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Live Simple: Five Steps Towards A Simple Life....Installment Four

Updated on April 15, 2013

IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY

“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu spoke the truth with those words. Living Simple is not all about saving money and cutting expenses. It is also about getting back in touch with a simpler lifestyle.

For those from my generation, memories of a simpler lifestyle are always with us. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s seemed like Utopia compared to today’s world. For those of you from later generations, perhaps you have visions of childhood, or days before marriage and family, when life proceeded at a slower pace and there were fewer worries.

Whatever the case, Living Simple is about re-capturing that lifestyle. It is about getting in touch with those things that are truly important, like peace of mind and loving one another.

Let’s take a look at five suggestions that are guaranteed to inject a little simple into your life.

Enjoy A Sunset
Enjoy A Sunset | Source

WILL THIS BRING ME A SIMPLE LIFE?

This is a question I ask myself often! Before I make a big decision or undergo a major task, I ask myself if this decision or action is going to aid in bringing me a simple life. If it isn’t I really have to consider whether it is worthwhile because you see, I’m committed to living simply. I have led the high life with the six-figure income and all it brought was dis-ease, worry and headaches.

Several times in the past few months I have turned down writing gigs that were simply too big to consider. Yes, they meant more money (a great deal more) but they also meant more time away from the things I enjoy doing, like sitting on the back deck drinking tea, and going for walks with Bev. For me, the trade-off was not worth it.

Once you adopt the living simple mindset, then these decisions will become easier and easier. It is not about the money nor is it about possessions; it is, rather, about quality lifestyle, or as Lao Tzu would say, contentment with what you already have.

ADD SIMPLE PLEASURES TO YOUR LIFE

This is so important! Find time each day to add a simple pleasure to your life. It may be as simple as a half hour sitting in the garden reading. It may be quality time with a loved one. It may be stolen moments listening to opera while enjoying a warm bath. Whatever floats your boat, it is vital that you reward yourself and enjoy living at least once per day.

You might find out you like it, in which case you may increase to two simple pleasures in a day, and then three, and before you know it, it will have become a lifestyle change for the better.

A video about Living Simple

READ THOREAU

For this writer, no man in history better exemplifies Living Simple that Henry David Thoreau. He was a true visionary, and even though his works were written in the mid 1800’s, he could have easily been talking about life today.

Thoreau’s main concerns were over-crowding, greed, and what he saw as man’s inability to recognize what is truly important in life.

On July 4, 1845, Thoreau moved into a small cabin on Walden Pond and lived for two years.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.”

When he returned to civilization on September 6, 1847, he set about writing a book about his experience, and in 1854 he published “Walden, or Life in the Woods.” If ever there was a book that summarized Living Simple, it was “Walden”.

Pick up a copy of “Walden” and learn about Simple Living from the Master.

SIMPLIFY YOUR HOUSE

Physical clutter equals mental clutter! It is time to get serious about the house you live in. However, most people, when faced with the daunting task of de-cluttering an entire home, freeze up and do nothing.

Instead, do one room per week until the job is done. Seven days to organize one room; surely that is not a daunting task! If need be, get organizing supplies so you can put all like items in one container. What isn’t needed, take out in the garage in preparation of a garage sale. What better way to reward yourself than to sell off the un-needed and make some extra money….or….you can pile it all in your car and donate it to the Goodwill which, by the way, is a tax deduction!

Before you begin, however, ask yourself this question: what is truly necessary? You need to determine need vs want before you begin, and then stick to it and do not waver!

FIND TIME FOR YOUR PASSIONS

Where has all the passion in life gone? Is there passion in your life? Are you passionate about living? If not then why, because quite frankly, you only get one shot at this thing called life, and you never know when that one shot will end. We keep putting it off and putting it off, and the bucket list gets longer and longer, and then one day it’s all over and what has been accomplished?

“Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.” ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel,Journal, 17 December 1856

What are you passionate about? Playing music? Hikes in the woods? Photography? Your grandchildren or children? Find time each and every day to feed that passion so that it doesn’t die a slow death. Remember, whether you realize it or not, time is running out.

