Voluntary simplicity allows us to live happily with fewer possessions and forms the foundation to affordable housing. When we adopt an attitude of restraint, our houses can be smaller, with simple finishes. Embellishments can happen over time after we move in in the form of our furnishings.
There are many factors that cause home prices to climb out of reach for many. We live in an era of material and skilled labor scarcity. Natural disasters and tariffs on lumber and steel are two of the contributing factors of skyrocketing costs for new homes and renovations to older homes. Cost of land and fees associated with building are also important drivers making housing costs spiral upward, as well as the ever growing list of what is considered essential in a home.
I am suggesting that we take a few steps backwards to better take in the big picture. If we ask ourselves what it is that we really need, I’m pretty sure that most will figure out that they can be quite happy with a smaller, but more comfortable home. Two bathrooms can suffice in a four bedroom home along with a nice functional kitchen that is more compact. Surfaces that are durable and timeless will guard us against the need to renovate due to an outdated look.
Each individual will have their idea of what voluntary simplicity looks like. I compare it to the way the Shakers lived. I challenge everyone to to find their simple needs and then live by them.