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On Monday I wrote about “Teaching Kids to Simplify: 5 Tips To Get Them On Board.”  There was some great conversation in the comments section including a great question from one of my readers.  Brittany asked –  “What about when it’s your husband you have to get on board?”  And I think it’s an excellent question, with a not so easy answer.

Simplifying life would be a lot easier if our spouse, or kids, or extended family or friends were 100% on board.

Honestly, it took a while before my own husband and I were on the same page with simplifying our lives.  There were times when I was ready to chuck everything, and he was dragging his feet.  Others times I was convinced we needed the extra stuff and he was just as convinced it needed to go.  For a long time we stalled out.  We were in no man’s land.  Both wanting to change but not at the same time.

So what do you do? What do you do if you want to simplify but your spouse doesn’t?  What then?

Can I be frank with you? Can I be frank and ask you this one question?

“What’s Stopping You?”

No.  Seriously?  What’s stopping you?  Even if no one ever, ever gets on board, what’s stopping you?

Remember, the decision to simplify your life is not dependent on how much stuff you get rid of, it’s about an attitude, a conscious choice to live with less in order to live life more.

And you can simplify without the support of your spouse.  Is it easy? No.  Is it possible? Absolutely.

The power to clean out your clothes from your closet is yours.  The power to clear out the clutter from your desk……is yours.  The choice and power to purchase less stuff when you go to the store….is yours.  The power to say “no” to more activities and stuff in your schedule…is yours.

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You hold that power, they don’t.  But we have to decide to use that power.  Often we shy away from making changes in our life because of underlying fear, faded memories, habit or simply because “this is the way we have always done it.”  However, instead of acknowledging what is holding us back from changing, we shift the blame for our lack of motivation or conviction to someone else.  “Well, if he/she would get on board, I could___________(You fill in the blank).”

The truth is, if you wait until your spouse is on board, you may be waiting a long time.

Here is 5 tips to getting started no matter who is, or is not, on board:

  • Ask the hard questions of yourself, such as: What is keeping me from simplifying life? 
  • Work to simplify the areas that are your own.
  • Model a simple life for your kids and spouse and talk about (as opportunity presents itself) how it is changing your life.
  • Look for an open door to share with your spouse why you want to pursue a simpler life and what it means to you.
  • Ultimately, relationships are more important than simplifying.  Above all else, do those things to nurture the relationship, not divide it.

So what are your thoughts?  What suggestions do you have for simplifying life even if your spouse is not on board?

Keeping it simple,


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