Good Simple Living – Enjoying Experiences over Things

In today’s frantically-paced world, more and more people are turning towards good simple living. Whether they are purging their closets of possessions or clearing their schedules for more self-care, simple living is the lifestyle trend that is changing the way people live.

Good simple living is deliberately choosing to simplify one’s life by making changes that are unique to each situation. Good simple living can be interpreted and implemented in multiple ways, but at its core, good simple living slows down the pace of life and is conducive to one’s well-being. 

In this article we’ll cover different types of good simple living, the benefits of the lifestyle, as well as ways to transition to the lifestyle that promotes healthy vibrant living. 

What is Good Simple Living?

Good simple living is a lifestyle that removes life’s assiduous distractions by choosing to break from societal conditioning and living in what might be considered an alternative way. 

Having a simple cup of coffee in the mountains - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
Having a simple cup of coffee in the mountains

It can be expressed through one’s job, environment, health, schedules and routines, relationships, nutrition and eating, mindset – virtually any area of life. Simple living can range from limiting social media consumption to living on an off-grid farm in the jungle; it depends entirely on one’s lifestyle and goals, and it can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. 

Good simple living is just that: good and simple. By simplifying the details of the everyday, the intent of good and simple living is to improve the quality of life by focusing on the things that are most important. Again, this will look different for each individual. 

The simple life will vary from the quintessential 40-hour work week. The pace of simple living is generally slower, with a focus on being present, instead of constantly running the rat race and striving for goals. If you’re growing your own food for example, much of your time will go towards tending the garden and working with the land. Simple living suggests more time spent in and around nature, detaching from the constant stream of noise that is consumed in most people’s lives. 

A woman picking carrots - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
A woman picking carrots

Good simple living gives people an opportunity to look at life through a different lens, emphasizing gratitude, peace and contentment, instead of feeding into and succumbing to the simultaneously stressful and zombie-like state many people live in. Simple living is an invitation to shake up the norm and try something new. 

Benefits of Good Simple Living

Good simple living promotes a healthy and balanced mindset, peace of mind, more presence and awareness on a daily basis, and less stress. It gives people the time and freedom to enjoy the simple, beautiful intricacies of life that are often missed in the bustle of packed schedules, demanding workload/jobs, and homes overflowing with stuff. 

Choosing not to conform with the rest of society is an exciting, challenging, and (obviously) a life-changing concept.

Good simple living gives people the chance to really appreciate life and all of the little things in it. It is a gift to be alive and in many cases a privilege, but this concept is lost in a modern world (especially the Western World) that is always promoting the hustle and grind, that success means happiness, and the more stuff one has the more content they’ll be. 

Simple living enables people to thrive, instead of going through the motions in an attempt to survive. Living simply peels away the distractions and stresses of modern living, clearing both the physical environment as well as the headspace.  Living a good simple life will bring more happiness, content, and even success compared to the draining, busy lives many people live. 

A woman laying in a simple hammock - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
A woman laying in a simple hammock

How to Live a Simple and Happy Life

You might be intrigued but wondering how to actually live a simple and happy life. It’s not as difficult as one might think. By examining one’s life and looking at where time is most spent, the things that cause stress, and thinking about what a dream life looks like, with a few simple steps you’ll be on your way to living a good simple life. 

  1. Determine where time is spent and how much Most often work takes up the most time during the week. Where are you spending the remainder of your time, what are you doing, and how much time do you use each day and each week for specific activities?
  2. Determine the areas of life that are causing the most stress Is it work? Is it a messy home? Is it a full schedule?
  3. Looking at where your life is now, think about the areas that you would like to change – to simplify Maybe it’s dedicating a few hours each week to going through the attic and decluttering the office. Perhaps you spend some time transferring all of your bills to paperless, and getting rid of some subscription services. Whatever it is, write down the areas of your life that are making things more stressful, more complicated, and come up with solutions for each.
  4. Take action and make those changes Start small, do what you can when and where you can. You might not be able to quit your job and move your family to Alaska to pursue your dreams of being an outdoorsman immediately, but each of those smaller steps will create the path for you to reach your goal.
  5. Be consistent Creating a simple and happy life won’t happen overnight. Observe how those action steps are going and make adjustments as needed. Do you keep purging your closet only to buy more things? Do you keep telling yourself that Sundays are dedicated to a permaculture class, only to keep getting filled with brunch and social activities? Be honest with where you’re at, and if you’re unable to keep up with the milestones you’ve set, figure out what’s keeping you from them. It might take longer to get into a routine, or it might require a deeper mindset change. Whatever the reason, don’t give up, make adjustments, and try different goals if needed.
  6. Be patient and watch life transform With each step consistently taken, confidence will be gained, and more changes will be made. With each change made, old habits will be broken, and new simpler ones formed, creating the capacity to change every little nook and cranny of life until a new lifestyle unfolds. Keep an eye on the goals that have been set, and if your dreams of simple living are on a larger scale, get serious about meeting that goal by coming up with a plan of attack.
  7. Live the simple life! 
A simple compass is held on the beach - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
A simple compass is held on the beach

