A couple months now into my new life, I have brought more of my belongings with me. I haven't had a lot of time to go through things, since I have been so busy with work -- I am a nanny and work a lot more during the summer, when the kids are out of school -- but the little I have done, and the things I have bought for my new life, have caused me to revisit my assumptions about a simple life.
My new roommate is what I would call a boarderline hoarder. She has a lot of random stuff and seems unable to get rid of anything, so she has stuff everywhere in the house, plus a huge storage unit to hold the overflow (as well as some large items, such as kayaks). The way she functions, though, drives me nuts -- and makes me rethink my own way of doing things. It makes me want to live more simply, for example, but it also makes me realize how simply I already live -- not to mention how clean and organized I am in comparison.
For instance, there are about 6 pairs of scissors in this house, most of them in the living room, dining room, or kitchen. But since no one puts things away, you can never find a pair when you want them, so inevitably someone ends up using the nice fabric shears for something other than fabric, and then they have to be replaced -- adding yet another pair to the household.
So I have realized that in order to truly live a simple life, you need more than just fewer things: You also need organization and cleanliness. Organization lets you find things when you want them, and keep things put away, and cleanliness is what keeps you putting things away and maintaining the organization. You just can't live a simple life if your house is cluttered.