Feed your passion daily!

UNTIL NEXT TIME

If you practice these five steps already then you are well on your way to your own cabin in the woods, and peace of mind will be your companion.

If you are just starting out on this journey, then I highly recommend that you give these five a try. Before you scoff and write this off as pure silliness, ask yourself what do you have to lose? I can attest to the fact that Living Simple is working for me, and has been for six years. I have several friends who embrace this lifestyle and they are quite happy. If it can happen for us then it can happen for you.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

Care To Take a Poll?

How many of these suggestions interest you?

See results

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    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Awesome, Bill! I am ready to read Thoreau's writings! I have often given my clients the homework assignment of sitting on the porch and doing nothing. It's surprising how difficult some people find this assignment to carry out!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Hi Bill! Thoreau is one of my personal favorites. I just spent hours simplifying my life by cleaning out the pantry. It's amazing how healing that can be for me. Voted up!!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I love your line: "...it is vital that you reward yourself and enjoy living at least once per day." Those words are so true. We don't realize what tomorrow's going to bring, and shouldn't live to just "get through each day", we should really enjoy each part of it. Interesting bit of history on Henry David Thoreau. Thanks for this, enjoyed and sharing :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, this article spoke to me on many levels. Sometimes I feel like I just don't have enough time everyday to sit back and smell the roses so to speak and agree that this is so very important. I have been thinking about this for a few weeks now how to just take so time and spend more if it will my husband and kids. Pure and simple, I need to just do it now before it slips away and I turn around and my girls are all grown up. Thank you for writing this and putting this way of life right out there in the open. Have voted and shared as always.

    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 4 years ago from Canada

      Good suggestions. I've found it to be true for me that a cluttered living or work space = a cluttered mental space. I find that I have to stop once in a while and organize the space around me to be productive. And, I try to incorporate my passions in my every day life by doing what I love.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Finding time for my passions was elusive to an extent until I had to retire last fall (family illness). And now I am totally immersed in them.

      And you have read enough of my stuff to know that me and the simple life, we have it going on. That's not to say that I don't enjoy some of the not so simple things too but basically the real joy comes from those things I cannot buy, you know.

      We all need to slow down and heed your words.

      Another homerun, billybuc.....shared

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, isn't that an amazing testimony on today's world....sit on the porch and do nothing. That's one of my favorite things to do. :) Thank you and enjoy Thoreau!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelley, that's really cool, and yes, it is a healing exercise.

      Thank you my friend and power to Thoreau!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 years ago from london

      Well written, solid and great advice. The clutter at home is a big problem for most of us. Excellent work.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, thank you for the share....yes, live each day to the limit.....I will never understand just getting through a day....there are so many possibilities....what a waste.

      Thank you Mel!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I know it sounds trite, but the time goes by so quickly, and before you know it, your children are grown and it's all gone. Please take some time today to just enjoy your family.....do it for you!

      Thank you my dear friend; some day I hope we get to meet in person.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I am Rosa.....it sounds to me as if you understand this very well. Thank you for the comment, and for the visit.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Between Lao Tzu and Thoureau, we have been missing lots of wisdom and true life. As a consumer society we forgot to think about the simple things in life. From that car payments to that luxurious vacation, we forgot to add the human touch. Bills needed to be paid, so parents had to work to meet that life style. TV raised so many baby boomers and society has become as insensitive as that cold screen. Thanks Bill for writing this important hub for all of us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, what a great way to start my day, with a visit from you. I see you have a new hub; I'll be over there shortly as soon as I get organized for my day. Thank you my dear and have a great week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, thank you Sir! I can tell you that there is no clutter in our home...and that is very freeing.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I think this hub not only teaches people the value of living simply...it teaches people about the mental dangers of clutter as well. I know an old lady who lives below my in-laws apartment who literally keeps rubbish...not talking about old furniture..rotten meat and veggies as well. She became psychologically attached to clutter....much as we do to our material clutter. Some of it, we must simply give up. Thanks for the great write!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, I couldn't figure out why there were so many comments already on this, and then it dawned on me that this is a holiday....except for us writers. :) Everything you said is true, and it's going to get worse.....and thank goodness there are those of us who understand what is important in life. Thank you Sir!

