30 SIMPLE LIVING QUOTES: INSPIRATION TO DECLUTTER AND SIMPLIFY LIFE
I love quotes about simplicity. They’re powerful reminders to focus on what’s important and let the rest go. I hope you enjoy this collection of my favourite 30 simple living quotes as inspiration to declutter and simplify life.
WORDS ARE POWERFUL
Every week I send out emails to my email community sharing tips and encouragement on decluttering and simplifying life. At the end of these emails, I usually leave a thought for the week. Something for us all to mull over during our days as busy, cluttered life tries to push and pull us in every direction.
Often times, these parting thoughts are simple living quotes. Little reflections that succinctly remind us of the value of slowing down, focusing on what we have and not what we haven’t.
Words are powerful, they conjure up emotions and paint a picture of a mood, thought, place or feeling. I love collecting quotes as short, but powerful reminders to find simplicity in my every day life, whether that’s at home, in my schedule, heart or mind.
SIMPLE LIVING QUOTES
I thought it might be nice to share a few of my favourite simple living quotes as inspiration to declutter and simplify life. I hope you enjoy them and they remind you to declutter and simplify your home and life whenever you feel things getting heavy or cluttered.
Alongside each quote I’ve also included an image to illustrate the quote. You can pin these to Pinterest, save them to your phone, or share them with friends as a reminder to simplify life whenever you can.
I’ve also offered my thoughts on why I’ve chosen a particular quote and how it encourages a simplified home and/or life.
Lastly, alongside each of these simple living quotes, I’ve also added some suggestions for further reading on different aspects of decluttering and simple living in case you want to explore the topic further.
30 SIMPLE LIVING QUOTES TO INSPIRE SIMPLICITY IN YOUR HOME AND LIFE
1. “Remember that if you don’t prioritise your life someone else will.” (Greg McKeown)
Let’s kick off these simple living quotes with a powerful one! Our daily lives can easily become cluttered with errands to do, places to be, people to see and things to remember. When we have too much in our hearts, minds and schedule, space for us to live a meaningful life gets squeezed out. We spend our time and energy doing what we HAVE to do, not what we WANT to do.
Further reading: How to define your priorities in life and why it matters (there’s a free printable to help you too!)
2. “If you don’t have time to do what matters, stop doing things that don’t.” (Courtney Carver)
Time is perhaps your most limited resource but do you have time for the priorities you considered above? If you feel you don’t have enough time, then it’s a question of choice. Choose this or choose that, but don’t choose it all. Manage your time, be productive and effective and get clear on what’s adding value to your life and not just wasting your precious time.
Further reading: How to be less busy
3. “Joy comes to us in moments—ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” (Brené Brown)
Do you seek out enjoyment from a mundane life? Do you need thrills and excitement, fast cars and expensive holidays? Nothing wrong with this at all, but you might be even happier if you slow down and make time and space to enjoy the little things in life. They’re much more accessible and available to most of us in our every day.
Further reading: How to enjoy the little things in life
4. “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” (William James)
Everyone has an impact on the world. What kind impact do you want to make? Every decision, action, word and thought has a consequence, hidden or obvious. How do you make decisions, take action and show up for your life?
Further reading: Personal growth and why it’s important (take this fun free challenge!)
5. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” (Melody Beattie)
One of the most powerful mindsets for shifting perspective and enabling us to be happy with what we have, instead of constantly chasing and seeking what we don’t. Gratitude doesn’t have to be an onerous practice, just lie in bed tonight before you go to sleep or first thing in the morning before you get up and think of 5 things you’re grateful for in your life or in your day.
Further reading: How to start a morning gratitude practice
6. “A home with fewer possessions is more spacious, more calming, and more focused on the people who live inside it.” (Joshua Becker)
Some simple living quotes are particularly poignant to me and this is one. Our homes are the hub of family life. Stop spending your time and energy managing your stuff and spend your time and energy with your loved ones. Possessions can be replaced, people can’t.
Further reading: How to create a calm family home
7. “Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.” (Regina Brett)
Comparison is the thief of joy. It can also make us feel inadequate, undervalued and that we’re doing life wrong. Stop asking yourself why you can’t be more like someone else, why you can’t have what they have or whether the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Focus on yourself, your life, your dreams, your challenges, your hopes, your successes and mistakes. Learn from past lessons, dream big, get clear on what’s really important and stop doing yourself a disservice by comparing yourself with others.
Further reading: Shift Your Mindset – a free workbook
8.“If you are always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in.” (Zig Ziglar)
Slow down, take a break. Simplifying life is about making the most of what you have, in each moment, instead of filling your space with stuff that leaves no space for YOU right now. If life feels busy, your body and brain will tell you. Listen to their signals and stop racing. Why are you racing anyway?
