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Five Steps Towards A Simple Lifestyle.....Installment One

Updated on October 10, 2013

What do you think of when I say simple living? What does that mean to you? How would you go about doing that?

To answer those questions you need to first identify why you feel you need simplification. What is it about your life that seems unmanageable? Are you working too much? Are your finances out of control? Do you not have enough time for family or relaxation? Only you can answer those questions, but once you do have an answer then you are well on your way to simplifying your life.

This whole process boils down to one important question: what is most important to you? For most of us, the answer would most likely be family and friends. Once we have established that as the Ground Zero of our lives, it then follows, logically, that anything else can be eliminated.

Oh, I can hear the screams from here! How can I live without my current job? How can I live without the house I currently own? How can I? How can I?

But the simple fact is that most of what we own and most of what we do is window dressing compared to that which is most important to us.

As we continue this series, I will be giving you simple steps that, if followed, will lead you on a path of simplicity. Some of these steps may not apply to you. There are, after all, seven billion of us roaming this planet, each with a unique life and lifestyle. That’s fine; take what you can use and leave the rest for someone else. There will be more than enough suggestions to go around.

Shall we begin? Here, then, are five steps you can take towards a simple lifestyle.

Living Simple means serenity
Living Simple means serenity | Source
Bev and I spend quality time together each and every day.
Bev and I spend quality time together each and every day. | Source
Taking time to enjoy life
Taking time to enjoy life | Source

Purge….purge….purge

It is time to get rid of the detritus of life, all those things that are taking up space and leaving you with clutter. We all have clutter so please, don’t deny it!

Have a garage sale! What do you really need three sets of dishes for? Why do you need three televisions and rims for a ’89 Chevy that you haven’t owned for ten years? Clutter is an interesting phenomenon! In truth, 90% of what we own we do not need and yet we cling to it, as if our self-worth is tied to the knick-knacks and riding lawnmower. WHAT DO YOU NEED? That is the number one question for anyone attempting to simplify! If you don’t need it, get rid of it! Seems very simple and yet oh so difficult, and I suspect it really does have to do with self-worth. Possessions signify value in our society today. Stated like that, any rational human being would say yes, that is true and yes, I should end that game now. Still, look around your home, and decide for yourself if you aren’t playing that game right along with many others.

Skip the garage sale and donate to charity! Now we are really getting into this living simple concept. When taking this step we not only simplify our living environment, but we also help someone else who is needy. Remember, living simple also means getting back to some old-fashioned values, like love thy neighbor.

And yes, the donation is tax-deductible! J

Limit the Media in Your Life

Television hit the scene back in the 1950’s, and it has grown exponentially in our society. Let these statistics play with your mind for a few minutes:

· 99% of American households have a television

· There are 2.24 televisions in each household

· 66% of American families have 3 or more televisions

· The average American watches 4 hours of television per day, which computes to 2 months non-stop per year.

· During a 65 year life span, the average American spends nine full years watching television.

And that is just television! Now let’s toss in the social media like texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Now, there may still be people who, after reading those statistics, will say SO WHAT? What’s the big deal? Only you can answer that, but I can give you a very logical statement to think about. Every hour spent watching television, texting or tweeting is an hour that could be spent with family and friends, or finding a way to improve your life.

This author does not own a television. I haven’t owned one in six years. I am amazingly happy and contented. Do I miss it? Only when the Olympic Games are being held but not even the London Games were enough to get me to buy a tv and pay for cable.

My life has never been fuller!

I’ll tell you another thing television has done for our society: I believe it has become a leading factor in obesity. Currently 35.7% of Americans are obese and 25% of kids 19 and under are obese. When you consider the amount of time spent watching television, scanning Facebook and playing online games, is it any wonder that obesity is such a problem? Toss in some abysmal eating habits and you have a recipe for poor health for decades.

It is time for change! If you are not willing to eliminate television from your life then limit it. Allot yourself a certain number of minutes per day and then stick with it….and that is total number of minutes spent watching television, playing around on Facebook, and all the rest. You just might gain back part of those nine years you are wasting.

Gotta love it

Cut up Your Credit Cards Now!

Quick, tell me the number one reason for using a credit card! If you said to buy something that you do not have cash for, you would be correct. We aren’t talking bank debit cards, which automatically deduct from your checking account; we are talking about credit cards which, in effect, loan you money and charge interest on that loan.

Currently, the average American has over $5,200 of debt. That includes every single living human being in the country. The average American over 18 is over $10,000 in debt, and the biggest debt-owners are those between the ages of 50-59, who owe a whopping $20,000 per person.

