September 30, 2010

Helping You Live a Simpler Life -10 More Blogs

The post Living a Simpler Life - 9 Places to Start generated as many comments as any posting on this blog.  Even three weeks later I'll see a steady stream of traffic to that article. A follow up post with more links and thoughts on voluntary simplicity probably has appeal.

Simple living and voluntary simplicity have become major trends on the Internet. The sour state of the economy certainly contributed to that growth. When things aren't going well looking for ways to save money and eliminate waste are hot topics. But, I think it is more than that. People are realizing that a culture built on consumption as its major engine of growth creates enormous problems. It is impossible to sustain a constantly increasing pattern of spending. The damage to the earth and depletion of natural resources are clear threats to our well-being. The cycle of boom and bust wrecks havoc on us all. 

The quickest way to take control of your own life is to take steps to get off that treadmill. Find ways to cut back on purchases, save money while enhancing the quality of your life, and do less damage to the earth, all while spending more time instead of money on the things you like. Comments left on the previous post contained several ideas that are worth repeating. Suggestions for simplifying your life, voluntarily cutting back, and living a more satisfying retirement included:

  • Sell a second car, or even sell all vehicles and rely on public transportation, bikes or walking.
  • Move from a big house to a smaller one, or forgo ownership entirely and rent an apartment.
  • Use the library instead of buying books that have to be stored in your home.
  • Eliminate cable TV. Use free services like Hulu, or use Netflix to stream movies to your TV
  • Drop the landline phone. Use a cell phone as your only phone.
  • De-clutter your living space with garage sales, ebay selling, or donations.
  • Grow your own fruit. 
  • Dry your clothes on a line in the backyard since a dryer uses massive amounts of energy.
  • Think twice before buying something. Use the 24 hour rule (if you still want it, then buy it).

In the previous post I  listed 9 sites that specialize in simpler living, voluntary simplicity, and being frugal (but not cheap). Here are 10 more. Click on the name and visit the site (but please come back!). The writing on this blog appeals to me every time I visit Mark's site. He thinks deeply about an issue and expresses himself clearly.  He is particularly found of joy and children. There is a definite connection there. Click the simplicity tab at the top. Inspiring positive change from the inside out is this site's slogan and it fits. The underlying thread is wellness in body, mind, spirit, and the environment. With recent posts like "21 Ways to Simply Be" and "Breathing May be Bad for You"  I think you'll find this an enjoyable place to spend some time.  With the tag line "follow me as I attempt to live large on a small pension" I am hooked. Barb writes a very personal, journal-like blog that pulls no punches as she navigates her way through a challenging time in her life. I am always rooting for her to prevail. Don't even ask me what the name means. It doesn't matter because the blog is great. Simple, minimalist living drives the content. This link takes you to the archives page. There is enough content here to keep you very busy for quite a while. Tammy knows what she is talking about. This is all about frugal living, saving money, recipes, and working at home. Somehow she finds the time to write three blogs and run her household. You don't have to be a mom to find something here to enjoy. I find this site fascinating. Written by a fellow who lives in rural England, it is truly about getting back to basics. If you need to make an ax handle, this is the place. How about making cider vinegar? Poultry problems?  Look no further. Amazingly, I have no interest in any of those topics but I love his writing style. After three or four articles I feel like I know him. He doesn't update very often so look through the older posts.  What is the genesis of this blog? Leah says " Most mothers teach their children how to cook and clean. Mine taught me to compost and to reuse everything."  She is an author and TV personality as well as an excellent blogger on all things frugal. Look at the list of recent posts on the right sidebar.  Recent posts include 10 simple ways to simplify your day and  3 simple steps to reinvigorating your life.  The list of topics covered is impressive. The couple writing this blog has just finished a new book with the interesting title, "Courage & Croissants. The description sounds fascinating. "Finding the satisfaction of enough" is this blog's slogan. Click on the blog tag across the top to go to an excellent source of  ideas for simplifying your life. I like the variety of topics covered here. There is always something fresh to thing about. Imagine a world where everyone has enough. That sets up this first rate simplicity blog. Every post I clicked on for this article grabbed me. The author is passionate about ending global poverty and controlling the mad pattern of consumption that dominates the western world.

Living a lifestyle that is simpler, more frugal, less damaging to the environment, and eliminates a lot of consumer-generated stress is a worthy goal. I hope you visit these sites and find a few that speak to you.

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  1. Hi Bob,

    I really appreciate the perspective you are sharing in this article - how we are all beginning to realize that there are limits to consumption and that too much consumption is harming the earth. We all want our children to inherit a beautiful planet and a beautiful life. We can each do our part so this will be so by following the excellent tips you present here and following the links to find out more.

    The great thing about it is that living simply makes life simpler and more enjoyable.

