In this modern world, more and more people strive to live a simple life, a life without all the excess and chaos.
I am one of those people!
For most of my life, I have craved simplicity.
I hate being busy all the time, and constantly rushing from one thing to the next has always drained my energy.
A complicated life always makes me feel stressed and overwhelmed and prevents me from being happy.
I’m one of those people who want to escape and live in a little cabin in the woods as soon as life gets chaotic!
I love living a simple life!
While it has not always been easy to try and live simply in this modern world, I know this lifestyle is for me.
If you too want to simplify your life, this article is for you!
I explain what simple living is all about and share my best 15 practical ways to live a simple life in a modern world.
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What does it mean to live a simple life?
Simple living can mean different things to different people.
For me, it is all about avoiding distractions, chaos and complications.
It is about not being burdened by physical things as well as mental clutter.
Living a simple life is about living intentionally without any excess, and choosing to do and have the things that are the most important to us.
Sometimes, living simply means we do things the old-fashioned way, even if it’s not the most practical or convenient way to do them.
Choosing to live a simple life in a modern world is not about deprivation at all.
It’s about enjoying the simplest things we have in our lives, and being content with them.
Simple living has made me realize that I don’t always have to choose more and more.
It’s about having and being enough, and thinking that it is more than enough (it might even be more).
Why you may want to live a simple life in a modern world
We have never lived in a world at such an advanced stage of development (at least in the Western world).
Modern-day technology has completely changed our daily lives.
What humans have created in the past few decades is mind-blowing!
How can we not be grateful for what the internet allows us to do, or for phones allowing us to communicate with people all over the world?
Our modern world is awesome!
But there are also downsides to this technology and modernity that we cannot ignore.
Now, more than ever before, we are disconnected from nature and ourselves.
We spend our days on digital devices and are addicted to social media, which ironically makes us less social.
In this modern world, we are also always pushed to do more and more, and rest is seen as a waste of time.
More and more people are feeling burned out and depressed.
Thankfully, we can take some steps to limit all these downsides, and stay away from the chaos and complications as much as we can.
We can choose to live a simple life.
Simple living can make us feel happier, less stressed and overwhelmed, and more connected to nature and other people.
It can improve our mental health and well-being, and help us maintain a great work-life balance.
So if you catch yourself thinking “is it OK to just live a simple life?”, know that, yes, it’s perfectly OK.
And if you believe it will improve your life and make you happier, you definitely should!
You don’t have to want more out of life than a life of simplicity.
Is it possible to live a simple life in a modern world?
Now that you know what simple living is about and how it can make your life better, you probably want to embrace this lifestyle today!
But you might be wondering: is it possible to live a simple life in a modern world?
In a world that promotes excess and overconsumption?
Well, yes! It’s possible!
While it is not easy to go against the norm and choose a lifestyle that few people strive to live, each one of us gets to choose how we want to live our lives.
Everyone can do it!
And no, you don’t need to go all in and go live off-grid on a rural homestead.
You don’t even have to move to the countryside or the forest.
You can live a simple life even if you live in the center of a big city!
The choice to live a simple life has nothing to do with where we live, who we are, and what our daily lives look like.
You have to be willing to make a few changes to your current lifestyle to transition to a slower, simpler life.
We can choose to stay away from the chaotic side of this modern world!
15 practical ways to live a simple life in a modern world
1. Appreciate what you have
When days go by and life happens, we sometimes forget how blessed we are to have what we have.
If you’re reading this, it means you have an Internet connection, and you own a computer or a smartphone.
You also have at least a few minutes of downtime to read blog articles.
This in itself is a privilege!
A large part of the world’s population doesn’t even have electricity or running water at home.
So if you have a home, food to eat, and people who love you, take the time to appreciate it.
We are so lucky to have our basic needs met, we should not take that for granted!
There are also so many other things we can be grateful for on a daily basis!
We can be grateful for the tiniest things in life, like the clear blue sky and shining sun you saw today.