This is insanity of the highest order; it is consumerism run amuck and it has to stop.

To a certain extent it is understandable. With a crumbling economy and shrinking job market, people are turning to credit cards for relief. Unfortunately, that relief comes back to haunt you in the not-so-distant future. However, the state of the economy is only part of the problem. Americans have always loved their credit cards. Since the 1920’s we have been buying on credit. Buy now, pay later, is the American mantra and it is somewhat manageable as long as times are good.

Unfortunately, times are no longer good, and paying the Piper is painful if not impossible.

Conservatively speaking, 75% of buying habits are psychological. We not only buy what we need, but we also buy what we want.

Cut up your credit cards….NOW!

Write a “living Simple” Memorandum to Yourself

What do you want your living simple life to look like? Envision living simply and put it on paper. Refer to it daily! Tape it to your bathroom mirror and staple it to your forehead. This simplicity memorandum needs to be where you can see it so you can constantly remind yourself of what is important.

You see, we humans have built-in forgetters. We start out with great intentions and then life gets in the way and before you know it, we forget our goals. We all know people who have done this with New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight, eat better, stop smoking, exercise more, and on and on we go, and usually those resolutions last about a month. Why?

Because life gets in the way! Living a simple life is too important to be forgotten. Sit down now, write your memorandum, and then start living it daily. This is one goal that needs to be achieved.

Spend Time with People Who Are Important to You

You just cut out television and Facebook; might as well spend those extra four or five hours with the people you care about and love.

If you are a parent, then your children should be your number one priority! Spend time with them! Do more family activities and that doesn’t mean watching television as a family. Go for a walk; go for a picnic. Do fun activities and enjoy the time you have with each other because I guarantee you, the time we have left on this planet is dwindling as we speak.

When are you going to die? It is a valid question and one that demands an answer! When are you going to die? If you answered I don’t know, and you should have, then the next question that needs to be asked is this: if today is your last day on this Earth, then why are you wasting time on non-essential activities? Why not spend more time loving those in your life who are most important to you?

You see, here is the problem as seen by this man. We all assume we have tomorrow! We work hard, building a financial foundation for tomorrow. We spend hours out of each day taking care of superfluous stuff because there is always tomorrow when we can spend time with friends and family. We keep counting on a tomorrow that is in no way guaranteed.

Live for today! Say I love you and say it often. Set aside more time, each day, to spend with loved ones and friends. This author is acquainted with quite a few people who have changed directions and begun this process, and they are infinitely happier because of it.

What Is the Bottom Line?

Living simple is not for everyone! I know, it seems like it should be, but truth is it is not. I know a couple who owns six cars, so it’s safe to say that living the simple life does not appeal to them. I know others who work 50 and 60 hour weeks to pay for their lifestyle, and that lifestyle is not a simple one.

However, I am guessing that there are a great many people in today’s world who want desperately to embrace a simpler lifestyle, but they just don’t know how to do it. Still others who may be approaching the end of their spending days because of debt, and living simple will become a necessity to them all too soon.

These are tough times and for 99% of us they are going to get tougher….unless….we step up to the plate and hit a homerun. We are the only ones who can do it, and it requires conscious decisions on our part. There are no pinch-hitters in this game, and we can’t call time out for a reprieve. All we can do it change our approach at the plate.

If the game of life does not change, then we need to learn how to change. For a few of us, the madness has ended. We have embraced living simple and we are now happier for it. For others, the solutions are out there. It is my hope that these suggestions will, at the very least, begin you thinking about possible changes you can make to improve your life.

I wish for all of you a simple life. Be well, be happy, and do all things with love!

P.S. My apologies to those living in America but not the United States. The statistics used are in reference to the United States only, although I suspect they apply quite well to other parts of America.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

A Funny Word About Living Simple

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    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great advice Bill. It takes courage to live the simple live. I am trying to convince my wife to get rid of all of the "stuff" we have in the basement and attic, boxes we haven't opened in years.

      My only question is, have we replaced the t.v. with the internet? I often have the t.v. on for background noise, to watch the news or sports. But, I could often get the same over the internet. If the average American spends 9 years of their life watching t.v. (I suspect it is increasing), how much time does the average Hubber spend on their computer and the internet? ;-))

      Voted up and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Banks, it is a valid question and I know for a fact, since I write for a living, that I am on the computer eight hours per day. I can only feel self-righteous because it is work and not entertainment. LOL Thank you!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Yet another great article in your Living Simple Series. I am really enjoying this series by the way. I totally agree with you on most if not all your points, especially the family part. I try so hard to be a wonderful mother and wife, but sometimes there just does not seem to be enough time in the day. I do feel spread thin on this front and sadly do my best, but I know it is not always enough but will tell you this my family deep down is truly my number one priority. That said I also very much agree about credit card debt and thankfully we just use our debit cards and only by what we can afford from our bank account. As a math teacher nothing upsets me worse that debt so I do whatever I can to stay away from it. Bill, thanks for this inspirational article and have of course voted and shared too!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, the use of credit cards is hard-wired in our brains as Americans...sad but true. As for being a good mother, I have no doubt about you. In fact, I was thinking of nominating your for mother of the year. :)

      Thank you my dear; have a wonderful day!

