As the name would suggest, simple living is all about reducing the clutter we build up in everyday life. While this does include some of that physical clutter which we all stash around our homes, it also refers to the mental overwhelm and busy pace of most of our lives.
Learning to live more simply often means getting more out of life – we gathered together eight women who have set out on their own journeys towards a life with less and are inspiring others along the way.
If you’ve been looking into simpler living for some time, you will likely have come across Courtney and her popular blog called Be More With Less. Near the beginning of her simple living journey, she challenged herself to live with a wardrobe of just 33 items for 3 months (known as Project 333) and found how straightforward it was to live with less.
She says, “Living with less clutter, busyness, stress and simplifying your life will help you make the room to do what you need to do.”
Londoner Emma set up her simple living blog, mamalina, to inspire and share her ideas about living slowly and sustainably with “a big dose of yoga, cooking and travel”.
For parents she is the ideal person to follow as her blog, and Insta grid, is full of tips for how to reduce the waste that comes along with family life. “Parenting in a low waste, sustainable way requires a slight re-jig of how you choose to spend your time,” she says, but it is achievable.
A freelance writer and photographer from Leeds, Jen’s love of plants, flowers and nature led her to a simpler life as she started by taking up a part-time role in a market garden.
Jen explains, “Being outdoors, observing the seasons and learning how to work the land helped me on the path to a slower and simpler way of life.” Head to her blog, Little Birdie, for practical tips and ideas on living with intention.
A travel-loving photographer, Rachael has now been living as a minimalist for around five years. In that time, she has learnt some very important lessons, explaining, “Minimalism isn’t about no stuff for the sake of it, or for appearances, it will look different for everyone. It’s about clearing out the excess, letting go of the things you don’t actually need and only keeping what adds value.”
For Francine, minimalism is all about making room to think and live freely. Her books, The Joy of Less and Lightly, are both brilliantly simple guides for life with less stuff. They’re not just about decluttering though, Francine is clear that minimalism has an impact on your mind too.
Her ultimate aim is to own nothing more than she needs – it’s an inspiring dream for all of us who want to lead simpler lives. “My goal is to find that elusive point of ‘just enough,’” she adds.
For the past eight years, Cait has been seeking a simpler life. Cutting back on everything from time online to possessions and alcohol, all that she’s learnt, experienced and discovered can be found in her best-selling book, The Year of Less.
Now she opts out of all the things, experiences and stories we’re sold with the hope of happiness at the end. She says, “Choosing to opt out is a brave decision, and one that allows you to live an intentional life according to your own values.”
Julia says that living a simpler life is all about finding a balance which she calls ‘sustainable environmentalism’. “The world doesn’t need martyrs as much as it needs compassionate people,” she says. Determined to reduce waste and embrace old ways, Julia is well-known for making her own.
She creates her own natural and environmentally friendly versions of everything from cleaning and beauty products to paints and play dough.
If you’ve ever spotted her creative projects on Instagram, you may know that Ellie, an Australian textile artist, is all about connecting with the natural world and enjoying the little things. Naturally, a sense of creativity is at the heart of Ellie’s style of simple living.
“I truly believe that making something with our hands, head and heart guides us along on a journey of nourishment and wellbeing. It helps us to slow down in this ever busy world,” she says.