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      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Sorry it's a general comment but I simply agree with all you say. I particularly like the word special word dis-ease. Very apt.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Michelle, that is so sad! I can't imagine what the smell must be like. Well, you are right, we do become attached to the clutter, and that is like living in a prison of our own making.

      Thank you my dear and have a great week!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Graham! I don't know where I first heard that special word but I love it. I appreciate you as always.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Good morning billybuc - You have hit the nail on the head in this one with each specific insight as to the "simple life." Point #1 - Money sure does not bring happiness, and many with millions and billions have found this out to be oh so true. Point #2 - Really great insight, as one really should think through something one is about to undertake, i.e., will it give more headaches or will one find pleasure and worth in doing such. Point #3 - Make an effort to have that quality time in one's life - Amen, as this brings great joy. Point #4 - Thoreau is great! Point #5 - Decluttering your home is necessary to live the simple life, no doubt. Point #6 - Exactly - what is one passionate about in this life, and then go and be passionate about it - don't hold back on this one! Excellent write billybuc and very insightful and informative as to how one can obtain that simple life, in this ever growing fast-paced world. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Dr Pooja profile image

      Dr Pooja 4 years ago

      Maybe the 50's and 60's of America lasted till 80's in India so I have experienced the pleasures of simple life.Life without much materialistic goals and I agree with you completely on simple living.In fact I feel sad for kids of the present generation including mine who have missed those wonderful years and will probably never understand the joy having more indiviuals around rather than being adicted to TV and internet.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dr. Pooja, thank you, and I feel sad for today's children as well. They would think us silly for feeling that way, but they will understand as they get older.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Faith and I trust you are well today! How is the weather in Alabama this morning? we are socked in with fog and chilly temperatures and I love it....the changing of the seasons!

      Thank you my dear; now let's begin our day with passion!

    • mflemons profile image

      mflemons 4 years ago from Boston

      great hub

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 years ago from london

      Thanks Billybuc.

      I told you long ago that you are a good man, but you keep calling me 'Sir'. Any particular reason? I dare not believe that you mean to use this English word in any other way than as reflected in your inspirational writings. Let it be.

      My 'clutter' is not bad, but I visit many homes and i do know that it's a problem for most of us. Invaluable hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita....I'm confused....using "Sir" is a sign of respect, and I do respect you. I'm sorry if that was misinterpreted my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you mflemons...I appreciate it and wish you a great day in Boston!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Once again you did it! I found your suggestions very practical and sensible. For me, visiting my relatives, cooking, walking in the garden, reading, chatting with my loved ones, etc gave me immense pleasure. I wanted to add much more simple pleasures to my life. With each hub in this series, I am getting more and more enlightened! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up & Socially Shared

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill -

      I tried to declutter my house but my wife won't leave!

      Another great hub, my friend! You make many good points, indeed. My memories of Thoreau readings in high school were of long and drawn out sentences and boredom. Perhaps, another reading is required at this time in my life.

      As always, a great job!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the wonderful comment Ishwaryaa....you are very wise for one so young and that encourages me greatly.

      Have a wonderful week my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I have the feeling if decluttering happens in your house you might want to hold onto something that is bolted in the floor so you wife doesn't toss you out. LOL

      You are too funny and yes, Thoreau is a hard read when we are young. Thank God I'm a little more patient nowadays.

      Thank you my friend.