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      An excellent hub on leading an economical and stress-free life! I agree with all the valid points listed by you! Here I confessed that not long ago, I was into my laptop for many hours much to my dear parents' dismay. As per my parents' advice, now I spent less time on my laptop and spent more time with my parents and other essential things. I enjoyed more in the natural world than in the virtual world! A fetching hub! Well-done!

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

    • Dr Pooja profile image

      Dr Pooja 4 years ago

      Every article of yours is so close to my heart.Wonder why there are very few people who realize the benefits of simple living.I think it is a vicious cycle of modern day life which few dare to break.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Bill, you have made a complex situation quite clear. This message is important and hopefully will spark some people to make some changes!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ishwaryaa, thank you as always! You are a kind person and I appreciate you very much. I am glad that your parents gave you that advice. :)

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

      Dr. Pooja, I agree with you; I almost wrote I don't know why it is so hard to break, but I suspect greed plays a big part in that. Thank you very much and enjoy the remainder of your day.

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

      Mark, I hope I did...thank you my friend, and enjoy your day! Sell some of those books and get rich enough to come visit me.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      You're probably aware that credit cards are as much an element of life here in the youkay and li'l ol' Europe. It's hard to prise the plastic out of people's sweaty little paws here, and the women have the worst problem. There's this thing called 'image', that's gripped the AB's of our planet. Talking them out of their plastic would be like trying to talk a tiger into vegetarianism. They can't see beyond the bonnet of their Porsche Carrera or past their banks of mini TV screens that tell them what's going on in the world around them. A bit like Gordon Gecko - but then he's fiction. Who in their right mind rates themselves against a figure of the imagination, albeit based on observed life?

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent tips! I think I could do without tv. My three year old would object. I would rather listen to music anyway. I think social media is really a life sucker too and I fully agree with that premise. I look forward to following this wise series. Excellent!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Okay, so I work online, but even there, I'm trying to simplify. :D Your words are wise, Big Bro. I love my simple life - I've been able to do a lot of the things I've wanted to do because of it. Consumerism is an awful trap and it destroys our spirit...and the planet...in the process. Thanks for sharing this!

    • susiebrown48 profile image

      susiebrown48 4 years ago from Clearwater, FL

      I admit I read some of your suggestions with horror :-) I like the idea of getting rid of some of the clutter however. 18 years in the same house and you can imagine what kind of clutter has developed. It's not exactly worthy of an episode of Hoarders, but give me another 18 years and it might be! Thank you for the excellent read!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, our 1% elite would nod their collective heads regarding your comment. Status is everything to the ruling class, even here in backwoods U.S of A! Of course, the rest of us just sit and watch with amusement and starry eyes, wondering when it will be our turn.....as if that could ever happen!

      Thank you my friend!

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

      Tammy, thank you! I'm enjoying the series and my blog too. So glad you like it.

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

      Cyndi, I haven't gotten to the damage to the environment that consumerism does...but I will. This series is never-ending; I just have to find the time to write about all of it. Thanks Sis!

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

      Susie, I suspect quite a few people would read this with horror....but I think there is a shift in thinking that is happening, ever slowly, but happening nonetheless. We can't keep living the way we have been living...the economy will not allow it. Thank you my friend, and best of luck to you with your writing.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Over 43 years of marriage we have accumulated a ton of clutter. We have a big house with lots of closets and storage space - but I know the stuff is there, and yes, it makes life complicated. Twitter, Facebook, and yes, HubPages all add to the complications of life. Great Hub, Bill. I'm sharing this with my wife, and yes, Twitter and FB. Voted up and awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rfmoran, you had me laughing....don't get hit when you share this with your wife! We don't know how she would take the suggestion. Hopefully she will be gentle with you.

      Thank you for the share my friend!

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Bill.Couln´t agree more with most of what you say...that´s why my pen name is bac2basics and why I wrote a hub on how to live well and stay out of debt also.