You may also be grateful for the fact that you can work from the comfort of your home, or that you get to play games with your family tonight.
2. Declutter your home
I find that living a simple life often comes from living in a simple home.
And the best way to have a simple home is to get rid of the excess in it.
Decluttering your home makes cleaning and tidying so much easier and quicker!
You’ll have a lot less visual clutter and a lot more space to enjoy.
There are so many other benefits, and each one of them is life-changing!
So go through your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t use, don’t love, and don’t need.
If you have broken things (that you can’t repair) around your space, recycle them or throw them away now.
Things that no longer spark joy or that don’t fit your current lifestyle should go as well.
And don’t forget to read about my best decluttering tips if you need any guidance and help!
3. Live in the present moment
If you’re wondering how to live a simple life in a modern world, one of the best ways to do so is to try and be in the present moment as much as you can.
I know it’s easier said than done, but we can practice and get better at it.
When you’re doing something, be conscious and try to only think about what you’re doing.
Don’t think about the future: things often don’t happen as we planned, so there is no need to worry in advance about what we should do.
And don’t think too much about the past: it’s gone and no amount of regrets or overthinking will change it.
If you catch yourself thinking that you could have done something differently, switch your thought and tell yourself it’s not serving you.
When I struggle with that, I remind myself of what Jen Sincero says in her book You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
She wrote: “You aren’t a better person for feeling guilty or bad about yourself, just a sadder one.”
4. Unplug from technology
When I think about what it means to live a simple life, one of the first things I think about is life without technology.
And don’t get me wrong, as I said earlier, I love technology and what it allows us to do!
But there’s also something special and freeing about living without it from time to time.
Like we used to in the past, when the internet was not a thing.
Unplug from your digital devices every day, even if it’s for a few minutes here and there.
Embrace digital minimalism, and try to limit your screen time, particularly before going to bed.
I also recommend that you turn off your notifications to limit distractions during the day, and regularly do digital detoxes without any phone or internet for a given period of time (it could be one day!).
Instead of scrolling on your phone, try to live your real life, and have real conversations with people instead of texting.
5. Use what you have before buying something
Simple living is all about opting out of the consumerist society we live in.
So try to use up the things you have first, before even thinking about replacing them.
Sure, if something is broken or worn out, it’s time to let it go.
But if you bought your phone two years ago and it still works well, don’t upgrade it.
You could use it for several more years!
Even though many people choose to do it, you don’t have to always chase the next best thing or spend your money on shinier and fancier items.
Use your things until they are no longer usable and try to make them last.
You can also reuse and repurpose things that you would otherwise throw away, like glass jars and pieces of fabric.
6. Redefine your definition of success
To be able to live a simple life when everything around us tempts us to consume and spend, it is important to remember what is most important in our lives.
We have to redefine our definition of success and wealth.
What does a successful life look like for you?
How do you want to spend your days?
What do you want to be proud of when you are approaching the end of your life?
When we know the answer to these questions, it gets easier to live according to our values.
It means that we can use our time more wisely to create the life of our dreams, instead of doing things that don’t matter to us.
If you dream of a simple life, you will take steps to simplify your life and live more intentionally.
7. Spend time in nature
No, you don’t have to quit everything and move to the middle of the woods to live a simple life.
But we all need to regularly spend time in nature to live simply.
Nature has the incredible power to ground us.
It makes us realize that our daily problems aren’t so big in the grand scheme of things.
Plus, studies have shown that spending at least 120 minutes per week in nature positively impacts our health and well-being.
It helps us breathe and sleep better, and reduces depressive symptoms.
Being in nature also improves our mental health and boosts immune function.
8. Don’t be in a constant rush
Have you ever noticed that society is always pushing us to do more and more things, and to do them quicker?
It is almost always expected of us to be efficient, otherwise, we are wasting our time.
But who are we trying to impress?