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Billy, this is a wonderful and extremely useful hub! Your message that living simply is for the peace of mind and loving each other, is absolutely true! All your points are very important and profound! Excellent hub, very useful.... Voting up++

    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 4 years ago from United States

      I still have far too much clutter in my life. Like you I have experienced the ups and the downs and they all equate to life lessons. There is still much I need to clear out from a mental standpoint as well as in "things". I applaud you that you have achieved this success. As always...great writing.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Thank you, I read your comment and am doing just that today. And also do hope that someday I have the pleasure of meeting you and Bev too. Enjoy your day!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Some day, Janine, perhaps we will meet, and that will be wonderful. :)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, billybuc - that is the best way to start the day with passion - "Variety is the spice of life," and there is much to be passionate about if we just look and follow our hearts. Here in Alabama it is raining, but that is welcome, as it was still so muggy out yesterday. About the middle of September and October will be perfect when that humidity is gone! Have a lovely day filled with your passions. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Hareshpahuja profile image

      HARESH PAHUJA 4 years ago from MUMBAI INDIA

      Simply Awesome Writing , Good 1 , Voted up.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      This is my favorite "simple life" so far! ^_^ Especially reading H.D. Thoreau! He should be read by everyone ^_^ Voted a bunch and shared!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Lots of good advice for sure. I particularly liked the simplification of de-cluttering. I hate clutter and anytime I can get rid of stuff( give to charity) I am delighted. When we came back from Oregon fortunately we could only bring so much stuff because we have a houseful in Arizona. I go through frequently and give away...good feeling. And taking time for quiet enjoyment is always the most delightful moments of the day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you LaThing! It's always a pleasure having you drop by; I'm glad you enjoyed my message. Have a wonderful week my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katheryn, there is always clutter, is there not. Most times the mental clutter is the hardest to get rid of. Thank God we learned some life lessons along the way.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith; my day will be as lovely as I allow it to be. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hareshpahuja, thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sasha! I should have known you would be a Thoreau fan!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I absolutely must have quiet, alone time, or my mind is a jumbled mess. I love that you regularly give stuff to charity; a sure sign of a good person.

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      So much appreciated these five simple steps. It is easier than people think. I have added more simple pleasures in my life and now give myself an hour to read or do anything relaxing before the kids get out if school regardless of how much I should be doing. Looking at the garage I realize I have a lot of work ahead of me to get rid of the clutter but will start out small and do one closet at a time.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Healthy, I love comments like this one. Thank you for adding to the discussion. When people hear that this is not that difficult, maybe they will start changing their way of thinking. Great addition...thank you!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I did just get rid of some stuff:) lol. I do love the idea of living simpler but my family does not:) I'm working on them:)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, yes, you did get rid of stuff....LOL and then replaced it with new furniture. I was laughing when I saw your living room on Facebook. By the way, it all looks lovely!

      Thanks for the visit; have you written lately?

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, I'm going to download Walden onto my Kindle - it is free! I am feeling very different about life since I gave up work - every day I am rediscovering things I used to do/read/see, it's great. Getting used to having less cash will take a bit of getting used to but I am not worried about it, I am quite looking forward to adapting our lives. Another great hub, full of useful advice and as always delivered to us with your usual optimism and honesty.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      Thank you for sharing this awesome information and your suggestion to read Henry David Thoreau. I will surely like to read his literature.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, I love your comment....every day rediscovering things I used to do/read/see....that's what it's all about. I'm often amazed by people who don't like retirement or growing older...I absolutely love each and every moment of this new lifestyle. Thank you for a great comment my friend and have a great day!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jainismus; I don't think you will be disappointed!

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Warm, well meaning advice. I agree totally. Working in a charity shop can have mixed blessings though. No sooner do I de-clutter and bag my stuff up than I'm replacing it with more!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tara, my dear, how are you? I hope you will drop me a line and give me an update.

      I can only imagine! I love a good deal, and I can always find a use for something inexpensive. LOL I think it's best if I just keep writing and not venture out into the world of spending. :)

      Thank you Tara! You are appreciated!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Some years ago, Bill, I saw the PBS story called "Alone in the Wilderness" (TV 2004) It is a documentary that tells the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, built his own cabin in the wilderness at the base of the Aleutian Peninsula...

      http://www.imdb.com/rg/em_share/title_web/title/tt...

      I think you'd love it, as it sounds a lot like "Walton", which, at your suggestion, I am going to read. Thanks for a great read, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, thanks for the reminder...I have seen that video....that guy went way beyond what Thoreau did in terms of danger and hardships...it was an amazing film and I need to watch it again. Thank you my dear!