      Bankscottage made a very interesting observation though about using the Internet instead of watching TV. Only reply I can think to that one is...using the Internet to write for hubpages is using and exercising your brain, whilst watching TV can sometimes be just a way to numb it !!! Great hub Billybuc..keep on enjoying your good life :)

    • HeidiNicole11 profile image

      Eileen Alott...not really... 4 years ago from The Great State of Iowa!

      Awesome hub, billybuc!! LOVE your priorities! My hubby and I are raising 2 boys, 13 and 9. We are working our way out of consumerism and into the simple life...purging, paying down debt, etc. It's not easy. Somedays feels like shoveling in a blizzard, but we HAVE to get there. Your hubs help me stay focused...looking forward to your series!!

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Great message..... One thing we also did was to take out the TV from our house several years ago, and don't miss it at all. My children are growing up without it, they read a lot and interact with each other. Now, the credit card that's another story...... I am struggling to get ride of it :)

      Thanks for bringing this series, Billy...... Very encouraging!

      Voting up

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bac2basics, I have very little in the way of defense about the internet; I wouldn't be able to support my writing business without it. I actually had thought of that when I was writing this hub. I feel better knowing I don't own a tv, though! Thank you my new friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      HeidiNicole, it does, at times, feel like shoveling a blizzard! Great simile.....and I have been there....and I was able to complete the shoveling...and it is so worth it. Thank you and I'm glad my hubs help in some small way.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LaThing, thank you once again my loyal follower and friend. I know all about credit cards....it took decades for me to win that battle. I loved the day I cut mine up! :)

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Yes!! Wouldn't people be a lot happier and less stressed if we could all live simpler? Imagine - not hunched over the computer eagerly checking up on everyone's Facebook statuses, or getting zoned into some action movie when you've had a bad day (and tensing those muscles up even more!) I didn't really have a choice in the matter and I still miss them, but I got my account cards down to zero, and have given them to my husband to hide in a place that I'll never find. I was all set to cut them with scissors when he said he'd keep them in-case there was an emergency and we needed something a few months down the line. Fantastic installment one - can't wait for the next one :)

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 4 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      #1 is unplug. I find the more time I spend online the more agitated I get. Agitation feeds the need to consume and spend to feel less agitated. But it only makes you feel more agitated. Vicious cycle.

      I really like your "simple" ideas to simplify.

      Serenity takes some getting used to. But is so much healthier than allowing ourselves to be controlled.

      Voted up and awesome, my friend. MM

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MelChi, thank you and congrats on getting those cards down to zero. Good move hiding them! I appreciate you stopping by and I'll have another installment soon.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MM, if I totally unplugged I would be out of business, but not having tv is liberating in itself. Thanks for stopping by; greatly appreciated.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Great thoughts coming from Bill. Being dependent from a system really sucks. Health and quality of life has gotten expensive for the joy of those 1% who'd take vacations all year round. Valuable information from your side. Credit cards should be eliminated for good; little by little our debt is being bought by foreignh powers. Jkeep the series rolling billy. We always come around at any time..to get our fix. Lol

      Take care Bill!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Oh Bill how true it is, "paying the Piper is painful", no matter who the Piper is and how much we have to pay!

      Speaking of having "built in forgetters", sometimes I think our forgetters are like the selective hearing small children have.

      An ever encouraging series and one we need to make us stop and truly take stock!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that's a perfect way to describe it....selective hearing. Thank you kind lady; some day we will have to have lunch together.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, I will, indeed, keep the series rolling. I'm enjoying it and I like the reaction and support. Thank you my friend; we need to fight the good fight.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, great hub with wise advice as always. I am now jobless (by choice) and am happier already. I started throwing stuff out recently because we are decorating and I really liked the feeling of de-cluttering that came with it. However, I am not the hoarder in my house :o) All that matters in life are people, everything else is just 'stuff'.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Bill,

      You brought up some great points here in regards to living simple. Time spent on electronics and hoarding up things we don't need? Yeah, I think that hits home for far too many of us. Great job bringing those issues to light. Thanks Bill, have a good one!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, it sounds to me like we are traveling the same path. Good for you and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Josh, the television statistics blew me away. I knew as a country we watched a lot of tv, but I had no idea it was this much. Ridiculous is all I can say! I sure don't miss it.

      Thanks nephew; have a great day!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I hear you talking to me as if I were sitting in front of you. Keep it coming; I need the push!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you can count on me to keep pushing! Thanks my dear!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I "divorced" my cable company about six months ago (I wrote a Hub about that), and I have not missed it at all. I listen to the radio if I want background noise. I spend too much time here on HubPages, but I enjoy that. I spend quality time with the family after school and in the evening, I play with my dog Baby.

