Does leading a simple life, really mean less clutter?


Living small in the city with a family of five as I do, often means that our household can look well, ‘fairly lived in’. Cluttered, is another term that comes to mind, and rather consistently so I might add. Julie from Country Living by the Sea recently did a post on clutter and living simply, and just what it all meant to her. This got me thinking…Does leading a simple life really mean less clutter?

I too strive for a simple uncluttered life and yet, I never, ever seem to achieve it.

Despite being careful with what comes through our doors, constant reassessing of what is needed and wanted, ample op-shop giving away, secondhand selling and generally just being mindful of ‘stuff’ levels. It still seems to mount up.

So what makes up the bulk of our household clutter?

My kids play– that’s what they do best. Lego pieces, craft projects, cubbies of various blankets and cushions. It’s a steady stream that really is an indication of them having fun and using their imagination. Fun, it really can be cluttered.

I cook– my bench tops are full of proofing bread, fermenting foods, and seasonal foods ready to be turned into family meals for the day. In a small kitchen, of course this amount of activity is going to make things look cluttered. I don’t have a dishwasher, or cleaner…actually or an internal laundry. I make bread over a washing machine. Yep, things are going to look a little cluttered in the kitchen too.

Things need to be repaired– sometimes things break and need fixing, mending, a good looking over. Sometimes there isn’t enough hours in the day and these things slowly pile up. It doesn’t mean I want to throw it out, it means I will get to it when I can. Fixing piles can look cluttered.

No dryer– we don’t have a clothes dryer, that’s a conscious choice we have made. Our dryer is the clothes line so if it rains for consecutive days, well the clothing comes inside to dry. In a small unit this can get reminiscent of a commercial laundry, (actually no, a commercial laundry I’m sure would be more ordered…and the kids probably wouldn’t have turned the clothes rack into a cubby.)

Books– every book on our shelves holds a reason, a story, a purpose and a right. A right to be there. Books will always happily clutter up our household.

Extra stuff– Then there are the extras, the things that accumulate in order to be ready when they are needed. Things like glass jars and jam. I don’t make jam regularly, I make it in batches when the season tells me too, this means they have to be collected, and stored. Stacks of empty glass jars are incredibly useful but they can make things look cluttered.


Now if I’m painting a blissful existence of excepting my small living clutter and embracing my full corners in our household, fear not. No it drives me crazy regularly, BUT I know that (after having a long hard think- thank you Julie) everything I’m surrounded by is part of living a life that I want to be doing, and I’m simply choosing to do.

I want my kids to have fun and play, sure sitting at a screen would be keep things neater but pffft to that. I want to keep cooking, baking, preserving, and no I don’t want a dishwasher. That all means the kitchen will remain ‘busy’ looking. The clothes rack will continue to be dragged out, the mending pile will surely grow and you might occasionally hear some whispered words coming from my lips.

Words to remind myself… that leading a simple life, really might not mean less clutter.


Choosing a simple life

thistles and silos || cityhippyfarmgirl

grass at dusk || cityhippyfarmgirl

I’ve never been ‘on trend’ with things. Cutting edge seems more like a paper cut term to me, while most seasonal fashion trends hold my interest like a conference on data entry for a two year old.

One thing that I do seem to be knee deep in however, is the want for a simple life. From a blogging perspective, (and from when I first started) the bloggers searching for a simple life seems to have grown and grown.

There must be something in it if we are all wanting a similar thing? And it’s not just bloggers and social media types throwing themselves into the quest for a simpler lifestyle than our current fast paced one. We’re just the ones with our own tiny pedestals, #hashtagging about it. What about the people who have been quietly plodding on in their own green pedal powered goodness doing their thing for far longer beforehand?

These people are the proverbial roots of the whole picture. The knowledgeable ones who, people like me look up to and learn from.

So is it gaining momentum this lifestyle, this yearn for a simpler way of life?

I hope it’s not like drinking out of glass jars with handles, blending kale and spinach green smoothies or winding yourself up in washi tape. I don’t want it to be a hipster fad, that’s highly talked of, coming and inevitably going. I really hope it’s not. My genuine hope is that this is more than a trend. Something that becomes bigger and bigger, until this quest for simplicity, this need for stepping off the increasingly fast spinning mouse wheel of life gives people a little pause and clarity of ideas. A quest of simple wants, needs and values. All things that so many of us do seem to be seeking.

The difference between my simple life yearning now and family’s simple life journey before me, was that their’s was one out of necessity and mine is by choice. While some people will argue (and I completely agree) that it shouldn’t be a lifestyle of choice, we should be doing more than we are in our current environment. For now though, it still comes down to choice.

I am in the privileged position of being able to choose to recycle. To choose to make bread. To choose to make hand made things. To choose to ride my bike. And, to choose from where most of my purchases come from.

Choices and necessity in creating a simple life for ourselves and loved ones…it’s kind of interesting to think about isn’t it.

What about you? Tell me a little about some of your simple life choices.


More simple life seekers- blogging style

Simples Lives

Slow Living Essentials

Little Eco Footprints

House of Humble

Think Big Live Simply