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      I must admit, clutter is my nemesis. I like the suggestion of just tackling a certain area at once. Conquer and move on. I'm going to give it try in the garage this week. This results from my attempts to re-use everything and never throw anything away. I have to find a balance.

      I love the videos in your installments. They cover a wide range of sensible suggestions and social commentary while always bringing home the point of what an individual can do to take steps in their own lives to move forward. Thank you for keeping it real, keeping it practical and keeping it interesting. God bless and to quote you, my friend, "live long and prosper!"

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      4 hrs in.....I'm getting later by the day. Hey, what can I say? This life-simplifying takes time and energy! Trimming down the fluff isn't for Puffs! (groan).....it's only worth it. 2 hours and 10 cartons = Garage that finally has order and empty space! 4 hrs. and 6 cartons = numerous closets of old, too small, too out dated, "what the hell did I ever buy this for?"......cleaned out, reorganized.....neat, clean.....just necessities. Love it! 2 hrs....off to AmVets Thrift store to DONATE........good cause....good vibes. Get on the band wagon people......It's good for you! I HATE CLUTTER UP +++

    • catmalone profile image

      catmalone 4 years ago

      Another awesome hub! You are so right about keeping life simple. I de-clutter my closets and rooms for time to time. It’s like a breath of fresh air. When I walk into those areas I can think clearer and feel less stress with less clutter.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vix, thank you my friend! I know all about clutter and keeping things for the sake of not throwing anything away. Been there done that and I'm not returning to it. :) I'm glad you like the videos; Bev and I need to do some more soon; we seem to have gotten too busy of late to add to our collection.

      Good luck with that garage and of course, live long and prosper.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, look at you, a crusader against clutter! I love it! Absolutely love it! How many times have I said those words....what the hell did I ever buy this for? LOL No longer....I look around now and everything has a purpose and if it doesn't it is gone, baby, gone!

      Thank you my NY friend; go take a walk. You deserve it after that cleaning that you did!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Catmalone, isn't it amazing how that happens. Our minds are so in tune with our physical surroundings. Great comment and you are oh so right!

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Good hub, Billybuc. I couldn't agree with you more. Less household clutter and less brain clutter opens our lives to infinite possibility we otherwise would not have time for.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles, and yet it is such a foreign concept for many people. I know that I will never go back to the old way of life.

      Thank you as always.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Bill,

      You were right on the money, my friend...lol

      I agree with your simple lifestyle 'cause that brings in inner peace and decluttering one's house is a big step towards nirvana.

      Well said, indeed!

      voted up and sharing it across

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, Nirvana is a beautiful thought, is it not? I'm getting closer and I know you are as well. Thank you!

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 4 years ago from Finland

      No matter how big our house will be, I'm sure my whole family will be sleeping in the same bed anyway - just like we'll be doing tonight.

      I want to get rid of all the clutter we have. Now I don't actually buy many material things anymore - except building material for our house. I enjoyed this hub very much. Hugs and goodnight from Finland.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      The "stuff" problem you tackled well. I have a small house so I am constantly re-evaluating what is necessary. Now, as for reading Thoreau, haven't done that yet, but I suppose I should. great job!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much Made; I'm sure you will de-clutter in time. Having a new house means clutter at first...it cannot be avoided.

      Hugs and good night to you as well Made!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, I love to hear that people have small homes. As for Thoreau, it is a bit of a tough read because of the times when it was written and the way it is written, but if you can stumble through it, you just might find some genius in there.

      Thank you!

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, in my house, it doesn't matter how often we declutter, those darn gremlins keep bring more stuff back. :-))

      Seriously, everything you say make good sense. Deep in our hearts most of us, whether we realize it or not, are longing for a simpler life.

      For me, this means living closer to nature. I've had a little taste of this lifestyle and it was the happiest time of my life, I hope some day soon. Thoreau is on my list of must read. thank you for all the information. great work as always.