Further reading: 18 signs you are too busy and what to do about it
9. “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” (Joyce Meyer)
A favourite of mine from this collection of simple living quotes. Mindset is key. How you think about things determines how you feel about them, and how you feel about things shapes your decisions and actions. Nurture a positive and healthy mindset like you would look after your body.
Further reading: Essential mindsets to get the most out of life
10. “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” (John Dryden)
The little things we do, day in and day out, help us achieve great things in an easy and manageable way. Create your own habits for your mornings, your evenings, how you manage your home, nourish your body, manage your finances, limit your intake of social media. Cultivate positive habits that support you well and work on getting rid of bad habits that do the opposite.
Further reading: Simple daily habits to make life easier
11. “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
This quote reminds me of the importance of decision-making. We can’t have, be or achieve everything so at some point, a simple life requires you to decide. Do you want this or do you want that? What’s most important to you? And what are you willing to let go of? Deciding what matters to you MOST makes it easier to declutter the things that matter least.
Further reading: 5 decisions that inspired my intentional life
12. “If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.” (Marvin Gaye)
Sometimes we have to question why we’re always busy, chasing, striving, achieving, wanting, hoping, making happen. What are we trying to find? Sometimes we have to be still in the moment and be present with what we have and are, within. That’s the way to find true peace, by decluttering your mind of worries, frustrations, limiting mindsets and thoughts that hold you back and make you unsettled.
Further reading: How to do a brain-dump to clear your mind
13. “The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.” (Joshua Becker)
Perhaps one of the most fundamental aspects of simple living. A decluttered and simplified life is one that’s edited to remove what doesn’t serve us in some way – by beauty, by use, by purpose and function, by joy, by value added, by appreciation.
Further reading: 20 reasons to own less stuff
14. “The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.” (Steve Maraboli)
It’s a difficult thing to let go and to say goodbye to things. Sometimes it’s easier than others – compare an empty bubble bath bottle vs your grandmother’s treasured locket. Yet, for some of us, we struggle to part with our stuff. Start somewhere easy with your bathroom and leave more difficult sentimental items until you’ve built up confidence.
Further reading: How to declutter sentimental items
15. “My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” (Francine Jay)
An intentional life isn’t just about decluttering your home, it’s about decluttering your schedule too. If you find you have too much to do, experiment with saying no. Curate your diary like you curate your home and fill it with what matters and what’s important, rather than double-booking and stretching yourself too thin.
Further reading: 7 ways to be intentional with your time
16. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” (Napoleon Hill)
We won’t all be world-changers but whatever you, decide to do it as well as you can. Simple living is all about living life intentionally. Stop living on auto-pilot and live life with purpose.
Further reading: Your Intentional Life – a free email challenge to help you refocus and simplify life.
17. “There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be found in organising more.” (Joshua Becker)
If you own less stuff, you have less stuff to manage, to clear away, to move around, to take up your space, time and energy. Get rid of a few things, donate to others who could make more use of the items than you, and feel the joy in owning less.
Further reading: Try this free 30-day Declutter Challenge to declutter your home and life every day for a month.
18. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” (Annie Dillard)
This is one of my favourite quotes and always a poignant reminder that life is precious and it’s what we do every day that shapes the direction of our life. Think about your day today, was it a good day, a wonderful day or a day that you’ll be pleased to see the back of? But, if today was symbolic of your life as a whole, would that change how you view today?
Further reading: How to create an intentional morning routine to set yourself up for the day ahead.
19. “This is the beautiful secret of minimalism: It may seem like it’s about stuff, but once you’ve cut through the clutter and adopted a new frame of mind, you learn that it’s barely about ‘the stuff’ at all.” (Erica Layne)
Simple living is just one label for the act of decluttering and simplifying life. Another is intentional living and yet another is minimalism. They all largely mean the same thing – prioritising what’s important and keeping out the clutter. This quote reminds me that a simplified life is about values and priorities, not just the stuff that takes up space in your cupboards.
Further reading: A helpful guide to the minimalist lifestyle
20. “Your home should be the antidote to stress, not the cause.” (Peter Walsh)
My home is where I retreat to at the end of the day for rest, relaxation and to recharge my batteries. The last thing I want my home to do is deplete my time and energy – quite the opposite in fact! That’s what I love about a decluttered and simplified home. It’s easier to keep clean, tidy and is far more peaceful and welcoming.
Further reading: 15 quick and easy ways to simplify your space
21. “If everything is important, then nothing is.” (Patrick Lencioni)
A short but powerful simple living quote. Too many emails in your inbox makes it more difficult to find the important email you’re looking for. The same goes for photos on your phone, art on your walls, tasks on your To Do list. Simplify your home, schedule and life and give space for the important things to stand out.
