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Voluntary Simplicity – Oh How Sweet It Is

What is voluntary simplicity_Moms are busy. We hear this over and over, and we’re continually reading magazine articles, blog posts, and watching TV makeover shows highlighting this issue. I just did a segment at Global Regina this week sharing my tips for busy moms. When you think about it, there’s a whole industry built on busy people, with a focus on busy moms.

I know I’m not alone with the discovery that cutting away the clutter (physical and mental) can help to bring a little bit of calm to our busy lives. When we get overwhelmed, it’s easy to feel out of control and at our wits end, and no one is a super-mom when that happens. We know, simplicity is better and it’s OK to admit that we have to actually work to make that happen.

Schick Intuition - Simplicity Curve

According to recent research by Schick Intuition, the happiest mothers in Canada take active steps to simplify their lives. And, it seems to be paying off – the responses from 750 moms across Canada were used to create the Schick Intuition Simplicity Curve which shows a direct correlation between happiness and simplicity. The curve clearly illustrates that happiness spikes when mothers take deliberate steps to make life more manageable, and embrace a philosophy of “voluntary simplicity.” In fact, the more moms say they embrace the “voluntary simplicity” lifestyle, the happier they are.

So what exactly is voluntary simplicity? This video from Schick helps explain:

Voluntary Simplicity, at its core, is the act of living simply and reducing stress. Sure, it sounds easy but putting it into action actually takes focus. You have to force yourself to reduce stress and push away the chaos. But when you do? You feel better, and life is better.

Happiness levels vary among Canadian mothers. The research showed that 29% of moms are happy, 38% are neutral and 33% are unhappy – but moms agree that simplifying improves happiness, with 92% saying that simplifying aspects of their life would make them happier.

In addition, of the moms who described themselves as happy, 65% said they live a “voluntary simplicity” lifestyle compared to 30% of moms living that lifestyle who identified as unhappy.

Simplifying your life can happen from the moment your feet hit the floor to the moment you pack it in for the night, it just takes a bit of planning and a lot of saying “no”, I’ve noticed. Here are some easy ways I create voluntary simplicity in my household every night before bed:

  1. The kids know to put their lunch kits on the kitchen island in the evenings. While making lunch the night before definitely helps, I make them in the mornings. It helps trememndously not to have to hunt down the lunch kits.
  2. Check the calendar to see tomorrow’s events. Have a toonie ready if it’s canteen day for one of the kids, and have all notes signed and on the island for backpacks in the morning. My rule is, if it’s not on the island in the evening, don’t ask me about it in the morning – you’re waiting another day kiddo!
  3. Lay out clothes for younger kids the night before. While my 11-year-old is past this help, having the girls know what they’re wearing, along with socks (oh my, the hunt for socks in the morning can be stressful!) is a great help.
  4. Always, always take laundry out of the dryer and fold before bed. Even if the kids are already sleeping and I can’t put it away, having it folded in the basket is a great start to the next day’s task.
  5. Give the kids specific morning chores that they complete each day. My oldest unloads the dishwasher every morning and my youngest feeds the dog.

Of course, the products we use in our household daily can help us multitask and cut away a lot of unnecessary clutter and time wasted.

04086_Intuition_Pure Nourishment

The most popular step to simplifying life is decluttering the house and getting rid of extra stuff: 86% of moms purge the things they don’t need. Other regular actions that moms take to simplify are managing email (77%), using a calendar system (71%) and ordering in dinners occasionally (68%).

“More than eight in ten moms seek out products and services that would help them simplify aspects of life as they clearly understand that even small daily tasks contribute to a simpler lifestyle,” says Jew. “For example, if you use a three-in-one razor so that you don’t need to prep, shave and moisturize, that’s simplifying life. It’s a compound effect – simplifying every part of your routine makes your overall life simpler, and that ultimately helps you feel happier.”

I barely have time to shower, never mind shave in the shower, never mind use a shave gel + moisturizer in the shower. Nope, nope, nope. So this? This works for me.

Bonus points, my husband likes it too. 😉


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  • What a great post! We could all use a more simple life. For me it would help me to declutter. I feel so much better after I clean and send bags to the thrift store!

  • I agree with you on the “cutting away the clutter (physical and mental) can help to bring a little bit of calm to our busy lives” Every month I go in every room and have two boxes in the hall, one for recycling to a local place and one to just toss out (broken missing parts). This way there is no build up anywhere in the house & someone will be enjoying the items once again!

  • To simplify my life a bit I am trying to make a place for everything that way there isn’t stuff lying around creating clutter.

  • Definitely makes sense. I am always in the process of purging and cleaning. Thankfully I got a huge jump start when we opened our own pet store (and cleaned out my garage of product samples!) and had a nephew to pass on my boys’ clothing too!

  • A great read. Thanks Tenille. I’m already too busy. Putting effort into easing stress and simplifying my life in the end sounds like a win to me.

  • I’m always cleaning and going through my closets, I just got tired of keeping everything, especially stuff we don’t even need. I love the Simplicity of this razor, love that it does all and still leaves your legs feeling smooth and silky

  • I am glad they are looking into happiness of mom’s but… our parents didn’t have all the access to improve our lives as we do. It make me wonder if we are spoiled now. We think too much about ourselves & keeping up with our neighbours instead of just being happy with what we have.

  • Life is so complicated that some simplifying sounds really good! I think we often stress ourselves out for no reason.

  • I find it hard to part with things. I am trying to get rid of some stuff and do have a couple of bags ready for the Diabetes Clothes line to pick up. The Schick Intuition razors are my favorite.

  • I love that razor too! I definitely have enough complexity in my life that I don’t need my regular routine to be complicated.

  • I love this! Simplicity is key. I always make sure my husbands lunch bag and containers are ready to go on the counter, the dishes have to be put in to the dishwasher before I go to bed so it’s less to do in the morning

  • I have to say that Schick Intuition razors are my favorite!! I like to clean and get rid of clutter.
    When you think about it we are always shopping and bringing in things all the time so some things
    have to go back out or it would become way too cluttered.Tis is a great post..

  • Staying organized is how I try to keep my life as simple as I can because by keeping things in order it’s not only a time saver but it helps with stress.

  • I definitely check the calendar each night before bed, and we pick out school clothes before bed so that we’re not rushed in the mornings. I try to do a decluttering of the house at least twice a year, and it always feels good to clear out the clutter.

  • Great post. Decluttering is a must for us..no storage room in this house so we keep thing quite simple and decluttered!

  • Declutter and downsize. Living simpler should be a mantra. Helping one another with tips and sharing duties perhaps.

  • great post, I totally agree simple is better, less stress too, and also I have a thing where my laundry and dishes must be done before I go to bed, seems to affect my sleep otherwise

  • we had done so well at the purging, but have recently collected items that just sit there. time to go through it all again.

  • Keeping things simplier is best for me. I avoid drama and really dislike clutter. This is a great razor for a time crunch.