The Last 5 Most Frustrating Things about Simplicity

Let your legacy be how you love,  how you treat people, and the  light you bring to the world  instead of the stuff  you leave behind.

These might not be the last frustrating things about simplicity you ever experience, but they are the last in this series. You can see the other 10 most frustrating things here and here. The good news is that the benefits and joys of living simply far outweigh the frustrations.

The Last 5 Most Frustrating Things about Simplicity

11. Comparing levels of simplicity
There isn’t one best way to live a simple life. When I first started simplifying my life, and even once I started sharing my story with this blog, I always thought I had so far to go. I thought I didn’t quite measure up.

All of the other people I was reading about seemed to have it all figured out. They had decluttered, downsized, quit their jobs, and were living lives much simpler than mine. When I stopped comparing, I became even more inspired by their stories and I began to appreciate exactly what I had and where I was. Just like I couldn’t shop my way to happiness, living with one less thing wasn’t going to make me any happier.

Choose the best pace and approach for your family and your life. This is not a competition.

12. It’s so hard to let go of sentimental clutter
You don’t have to let it all go at once. Take it slowly, honor your memories and let go when you are ready. Display the sentimental pieces that mean something to you instead of storing them.

Moving forward, instead of collecting things to remind you of special moments and boxing them up, embrace the moments. Be fully engaged in those moments now instead of decades later sorting through the past in a garage or attic.

Let your legacy be how you love, how you treat people, and the light you bring to the world instead of the stuff you leave behind.

13. Free and cheap stuff
Just because something is free, doesn’t mean it won’t cost you. Time and attention are some of your most valuable resources. Even if something isn’t costing you money, you are still paying.

Free stuff steals all of the things you have been trying to protect with a simpler lifestyle. Sometimes, free stuff seems appealing, especially if you are trying to save money, but if you didn’t need it in the first place, free stuff is just stuff.

14. Becoming paperless
A few years ago, I never would have thought that going paperless was possible. Today, I see the possibility and am starting to enjoy the benefits. The answer is not in scanning and organizing everything, but instead, in reducing it.

While you are working to reduce the incoming paper in your life, start with this very simple tip: Do not bring unnecessary paper into your office or living space. Look at your mail before you go inside, or at least before you sit down or do anything else. Dump the junk mail, catalogs, and anything that you didn’t ask for.

Open the bills, the birthday cards, and the things that you invited into your mailbox and dump the envelopes, promotions and other extras. Start there and then read 16 tips for a paperless life.

15. Gift giving and receiving.
The best way to give and receive gifts is to do it with your whole heart. Give what you can without going into debt or blowing your budget, and receive gifts with the intention they are given – great advice from Joshua Becker. Ask friends to get together for lunch or another get together in lieu of exchanging gifts.

To maintain your clutter-free journey during gift giving occasions, stick with the one in, one out approach. If you bring something new in, send something else out.

I’d be happy to help with your most frustrating things about living simply. I recently held a Facebook Chat to address frustrations in real-time. It was so fun to connect and trade ideas. You can read our conversation here. Like the Be More with Less Facebook page if you want to attend a future live chat.


If you’ve thought about living in a smaller space, you might be interested in the Tiny House Living Bundle. I’m happy to not only be an affiliate for this fun, tiny house, simple living community project but also to include the Project 333 microcourse – Dress with Less as part of the bundle. For more details, Check out the Tiny House Living Bundle for yourself here.