Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to simple living
The complete idiot's guide to simple living
Lockwood, Georgene.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
xix, 290 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BJ1496 .L63 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
BJ1496 .L63 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



You're no idiot, of course. You're just one of many people mired in the stress of a complicated existence, and when it comes to getting back to basics, you aren't sure how to accept life's simple gifts graciously-or gracefully. Don't give up your simple dreams just yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Simple Living shows you easy-not extreme-ways to nix the unnecessary so that you can enjoy the really important stuff.  In this Complete Idiot's Guide®, you get:  --Questions and answers to help you prioritize, then minimize.  --Career advice to help you earn a life, not just a living. --Wise ways to "opt out" of certain lifestyle habits-without "dropping out" altogether. --Suggestions for extending your simple values to relationships, child-rearing, and more ...  

Table of Contents

Part 1 What Is Simple Living?p. 1
1 Consuming Passions: How the World Got Un-Simplep. 3
The Many Faces of Simple Livingp. 4
The Amateur Astronomerp. 4
The Activistp. 5
Leather and Lacep. 5
A Simple Mathematics Lessonp. 6
Advertising and Youp. 7
Become an Analystp. 8
Toward a Definition of Simple Livingp. 9
The 10 Simple Living Principlesp. 10
First Stepsp. 11
Start by Stoppingp. 11
Unstuff Yourself!p. 12
2 Simplicity and the Spiritp. 15
The Importance of Choicep. 16
Simplicity Lives in Silencep. 17
Breathing Lessonsp. 18
Meditate Your Way to Simplicityp. 19
You Are What You Speakp. 20
Nature School: Lessons from Momp. 20
Finding Gratitudep. 21
The Simple Life Is a Creative Lifep. 23
3 What's Old Is New Againp. 25
Transcendence and Choicep. 27
From Harvard to a Cabin in the Woodsp. 27
On Walden Pondp. 28
After Waldenp. 28
Lessons from Waldenp. 29
Maple Sugaring in Vermontp. 30
Who Were the Nearings?p. 30
Making a Simple Life in Vermontp. 30
Moving to Mainep. 32
Final Yearsp. 33
The Nearings' Simple Living Lessonsp. 33
4 Culture Shock: Lessons from Alternative Livingp. 35
What to Ask When Looking At Other Culturesp. 36
A Visit with the "Plain People"p. 38
Lifestyle and Beliefsp. 38
Lessons from the Amishp. 40
1960s Holdovers or Pioneers?p. 41
Working at Twin Oaksp. 42
The Lessons of Twin Oaksp. 44
5 Finding Your Own Simple Living Wayp. 45
Getting to Know "You"p. 46
Taking Care of #1 ... That's You!p. 49
Clearing the Decksp. 50
Time's a Wastin'p. 51
Part 2 Your Money IS Your Life!p. 55
6 Going Debtless: How to Gain Your Freedomp. 57
What's Crazy? This Is!p. 58
What's Debt Ever Done for You?p. 59
The Meaning of Moneyp. 59
A Twelve-Step Program for Getting Out of Debtp. 61
Step 1 Stop Spending Now!p. 61
Step 2 No More Creditp. 62
Step 3 Face the Truthp. 62
Step 4 Keep Track of Expensesp. 63
Step 5 Cut Everything in Halfp. 63
Step 6 Get Help If You Need Itp. 64
Step 7 Contact Your Creditorsp. 64
Step 8 Create a Planp. 65
Step 9 Pay Yourself Firstp. 65
Step 10 Join with Othersp. 66
Step 11 Shift Your Consciousnessp. 66
Step 12 Consider More Drastic Measuresp. 67
Staying Debt-Free for Lifep. 67
What Have You Got to Lose?p. 68
7 Earning a Life, not Just a Livingp. 69
Reworking "Work"p. 69
Working for Yourselfp. 71
Working at Homep. 73
Are You an Entrepreneur?p. 74
Finding a "Calling"p. 75
New Work Choicesp. 76
Making Your Life Workp. 78
8 Location, Location! The Simple Truth About Where You Livep. 81
Start Where You Arep. 81
So You've Decided to Go!p. 85
Hot for the Cityp. 85
Suburban Scenep. 86
Country Mousep. 87
Movin' On!p. 88
9 How Living With Less Can Mean Morep. 91
How Needy Are You?p. 91
Principles for Cutting Downp. 92
The 10 Laws of Stuffp. 92
Quality, Not Quantityp. 94
Abundance, not Excessp. 95
The Less You Have, the Less You Have to Organize!p. 95
Multi-Use, Not Single Usep. 95
Stop It at the Source!p. 95
