How to Savor Simplicity

How to Savor Simplicity

If you are in the process of decluttering your home and living with less, you might be frustrated that you aren’t getting rid of stuff fast enough.

If you are paying off debt, you may be overwhelmed with learning how to budget and spending your money differently.

If you are trying to slow down, it may seem impossible to let go of your busy life and still meet growing demands and expectations.

Simplicity is not a destination. In fact, if you think you have to spend the next 5 years “getting there”, this is going to save you some time. Simplicity is in reach right now, and you can live a simpler life anytime. Like anything else, simplicity is about choice.

Savor Simplicity by choosing to …

  • Wake up 10 minutes early and spend the beginning of your day stretching, or being quiet instead of rushing to get out the door.
  • Take a digital sabbatical instead of being overwhelmed with information.
  • Go for a walk instead of engaging in a heated discussion.
  • Take charge of your worry instead of letting anxiety take over your day.
  • Be unproductive instead of killing yourself to get it all done.
  • Eat food that makes your body feel good instead of feeding your feelings with food that wears you down.
  • Celebrate your progress instead of beating yourself up for what you haven’t acheived.
  • Be grateful for who you are now, instead of guilty for who you were then.
  • Measure yourself by the person you are, not the things that you get done.
  • Meet up with friends instead of feeling lonely.
  • Choose solitude instead of trying to navigate through the noise.
  • Go outside and appreciate nature instead of cleaning your house.
  • Support good people doing great things instead of complaining about bad people doing bad things.
  • Dress with less instead of fueling your passion for fashion.
  • Give more and take less.

A clutter free home and debt free lifestyle do not necessarily result in simplicity. Both of those things are really helpful in clearing your mind and giving you more freedom to live life on purpose, but without choosing simplicity, it will be hard to maintain your new habits.

My husband lost his wedding ring this weekend. I could have reacted with anger and disappointment, maybe even with skepticism, but none of those emotions crossed my mind. Because I choose people over stuff, (even wedding rings) I told him not to worry. I reminded him that a wedding ring is a symbol of our marriage, but doesn’t really have anything to do with our happiness.

You cannot be hurt by damaged stuff or things that are lost or stolen, if you choose people over stuff. That’s the key to savor simplicity. Choose time over money and people over stuff. It’s a very simplistic way to look at it, but isn’t that the way it should be?


  1. Kristin says

    Hi Courtney,

    Lovely post! My husband lost his wedding ring last year (just after I started reading your blog). I was proud to find myself with many of the same feelings you had! It’s so odd…that we place so much value on the rings…when it’s the relationship that really matters. I will admit that I thought about it time to time, like when attending the wedding of another couple.

    Happily…I found it in our front yard after a long winter thaw (while cleaning up after the dog, haha!). You might want to take a quick ramble through your yard :)

  2. says

    I felt calm just reading this …. and a strong urge to have some ‘simple time’. One more day of haste and noise and pressure before …. ahhhh, making some time and space to enjoy the simple art of simple. Thanks for the tips x x x

  3. says

    Courtney, thank you for including my e-book in your list of simplifying. I love your message that you can simplify each day, each moment with a choice. We don’t have to wait to enjoy life until we reach our goals.

    My favorites in your list are:
    Be grateful for who you are now, instead of guilty for who you were then.
    Measure yourself by the person you are, not the things that you get done.

    I unplug from the computer every Saturday. It takes some getting used to, but it is so worth it. There are many tasks that I can’t do without plugging in, since I don’t have internet on my phone. So, it is a great way to unwind, and savor the day and people in front of me.

  4. says

    “Celebrate your progress instead of beating yourself up for what you haven’t achieved.”

    Progress, not perfection! My favorite saying!

  5. says

    Love it! I just got back from a week (sort of) away from the internet. It was glorious! I also recently chose a “good/kind” buyer over a “grumpy/anger/bitter” buyer on Ebay, even though it meant significantly less money for me. And I completely agree that no debt and a clutter-free house does not equate to simplicity–I’m living proof 😉

  6. Tereza says

    I love how you emphasize savoring, being present, and rejoicing in what you have right now. You’re absolutely right. That’s the essence of simplicity.

  7. says

    Thanks for sharing this, Courtney!

    I really love your story about your husband losing his wedding ring and how you reacted.
    Sometimes we see people as projects or as problems, when we’re really meant to see them simply as people– people who are valuable beyond measure. They’re definitely more valuable than any object.

    Technology– email, Twitter, Facebook– can make people seem a bit less like people, if you know what I mean. Your reminder to choose people over stuff is a great one!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Daniel, Great point about technology. I think we especially have to remember that behind every Twitter profile is a real person and interact in that way instead of just pushing information.

  8. says

    Boy – wish I could lose my wedding ring – would save me all the emotional stress of making a decision what to do with it. I wear a ring (very simple design) that isn’t my actual wedding ring but I prefer it!

  9. says

    HI Courtney,
    So glad to have found your site. I have just started blogging and am looking for others who do inspirational and helpful blogs. Yours certainly falls into that category.
    Thanks for taking the time to send out good information.

  10. says

    I’m new to your blog but find it really helpful. I lost my wedding ring, too – my husband was like you about it – completely understanding. Plus, he gave me an even nicer wedding band for my birthday. Maybe that’s not the way to simplicity, but I thought it was a nice gesture.

  11. says


    I found your site through Zen Habits. Your article about the Sillyness of Busyness is certainly a great read, and I will certainly keep it in mind as I go about my week, this week.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Jonathan, Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and stopped by to leave a comment.

  12. says

    Such a great reminder! It’s not always about things, it’s about moments & the journey. So often we forget that trying to make things better isn’t about following the steps to a T. It’s about the things we do & lessons we learn along the way.

  13. Obed says

    Hi Courtney! Another great one! Your write ups are quite subtle and reflect the need for us to appreciate people and disregard with love, their flaws as humans. I believe simplicity is one of the greatest virtues we ought to acquire because it will help us to value the sactity and dignity of human existence over other material accessories to life.