Further reading: How to write a To Do list to get things done
22. “Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential, eliminate the rest.” (Leo Babauta)
A simpler lifestyle might look slightly different for each of us, but the common thread is we have a clear idea of what’s important and a confidence to clear the clutter that obscures it. Sometimes this takes practice, sometimes it takes regular editing, sometimes it just takes time. But it can be done and the benefits are amazing!
Further reading: How to find simplicity in life (5 powerful tips to clear clutter and live intentionally)
23. “Clutter is not just the stuff on your floor, it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living.” (Peter Walsh)
We often think of clutter as too many utensils, clothes or DIY tools. Yet, what about other clutter in your home and life? There are so many ways that clutter invades our space – from digital clutter to paper clutter to mindset clutter. It can take a different approach to declutter those different types of clutter.
Further reading: The different types of clutter and how to deal with them
24. “Buy less, choose well, make it last.” (Vivienne Westwood)
One of the ways I suggest people try out a simpler life is to stop shopping for a week or month (or whatever time-frame you choose). Not only will you prevent new clutter from coming into your home but it might give you an opportunity to review your shopping habits. Perhaps there are ways you could shop less, spend your money on experiences rather than yet more things?
Further reading: Minimalism and shopping – how to shop with intention
25. “Forget yesterday – it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow – you haven’t even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift – today.” (Steve Maraboli)
Life is precious. Practice gratitude and live today fully by giving yourself space, time and freedom from clutter and busy-ness.
Further reading: Try the 30-day Gratitude Challenge
26. “If our lives are burdened with clutter, we’re giving the best of ourselves away to the things that matter least.” (Erica Layne)
If you have an overstuffed life, the chances are that you’re using your precious resources to manage that life – your time, your energy, your freedom, your motivation, your self. Take a moment to forget the stuff in your life and give yourself permission to focus on you. A simplified life enables us to create a better balance between the things we HAVE to do, and what we NEED to do for our own self-care.
Further reading: 6 self-care habits for your daily routine
27. “I’ve learned that minimalism is not about what you own, it’s about why you own it.” (Brian Gardner)
A simplified home and life isn’t bland, empty or boring. It’s not about bare white walls and no furniture. Instead, a simplified life is a life of priority, purpose, clarity, passion and value – for the things that WE think are important and not what our busy, cluttered lives are making us think are important. Simple living is about asking why instead of just plodding along without thought.
Further reading: Minimalist lifestyle tips – how to embrace minimalism every day
28. “Your life is so much more than what you own.” (Melissa Camara Wilkins)
I think this quote speaks for itself, and I don’t have much to add but it’s the reason I created Balance Through Simplicity. Learn more about my site and the message I try to share over here.
29. “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” (Socrates)
A simple living quote that’s stood the test of time! I think we’re meant to be happy but sometimes we feel guilty or selfish for doing things that bring us happiness when society is encouraging us to work hard, play hard, do more, be more, achieve more. Simple living gives us space to discover what makes us happy without feeling like we have to make sacrifices or neglect our responsibilities in order to find it.
Further reading: 20 ways to be happier
30. “More was never the answer. The answer, it turned out, was always less.” (Cait Flanders)
This simple living quote sums up the message of simplicity so well. When I feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, I try less. Less on my To Do list, less TV keeping me from going to sleep, less things in my diary that require me to be present. I prefer less emails in my inbox, less clothes in my closet, less complicated meals that take me ages to prepare. Less is easier, less confusing, less inclined to give me decision fatigue and less on my plate in general. Less is best for me!
Further reading: How less can be more and the benefits of simplifying life
If you enjoyed these simple living quotes and you’d like more help and inspiration to declutter and simplify your life, here are some articles and resources which you might like:
- 20 ways to simplify your life – Try these ideas to make life simpler and easier
- 30 intentional living quotes to inspire your best life
- Journaling tips for beginners to encourage a meaningful life – How to use journaling to reconnect with yourself and what you want from life
- Does minimalism make you happier? – The relationship between simplicity and happiness
- Simplify Your Life – A guided workbook to help you identify and make space for what matters most to you. This is a great place to start if you’re just beginning your simplicity journey.
- If you like quotes – Head over to my friend Maxime at Wisdom Quotes for some more inspirational quotes
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
I hope you enjoyed this article and my favourite simple living quotes! Which quote resonated with you the most? Do you like quotes and if so, do you have a favourite one? Perhaps it’s not listed here? Share your thoughts or your quote in the comments below!