Choosing a Simple Life

Choosing not to conform with the rest of society is an exciting, challenging, and (obviously) a life-changing concept. There are several ways to easily convert life from overwhelming and overpacked to simple, calm, and enjoyable. Choosing a simple life will bring more presence, a greater sense of gratitude, freedom to experience deeper connection with both humans and nature, and less stress. Here are some ideas for simple living: 

By choosing to put yourself first, you can clear out the packed schedule and do things that contribute to a good and simple lifestyle.

Ideas for Simple Living

Ideas for simple living are about embracing a lifestyle that prioritizes the things that truly matter to you and promotes a sense of fulfillment, contentment, and balance. Take the ideas that resonate with you and adapt them to your own situation and values. Regularly reassess and adjust your lifestyle to make sure that it aligns with your evolving priorities and brings you a sense of fulfillment.

Go Minimalist

Get rid of anything that doesn’t add value to one’s life. True minimalists live off of very little items, but it doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. Start with an area that you feel most comfortable in purging, and go from there. Minimalism focuses on ridding life of things that might add convenience, so it’s important to ask oneself if getting rid of virtually everything is going to create a good simple life.

To learn more about minimalism watch this helpful video by Matt D’Avella, a content creator who has been a minimalist for over 10 years.  


Go through the closet, the garage, all and any areas where there is a lot of stuff, and get rid of the things that aren’t used, are old, or are just no longer needed. 

Try selling items of value on apps such as Poshmark, Depop, and Mecari (great for clothes, jewelry, and body care items), Offer Up and Facebook Marketplace (great for household items, cars, appliances etc.) and Ebay (great for collectors items, used technology). 

Limit Screen Time/Media Consumption

In this day and age everyone is addicted to their phones. Social media apps are literally designed to be addictive, while depressing news and fake reality TV pummel the psyche relentlessly. 

A man in front of three computer screens - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
A man in front of three computer screens

Humans spend so much time interacting via technology, and yet more people than ever feel so alone. We care more about presenting ourselves a certain way online than we do genuine connection. 

By being conscious of what one is consuming and making the choice to limit the intake of TV/news/social media, there’s less noise in one’s head, less influence and more freedom of self. 

Clear the Schedule

The general consensus is clear: everyone always has so many obligations; everyone is so busy, all the time. By choosing to put yourself first, you can clear out the packed schedule and do things that contribute to a good and simple lifestyle. 

It’s hard to say no to social engagements if you’re used to saying yes, and it can be hard to stand up for oneself. Some people won’t understand, but deciding to spend time on the things that are actually important to oneself leads to living simpler. 

A simple calendar and cup of coffee - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
A simple calendar and cup of coffee

Set Apart Time for Gratitude and Grounding

Trying looking at life through the lense of “I get to do x,y,z” versus, “I have to do x,y,z.” The truth is, we don’t have to do anything. It feels like we do, with life moving at a hectic pace, but choosing to approach each day as a gift instead of a dreadful chore is also key to unlocking a simpler life. Choosing to be grateful for all one gets to do, instead of complaining, contributes to an optimistic and positive mindset. 

Grounding (or Earthing) is the practice of sitting or standing in nature with bare feet, feeling the connectedness of the earth to one’s skin. According to a medical article by the National Library of Medicine, “Reconnection with the Earth’s electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being.”

Change Jobs

While entrepreneurialism is on the rise, people are generally still slaves to their jobs. Often the workload is demanding, the stress is exhausting, and the time spent providing for oneself takes up the majority of the week.

A man in a simple black suit - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
A man in a simple black suit

It takes money in order to live, but by choosing a simpler life with less possessions, less stimulation, and less stress, it can be super beneficial to change jobs or career paths. One might make less money, but it could also be the path to living a simpler life. 