      Great Hub, I voted it UP, etc.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Getting rid of tv, Mary, is huge! I have people who think I am lying when I tell them I haven't had a tv in six years. They cannot conceive of that! I find that a bit sad. :)

      Thank you my friend!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I think once you get used to not watching TV you won't miss it. I have to admit we do watch TV but it is never instead of something else. We exercise, go out, follow our hobbies. Live simple...well we do in some ways. The TV statistics are amazing. Pretty daunting. Voted up.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Bill, you have a very down-to-earth way of writing that is easy to relate to. I use credit cards sometimes but I agree that spending time with those people who are important to you is needed. If you and Bev were closer I would visit :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, it was the tv statistics that really blew me away! I had no idea it was that bad in this country. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, if we lived closer we would love to have you visit. Thank you my friend; I always enjoy seeing your smiling face pop up.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      I love this series you've started! I wish I could realistically follow every bit of advise you've provided. Sadly though I don't want to live without my screens... although since my children were born I only allow myself to go on the computer or play video games when my children are sleeping (as they are now, luckily my kids are good sleepers ^_^). As for debt, we have none. Our credit card is really just a convenient way to pay.

      I like how you continually make a point about spending time with those you love. My husband, kids and I spend a great deal of time together but I wish I could spend more time with my mom, siblings and in-laws. So the biggest thing I'm taking with me from your article is a time commitment to them. In fact I'll invite them to dinner this friday ^_^ Thank you for a wonderful piece. Voted up and awesome ^_^

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 4 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      AWESOME TIPS!!!!

      We do have basic cable in the house, but only watch TV before bedtime or if their is a special show everyone wants to watch as a family. Credit cards are only used for "needs" not "wants" for example, medical bills and groceries when money is extremely tight. We do donate all unused or gently used items that we can no longer use. The main knick knacks in the house are things are kids made in different art classes...those are always a keeper and no matter what we spend as much family time with everyone any chance we get!! :D

      Voted UP, Awesome, Interesting, Useful, Beautiful, and Shared!!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      All excellent advice Bill. I think about this kind of stuff all the time but executing on it can be difficult. Things like the TV should be easy to do away with but they are not? Getting rid of the clutter and the years of stuff should be easy, but again it's not. I like your idea of just donating it all. Maybe we'll try this in baby steps and do without the TV for a week or two and see what happens. I bet I'd publish a lot more hubs without the TV?

      As always, great reading. Looking forward to the next installment.

      Bill

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Fantastic work,Bill, and of course you know us old married guys have to get the little lady to go along with some of this good advice, The part about cutting down on T.V.access, clutter in the home and everything sounds fine to me. The clutter issue, maybe not. My wife and me(I'll admit) are collectors of junk from years of garage sales and public fairs, our home is one big garage sale. We still like it. Forgive me if I don't agree with everything. Great hub!!!

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      I cleaned out one of the closets back in January of this year and it was amazing the stuff crammed in there that I haven't looked at in 5 years. It all went to charity. I was thinking the other day that I really need to do the other closets and the bathroom cupboards. Also go through clothes I haven't worn in the last 2 years and donate them to charity. It's a great feeling to pare down like this and it creates more visible space, which in an odd way is freeing. Plus, if I move it is much less to pack up. Another great hub, voted up.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      This hub was full of some great advice. I have to work on some of these for sure. Great job! :)

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Coinsidence that you published this now. I am in the middle of de-cluttering, furniture as well as smaller items. I mean who needs 4 wall units and 3 china cabinates, just more dusting and room for clutter. Time to downsize.

      I have a china dinner service that has not been unpacked from when we moved 2 years ago and I was just thinking of letting it go rather than taking up space.

      As for the TV I probably watch about 8 hours a week. When the kids were young we had no TV for 3 years, it meant we spent so much more time as a family doing other things.

      Awesome hub Bill. Voting up and more

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

      Kim, you are very welcome! I work on my computer so there is no way I can do otherwise, but I won't own a television ever again. Life is too short for that nonsense. I'm glad you are inviting your family for dinner. I love that we are now following each other; you are good people. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Patty, you are the perfect example of me preaching to the choir. You obviously have your priorities in line and I love that about you. Come to think of it, I haven't seen anything from you of late. Time to go check in on you.

      Thank you!

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

      Bill, it is not easy to do! If it was everyone would do it. I like your idea of starting small and working forward from there. Good luck and keep me posted how it goes.

      Thank you my friend!