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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi billy, I so agree with you. When I was working full time I didn't realise just how much rushing about there was, until one day after losing my job, I ran into the shop to buy a paper, when I came out I stopped looked around and thought, hang on, I can slow down now! it was a lovely feeling. Now I take time to go to the park, sit outside and just do what I want to do, wonderful ideas, nell

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, don't you just hate those gremlins? LOL I understand completely!

      Nature indeed; we are three years away from our dream and counting the days.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, when I quite my job two years ago....the same thing happened to me. I got home and looked around and I thought....whoa...I can go outside and sit in the sunshine. What a wild concept! :)

      I love it when I know people who understand this and live it.

      Sending your hugs from across the Pond

      bill

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      Maree Michael Martin 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      I haven't read Thoreau in a while, thanks for the reminder. This simpler life was getting itchy feet with September coming, thanks for the reminders, to keep it simple anyway!

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      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I agree with everything you have said here Bill. We need time to enjoy life otherwise we have to ask 'is it worth living?'

      So many want to have the best of everything, bigger houses, cars, status. But the necessity to earn enough money to keep up that lifestyle prevents them from actually enjoying it. The more they earn, the more they spend and the more need. So that they end up living to work instead of working to live as it should be.

      We live simply and spend time doing what we enjoy doing, sure extra money would be nice but we manage quite well.

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      It is difficult to take time out when you are working full time, twelve hour shifts at a busy hospital, but I have found since retiring, i have the time and desire to enjoy the little things i overlooked before. I hate clutter so i'm good there. I would like to read Thoreau's book, maybe i will. Great topic Bill..Enjoyed..

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, three hubs of mine...thank you so much! I don't know what I did to deserve this kind of attention but I'm grateful.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, you just perfectly described the madness of it all....work harder to pay for me, have less time for living....it is endless and it is no longer a game I choose to play. Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, believe me, I remember all too well the long hours and no time to relax....it's a new life now and I'm totally enjoying it. I hope you do read Walden; some pretty good wisdom in it, and the man was a psychic if you ask me.

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      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Whenever I read one of your hubs I feel inspired and motivated to look within and reflect on how things are going in my life. Thank you for that. I love writing. It is a passion, and joining this wonderful community is helping me feed this passion. :)

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      Robin Grosswirth 4 years ago from New York

      The Lao Tzu quote and Thoreau were case in point.I think we all get caught up in life's treadmill and it is a killer.

      I agree with donnah75, your hubs are so inspirational, motivational, instructional--great prescriptions for life.

      Thanks for teaching me so much. I look forward to reading more and learning so much more from you, a wise sage (sage wisdom).

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donnah, your words fill me with happiness....that is my goal, to inspire. Thank you and yes, HubPages is a wonderful community. Funny you mentioned passion....I'll be writing about it on Wednesday!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Robin, thank you for that; I'm not sure I have ever considered myself wise.....but with age we do find a certain perspective of life that works for us. :) You are a kind lady and I love your work as well.

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      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Very well done. Living a simple life is the way to go. But not so easy to do.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No Sandy, it's not easy getting there, but once you get there it is easy to maintain. Thank you my friend.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I know some of my friends think I am crazy for turning down a very handsome salary at a local university. I just couldn't see trading my time with my family for hours away from home on evenings and weekends. It is hard to make those choices. Thanks for the reminder of what really counts in life.

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      5 installments on a simple life? :))

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I love the choice you made. Bravo to you my friend, and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, it's hard to say....do you think we need more? :) I'm so flighty and have a hard time following a pattern for too long.

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Lots for things to think over and consider. You are right Bill and your suggestions are well taken. I need to unclutter and simplify my surroundings and yes, I need to find something to do just for me each day as there never seems to be the time for anything. This long dark autumn and winter that will be soon upon us I have promised myself to take the time to play my piano again which is sitting lonely in the living room. Inspirational video and passing this on.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, I hope you do those things. To be able to play the piano.....so soothing for the soul.....please make the time.

      Thank you my dear!