Live in a Van, RV, or Car

Living the nomadic life is a sure-fire way to simplify things. By downsizing drastically, one will discover just how little they need – not only to survive but to thrive. The things they thought made them happy actually hold little value compared to the adventures and opportunities nomadic living gives. 

There is something about living in a vehicle that enables the opportunity for deeper self-exploration. By cutting down on distractions and material items, there is more time for internal work. The lifestyle itself promotes extreme self-reliance, independence, and improves critical thinking skills. Even choosing van life as a way to cut down on bills by staying in the current area where one lives, #vanlife is the epitome of good simple living. 

A woman viewing the mountains from a van - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
A woman viewing the mountains from a van


Homesteading refers to the life of self-sufficiency, where one provides for oneself in most aspects of life. Growing their own food, sewing their own clothes, craftwork, and producing their own textiles are all ways people practice homesteading.

Live On/Build an Off-Grid Cabin

Going off-grid looks different to everyone, but it uses alternative ways to get water and electricity that don’t buy into the mega companies that control much of society’s utilities. Solar power for energy, compost toilets, and growing one’s own food are examples of off-grid living. Homes are usually set apart and away from civilization, giving the peace and quiet that only nature can bring.

Grow Your Own Food

Growing and cooking one’s meals causes one to slow down, to value the process of providing for oneself, and contributes to overall health and wellness. Growing food is work that takes time, creating a space of more mindfulness, awareness, and gratitude. 

Gardening is soothing to the soul and promotes a greater state of well-being.

Living a Simple Life with Little Money

Excessive amounts of money aren’t needed to start living a more simple life. While having money certainly helps forms of simple living like building an off-grid cabin, or growing your own food, there are things that you can do right now to start living simply. 

Decluttering and purging items is something one can do without money – in fact, it can actually make money. Go through the closet, the garage, anywhere where there’s stuff, and find items that could be sold. Not only will clearing the home space simplify life and alleviate some stress, it could also add to one’s bank account. 

Looking through boxes of records - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
Looking through boxes of records

Clearing one’s schedule, setting boundaries at work, and limiting screen time are also ways to live a more simple life without breaking the bank. A lot of simple living is about the mindset and beginning with those things is a great way to get started. 

If you are dead set on a certain type of lifestyle that will cost some money, get a plan set up where you can start saving to achieve your goal. Many goals require consistency and sacrifice, so while it may feel like you’re doing the opposite of what you want to be doing, just know that the hard work will pay off in the long run, when you’re living the good simple life of your dreams. 

Living Simple in a Modern World

Sometimes it feels like this world is consciously trying to make life more complicated. There’s so much to do, to see, to become, to strive for, and it’s no wonder that it can be challenging to live simply in a modern world. It may be challenging, but it’s not impossible. 

A woman simply sitting on an empty beach - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
A woman simply sitting on an empty beach

Cutting down on the use of technology and being mindful of what one is consuming is ideal for living a good simple life in a modern world. Being disciplined on the source of stimuli, how much one is consuming and what one is consuming will create space in a stressed and cluttered mind for peace, gratitude, and calm. 

Swapping everyday conveniences like choosing to bike to work instead of drive, giving up a social event in favor of going on hike/spending time in nature, or working for a company whose values match your own are other ways to live simpler. 

The most impactful would be to move to a location that is immersed in nature, where there aren’t as many modern-day conveniences and the pace of life feels slower without having to change much at all. Building a tiny house, joining a commune or a work-trade farm, living nomadically in a van, and even just moving out to the country are ways to implement good simple living in a modern world. 

Chickens in the grass - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
Chickens in the grass

Examples of Good Simple Living

Good simple living wears many faces and can look different for anyone, depending on their personality, background, income, geographical location and other factors. The priorities of making a life good and simple are also different for each person. Here are some examples of good simple living:

Gardening – Growing one’s own food and vegetables and planting flowers is a way to simplify one’s life. tending to the garden allows for more mindfulness, presence and patience throughout the growing process. Being able to self-sustain by growing one’s own food will bring gratitude and also confidence. Gardening is soothing to the soul and promotes a greater state of well-being.

Permaculture – Permaculture is taking gardening to the next level. It is a type of agriculture emphasizing the values of self-sufficiency and sustainability. By working with nature, permaculture is an regenerative, ecological system that encourages harmony, resilience, and resourcefulness.

Decluttering  – Clearing out all unused and/or old items is a great way to embrace simple living. If the thought of going through everything you own overwhelms you, start small. Choose one space to start with and commit a certain amount of hours each week to work on it until it is completely purged and organized. Marie Kondo is an excellent resource if you’re unsure of where to start. 