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

      Whonunuwho, no forgiveness needed and I really do understand. I just toss this stuff out; if some of it is doable then great; every little bit helps.

      Thank you my friend; you are appreciated.

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      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi ya Bill,

      Talk about hitting the nail on the head, thumbs up on this my friend.

      TV abuse is something so many of us are guilty of, myself included. Funnily enough my partner could live without it and has done for months on end. I see changes and quality of life brewing for this writer so thank you my voice of reason! You always brighten my day or night when I read your work!

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

      Efficient, you mentioned something that is very true.....paring down is liberating in a way I don't quite understand. I think clutter has a negative effect on our psyches if that makes any sense.

      Anyway, good for you and thank you!

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

      Thanks Julie. I appreciate you stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, good for you. Eight hours a week of tv is hardly worth mentioning. And I love the fact that you are going to de-clutter. Hooray!

      Thank you my friend!

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

      Suzie, I was just thinking about you! Love that you stopped by! I have to see if you have written anything lately. Thank you my dear and I hope life is good for you.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill -

      Sorry so late in reading today! Been very busy, in a good way!

      Another great back to basics hub, my friend. I have to admit my television runs continuously, but I seldom, if ever watch it. It's noise, and that's about it. However, that is not my only fault. I am a prisoner of my collections. Over 6,000 cds and 1,500 old vinyl classic records fill one of the rooms of my house. I'll never listen to them, but I've built the collection up and can't think about parting with it. (Probably got a lot of stuff you'd like in there, lol) Unfortunately, I've done similiarly with DVD's and Blue Rays, being a movie buff, that seldom watches them. Btw, the closet in my stereo room is filled with box upon box of plastic wrapped comics that I hope one day will again be worth something. Yeah, I got it bad.

      Sometimes, even though we know what needs to be done, it's simply a matter of "old habits not wanting to die." At least I can keep the number of animals in my house under control...kind of.

      Have a great one, my friend! Another Great Hub!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Living in an old 1941 apartment building, and actually even when I owned a home, I always kept the important stuff in my purse, near the door. I was ready in case of a fire. As long as everyone living got out, and I grabbed my purse and whatever painting I was working on as I exited, I had what was irreplaceable. Soon, as my mom and I have discussed my moving in with her, I will pare down. My ex wants a few items, some I will sell and take those things I have accumulated over the years with special meaning only. My life will be prioritized to the basics of being there for my 85-year old mom, no more rent (my biggest monthly expense) and in the process, both my mother and I will share companionship, love and security in each other's company. My mom can no longer take care of the yardwork and since leaving my home in rural, MO, I miss it. I'll be helping her with those things that need doing, but are too much for her now. The fact that they are the very things I love and miss doing makes a perfect fit! Win/win sounds about right. Thank you, Bill, for great ideas about creating bliss in your own backyard. Everything is relative in life. "We can't always get what we want, but if we try, sometimes, we get what we need" (as per The Rolling Stones). Right on.

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

      Richard, see, even I have a hard time giving up vinyl records...I have sold my movies but vinyl...cut off my arm before that happens. :) I happen to think that's different than owning four sets of dishes or having four televisions, but then again you and I think in a similar fashion and we may both be wrong. LOL Oh well!

      Thank you my friend; say hi to the cats for me!

    • rajan jolly profile image

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

      Very interesting approach to making life simpler. But making life simple isn't so simple and easy at all. It takes a lot of guts and gumption to get rid of the ways we have gotten used to Bill.

      I can relate to these things personally, in that, I have TV I hardly watch it, I have a credit card I just don't use it, maybe once in a blue moon, and I've had it for ages. Glad to say I have just no debts.Yes, I do need to remove some junk materials that I do not use. We did donate, some clothes that were just lying unused, to charity.

      I am looking forward to more in this series to see what more can be done to make life simpler.

      I always learn so much from your writings. Thank you so much my friend.

      Voted up, useful and interesting. Sharing this.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Good message you have here and I think an important one as many may have to give up some for a simpler life and it is never too soon to decide what is most important to us! Great write as always!

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

      Thank you Jackie! I always appreciate you dropping by. And I agree, it is never too soon or too late to begin.

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

      Rajan my friend, I think you barely need any of this advice. It appears you are with the program already. Thank you for the kind words. I'll keep writing this series and hopefully those who need to read it will read it. Also, thank you for the share!

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

      Amy, I had no doubt that you had your priorities straight. Possessions are so unimportant, and yet so many cling to them as though they were life itself.

      I am very happy that you get to spend time with your mother. Those are times that will be with you for a lifetime and that is one of the great gifts of life.