We are always in a rush to do things, but all it does is stress and overwhelm us.
Allow yourself to go at your own pace.
If you need a bit more time to do something, don’t feel defeated, and remember that you are human, not a robot.
9. Be frugal and get out of debt
One of the key elements of living a simple life in this modern world is to live frugally and below your means.
If you can, don’t spend more than you earn.
You will get into more debt, and this will end up costing you so much more!
I’ve always associated debts with a complicated life and high levels of stress.
So if you want to embrace simple living, be frugal and don’t spend your money mindlessly on things you don’t need or don’t even want.
Try to get out of debt as soon as possible, and slowly build an emergency fund for those rainy days.
This will give you peace of mind!
10. Choose simple, healthy ingredients and products
Whether you are cooking or cleaning your home, stay away from processed products that are full of toxic chemicals and ingredients.
Instead, choose simple, healthy ingredients to prepare wholesome meals and clean your home with.
For instance, I clean almost everything in my home using basic natural ingredients, like white vinegar, baking soda, and lemons.
I have an entire blog post about my sustainable and minimalist cleaning routine, so check it out!
When we eat simple, healthy meals and live in a non-toxic home, we are a lot healthier in the long run!
And health is the most important thing we have, right?
11. Schedule downtime in your calendar
One of the best ways to live a simple life in a modern world is to remember that we don’t always have to be productive and get stuff done.
Yes, everyone is busy, has chores to do, needs to go to work, and has many other commitments.
However, our bodies and minds also need to relax and slow down on a regular basis.
This is crucial if you want to avoid burnout and feeling overwhelmed all the time.
So make it a habit to always schedule downtime in your calendar to rest, relax and make time for self-care.
Your body and mind will feel so much better!
12. Avoid multitasking
To do more things in less time, we are often tempted to multitask.
While doing so has some benefits, I find that doing several things at once requires a lot more energy, and we often end up with worse results.
So to simplify your daily tasks, commit to doing them one at a time.
You will not only complete all your tasks quicker and do a better job, but you will also feel less tired and overwhelmed.
13. Find simple hobbies that make you happy
If you want to live a simple life, fill your free time with simple hobbies that you love doing.
There are so many things you can try out, including reading books, painting, knitting, playing board games or chess, completing puzzles, cooking, gardening, running outside…
And preferably, choose a hobby that will make you forget to check your phone and social media accounts.
For more ideas, check out my blog post about 50 activities you can try when you’re bored at home!
14. Repair your things
When something breaks, see if you can repair it before throwing it away or recycling it.
Extending the life of broken things is so rewarding, and it comes with many benefits!
There are many tutorials online for repairing most things, and you don’t even have to be particularly handy to follow them.
If there is a small hole in your shirt, learn to sew it up.
It is incredibly easy to do, I promise!
15. Grow your own food
Growing your own food is a very special activity that will help you live a simpler life and that will bring you closer to nature.
Homegrown produce is always healthier and more sustainable!
It does not have to travel thousands of miles to arrive on your plate, and you can choose not to spray it with pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
Plus, it tastes SO MUCH better, and your wallet will be happy!
So if you have a garden, take advantage of it by growing all sorts of veggies, fruit trees, and herbs.
Even if you only have a small apartment, you can still grow some herbs on your window sill!
Final thoughts on how to live a simple life in a modern world
I hope that this article about how to live a simple life in a modern world resonated with you and that you’ve found some practical ways to simplify your life!
Simple living is not easy to achieve in today’s society.
But it is definitely possible, even for people living in busy cities!
Living simply has made me a lot happier, calmer, and more fulfilled.
I feel more like myself now that I live a simpler life!
If you want more inspiration about simple living, feel free to read my blog post about the best quotes about simplicity and minimalism!
What does simple living mean to you?
What are your favorite ways to live a simple life in a modern world?
Drop your answers in the comments.
And don’t forget to share this article with your friends to inspire them to simplify their lives as well! <3