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      Trinity M 4 years ago

      This is my favourite series from you Bill, it says everything I believe in and speaks to my heart. Like you, my motto is, “If whatever you’re doing or are about to do doesn’t bring you peace, it’s not worth doing.” I wait with great anticipation for the next instalment. Here’s looking at you and sending love your way :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trinity, I'm accepting that love from thousands of miles away. Thank you dear lady; I love that you live this way.....peace or nothing! That's it for this boy the rest of the way. :) Sending love right back atcha!

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      poojasd7 4 years ago from India

      De-cluttering/organizing is one thing I am trying to embed into my life style. Reading your hub about simplicity reminds me of a song in Hindi which has the undertone of finding peace in life. Your writing is a poetry in prose.

      The pun you used in dis-ease is clever.

      I could relate to many things in this hub (as usual) and I have got a stimulation in my thought process to strive towards the organizing my rooms and my mind as well. Thank you, Billy. :-)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pooja, you are so kind in your comments. Thank you so much! I hope you find peace in de-cluttering as I have.

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      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Billy. Reading this made me stop and think that I need to make time for things I enjoy, each day. My husband and I came to Spain for a simpler life, but unfortunately loosing him means I do have to work twice as hard. As you know I´m not a " Must have person" no designer labels or wasting money for me. But...I do have to work very hard just to survive, and at certain times of the year that´s all I seem to do. I am taking this one piece of advice on board and will work, or rather try and relax more, to attain it.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bac2basics, it is so hard to lose someone, and financially it certainly makes things difficult. Best wishes to you and I hope your struggle lightens up in the near future. Thank you for your kind words and I hope things work out for you.

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      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      This hub once more covered a lot of great suggestions for simplifying our lives. I hate a lot of clutter. My son and daughter-in-law recently painted my bedroom for me and I haven't even wanted to put the pictures back up as the simplicity of the room is beautiful. Up and useful.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I understand that completely, Pam! Once we are un-cluttered it is very hard to clutter again. Thank you as always; you really are a very kind soul.

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Billy, you are absolutely correct. My life is full, happy and filled with purpose, and it requires so little.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Avian, it really is quite remarkable, isn't it, how inexpensive happiness is?

      Thank you!

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Awesome read once again, Bill. Living simple hurts no one, least of all, our pocket.

      Voted up and interesting.

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      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      i 'adopted' a simpler life about 5 years ago - when i was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder..i always had my priorities straight and worked to live (and feed the chillins...). My aunt told me when i was very young that there would always be people who had more than me - and there would always be people who had less - so i should be grateful for what i have. And..i am! It isn't much, but, it's my little tiny piece of the world where i can feel safe. I've always wanted a horse more than a diamond...nuff said..lol

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I like that...living simple hurts no one. Very nice! Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, anyone who wants a horse more than a diamond is alright in my book. :) Thank you, and I think your aunt was a pretty wise lady. :)

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      SilverGenes 4 years ago

      After reading your hub on economic slavery, I started searching for your articles on living a simpler life and found this one. Right after decluttering one of my rooms (badly in need of it after the recent move), I'm going to search out the first one in this series and follow them all. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Silver, thank you so much! I need to visit you and see what you are up to, which I will do right now.

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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      You are absolutley right when you say letting go of possessions and clutter can make a big difference in your life. I just downsized from a wonderful country home of 14 years to a small apartment. I had to get rid of so much. Not a day has gone by since I have missed it.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, most people cannot fathom of doing it, but once they have they are amazed how easy it is to do without. I love my life now and I have hardly anything. I may not be brilliant but I see the correlation between the two. :)

    • Injured lamb profile image

      Injured lamb 4 years ago

      I am pursuing it...and actually, on the way already...leading a simple life somehow seems stupid to quite many of my friends but I enjoy it much...thanks for the great sharing Bill, I do enjoy this hub of yours...cheers!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lamb! I get strange looks from friends as well, but I have no debt so there you go! :)

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      Ann1Az2 4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I particularly like the ones about making time for your passion and de-cluttering. One, I've started (playing the piano) and the other (de-cluttering), I love your suggestion of doing one room a week. That's doable! Thanks.

      Voted up and well done.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, one room at a time is so simple even I can do it. :) Thank you my friend!

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