      Love the quote at the end....the lyric is right on indeed!

      love across the miles,

      bill

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Did someone say, "Clutter?" Out..out out with the damned clutter!! Yes, bill...you go! I sold as much as I'm going to....packing up the rest for charity!! You are rockin now, my buddy! and I can still go through another sweep of the rooms and closets and storage spaces!!!

      What in the He** were we thinking when we began this hoarding??

      Five superb steps.....I love it!!My man George Carlin (Rest his soul) did a routine on "stuff"....ever see it? You MUST see it. Hilarious.....and also...there's a quick-read book......"God on a Harley" by Jane Brody......on this very subject.....put to a cute story...

      Just adding some ornaments to your wonderful hub......You said I could!

      LOVE this one, bill......UP+++

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

      Hey Paula, I have seen Carlin's routine countless times. The man was a genius and he was so damn funny while he tore society to shreds.

      You can put ornaments on any old time you want; always love to see you.

      As for the hoarding....when I was married it was horrible....but in the ten years since I have whittled it down to practically nothing...I literally could move with a pickup. And Bev is the same way...things just aren't important to her.

      Anyway, I appreciate your friendship!

      bill

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      My friend, I must live simple. I have no choice.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      You nailed it again Bill! I agree with you. I live in my own simple way though I travel a lot (I have to). I don´t need television. I have my laptop (LOL) to write. Thanks for this great read. Take care.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      All good things, I hope your thoughts were Bill!! I have had quite a month with one thing and another but hope to be back on track with some new hubs in next few days and more regular hubbin'!! Have a great day bud from across the shores!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      While cutting back on all our stuff sounds like a good idea, and I tell myself to do just that quite often, a lot of my stuff once belonged to dead relatives. Or is real cool found stuff. I feel like I live in a museum of things nobody cares about but me. But it is time to clear it out.

    • tobusiness profile image

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

      Billy, yet another excellent piece, in this ever shrinking economic climate, willing or not, almost all of us are having to tighten our belts. Time to simplify , down size and minimize. Not becaus we want to, but because we have to, however, when we do,we are finding it has it's benefits.

      All my best to you.

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 4 years ago

      I didn't have a TV for a few years, and I did get a lot more done, and socialised more. Even though I now have one, I only watch a couple of programmes (I could never live without Doctor Who!). I like the idea of living more simply, I think I'll try a few more of the things you suggest (especially cutting up the credit cards!).

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

      Martin, then you are ahead of the curve without even trying. Thank you as always!

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

      Thelma, it sounds like you don't even need this hub, but thank you for reading.

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

      Suzie, good thoughts forever my friend.

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

      Dolores, I understand that completely.....and heirlooms may not even fit into this discussion......there are some things from my family I won't give up. Thank you!

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

      tobusiness, all my best to you as well. Thank you my friend, and I enjoyed your comment.

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

      Redberry, cutting up those cards is something that many people loathe doing.....and that in itself is interesting. Thank you for the visit.

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

      I too strongly believe in living a simple and thus, happy and content life. The less distraction we have, it is better. Thanks for interesting hub!

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

      Ruchi, thank you very much! I greatly appreciate you stopping by.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Excellent hub, Billy. :-)

      Living more simply is a beautiful thing. Embracing some of these philosophic tenants today is not without a sense of irony for me. I remember when I couldn’t get my father – a brilliant man – to look at a computer. “Why?” he asked. “He was right. For example, now, my son can’t get me to look at a modern cell phone – I have an ancient one that I only use for emergency purposes only, and I never Tweet or Text. Whenever he tries to get me to upgrade, I ask him, “Why?” Someday, you’ll understand.” Up +++.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      I think it is a great idea to simplify. We aren't getting rid of our TV however, since my husbands stroke he likes to watch the history channel and he reads a lot also. We are getting rid of some things slowly but surely. We decided to be debt free a few years ago and love it. I think being addicted to the computer can be similar to being addicted to the TV or video games depending on how you spend you time. Family time is the most important time of all in my opinion. Up and awesome.

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

      Genna, that story was fantastic! I love it....why? There is no answer to that one, is there? Simple is better for this man, and since I'm happy I think I'll stick with the plan.

      Thank you!

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

      Thank you Pamela! I certainly agree about the computer; my only excuse is that this is my business...I have no choice in that matter.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Fantastic hub Bill, as usual! I have fallen into this same trap and in early January I read Simplicity Parenting and wrote a hub on it because we took bags and bags of toys, etc and had a garage sale. When things start to pile up again our family starts to get really agitated with each other so I know it's time to reduce, reuse, and simplify. Voted up and awesome! Kelley

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

      Thanks Kelley and good for your family! There really is freedom in de-cluttering.

