60+ Inspiring Simple Living Quotes to Embrace a Simple Life

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It often feels like the modern world is all about more, faster, bigger, and better. But there have always been trailblazers who believed in the benefits of a simple life—even as far back as Ancient Greece! They are the wordsmiths behind these 60+ poignant simple life quotes. 

If you love these simple living quotes, don’t miss my top 26 simple living books! They’re a great way to help you ease into a slower lifestyle this year.

quotes about living a simple life

A simpler life doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone. For one person it may be replacing scrolling social media with a morning walk or an evening saunter. For another, it might be a whole life readjustment, from clearing out your closet to removing unnecessary tasks from your calendar. 

As Leonardo Da Vinci once said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

The choice of a lighter lifestyle is a personal journey, and it looks different for each person. But there are some universal elements that everyone should be familiar with. Simple living is all about:

  • Decluttering
  • Living intentionally and mindfully 
  • Freedom from stress
  • Being content and happy with what you have

Embracing the simpler life can be wonderfully freeing, and amazing for your mental and physical health. If you’re curious about taking the journey, here are some of my favorite simple life quotes to help guide you!

simple life quotes minimalism

Simple Living Quotes to Help You Declutter

The most immediate and greatest step you can take towards simplifying your life is decluttering. A clutter free home can help boost your focus and attention. I fully believe that inner peace starts with your surroundings. Purging unnecessary belongings can be hard work and emotional, but the freedom you feel is incredible! Here are some simple life quotes from decluttering masters that really helped me pare down my belonging from wants to needs.

“When I think about adding a new thing to my home, I think first of its beauty, second of its utility, and finally of its staying power.” 

Erin Boyle, Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More

intentional living quote

“Buy less, choose well, make it last.”

Vivienne Westwood

“The price of any possession that costs you your peace is too high.” 

Zoë Kim, Minimalism for Families: Practical Minimalist Living Strategies to Simplify Your Home and Life

“I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.”

Henry David Thoreau 

“Out of clutter, find simplicity”

Albert Einstein

“Infinite growth of material consumption in a finite world is an impossibility.”

E. F. Schumacher

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

William Morris

“I held on to stuff I didn’t need or use because I wanted to hold on to that part of my identity, or my perceived identity. I am a writer, a knitter, a doodler, a skier, a hiker, and more. Cool belongings, like fancy skis, seem to represent my personality. But in truth, I hardly ski anymore, so why keep skis? If I accumulate stuff just to prove who I am, or was, it prevents me from doing meaningful things with my life right now, like focusing on health, happiness, and my relationships.” ― Tammy Strobel, You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too

“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”

Joshua Becker

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.” 

Marie Kondo

“We need much less than we think.”

Maya Angelou

“If you’re careful about the way you spend money, you’re going to be more careful about what comes into your home.” 

Denaye Barahona, host of The Simple Families podcast

“Your home is living space, not storage space.”

Francine Jay, The Joy of Less

“Clutter smothers. Simplicity breathes.”

Terry Guillemets

“You don’t need to organize more; you need to own less.” 

Erica Layne, The Minimalist Way: Minimalism Strategies to Declutter Your Life and Make Room for Joy

“To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.” 

Helen Keller

“One lesson I’ve learned countless times over the years is that whenever you let go of something negative in your life, you make room for something positive.” 

Cait Flanders, The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

annie dillard quote simple living

Simple Life Quotes About Living Intentionally

When you do away with the needless wants of life, you’re left with a clearer view of your goals. One of the great things about simple living is being mindful of your actions and how they impact your goals. No more getting caught up in the rat race and the need to consume. Instead, you can spend those efforts providing good for the world!

These simple life quotes are some of my most favorite and they inspire me to slow down and be present every day.

“How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.” 

Annie Dillard

“Live simply so that others may simply live.” 

Mahatma Gandhi

“If we can slow down and remember that we are animals and not just these incredible brains, we can start to learn the lessons of the natural world.”

Rachael McKennon, Milk Glass Home

“I draw inspiration and energy from trying to make my little part of the world a better, healthier, more beautiful, and more sustainable place.” 

Julia Watkins, Simply Living Well: A Guide to Creating a Natural, Low-Waste Home

“Choosing to opt out is a brave decision, and one that allows you to live an intentional life according to your own values.” 

Cait Flanders, author of The Year of Less

simple living quotes

“Training yourself to become more selective is the single most effective thing you can do to upgrade your wardrobe. Try to think of your closet as an exclusive, members-only club. Only pieces that you love and are truly excited to wear get an invite.” 

Anuschka Rees, The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe

“We have some say over the size of our own lives—we have the agency and authority and freedom to make them smaller or larger, heavier or lighter” 

Shauna Niequist, author of Present Over Perfect

“Life is as simple as these three questions: What do I want? Why do I want it? And, how will I achieve it?” 

