I want a simple life! We live it CT and have put our house up for sale and are going to move to South Carolina for a slower paced life. Totally excited for the next chapter of our lives. Enjoyed reading your insights on simplicity all the comments.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.