A man and boy working in the garden - Good Simple Living - Gone Minimal
A man and boy working in the garden

Simple Living Homes

Van Life – There is nothing quite like the freedom that living on the road brings. Downsizing to a tiny-house-on-wheels is often quite drastic, but it simplifies life so much. One will discover just how easy it is to live with few material items, and the nomadic adventures are unparalleled. There are also so many different types of vehicles to choose from depending on one’s preferences – buses, RV’s, van, SUV’s – one can make their nomadic lifestyle completely customized.

Tiny House – If living out of a vehicle sounds more like a prison sentence than inspiration, a tiny house might be the answer. Tiny houses typically have all the amenities of a normal home, just on a smaller scale. Again, there’s less room for objects and clutter, but there are still the comforts of average living environments. 

Off-Grid House – Ideal for anyone who really wants to shift the paradigm of what regular life looks like by cutting themselves off from all of the distractions, busyness, and stress that runs rampant in society. Off-grid means that one is living off of natural sources of energy, electricity, and plumbing, or a self-sustaining version. Off-grid living brings a level of independence that can’t be found by living in a suburb or a city.

Eco-Community – Instead of doing it solo consider joining a permaculture commune. All over the world people are joining together to create a simpler life by going off-grid and living off of the land.

This video of an off-grid community in Costa Rica is a great example of the support and wellness one can find with this lifestyle. 

Related Insights

What is the simplest way to live life?

The simplest way to live life is to decide what that simple means to each individual. That might mean downsizing to a smaller home, moving to a neighborhood with a community garden, or committing to purging twice a year. Living simple could look like spending less time feeling obligated to engage in social events, and more of spending time on activities that actually spark joy and create calm. It might look like living on the road, or creating one’s own clothes. The simplest way to live life is answered by looking within and deciding what is most important to oneself. 

How do you embrace simple living?

Embrace simple living by knowing that these changes might not happen as quickly or on as large of a scale as one would like. Choose one area of life that can be simplified and start there. Be consistent and disciplined, as making these changes aren’t always easy. Understand that living simply is just as much of a mindset as it is taking action. Be willing to spend more time on the simple tasks of the day-to-day, soaking in the little details of life. Decide on what is most important, and focus on those things. 

Where do you live if you want a simple life?

Living somewhere off-grid, surrounded by nature is ideal for living a simple life. Even if it isn’t possible to go completely off-grid, being immersed in nature or where nature is easily accessible is key. Small mountain towns, the countryside, or by a body of water are also ideal. Spending time in nature has been proven to decrease stress and increase serotonin in the brain. 

Successful Ways that Real People Live Simply

Using a poll on social media, people were asked to describe 3 ways they try to live simply.  The answers varied greatly, further showing that good simple living can mean a variety of things and look different to everyone. 

Many were action based – eating out less/consuming less processed food, spending time outside, and continuously decluttering and purging. Mental/emotional answers included: deciding what is important and saying no to events/social stuff when invited, planning ahead with meals, outfit choices etc, deliberately choosing to process emotions and then let them go, focusing on being present in the moment, and opting for reading and/or meditation instead of watching TV. One person said that basing their life in their faith was the key to a good simple life. 

When asked what living a simple life means to them, the responses also varied. One person said that not getting in their own way, while another emphasized the appreciation and gratitude for minimalism, and being intentional with one’s time and actions. One person said slowing down, rejecting hustle culture, and seeking quiet serene moments best described a good and simple life. 

While the results vary, the consensus is the same: consciously and intentionally choosing habits, actions, and thoughts that promote a state of peace and well-being create a good simple life.  Here is what I learned from the poll, and the percentages of their responses.

Way to Live Simple% of Responses
Eating Out Less10%
Spending More Time Outside50%
Saying “No” More, Emphasis on Self-Care15%
Mindset Practices 70%
Planning Ahead – Meal Prep, Scheduling, Outfits 20%
Ways that real people live simply

Other Resources:

There’s no doubt that good simple living is a diverse and largely beneficial way of life. By cutting down on material items, limiting distractions, and pursuing alternative ways of living, good simple living is available to anyone and everyone who wants to break free from the norm. Embracing a life of simplicity brings its own set of challenges but the positive impact on one’s well-being is hard to find elsewhere. Consider the ways you can incorporate more simple living into your everyday life.

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