Shannon L. Alder

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

Hans Hofmann

“Living with less clutter, busyness, stress and simplifying your life will help you make the room to do what you need to do.” 

Courtney Carver, blogger of Be More With Less

“Now, before I spend money I ask myself one question: Is this worth my freedom? Like: Is this coffee worth two dollars of my freedom? Is this shirt worth thirty dollars of my freedom? Is this car worth thirty thousand dollars of my freedom? In other words, am I going to get more value from the thing I’m about to purchase, or am I going to get more value from my freedom?” 

Joshua Fields Millburn, Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists

“Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.” 

Buddha

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

― Steve Jobs

“A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.” 

Eleanor Roosevelt

“Refuse what you do not need; reduce what you do need; reuse what you consume; recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse; and rot (compost) the rest.” 

Bea Johnson, Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life

“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.” 

Greg Mckeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

“Simple living is about being authentic and living an examined life and if you’ve thought about the values you want to live by, be confident and stick with them no matter what others around you are doing.” 

Rhonda Hetzel, Down to Earth

“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.” 

Nathan W. Morris

Simple Life Quotes about Living Stress Free

It wasn’t surprising that once I started simplifying my life, I shed a lot of stress I didn’t even realize I was carrying. In fact, one of the best things about simple living is the immediate impact on your mental health. These simple life quotes share how beautiful life can be when you’re not bogged down by endless schedules, engagements, and details.

“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” 

Henry David Thoreau 

“Let your mind be quiet, realizing the beauty of the world, and the immense boundless treasures that it holds.” 

Edward Carpenter

“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.” 

Francine Jay

“The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are.” 

Mother Teresa

“My soul is lighter, everything is lighter. Even my marriage improved because I wasn’t carrying so much stress” 

Allie Casazza, host of The Purpose Show podcast

“Quiet the mind and the soul will speak.” 

Buddha

“Busyness is likely to give us a false sense of purpose and materialism is likely to give us a false sense of being blessed.” 

Zoë Kim, author of Minimalism for Families

“Too many of us are burdened by our belongings, our commitments, our calendars, and our mental loads. In this state, we can’t slow down and enjoy our lives because we’re too busy managing them.” 

Erica Layne, The Minimalist Way: Minimalism Strategies to Declutter Your Life and Make Room for Joy

“Simply put, humans are not wired to be constantly wired.” 

Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

“To live freely, we must acquire an unfettered mind.” 

Shunmyō Masuno, Zen: The Art of Simple Living

“With my somewhat vague aspiring mind, to be imprisoned in the rude details of a most material life was often irksome.” 

Edward Carpenter

quotes about simple living

Simple Living Quotes on Finding Happiness 

You don’t need as much as you think to live a happy life! You won’t believe how long this took me to realize. But once I did, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. The less you strive to own, the more you can appreciate what you already have. I truly believe that the best way to live happily is to live simply. And these authors, thinkers, and simple living pioneers feel the same way.

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” 

Socrates

“When we yearn for something and focus on our fear that it may not happen, we create an approach avoidance response in everything our hearts desire. The love makes us magnetic to the outcomes we desire; the fear of loss or failure repels what we are trying to create just before it reaches us.”

Martha Beck

“There’s a saying that small homes breed close families, and it’s so incredibly true.” 

Shavonda Gardner

“Like most things, the more we have of something, the less happiness we derive from it. The first slice of cake: awesome. The fifth slice: not so good.” 

Meik Wiking, The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” 

Henry David Thoreau 

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.” 

Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We need to learn how to want what we have, not to have what we want in order to get steady and stable happiness.”

Dalai Lama

simple living quotes leo babauta

“Be a curator of your life. Slowly cut things out until you’re left only with what you love, with what’s necessary, with what makes you happy.” 

Leo Babauta

“Minimalism is built around the idea that there’s nothing that you’re lacking.” 

Fumio Sasaki, Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism

“Avoid waste and enjoy what exists within the realm of your daily life – simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” 

Barbara Hayden, Hygge: Unlock the Danish Art of Coziness and Happiness

“Happiness consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.” 

Benjamin Franklin

“Think how joyous each and every day could be when you are making the most of what you have.” 

Chrissy Halton

simple life quotes

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Robert Brault

“Nature teaches us simplicity and contentment because in its presence we realize we need very little to be happy.” 

Mark Coleman

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” 

Oprah Winfrey

simple life quotes pin

Why of these simple life quotes are your favorite?

I hope these simple life quotes can help you all on your journey to embrace simplicity in your daily lives. I know many of them certainly helped me! I’d love to know which are your favorite quotes from this list. Also, feel free to share any advice that helped you on your own journey to possess fewer things and reap the rewards of the simple life!

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