Simplicity: The new normal?

Written By Nicky Ojomo


Many people, myself included, have spent the majority of the last 3 months inside, with nothing much to do, and even if you try to avoid it, it has given us a lot of time to think and reflect.

Life as we know it will inevitably change. With the lockdown, came the closure of non-essential retail stores, some unfortunately permanently.

With too much time spent at home, came the time for me to finally tackle tasks I’ve been putting off for far longer than I care to admit. Number one: my wardrobe.

As I was working my way through the mountain of clothes I’d accumulated over the years, I could not help but feel ashamed of the amount of stuff I had… Many never worn with tags still attached. Some simply two sizes too small that I convinced myself I would one day fit back into when they were only one size too small!

Once I finished my wardrobe, my chest of drawers followed, then eventually my whole room. I was taken back by how many of the items I owned were useless to me, and how much we actually pointlessly spend. And, what for?

If you haven’t already used this time for spring cleaning, I recommend reading ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ by Marie Kondo.

A book entirely about tidying seems a little extreme, I know, but Kondo explains what an impact our environment has on our quality of life. Cluttered surroundings equal to a cluttered mind. Kondo believes if an item doesn’t ‘spark joy,’ there is no need for us to have that item (obviously there are exceptions to this rule).

It’s really all about simple living, lets face it, life is often complicated enough…why add to it?

Perhaps we should all adopt this new-found way of living? Or at the very least some elements of it. A simple life without the added unnecessary constant need for stuff.

I appreciate that this is still easier said than done considering we are not fully out of the lock down yet. However, there are many tips online to help you start your journey to a simple life, and almost all of these lists include decluttering your surroundings. I speak from personal experience; what a difference this can make.

This week at Small Green Shoots we celebrate all things simple-living for National Simplicity Day. The day that advocates a life of simplicity and recognizes the life of Thoreau.

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) lived his life as many things including an author, naturalist, philosopher and historian. He was also known to be a tax resister, abolitionist, development critic and surveyor. His book, Walden, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.

“It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.” – Henry David Thoreau.

Living simply doesn’t mean living without. It means living with only what we need.

In our fast, ever-increasingly busy lifestyles, Simplicity Day encourages us to step back and looking at ways to simplify our lives.

For me, it is an opportunity to declutter and eliminate the unnecessary burdens that may weigh us down. Even taking a few moments to tune into nature, say taking a walk to help us refocus and find balance, and some may even enjoy yoga.

It is different for each and everyone of us. What will you be doing to simplify your life?