    Thanks very much for including a link to my blog too. All the best to you.

  2. I hope more people are waking up to the need to cut back and do more with less. Based on the number of blogs and web sites focused on this subject, I believe this is a trend, not a fad.

    Your blog has a permanent link on my left sidebar because it is excellent. I included you in this post because you are an important voice in this battle to protect the earth.

  3. Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the mention! I think the more we can spread the word about voluntary simplicity and the concept of "enough," the better off the world will be. I dream of the day when enough people have woken up to realize that if they just shared some of their excess wealth, others could have enough.

  4. You are very welcome for the link. Your blog is first rate.

    I think some people confuse simplicity with buying cheap stuff or doing without. That isn't it at all. Voluntary simplicity is more about controlling the mindset that says I will be happier with more stuff. Buying a well-made piece of furniture that will last is better for the earth than buying something poorly made that must be replaced frequently.

    Retirement is an excellent time to think about cutting back, simplifying, and living a more purposeful life.

  5. I wrote about living a simpler life a few days ago. My blog isn't totally dedicated to it but I do try to espouse it when I get the chance.

    Although I am concerned about the direction our planet is headed with regard to overconsumption and waste, I think the best way to convince people to live simpler lives is to mention the ways it can save money and free up more time. After all, if you don't have to work as much to afford all your goodies, you'll have more time to enjoy the ones you already have.

  6. You have identified a key motivation for a simpler life: freeing up more time to do more of what you want because you aren't working so hard to pay for all the excess.

    Note to readers: Starshard0 is a member of our military and stationed in a war zone. We all appreciate his sacrifice and wish him well. He has been a regular commenter on this blog and I appreciate his support. Click his name and visit his blog.

  7. Hi, Bob... When my wife and I retired, we sold our home, put everything we owned in storage, and purchased one-way airline tickets to Arequipa, Peru. We spent the next eight months living in Peru, six of those months working voluntarily in a poor city in the Peruvian Andes. Life in that city -- Abancay -- is a whole lot more basic than we Americans are accustom to. We learned a lot about what is and what isn't important. Bill

  8. I remember reading about that experience on your blog. What an amazing time that must have been. I'm sure the contrast to what you were used to was powerful.

    What we would consider a basic standard of living is not always evident even in countries like Italy or England. Everyone should experience a public toilet in Florence, or the lack of musch heat in a B&B in York to understand what we consider basic is really quite luxurious to most of the world.

  9. Thanks for the mention!! Although I must say for the moment at least, I'm surely more frugal than I am minimalist-but thats probably because I haven't downsized and I have college age slave labor for cleaning! Having said that, when you work for the government and they end up moving you, you declutter every time.

  10. Hi Barb,

    You are quite welcome for the mention. Your blog is also listed on the left side bar because I enjoy reading what you write. FYI, your listing of this blog does send quite a bit of traffic my way...Thanks!

    Does your son know he is "slave labor?" You might want to keep that to yourself ! Just kidding.

    "When you work for the government and they end up moving you, you decutter every time." Great line and I'm sure quite true.

  11. Hi Bob! These are great resources. Thanks for the tips and links. I didn't know most of these sites but now I'll check them out. I like that your list doesn't just apply to retirement, it's about simplifying our lives in general.

    Great post1 Loving blessings!

  12. The central focus of this blog remains retirement in all its different aspects. Those who want to retire, are about to retire, or have retired have a wide range of interests and needs. I am hoping to stay out of the trap that assumes people in this stage of their life have only a few topics they want to read about.

    I'm glad you noticed that diversity, Andrea.

  13. Hi, I found you through Frugal Living and I can't wait to check out the rest of these blogs. My husband and I have been living on his retirement and a rental income we have for the past 7 months and it has been a bit of culture shock. But we are going to be okay and feel very blessed. I do plan to check out all these blogs as I find Frugal living to be very encouraging and helpful. Maybe I will find more good tips as I check out your blog alone with these other. Blessings to you all. ~Sue

  14. Thanks for finding me and thanks to Barb for the link. Make sure you click the link in the first sentence of this post. That will take you to a listing of 9 more simple living blogs you amy find helpful.

    Best of luck to you and your husband as you navigate this new phase of your life. I hope you'll visit here often and let me know how you are doing.

  15. Hi I wake up make the tea and breakfast,wake up hubby with a hurry up teas made!,we take our medications and then chat for ahalf hour he goes back to bed and sleeps untill he is ready to rise,I do the dishes the washing the bathing the feeding of the cat and dog! then I am wacked ot I feel tired I go and have a sleep nap and then I go to my apointments with or without my husband for Drs ir Physio or whatever!,then we shop,we may have a coffee and a sandwich or dare we say a cake and we just LOVE retirement,we never have had a house of our own for years and we are o.k aren't we?