“As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything,
you should keep it.
If you were to give it up in a mood of self-sacrifice
or out of a stern sense of duty,
you would continue to want it back,
and that unsatisfied want would make trouble for you.
Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much
that the thing no longer has any attraction for you,
or when it seems to interfere with that which is more greatly desired.”

–Mahatma Gandhi in a conversation with Richard B. Gregg
(The Value of Voluntary Simplicity, originally published in August 1936)

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Erin Blegen

I’ve really enjoyed reading through your blog. Almost three years ago, my husband and our (then 2, now 3) kids decided to move up north to the woods where I grew up- leaving two steady, good jobs in exchange for one job (him), me staying home with the kids, and taking on a 500-sq foot 1940’s log cabin with no running water, sewer, or heat. We lived there for two years using a woodstove for all of our heating and much of our cooking, hauling water, all that good stuff. Just this past April we purchased a home a mile down the road on 8.5 acres and though we now have running water, we are still maintaining a simple lifestyle which we love :).

So happy to meet someone who shares such interests. I look forward to now following your blog!


Very inspiring…


LUV this quote but have to ask about those incredible flower centers. I’ve never seen this before. What are they?

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Siobhan, the flowers are delphiniums and the centers are what they call the “bees.” Different colored delphiniums will have different colored bees, and some of the newer delphiniums have much larger bees than the old ones. They are beautiful, aren’t they?


I think a lot of people interested in simplicity have missed this concept. Simplicity isn’t about denying yourself something that is important to you and this quote says that so well. I thought it was interesting that the conversation took place back in 1936 proving that this concept has been around for a long time.


This is a quote I need to remember. Purging is a difficult area for me and I am happy to find that my thinking on this subject is right on track even though it doesn’t follow the norm. I am frugal and thrifty and it doesn’t make sense to me to throw out perfectly good items just because for example I don’t use them for several months. I appreciate this post so much. This blog has been an inspiration over and over again.