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

      Bill: Great job, once again. I have lived this philosophy for many years, although not as stringently as you. When I was full timing in my RV, life was very simple indeed! It was wonderful. Thanks for brightening my day.

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

      Time, any time I brighten someone's day I am happy. Thank you my friend!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've shared some excellent advice, Bill. I'm actually doing some simplifying in my life right now. It's surprising how many unnecessary "complications" build up over the years! Thanks for another interesting hub and video.

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

      Alicia, I am so happy to hear you are simplifying. I hope you enjoy a very relaxing weekend and thank you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      We were watching the movie, Armaggedon (spelling?) yesterday and the mention that they only had 18 days until doomsday was discussed. What would you do in that small amount of time? We shared on how we would get with our loved ones and just spend the last days sharing, talking and eating favorites foods. Life is short, making priorities such as family is never something you have to regret. I agree, cut up the plastic and toss out the tube!

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

      Dianna, I so agree.....saw that movie and I know what you are talking about. Problem is, nobody believes they only have 18 days remaining in real life....there is always tomorrow, right? Not necessarily, as many of our relatives who are now gone can attest to.

      Thank you!

    • eddy4me profile image

      Eddy Jones 4 years ago from Wales.

      This is a great hub Billy and the video clip is great but I am a little worried as I began to answer you back !!!ha !! Is that allowed ??? Of course it is !!!

      Seriously though I agree with all your points but I'm not going to lie and say that I also live like you ;because I have a television and I watch the soaps but I do miss them if there is something more important on!!!

      However on the whole my life is quite simple and material possessions don't mean too much to me.

      So yes my friend an up up and away here without a doubt .

      Enjoy your weekend to you and Bev.

      Eddy.

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

      Eddy, I have no doubt that you understand this frugal living thing.....your love of the country tells me you are on the same wavelength as I am.

      Hello to Wales and sending love always,

      bill

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 4 years ago

      That is another useful one, Billy.

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

      Thank you Integrity....have a wonderful weekend.

    • Farmer Rachel profile image

      Rachel Koski 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Yup yup yup - especially agree with you on the points about TV. I've been thinking about writing a hub on getting rid of TV, as I haven't had it in almost 3 years and I've never felt more productive or in better control of my own time. This who hub is full of really awesome advice. De-cluttering and what you call purging can be very empowering, too. We become addicted to our "stuff," and like quitting cigarettes or another substance it's so good for us to say "I DON'T NEED THIS." Go outside, feel the sunshine, get rained on, dig in the dirt, grow something, feel strong!

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

      Rachel, it comes down to need vs want, and there are few things I truly need. I lived the high life and six-figure in come at one time, and I can tell you truly that I am infinitely more happy today with very little.

      Next installment in this series is coming Monday or Tuesday. I'm so happy that you like it, but it doesn't surprise me at all. :) Thank you!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      You know ... once I was watching discovery.. and they said that eating while watching TV increases unnecessary intake of food..

      It was found that the same children ate less on the table and more in front of the box..

      From that day... I have limited my TV... and College gave me the opportunity to completely get rid of the habit... I do watch it sometimes.. but yes in a limited manner...

      A very interesting hub Sir Bill.. useful and insightful

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rahul my friend, I am eternally grateful that I stepped off of the television bandwagon and started enjoying my life again. It was one of the most liberating things I have ever done.

      Thank you as always!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 years ago from london

      Thanks Billybuc.

      Apologies accepted.

      Great article. Giving up T.V.? Cool. Not easy for some. Some sound advice. Loving thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, giving up television was much easier than I thought it would be....and very rewarding.

      Thank you my friend!

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      My husband and I have lived in our lovely house for over 25 years. At one time I thought we would live here forever.

      Sadly, my husband has developed some serious health problems and we decided to get ready to move. We have not yet accomplished this, but we have been working on getting rid of "stuff".

      Many people have told us that moving is a bad idea as it is very stressful. My husband disagrees. He says that he has something to look forward to, and something constructive to do. To our surprise, we have found that the more stuff we have got rid of, the less stressed we feel.

      I think this is partly because we have stopped thinking that we have all the time in the world, and accepting that our tomorrows are limited. To enjoy life, we need to focus on the important things.

      Thanks for a thought-provoking hub. (voted up).

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

      2patricias, you just wrote about my life. I almost died six years ago; that changes one's perspective real fast. :) Happiness is an inside job and is not dependent on what we own; it sounds like you have everything you need. Sending best wishes to your husband and thank you for a great comment.

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