There’s Such a Thing as Too Much Simplicity

Comic by Grant S.

Comic by Grant S.

Many visitors are surprised by how little my husband and I own.

We live simply in a very small apartment. We don’t own a car, couch,  dishwasher, washer, dryer, table, chairs, or a lot of the other stuff that most people have in their homes.

I’m happy with what we do own. It’s enough to cover all of our needs (and most of our wants), but it never feels overwhelming.

There are some people in the simplicity movement who’ve pared it down to just 100 items, including stuff like clothing. It works well for a lot of them, especially if they travel a lot or don’t make many meals at home.

For me, that would be too bare-boned. I don’t particularly like washing the dishes, but with my allergy to milk it would be tricky and expensive to eat every meal out. (It would also be much less healthy).

And I like owning enough clothing that I don’t have to do laundry every week. If a pair of socks counts as 2 items, you could only own a few of them before they took up too much space in the 100 item count.

The trick to any movement, I think, is to use it only to the extent that it works for you. I don’t talk about our voluntary simplicity on this blog as often I used to because it’s so well-integrated into our daily lives.

What about you? What movements have you dabbled in without committing to everything they have to offer?



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3 Responses to There’s Such a Thing as Too Much Simplicity

  1. Michael Mock

    “What movements have you dabbled in without committing to everything they have to offer?”

    Heh. That’s a capsule summary of my entire experience with the SCA.

    • Have you ever blogged about it? I’ve heard of the SCA, but the only person I know who is involved in it (other than you) has had mixed experiences.

      • Michael Mock

        I don’t think I really have – or not much, anyway. I got into it because of the fighting – I basically transitioned from fencing into what was called “Light Fighting” and was meant to simulate rapier combat. But you couldn’t just do that, of course; you’d need safety gear that at least passably resembled historical clothing, and of course you’d need some costumes to use as regular clothing, but you can’t call them costumes ’cause they’re made of real cloth and they’re real clothing, so we call it “garb” instead, and now that you’ve got all that put together we could really use your help in putting together the Feast on Saturday night, even though you really only came out to the weekend event for the light fighting and the camping and hadn’t even planned to attend, and by the way you really ought to consider putting together some sort of tent or pavilion that looks more historical than that lump you picked up for twenty bucks at Walmart, just to help everyone stay in the dream, and gosh, you know something about some other particular topic — why yes, I know all about that, just let me tell you about it…

        For me, at least, it was very much like attending a certain sort of frat party: it was fine if you didn’t want to drink; it was fine if you wanted to drink until you couldn’t walk straight; but try to have just two drinks over the course of the night, and you’d never hear the end of it.

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