Simple Living in the City

Simple Living in the City

Action Item Examples

Freedom from physical clutter

  • Give away what I don’t use or value
  • Stick to shopping list avoiding impulse buying
  • Give time or handmade gifts for Christmas and birthdays
  • Give away something that I love as a gift to someone
  • Have a joint garage sale with friends and donate proceeds to a nonprofit

Freedom from mental clutter

  • Get myself off e-mail & land mail distribution lists
  • Fast from e-mail one day a week
  • Practice centering prayer/meditation
  • Turn off the TV
  • Subscribe to fewer magazines
  • Take a break from my to do list for a day

Freedom from a fast-paced life

  • Change to a less stressful job
  • Work fewer hours
  • Slow down at yellow lights and drive the speed limit
  • Pray or talk to others in line rather than trying to get in the shortest line at the store


  • Say “no” to activities that take me from my current and central commitments
  • Eat more slowly – savor tastes
  • Take time for meals or coffee breaks (not on the go)
  • Stop to smell the roses or watch birds
  • Spend a leisurely evening with family or friends not worrying about the time
  • Take a restful vacation time rather than harried sight seeing

Creating spiritual space

  • Take a retreat day once a month
  • Practice a weekly Sabbath
  • Unplug from cell phone and pager for part of each day
  • Breath prayers throughout the day
  • Daily prayer time
  • Sacred place to pray
  • Hike once a week; retreat time in nature

 Living out values/vocation

  • Work fewer hours to have time for vocation/service/church community
  • Consider changing jobs to one that better matches your vocation & gifts
  • Write a life purpose statement
  • Carefully think through priorities


Building community

  • Take walks in my neighborhood and get to know folks
  • Walk rather than drive to the store
  • Share a bike with the neighbor kids
  • Take time for neighborhood or community events
  • Start a Bible study or reading group at my place of work
  • Have friends over for dinner

Conscious consumption/sustainable choices

  • Repair an item rather than buying a new one
  • Creatively think of ways to make due with what I have before I go to the store
  • Eat locally and organically
  • Research sources of food
  • Find out where my local garbage goes
  • Use a cloth bag for groceries
  • Bike, walk, or bus to work
  • Share a car
  • Bring my own container for leftovers to restaurants
  • Ask questions of the clothing stores I shop at regarding sweatshop