Is It Worth Your Essence?p. 96
Unstuff Your Lifep. 96
Organize the Restp. 97
It's Not Just Your Stuff You Need to Unstuff!p. 98
10 In the Independent Republic of Financesp. 101
Organizing Your Financesp. 102
Filing So You Can Find Itp. 102
Paying Bills on Automatic Pilotp. 104
Electronic Helpersp. 105
When All Else Failsp. 106
Making Your Money Make Moneyp. 106
Bullet-Proofing Yourselfp. 108
Part 3 Simple Living Basics: Food, Clothing, and Shelterp. 111
11 Food Fancy: You Are What You Eat!p. 113
Food, the Sustainerp. 113
Why Waste?p. 114
So What's Cooking?p. 115
Quick! Start Cookingp. 116
Bulk Up and Save Timep. 116
What a Load of Crock!p. 117
Getting the Best Ingredientsp. 117
More Ways to Simplify Your Cookingp. 118
The Well-Equipped Kitchenp. 120
How Simple Is It to Grow Your Own?p. 122
12 Fashion: Trends or Tyranny?p. 123
Who Decides Your Clothing Future?p. 123
Clothing as Consumptionp. 125
Finding Your Own Simple Clothing Stylep. 125
Clothing Craft: Doing It for Less!p. 127
Watch That Wash Basketp. 129
Soap Sudsp. 130
Return of the Clothes Linep. 130
Good Grooming Simplifiedp. 131
13 Seeking Shelter and Keeping Housep. 135
What Makes a Home?p. 135
Love the One You're In!p. 136
Sizing Things Upp. 137
Energy Efficient or Energy Suck?p. 138
A Matter of Placep. 140
Get Organized!p. 140
If It's Not Model, Why Not Remodel?p. 140
Build or Buy?p. 141
Housing Alternatives "Outside the Box"p. 143
14 Getting Off the Grid: Is It for You?p. 145
What Pulling the Plug Can Meanp. 146
A Different Lightp. 147
Whither Water?p. 149
Cooking a Whole New Wayp. 150
Keeping Your Cool and Staying Warmp. 151
A Line to the Outside Worldp. 153
Taking Care of Businessp. 153
You Don't Have to Go All the Way!p. 153
15 Rethinking Getting from Here to Therep. 155
Automobile: The Moviep. 156
Car Dependencep. 156
Fuel and Youp. 157
How Many and How Long?p. 158
Automobile: The Sequelp. 159
Human Powerp. 159
Everybody in the Poolp. 161
Transportation Goes Publicp. 162
Travel in a Simple Veinp. 162
Staying Home: The New Frontierp. 163
Part 4 Family, Friends, and Communityp. 165
16 Simple Living and Relationshipsp. 167
The Quality Circlep. 167
Song of Myselfp. 168
Significant Others: Not So Simple?p. 170
Family Firstp. 173
A Few Choice Friendsp. 174
Of Boundaries and Breachesp. 175
What Happened to the Neighborhood?p. 176
17 Raising Kids the Simple Living Wayp. 177
Finding Your Own Little Kidp. 177
The Essence of Parentingp. 179
Creating Orderp. 179
Setting Limitsp. 180
No Shame, No Blame!p. 181
Honor Personal Spacep. 181
Encourage Diversityp. 181
Building a Better Familyp. 181
All's Clear: Values and Boundariesp. 184
I Heard You!p. 185
The Simple Babyp. 185
Where Are You Running To?p. 186
18 When You Know How to Play, Who Needs Recreation?p. 189
Entertainment: Giving You the Businessp. 190
Cheap (Even Free!) Thrillsp. 191
When Work Is Playp. 192
Beware of Games Requiring New Clothesp. 192
19 Circle of Community: You Can't Do It Alonep. 197
What Makes a Community?p. 197
Do-It-Yourself Communitiesp. 200
Simplicity Circles and How to Start Onep. 204
When Things Don't Workp. 204
Part 5 What If Everybody Did It?p. 207
20 The Politics of Paring Downp. 209
Which Wing Are You? Choosing Bridges, not Polesp. 209
Simple Economics: What They Don't Want You to Knowp. 211
Local Currenciesp. 212
GANE--General Agreement on a New Economyp. 213
Shorter Work Hoursp. 214
Self-Reliance and the Governmentp. 214
Making Time for Changesp. 215
21 New Directions in Educationp. 219
Education or Learning: Which Is Which?p. 220
Do Schools Work?p. 222
Teaching at Homep. 224
Teaching Yourselfp. 227
Simple Living Is Simple Learningp. 228
22 Future Planet: Living With the Natural Orderp. 231
Losing Our Ways: The Cost of Estrangementp. 232
How Much Can We Do?p. 233
I Thought You Said This Was Simple!p. 235
Starting Here, Starting Nowp. 237
23 What's Rich? Defining Wealth for the Simple Lifep. 239
Creating Prosperityp. 239
Definitions for a New Agep. 240
Generosityp. 240
Stewardshipp. 240
Philanthropyp. 241
Beyond Simple Livingp. 242
A Resource Guidep. 243
Indexp. 267