25 Inspiring Quotes on Simplicity

by Aug 25, 20214 comments

Keeping it simple

I am on an ongoing quest to simplify my life.   
That means being intentional about what I add and eliminate.

Some of the changes I have made (and am still making):

  • Set priorities about what is most important to me and make the decision to let other things go – at least for now – to find time for what matters most
  • Continue to reduce the amount of physical stuff by finding new homes for things that I have acquired that no longer are in tune with my goals, my values or my vision.  This will help me make room for things that are  – like a more inspiring, organized creative space and an inviting, clutter-free living area.
  • Say no to commitments that do not advance my personal or business goals,  support my family or community, or help me learn new skills.
  • Eliminate excess digital assets like email lists and unused / unneeded digital ‘freebies’ and curate assets that I do want to keep by doing things like cutting down digital photo collections to the best, most representative images then combining in albums.
  • Work smarter not harder and be easier on myself about expectations, which means aiming for excellence, improvement and progress, and remembering that things are rarely perfect – and don’t need to be.

Collected Wisdom

Today, I’m keeping it simple by counting on the wisdom of others for my blog post.  Because today is the 25th day of the month,  here are 25 inspirational quotes about simplifying your life.

Hopefully, they will help you embrace simplicity and find joy in the little things.

Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are.  Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are.

Courtney Carver

Complexity is impressive, but simplicity is genius.

Lance Wallnau

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.

Emily Dickinson

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.

John Ruskin

A vocabulary of truth and simplicity will be of service throughout our life.

Winston Churchill

I am convinced that there can be luxury in simplicity.

Jill Sander

Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.

Frank Lloyd Wright

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.

Steve Jobs

See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.

Mother Teresa

There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.

Leo Tolstoy

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

Hans Hofman

Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.

William Morris

Simplicity in character in manners, in style;
in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. 

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The greatness of nature can overwhelm the insignificant chatter by which we measure most of our days. If you have the wisdom and the courage to go to nature alone, the larger rhythms, the eternal hum, will make itself known all the sooner. When you have found it, it will always be there for you. The peace without will become the peace within, and you will be able to return to it in your heart wherever you find yourself.

Kent Nerburn

If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind!

Chuang Tzu

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!
I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand.

Henry David Thoreau

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.

John Maeda

If you ask people what kinds of activities bring them pleasure, it’s usually contact with nature, things that are creative, and relationships with people, and the things we do to live simply bring us all of those satisfactions.

Jeanne Roy

Simplicity is that grace which frees the soul from all unnecessary reflections upon itself.

Francois Fenelon

I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest things he must attend to in a day; Probe the earth to see here your main roots run.

Henry David Thoreau

Out of chaos, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony.

Bruce Lee

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller


  1. Martha

    What beautiful nquotes! I’m always looking to read new ones.

  2. Kebba Buckley Button

    Mary Eliizabeth, another powerful post. Both your credo and your quotations are right in line with my values. I slowed down and read everything carefully. I am simplifying my home and life more and more. You realize, the William Morris quote is exactly what Marie Kondo is about? Delightful.

  3. Alice Gerard

    Nice collection of quotations. The quotations create an entire story about the joy of simplicity.

  4. Lily Leung

    Love the quotes, Mary Elizabeth. And I love simplicity, too.

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